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Posted on Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 11 a.m.

Robber attacks Jenny's Dexter Market owner, steals cash

By Cindy Heflin


Jenny's Farm Market owner Burton Hoey poses for a photo last week at the cashier's table inside the market, located at the corner of Island Lake Road and Dexter-Pinckney Road just outside Dexter.

Melanie Maxwell I

Editor's note: This article has been updated with additional details about the incident.

Someone assaulted and robbed Jenny’s Dexter Market owner Burton Hoey after the business closed Tuesday night, an employee said today.

Washtenaw County sheriff's deputies said someone came up behind an employee walking in the dark on the grounds of the business at 8366 Island Lake Road about 9 p.m. Tuesday and hit him on the head with an unknown object. Sheriff's Sgt. Thomas Pennington said two suspects were involved, but he could not provide more details.

Manager Jessica Reeve said Hoey was the person attacked at the business west of Dexter and is in the hospital today. She said she spoke to him today, but declined to say more about the attack or the extent of his injuries.

The robber fled with an undisclosed amount of cash, deputies said. No suspect description was available. Hoey was admitted to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, deputies said.

It's been a tough fall at the market, a popular weekend destination for families looking for pumpkins, cider, hayrides and pony rides. A worker was seriously injured in a hayride accident last month. Shortly afterward, Webster Township served the market with a stop-work order, citing violations of township zoning ordinances. Hoey has vowed to stay open and fight the order. Earlier this month, a child fell off a pony at the market.

Reeve said she did not know how much cash the robber got. Employees at the market are feeling worried and a little scared today, she said.

"I just feel bad for him. We've had so many problems and now this happens. It's the last thing he needs."


Mitch Smith

Sat, Oct 29, 2011 : 3:09 a.m.

Mr Hoey does not need a carry permit on his own property. He does not need a carry permit to carry in down town Dexter or Ann Arbor, if it is his own. He does need a conceal permit to cover it up or to drive with it loaded.

Marilyn Wilkie

Fri, Oct 28, 2011 : 8:57 p.m.

He told a different story to The Dexter Leader.

Marilyn Wilkie

Fri, Oct 28, 2011 : 8:35 p.m.

I have some ocean front property in Arizona for sale. And it has a Farm Stand on it.


Fri, Oct 28, 2011 : 5:07 p.m.

I think in addition to his delicious cider, donuts, and pickles, Burton Hoey is selling some tall tales at his farm stand.

Marilyn Wilkie

Fri, Oct 28, 2011 : 8:57 p.m.

check out the Dexter Leader Story..."sawed off shotgun"???


Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 9:17 p.m.

After the news published that he had to remove a shotgun from the premises, what a coincidence.

Marilyn Wilkie

Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 11:09 p.m.

He denied having one though.


Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 8:13 p.m.

No witnesses + no caught suspects + a sudden seachange in public opinion about a formerly reviled small business = things that make you go "Hmmmmmmmmm."


Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 6:28 p.m.

Too bad the victim didn't have a concealed weapon's permit (CCW). Yhat would have been a surprise for the perp!

Ron Granger

Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 7:42 p.m.

Yeah, sure. After he hit the victom from behind by surprise, he could have stolen the gun. It would have been a nice bonus to the cash he stole.


Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 1:36 p.m.

Leave this guy alone, he is just trying to make a living and its a nice market and a nice place to go and buy pickles on the weekend


Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 1:28 p.m.

Although I knew it was going to happen I'm a little surprised that has allowed this to go from a robbery/ assault topic to the pro-anti Jenny's/Hoey topic.I knew it was going to happen even before I even started to read the comments.If you were to just look at the last half of the comments you would have no clue what the original article was about

Gregg R

Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 1:22 p.m.

I am very concerned that this attack happened Tues night and as of Wednesday eve. the sherrif dept. had not been back to the site (in the daylight) to try and gather any evidence! I know because I was there yesterday and asked. I would like to think that any negative feelings our officials might have toward Mr Hoey or his business would not get in the way of doing what needs to be done when someone is assaulted and could have been killed. There are some dangerous people out there and everything possible needs to be done to stop them from doing this to someone else. Don't the police investigate attempted murder and armed robbery in Dexter?

