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Super Senior: Katy Martin is mainstay at Fishtail General Store

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Posted at 8:28 PM, Jun 12, 2023

FISHTAIL - The Fishtail General Store has stood the test of time, selling a little bit of everything since 1900. It’s where you will also find Katy Martin, the owner of the historic business.

She’s going nonstop on this day.

“You name it, you need it, we have,” she jokes as she takes me on a look around the old store.

Katy and her late husband, Bill, moved to Fishtail back in the mid-1990s to retire.

“We looked at each other and thought this is it. That’s how we ended up here,” she says.

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Fishtail General Store

But their retirement didn’t last long. About seven years later, Fishtail General came up for sale. The old store was fading fast at the time.

She says they didn’t really want to “buy a job” at the time, but later they reconsidered.

“It’s something that it needs to keep this town going and Bill and I didn’t want to go away,” she says.

“We really loved the store it had historical value. We were taking care of Bill’s dad and my dad at the time so we figured we might a well have a store. And we knew absolutely nothing about retail. Zip. So, it was quite the experience, but it grew and if you have good quality people are willing to come and see that. Plus, the ambiance is amazing.”

Fishtail General is a throwback in many ways to a vanishing piece of Montana history, the old general store, a place to get needed supplies and maybe also catch up on the latest goings on.

“It is designed to be kind of a chamber of commerce and a place where if people need help, we can give it to them,” Katy says.

It’s a place Levi Pfingsten has been coming to since his earliest memories.

“They have got a little bit of everything to offer you for sure, especially in a little town like Fishtail. I think you can find just about anything you need, he says.

But what really makes the store special, he says, is Martin.

“She has always got a friendly face. You can find her beyond the counter in the bakery or in the deli. Always going to say hi to you,” he says.

Along with running the store, Martin has also started an internet business to try and help sell Montana-made products.

“We have so many talented people here and they make such wonderful things. And Montana is pretty popular right now. As it should be.”

Katy Martin, this week’s Super Senior, is still going strong.

“I feel very, very blessed to be able to live here and work here,” she says.

Masterlube and Adult Resource Alliance want to recognize seniors making a positive difference in our community. Click here to nominate someone for the Super Seniors segment.