CLAY COUNTY, WV (WOWK) — According to the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office, Clay County led the Mountain State in business growth for the month of June, registering six new businesses, including one restaurant that is off the beaten path, literally!

The Trail Kitchen” is trying to open shop in the midst of a pandemic, and trying to open shop in the middle of nowhere, which owners, Scott and Jeannie Marker say make it all the more special.

In 2011, the Markers moved to West Virginia from Washington D.C. in search of a simple life with one dream.

“The idea of running a restaurant with maybe a little general store has always been something we’ve been thinking towards, planning towards – how can we make it happen, when can we make it happen,” Scott said.

Well, it’s happening now, deep in the hills of Clay County.

“Traveling down some back country road in West Virginia and finding this hidden surprise is like, ‘wow this a golden nugget,'” Scott said.

The Trail Kitchen will have a different dining atmosphere, tucked away on the Makers’ 26-acre land in the Cold Spring area outside of Clendenin, serving American-style food, all locally-raised and produced, with some of Jeannie’s homemade items like bread and ice cream.

Jeannie said she hopes it will become a destination that is fun to find and gives rural residents a place to eat without traveling far.

Scott and Jeannie began building in February of this year, right before the coronavirus hit, which caused their small construction company to crumble.

“But just like a forest fire, it’s a natural thing that happens and then from that, you go around and look for the new growth, and the new growth will eventually be a full-blown forest,” said Scott.

They decided to put all their chips in and continue with their dream, spending $80,000 so far. With Scott’s contracting and Jeannie’s experience in the food industry, they are confident it will be a success.