Janet Shae was torn. Which apron would be most appropriate to wear when she re-opened two West Groton institutions this morning? In the end, she tied on a well-worn red chefs apron from the Groton Fireman’s Muster of 2003 and greeted customers and well-wishers at the combined Clover Farm Market and her own Country Village Yarn Shop.
The Clover Farm Market has been a West Groton crossroads landmark since the 1930s when a Red & White store went out of business and brothers Win and Lawrence Sherwin moved their own grocery store into the building, naming it the Clover Farm Market. In 2007, “Winnie” retired (see slide show by Neal Menschel and Samantha Broun) and sold the market to Janet Hurst. Hurst moved the market more up-scale with better foods, but found expansion was limited by health regulations. She closed the market at the end of June.Shae watched it all happen from her house up the street and then the porch of her 19-year old yarn shop, which was headquartered in a brick house across the street from the market. A bit of research, some real estate negotiations, and she had merged the two businesses under one roof. After the Groton Board of Health endorsed her plans last week, she quickly moved forward and opened the doors at 7:30 a.m. this morning. Coffee and tea from a self-serve single cup coffee maker is a dollar and the shelves are stocked with cookies and baked goods from Bliss Bakery. Along one side and filling the back of the bright sunshine-dappled main room are shelves of yarns, needles, and knitting supplies. This morning, she was cheerfully hooking up the phones and tending the cash register, saying that “Now I’m spinning, selling, and tellin’ yarns.”
To mark her grand opening, Shae tucked a couple of payments from early customers away — Selectman Jack Petropoulos’s dollar bill is tucked into a picture frame with her new store’s first ten dollar bill, a payment for breakfast from Jane Barrett.
A transfer of the liquor license assigned to the market, from owner to owner, is pending and is on the agenda for the Board of Selectmen’s August 20 meeting.