A wish granted

April 1, 2015
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Ronald Hammack, the owner of the Wishing Well in Pentwater, opened the newly-improved store April 1 after it was closed for two and a half years.

By Allison Scarbrough. OCP Editor.

PENTWATER TWP. — It has been two and a half years since the infamous Wishing Well robbery when a brazen duo on a crime spree smashed through the storefront window with a pickup truck, stealing cigarettes and booze. The store, which sustained major structural damage due to the crash, has been closed ever since.

Surveillance video of the crime went viral on social media sites, gaining a national and even international audience. Two Ludington men — Travis Malone and Marshall Jennings Brault — were caught by police and linked to other crimes, including arson and car theft. Malone, who was 17  at the time of the crimes, and Brault, who was 19, were both sent to prison.

wishing well -3Long after the suspects were sentenced, the store that was established in 1946 sat idle, and many residents wondered if it would ever open its doors again. But that all changed Wednesday, April 1, when Ronald Hammack opened the Wishing Well once again…a new and improved Wishing Well, that is.

Hammack, who is originally from the Houston, Texas area, moved to Pentwater 15 years ago with his wife, Christine. Before moving to the area, they frequently visited Pentwater to stay at Christine’s parents’ cottage. “We loved it up here,” he recalled.

Now that the couple is here to stay, they decided to acquire the Wishing Well. The business’s previous owner was Kenneth Farquhar. Since Hammack has taken over, he has made many improvements to the 3,500-square-foot convenience store, which is located near Bass Lake just south of the Mason/Oceana county line on Business US-31.

The store’s entire interior has been renovated, including complete leveling of the floors. The exterior has also been greatly improved, offering a “homey theme,” Hammack said. It basically looks like a brand-new store inside and out.

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Cashiers Angie Aspy and Chuck McKinney greet Wishing Well customers with friendly smiles.

The Wishing Well will soon have a deli, which will offer sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, French fries, fried fish, fried chicken and other tasty take-out food. Pizza may also be on the menu, Hammack said. An ice cream parlor on the west end of the building will offer hand-dipped ice cream. There will be tables outside for customers to enjoy both the sunshine and the food. Both the deli and the ice cream parlor should be open within the next month or two, Hammack said.

Near the deli you will find a freezer that contains the “best ice cream sandwiches in the world,” as Hammack describes them. The Ice Box Brand treats are made in Whitehall with ice cream that is made by Country Dairy in New Era. The writer of this piece can definitely attest that the decadent snacks are the best ice cream sandwiches she has ever tasted.

Inside the store, you will find a beverage counter where you can serve yourself a cup of coffee, cappuccino or soda. The Wishing Well has all new countertops throughout the space. Hammack also put in a brand-new refrigeration unit to keep the soda and beers icy cold. Venture inside the “Beer Cave” to find your favorite imported or domestic beer.

Something that Hammack is extremely adamant about is having a tastefully-decorated and clean restroom. The Wishing Well’s sparkling restroom definitely demonstrates that.

In case you missed the break-in video that went viral, you can watch it at the store. A hilarious “Thriller” remix is available for the public’s viewing on a flat screen next to the entrance door.

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