ADAMS -- A longtime Park Street business owner plans to close his doors after the end of an ongoing retirement sale.
James Wol has operated his Colonial Country Shoppe at 3 Park St. for almost 17 years, selling candles, scents, figurines, local merchandise and more. In a Tuesday interview, Wol wished to convey a message.
"If there's one thing I want to get out, it's a thank you to Adams, North Adams and the surrounding towns for how well they've supported the store over the years," Wol said. "[I'll miss] the people. They're not customers; they're friends. They know about my family and I know about theirs."
Wol expected to close at year's end, but said "with the way things are going, I'm likely to be out by around Thanksgiving." His retirement sale features a blanket 25 percent store discount with 30 percent off products from Yankee and Kringle candle companies and 40 percent off figurines, including Snowbabies and Snowbunnies collectibles.
A dozen parties earlier expressed interest in purchasing the business, Wol said, but a deal was not struck. Building landlord Thomas Carlow will likely look to fill the space in the near future.
An Adams native, veteran of the U.S. Air Force and former employee of IBM, Wol set up shop in town in 1996.
"At that time, this was the only open store front on Park Street," Wol said.
Earlier stints running stores in North Adams and Williamstown add up to put Wol near the two-decade mark of owning a local business. He said he was drawn to the Adams space originally because of its size and location -- the first building on the right for those traveling north onto Park Street.
"Since I'd gotten into the [country store] business, I'd always looked at this building and thought, ‘I'd love to open up a store here.' And I did, two years later."
Having been tapped over the years by Adams officials for input about the town, Wol maintains that job creation is the best way to help local business.
"You've got to have jobs," Wol said. "People need to have disposable income so they can support local shops."
He advocates more marketing of Adams and Northern Berkshire in the Boston area.
For new business owners, Wol offered some simple advice: Pay your creditors before worrying over personal revenue.
"You're last," Wol said. "That's the way to do it."
For retirement, Wol looks forward to spending time with his son and grandson in Pownal, Vt., and his daughter in New York City.
To reach Phil Demers, email email@example.com.