For decades travelers going west on FM 407 to Argyle, Justin and points further west had to come to a complete stop near the Bartonville Store to make a right turn to stay on the improved roadway. But now FM 407 curves 100 yards or so east of the store and burgeoning retail operations in Flower Mound, Highland Village, Argyle and Bartonville Town Center provide area residents lots of convenient options. Plans are in the works for a supermarket and other retail activity within eyesight of the venerable store, which has adapted to changes in the marketplace since days when Bartonville was a remote location, gradually shifting from a grocery and meat market to a convenience store serving breakfast and lunch over the last couple of decades.
Price, owner and operator of the store, came to the area with his family in 1959 as a child of three and started drawing a paycheck from the store in 1972. Personable and interesting, Price used the location to get to know a lot of folks in the area and always kept tables and chairs available so those stopping in for breakfast, lunch, snacks, coffee and soft drinks would have a place to congregate and share news.
The Town of Bartonville moved quickly to buy the approximately 1.39 acres of land when it became available. Although the Town has announced no specific plans for the property as of yet, it is adjacent to the town’s municipal buildings situated at 1941 E. Jeter Road.
Since 1853 there has been a permanent store of one sort or another at roughly the same location of what was once called “The Center Road” connecting Denton with Arlington, Price said. He continued the tradition of a family business. His children, Kristi, Michael and Sara all worked in the store.
Bartonville Food has had some notable regular customers. Former Dallas Cowboys and Oklahoma Sooners Coach Barry Switzer and his sons used to motorcycle out to the store because they liked to drink Coca Cola’s from heavy glass bottles. Ruth Carter Stapleton, sister of President Jimmy Carter, had a retreat center in the area during the 1970s and would frequently stop by the store.
Price has been able to witness a lot of history. When a local pilot took up a small plane during the “No Fly” period following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, Price stepped outside to see an F-16 flying over the store low and fast on a course to intercept. In 2008 the abductors of Amber Fletcher were arrested at the north end of the store’s parking lot.
James has done more for the Bartonville area than just run the store. As a member of the Argyle Volunteer Fire Department for 40 years, he’s served in numerous leadership capacities including captain of operations and chief. His future plans away from the store are still to be determined.