NEWFANE — A store dating back to 1822 has new owners who have come across old relics of the past, including pull tabs for beers, a matchbook for an old agriculture company and a local newspaper ad from the early days announcing sugar would be available at the business.
“To me, it’s just amazing to be part of the history — to find these artifacts, to make our own,” said David Hull, co-owner of the Newfane Store. “I hope this is something my wife and I do for a while. I could see this being my last gig.”
Hull and his wife Apple Gifford are teachers. Hull also is a farmer, who started a few small businesses.
“My wife has finally trusted me,” he said about the store with a laugh.
Hull said he wouldn’t have bothered taking over the former Newfane Market on Route 30 unless his wife thought it could work.
“She’s employed so she won’t be here much,” he said. “My 16-year-old wants to work the counter this summer and my 13-year-old wants to be in charge of the penny candy. They’re excited and the town is pretty happy to have this place up and running. They’re curious. They know me and they’re pretty excited.”
His plan is to return the business name to the Newfane Store. In 1995, the name had been changed to the Newfane Market.
The phone number will stay the same as it has been for at least 80 years, Hull said April 21. He had taken over ownership a few days ago but the owners allowed him to start renovations about six weeks ago.
The store is scheduled to open this month. Hours are anticipated to be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. Chef Chris Mattson said the business will maintain the tradition of a Vermont general store by offering groceries, convenience items, fishing licenses, a deer weighing station, light sporting goods, eggs from local farms and items made by local artisans. He will be making from scratch “real food” with “real ingredients” and featuring locally produced items whenever possible.
His menu is expected to include breakfast sandwiches, pastries, homemade muffins, cider donuts, deli sandwiches, baked goods, homemade pies, grilled items and pressed sandwiches. A variety of soups will be available daily.
Mattson said the store will slowly ramp up its offerings based on people’s interests, and there will be gluten-free and vegan options. Announcements about new items will be made via the Newfane Store’s Facebook and Instagram pages.
Hull and Mattson, who both live in town, have been working with local contractors to renovate and clean up the space.
“We redid the floor,” Hull said. “We’re painting.”
Mattson said plumbing and electric upgrades also were made. Two people renovating the store have family members who previously owned it.
“To have them here and put their time and love into the place with it being in their own family history, to me that’s awesome,” Hull said.