Marilyn Wilkie

Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 3:52 p.m.

"attempted murder"?

Mr. Ed

Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 1:52 p.m.

Gregg Of course they do.


Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 1:18 p.m.

I wish him a speedy recovery, and I wish his family some peace right now. Let's take the microscope off this farm for a while PLEASE! Sending positive energy your way Jenny's!


Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 2:37 a.m.

Hope they catch the coward(s) that attacked this man. He, as well as all of us, certainly does not deserve any type of mistreatment. Hoping good thoughts for you, Mr. Hoey.


Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 2:04 a.m.

The thing that most people need to remember is that this is a FARM and FARM market, it is not a store in Downtown Ann Arbor. If you go to any farm or farm market, Im willing to bet you can find scores of building, zoning, safety, and health violations, maybe even some mis-treatment of animals. It doesnt make it right, but its true. The spotlight has been on this market, rightly and wrongly at times, but its still just sad that something like this happened.


Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 8:15 p.m.

Please read the prior articles on Jenny's Market, Alfie, including the comments, were it is clear that the majority of products --- pickles, donuts, cider, produce, etc. --- at the market were either re-packaged items, items brought in from Eastern Market, or baked offsite. That's not a farm.

Marilyn Wilkie

Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 11:03 a.m.

Dennis P, the people who have the most criticism of this man are the people who have lived in the community for years and know his past reputation and misdeeds. Not pretty. It is not the new yuppie suburbanites. I don't think he sells his field corn to the yups. So other than some pumpkins, what is he selling directly that you can't buy at Busch's for less money. I loved seeing Carl Lesser do some real farming next to me. I loved having the cows grazing next door. Then the subs moved in. Your preaching to the choir. I don't love the stench of burning plastic plant pots in the night in the spring. And I don't love the excess traffic and mess. Or knowing that I must abide by laws that he doesn't. And you are wrong, go to any other real farm market in the area and you won't find the problems and bad attitude. This place has become totally out of hand. I doubt this will see the light of day since only glowing reports are kept here.


Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 7:32 a.m.

Goofus. He farms all that land along there and a large tract on Wiley Rd. He sells his produce directly. You know, locavores, etc. The kind of stuff yuppies all claim they support until they have to live near the farm. You can do all the "research" you want in a Webster's dictionary, but sometimes if you just open your eyes and look and see what surrounds the business you'll become enlightened to reality. There was farm there and there still is farm there. Subdivisions located across the street and, now, there is a senior sub at what was the lands of Gordon Hall. They stripped that land of most of the forest to build a small enclave for some seniors a couple of years back and now this fellow's business is presumed to be in a suburb. People want to think of his place as a nuisance, but there's a thing in law known as "coming to a nuisance". If you like research try looking that up.


Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 2:24 a.m.

Please do your research. It is not a FARM. Farms produce food. This is a outlet market that sells food grown, made, and produced somewhere else.


Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 1:25 a.m.

I hope Hoey is OK. A lot of these "cited" violations would be true for many farm markets like these across the country. The government wants to get in and regulate them, the latest in their scheme to make money off of the American citizen. So what do you want, an empty street corner?

Marilyn Wilkie

Fri, Oct 28, 2011 : 3:17 a.m.

Just...- do you really believe that? You think that the people would allow a gas station or a mini mart or a subdivision there? Course, they didn't have much say when the Fricke brothers made the deal with the Metro Parks for the property across the road from Burton. Dexter wanted that bad. The mayor even lives there. Then, of course, there is the senior citizens mecca where the beautiful woods used to be. Dexter wants that too. Nah, empty corner would work fine.


Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 12:10 p.m.

That corner will not be empty long if the place sells, it will be a gas station, mini mart, or yet another planned subdivision with more people who walk over the railroad tracks to get to town. Hasn't been empty in more than 20 years. Used to be we drove behind tractors on the road very often here, I miss that to, but its not coming back either.

