Members of the Friends of Algiers pose in front of the Guilford General Store holding signs which read: "This place matters." (Submitted photo)
Members of the Friends of Algiers pose in front of the Guilford General Store holding signs which read: "This place matters." (Submitted photo)
Thursday October 11, 2012

GUILFORD -- Organizers of an effort to reopen Guilford Country Store have begun what they hope is their final fundraising push.

Bolstered by receipt of an $11,000 Thompson Trust matching grant, Friends of Algiers Village Inc. -- the nonprofit that owns and is restoring the store -- is looking for one more round of significant community support.

"We need another $90,000 to complete the project," said Anne Rider, Friends of Algiers secretary and a Guilford Selectboard member.

The nonprofit acquired the historic Broad Brook House, which houses the store on Route 5 at Guilford Center Road, in August 2010. Renovations have progressed since, and the goal is to soon open a shop and small cafe.

Rider said a new floor is being installed this week, and organizers have noted that they have uncovered the building's original windows so the store is filled with natural light.

An open house is planned from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday to show off those and other changes to the public.

"It looks pretty spectacularly different," Rider said.

To date, more than $590,000 has been raised for store acquisition and renovation, Rider said. Sunday's event also serves as the official kickoff for Friends of Algiers' latest fundraiser.

"We're hoping for donations at the open house," Rider said, adding that Friends of Algiers is appealing directly to Guilford residents.


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"We've already sent out a letter to people in town and to people we feel would be interested in supporting the project," she said.

The nonprofit also is soliciting business sponsorships and is pursuing additional grant money, Rider said.

The Thompson Trust funding is a matching grant, meaning it will be released only as Friends of Algiers raises matching funds.

"We want to really emphasize that," Rider said. "(Supporters') dollars will be doubled for every dollar that they donate."

Support for the store project also has come from the Burlington-based Preservation Trust of Vermont and from U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., who secured a $65,000 grant.

More information is available at www.guilfordvermontcountrystore.com.

Mike Faher can be reached at mfaher@reformer.com or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.