I read Pierre Comtois’ article re: The Clover Farm Store and the Nashoba Health Agents and their agenda re: The sanctions and demands being placed on the store which is such a vital hub to the community of West Groton and the surrounding communities. Many of the people here live within walking distance from the store and the Post Office and their ages range anywhere from middle age to the upper 80s.
The seats seem to be such a big issue with the health agents I thought that something has been forgotten.
Circa 1948, my uncle and aunt, Harold and Irene Haines, of Lunenburg, bought the store. The first thing they did was to convert the back of the store to a soda fountain. It was a hit! Every day there would be a daily meal special. As kids, we could buy all the ice cream treats. The three mill crowds and truck drivers made it a success.
My mother, Helen Sawyer, worked there as well as Gertrude Blake (Scully), who used to deliver coffee, donuts and pastries to the mills.
As to the soda fountain itself: There was a long counter with stools and several tables with chairs. This was 60 years ago. There has always been either stools or chairs even when the Sherwins owned the store and before. The misconception that there wasn’t is incorrect.
Why the health board is on such a bureaucratic vendetta and flexing their muscles against a local and dedicated business person is beyond reason.
The septic system is another item, but the store is clean, well-maintained and the bathroom is not used by the public. While people are waiting for their take-out service, it only makes sense that they have a place to sit. Given the fact that there has been stools and chairs since about 1948 makes one wonder why it is an issue now. The store is grandfathered.
When the store was recently bought, the business was selling sandwiches, groceries, household items, newspapers and there was always a place to sit and rest and talk. A lawn chair or two was available. Business as usual included these seats.
Originally, when the store first opened nearly a century ago, it was an automatic magnet and the locals would gather to talk politics and gossip. Why should it now become an issue and cause pain and suffering to the community and legal fees to the new owner.
RICHARD W. SAWYER