Marilyn Wilkie

Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 1:33 a.m.

Yes, like it was.


Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 12:25 a.m.

I am surprised by how many people are taking this opportunity to kick a man when he is down, all the while criticizing him for being rude to others. Bit of the pot calling the kettle black here. To those of you casting stones at him; look in the mirror, you are exactly what you accuse him of being. Some of you, far worse. This may get deleted, but for the time its up, I hope some of you will seriously ask yourselves why reveling in the destruction of a mans life, brings you such joy. It's really sickening.


Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 7:23 a.m.

He operates a farm stand. There's a lot of controversy going on here in Washtenaw as to what falls under the Right to Farm Act and what falls outside of it. He thinks he's engaging in a type of agribusiness and it seems very similar to the typical kind of operations found at cider mills and orchards all over this time of year. Maybe he has a point, given that he's won in court in the past. So, you may have to do those things for your business, but maybe the State Right to Farm Act lets him avoid it. He does farm--he works those corn and pumpkin fields all around the place. It seems Burton Hoey's biggest problem is the influx of Ann Arborites and suburbanites into Dexter and Webster who want the veneer of a rural life but none of the odors, sounds and necessities that come with it. Just the Normal Rockwell picture please--none of the reality.


Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 12:23 a.m.

Now the folks controlling the license fees for the block M are going to come after him for the bears in sweaters if he hasn't paid a fee, for the bears pictured behind him. adding to his problems.

Marilyn Wilkie

Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 1:35 a.m.

good point.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 11:57 p.m.

Regardless of how you feel about this man and his business....he is having one helluva bad week.

Janet Kohler

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 9:45 p.m.

I'm saddened to hear of more negativity regarding Mr. Hoey and the market. I wish him speedy recovery and wish Jenny's Farm Market to be a safe haven for all to enjoy. Jenny's Farm Market is an amazing opportunity to purchase their delicious seasonal produce and plants; and a place of fun for the whole family. I only hope that legal matter's don't shut the Market down, as Mr. Hoey has done a superb job bringing joy and jobs to the community with Jenny's Market. Accidents happen all the time when animals are envolved, employees and owners need to be aware and alert at all times to prevent accidents and dangers that can happen at "farm" businesses. Hang in there Mr Hoey, I'm praying for you!


Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 12:17 a.m.

Trying to make her more sad with more negativity?

Marilyn Wilkie

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 9:52 p.m.

Ever wonder why?


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 9:19 p.m.

Were there any witnesses?


Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 2:22 a.m.

As anyone with a brain can tell by the amazing proliferation of sign litter for whatever Jenny's Farm/Cider/Dexter market is calling itself these days, my sign removal project was never launched. If anything, there seem to be more signs in our fair county than before.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 11:26 p.m.

Toy you driving around and taking down his advertisment signs like you said you were going to at least twice in previous comments sections to related stories? Maybe.

Ricardo Queso

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 10:16 p.m.

Ask the horses.

Marilyn Wilkie

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 9:49 p.m.

I don't think we'll ever know what really happened.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 8:03 p.m.

Haven't had the greatest experience at Jenny's...but come on, Burton is a very hard working man that did not deserve that by any stretch!!!! Did I read officials made him take his shotgun away??? Big mistake!!! Get well fast Burton!


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 7:47 p.m.

Any chance this has something to do with the fact that the A2 News reported, in a previous article, "...The June agreement [with the state] stipulated that a shotgun should be removed from the facility." Thanks, A2 News!

Marilyn Wilkie

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 8:09 p.m.

right...that makes a whole lot of sense....he denied having a gun anyway.

George Houchens

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 7:39 p.m.

Jenny's Market serves good wholesome food and I am a very satisfied customer. All the problems there are simply more government beaurocracy gone amok. The accidents were just that. Accidents happen regardless of how hard one tries to avoid them. The Dexter publocats need to support this business, not harass it. Wont hold my breath until the Sheriff's Department finds the culprits who robbed Mr Hoey. Doubt that they will try very hard with all the politics surrounding this business.


Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 12:25 p.m.

No, it is not "government bureaucracy run amok", it is a business owner that refuses to run his business by simple rules that everybody else has to follow. It is not that hard to make a site plan, keep animals away from food products and follow building codes. Mr Hoey has had YEARS to get his affairs in order.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 9:34 p.m.

The Washtenaw County Sheriff's department has always done a very good job out here and take crime very seriously from my experience. We don't have a lot of personal violent crime here, so I would image they will take this very seriously.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 7:55 p.m.

"Doubt that they will try very hard with all the politics surrounding this business." Wow, that's a nasty accusation.

Mr. Ed

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 6:32 p.m.

Gee I' hope he's ok.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 6:25 p.m.

WOW people how about we all hope and pray he is ok..for god sake the man is in the Hospital and you still want to downgrade him and his company. People love his business and have been going there for business are ran perfect or are perfect. I pray he is ok!!!


Fri, Oct 28, 2011 : 7:13 p.m.

Marilyn, you mean you COULDN'T care less. Think about it.


Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 11:10 p.m.

Mr Ed...speak for yourself not others... Also..what happened to the remark about interviewing the horses...Looks like alot of "donkeys" have already posted their thoughts on here. Wishing the owner a speedy recovery !

Marilyn Wilkie

Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 10:10 p.m.

Vette - you are absolutely correct. Huge new influx of people in the last 15 years who don't have a clue and could care less I guess. The whole town is surrounded with subdivisions of Ann Arbor escapees.


Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 12:03 p.m.

OK Vett driver - so your self established cut off is now 15 years, then you are a true Dexterite? There are people who are 10, 15, 18, 20, 25 years old, all born here, all true Dexterites. Each has as much right in their town to help establish what it means to be a Dexterite. As I recall from years past, people with differing opinions, and strongly so, is not so uncommon here. Can we lay to rest the "us v them" attitude on this one? Burton's character should not even be a topic of discussion on this issue.


Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 2:59 a.m.

I think as a rule (and there are exceptions to every rule) the people who were born and raised in Dexter and/or have long heritage here know Burton and his "character". That does not mean he deserved this but it does mean most TRUE Dexter locals, not the "Dexterites" that have just moved here in the past 10 or 15 years avoid him and anything associated with him! That being said, I hope they find the attackers and that they pay for their crime!


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 11:18 p.m.

I took our daughter with other friends of hers for the hayride and pumpkin picking years ago. I agree with all of these comments. The guy is down on his luck and you all want to bash him? I hate to see you all in one of the articles. Good heavens folks. Now get back to biz Jenny.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 9:31 p.m.

@ Mr. Ed - that is simply not true. The implication that "locals" would somehow know better and therefor avoid the place is insulting and misleading. Speak for yourself. We buy our Christmas Tree's every year from Burton. We also buy plants from him occasionally. My kids like to visit the animals after school. I have lived here more than 20 years.

Marilyn Wilkie

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 7:52 p.m.

gemsbarb..and lots of us don't. And lots of people find it convenient I suppose to stop on their way home.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 7:46 p.m.

Mr Ed - not sure who you're referring to... lots of us go there. I stop regularly on my drive home. Especially during fresh corn season. But when the seasons turn, we continue to go - for sweet & hot pickles, jams, honey. I get requests from folks to bring stuff from Jenny's when I go visit them all over the state. Not sure who all the sour grapes are, but there are lots of us Dexter locals who shop there, and have for years!


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 6:45 p.m.

I know plenty of locals that go there, so you are wrong about that. I was raised in Dexter and have family and friends that live there that i know go you are wrong about that.

Mr. Ed

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 6:33 p.m.

None of the locals go to his business. It's only the people from Ann Arbor city.

Jen Eyer

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 5:51 p.m.

Comments that blamed the victim or were off-topic have been removed.

Jonny Spirit

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 5:22 p.m.

The professor with the lead pipe, hello Dexter police time to go talk to the Professor. He did it!

Buster W.

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 4:53 p.m.

I have never been a fan of Burton's, but this is disturbing.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 4:30 p.m.

