WILLIAMSTOWN -- The Store at Five Corners in South Williamstown will close again Sunday, less than seven months after reopening under new management.
"I received a call on Wednesday night from the building's owner, saying he wanted to close the store and he wanted to close it by Sunday," Store Manager Ryan Hassett said during an interview at the store Friday afternoon. Hassett said he doesn't know for sure why owner Franklin Lewis wants to close the building.
Efforts to reach Lewis for comment were unsuccessful as of press time Friday.
Hassett and his wife, Heather, took over operations of the store on June 18, 2012, in an agreement with Lewis, who had purchased the store in July 2009 for $375,000 from Meredith K. Woodyard of Petersburg, N.Y.
In Jan. 2011, Lewis announced the store would be closing, explaining there was a need for reorganization. In a Jan. 4, 2011 Transcript article, Lewis said, "Essentially there is no question that financial issues make it ridiculous to continue on our present course, and that is why there needs to be a reorganization."
At the same time, Lewis closed the adjacent Green River Farm, which he had purchased from James E. Galusha for $1.5 million in April, 2010. The farm remains closed.
The building that houses the store, originally built in the late 1700s, has a long history. It has served as both a meeting house and a post office, as well as a general store, changing hands dozens of times. Originally a one-story building, a second story and an attic were added in the 1800s. It has been moved away from the street several times since the road has become busier.
Hassett said in the short time since it was reopened, the store had again become a "community hub" of South Williamstown. The location is a frequent stop for people living in the area.
"If you live in South Williamstown, you're eight miles away from Stop and Shop," Hassett said. "If you live here and need a few things, you don't want to travel that far. And I always kept my prices relatively competitive."
In addition, routes 7 and 43, which run next to the store, are busy roads that draw large numbers of cyclists, motorcyclists, joggers and hikers, many of which would stop in.
Along with things you'd find in other grocery stores, Hassett carried a number of unique items, including homemade cookies.
"People came from all over for the cookies," Hassett said. "Heather would make four, five, six dozen at once, and they'd sell out in a couple of days."
Heather received recognition for her chocolate chip cookies from one of America's top and most sought-after Santa Claus impersonators, Brady White, who visited the store last year. White, who portrays Santa Claus in films, television, commercials and live appearances, said they were the best chocolate chip cookies he'd ever tasted.
"He liked them so much, we're going to keep sending them to him after we're closed," Hassett said.
In addition, the store had homemade sandwiches, coffee, bulk candy, maple syrup, wine and craft beer.
"And there are so many talented people within 50 miles of us, that we could offer many locally made goods right here," he said. The store carried goods such as jewelry from Great Barrington, leather goods from Pownal, Vt., and bird houses from North Adams. In addition, the store carried Bennington Candles and Vermont Soap.
Hassett said he an his wife are unsure of what they will do after Sunday's closing.
"It's such short notice, we have no idea," he said.
To reach Edward Damon, email