SHAFTSBURY -- The Shaftsbury Country Store, at 972 Route 7A in Shaftsbury, will close its doors on Friday, March 28.

"This isn't a bad thing, it's a good thing," said owner Evan Galle, who runs the store with his wife, Tracy, who cited the need for a lifestyle change, so that the family could spend more time together. "I've been in the cooking business for 22 years, and the hours are crazy."

Galle said the decision had nothing to do with finances, and that business has been great recently. "Obviously we're sad," he said, "not seeing our regulars every week. But it's not like we're leaving, we'll still be in Shaftsbury." According to a letter to the editor submitted by Tracy Galle to the Banner, Evan will continue to work at Shaftsbury Dental, and she will continue to teach and coach at Mount Anthony Union Middle School. They currently have three children in the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union school system, with the oldest at Mount Anthony Union High School, and the youngest at Shaftsbury Elementary.

The Galles took over the country store nine years ago, and Evan Galle said that four potential buyers had already come forward to purchase the building, although he noted that any of those kinds of decisions would have to be made down the line. "Right now," he said, "It's just about spending more time together as a family."

"For the past nine years you have been the colorful characters and unbelievable stories that have become part of our life," wrote Tracy Galle, "It is so sad that we will not be a part of your lives the way we have been for so long. Out kids are growing too fast to miss any of it. This community has been so supportive and wonderful that we hope that you will be the same with this decision that we had to make. We will forever think of you when passing a porch with rocking chairs and hope you will do the same when you pick up an empty cup of coffee or a burnt muffin."