We stopped at this market a couple times to buy sweet corn, which was not the best. Had no idea he was cited for violations of township zoning ordinances. (or why until now) If the employees are feeling worried or scared today, lock the doors and shut it down. (which will probably happen anyway). It is sad that Hoey was injured, hope he recovers soon and hope the criminal will be caught as well.


Fri, Oct 28, 2011 : 7:07 p.m.

What, exactly, was your point?


Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 7:14 a.m.

Wow. You get corn that's "not the best" so this guy needs to shut down??? Talk about a tough customer. The zoning ordinance violations have nothing to do with the safety of the operation. They largely involve building proximity to roads and another (one of many in Washtenaw) dispute between zoning boards and farmers invoking the State Right to Farm Act. Check for Bateson Farm in Lima Twp and similar cases with farmers in York Twp. Farmers will be driven out of business if every time they try to engage in some agribusiness they need a zoning permit. Jenny's has had some issues on prepared food safety with the county but I believe those issues were largely addressed. Frankly, it looks like and operates like Spicers, Wiards or any of the many U-pick orchards and cider mills that we all love. What people have against this little place is beyond me except that the owner is gruff. So, local government should give a personality test to everyone before they get a business license?


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 9:27 p.m.

"If the employees are feeling worried or scared today, lock the doors and shut it down." I am struggling to find the right reply to your comment above. I am shocked anyone would suggest turning tail and running because of a crime. Why would you even suggest such a thing? If you are suggesting it because of the zoning violations, then you are mixing two completely different subjects. I don't understand any relevance whatsoever of your corn tasting, other than to pile salt on an open wound.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 7:47 p.m.

We buy our sweet corn there all summer long and have always been very happy with it. Sheesh folks, give this poor business a break!

Ron Granger

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 4:12 p.m.

This is what happens when you cut police in Ann Arbor! Oh wait - did you say Dexter?


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 11:15 p.m.

Dexter police do not play. They get real. Especially the sheriff on Michigan near Canton. Always hunting and always looking.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 3:50 p.m.

I'm waiting for the quote from the Dexter police chief saying "this doesn't happen in Dexter."


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 6:40 p.m.

Well I suppose if we had a police chief he or she might. The Washtenaw County Sheriff patrols the area. Before making some flippant remark you might want to consider actually knowing a few facts about that which you are commenting on. In response to your observation - that sort of attack and robbery rarely happens here.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 3:42 p.m.

I am very saddened to hear of this significant injury to Mr. Hoey, as well as of the robbery. Although I have been unhappy to read on this website of the way he conducts his business, I wish him a speedy and uneventful full recovery. Hopefully, the criminal will be apprehended quickly.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 3:29 p.m.

Maybe they were emboldened by the knowledge that Hoey had to get rid of his shotgun?


Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 8:04 p.m.

Ron, your comment didn't answer the question.

Ron Granger

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 10:18 p.m.

A gun is useless if you are hit from behind by surprise.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 3:09 p.m.

Wow. With all the negative discussion on about Jenny's Market I hope it didn't inspire this crime!

Elizabeth Scott

Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 12:54 a.m.

Yeah, Marilyn. Those Ann Arbor families are so wholesome. The CHELSEA families, however.... Umm, seriously?


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 11:22 p.m.

"Marilyn Wilkie at 3:45 PM on October 26, 2011 I'm concerned that the market is drawing more than just Ann Arbor families to the neighborhood now." I can't even believe you said this.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 10:49 p.m.

Marilyn Wilkie - "I'm concerned that the market is drawing more than just Ann Arbor families to the neighborhood now"?? Confusing comment, to say the least. It's not even in Ann Arbor, and already draws "more than just Ann Arbor families".

Marilyn Wilkie

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 7:45 p.m.

I'm concerned that the market is drawing more than just Ann Arbor families to the neighborhood now.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 5:29 p.m.

That's the first thing that came to my mind as well.

Ron Granger

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 4:16 p.m.

Your speculation seems to confuse cause and effect.