Maynard’s celebrates grand re-openingWESTBROOK — While it took little more than six months for Maynard’s grocery store in Westbrook to reopen after a fire devastated the downtown business on July 5, 2008, general manager Gary Thompson said it seemed much longer.
By: Julie Buntjer, Worthington Daily Globe
WESTBROOK — While it took little more than six months for Maynard’s grocery store in Westbrook to reopen after a fire devastated the downtown business on July 5, 2008, general manager Gary Thompson said it seemed much longer.
Perhaps that’s because 60- to 70-mile-per-hour wind gusts rolled through the community on Oct. 12 and toppled the progress that had been made to rebuild the town’s only food market.
Despite the double whammy, the business reopened on Jan. 21 — just 90 days after the wind storm — to give shoppers in the region a much larger selection of produce, fresh meat, frozen food and canned goods. The business will celebrate its grand re-opening all this week with red hot specials at the Westbrook location.
In addition, there will be a brat and hamburger feed from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday. For a minimal fee, guests can enjoy a brat or burger, along with baked beans, chips and a pop. All proceeds will go to the Westbrook-Walnut Grove math department for graphing calculators to be purchased for students who can’t otherwise afford them.
The 10,720-square-foot facility is more than 4,000 square feet larger than the former building. Thompson said two buildings located adjacent to the site were torn down to make room for the expanded store.
Tony Staples manages the Maynard’s store in Westbrook, where he oversees a staff of 17 mostly part-time employees. He said the larger store has made it possible to increase from 15 doors to 31 doors in the frozen food section, and from four doors to six doors for frozen meats.
“The fresh meat counter is twice as big as it was before,” added Thompson. “We have over twice the grocery shelving, (the store has) beautiful, wide aisles, state of the art electronics and energy efficient lighting.”
Thompson said one of the greatest compliments he hears from customers is that a town with a population of 750 residents has such “nice quality” to choose from. The Westbrook store draws customers from about a 25-mile radius.
“It’s been overwhelming,” said Staples. “We’ve been open six months and you still see new faces coming in.”
The new facility has a handicap-accessible front entry and restrooms, and up to three wheelchairs can easily maneuver side by side down the store aisles — quite a change from the old store that wasn’t accessible to wheelchair traffic.
“They brought residents down from the nursing home (and) they just loved it,” said Staples.
During the time Maynard’s was under construction, Thompson said all of the store’s employees were paid, and their health plan coverage remained in effect.
“The people in our area found out how loyal our business has been to our employees and that’s drawing business too,” Thompson said.