One of a kindPublished 11:01pm Monday, February 10, 2014
Moses Batie runs only store in town
For some people, Pike County is just home. Moses Batie, owner and proprietor of the Batie Store on County Road 7708 in Needmore, is “92 and something,” and he has lived in Pike County for most of his life.
For Batie, his life in Needmore has been a life well-lived. “I’ve been here around Needmore for the past 30 years,” Batie said. “I was born five miles up the road in a place called Copeland Bottom.”
Batie hasn’t always lived in Pike County, but he’s always found his way back home. He has spent time working in Mobile, Andalusia, Tuskegee, Auburn and Opelika. “I farmed for 40 years,” Batie said. “I was in public works for 10 years. I spent 25 to 30 years doing carpenter work. In 2002, my wife, Kittie Ann, and I opened up This Is It Restaurant and the Batie Store in Needmore.”
After working for all their lives, Moses and Kittie Ann didn’t want a boring retirement. “Owning the restaurant gave Kittie Ann a little something to do,” Batie said. “My wife always liked that type of work.”
The restaurant soon became a hit in the Needmore community. “Back when Kittie Ann was running the place and cooking, we might have 20 customers a day,” Batie said. “We served breakfast, lunch and dinner. We opened at six in the morning and closed at ten at night. It was a long day, but it was a lot of fun.”
Working with his wife was one of the great joys of Batie’s life. “We were good pals, me and Kittie Ann,” Batie said. “Nobody is perfect, but she was pretty much the perfect woman. She was an honest woman. I never had nothing to worry about in our 44 years of marriage. When she was in the kitchen, I could go about my business running the store. She was good to get along with and was never fussy.”
As for the restaurant’s unique name, ‘This Is It,’ Batie said he didn’t put too much thought in to it. “We couldn’t come up with a name for the restaurant, but we needed a name,” Batie said. “Finally, I just said, ‘This is it,’ and the name stuck. We couldn’t think of anyone else with that name, so it worked out.”
Now that Kittie Ann has passed, Moses is unable to run the restaurant anymore. “If I was young and able to keep cooking, I would open the restaurant back up,” Batie said. “It’s just too much for me to do on my own now. I keep the store open still. I have a few knick-knacks for sale. On an average day, I might have four or five people come in.”
Even at 92 years old, Batie still tries to stay active. “I garden a little and sit around in the store,” Batie said. “People come in and talk to me from time to time. We’ll shoot the breeze to pass the time, and I like to listen to people talk about their lives.”
Even as the Needmore community grows larger and becomes more developed, one thing will always stay the same. As long as Moses Batie is around, the Batie Store will remain open for business.