To close by July 4 if no new owner found
By Mary E. Arata
HARVARD — Harvard’s iconic General Store is for sale.
The news was quietly broken by store co-owner Adam Horowitz on the store’s Facebook page on Tuesday night. Horowitz purchased the store in 2007 with his wife, Lyn Horowitz.
While Adam Horowitz has returned to live in his native England for the past two years, wife Lyn is temporarily back in Harvard at the couple’s Woodchuck Hill Road home in hopes of finding a suitable buyer for the downtown business.
But the clock is ticking for the General.
A buyer must be found by July 4, said Adam Horowitz. “We will target closing the store at that time if we have not found the right solution” since the couple doesn’t anticipate living in town again “for the foreseeable future.”
Horowitz said that remote management of the landmark has proven difficult. Store manager Amy Bernhardt of Harvard left in March. The store is presently being managed by Justin Miller.
While Lyn Horowitz has returned stateside to help with operations, “that is unworkable for the long term,” said Adam Horowitz.
There is no answering machine at the couple’s Woodchuck Hill home. An email to Adam Horowitz was not immediately returned Wednesday afternoon.
“We both wish we could be in Harvard and manage the store on a daily basis but unfortunately this is not possible,” wrote Adam Horowitz. “Lyn will be rejoining me in London as soon as the store’s future is resolved.”
The couple will keep their Harvard home and “expect to return to Harvard one day.” Horowitz made clear that he’s not selling the building at this time, only the retail store within.
“The store is a community resource, and it has been an honor and privilege to restore and operate it,” wrote Horowitz. “We are grateful to every customer, every supporter, every coworker and particularly the wonderful children who visit with smiles, and tears for more.”
“This community proudly rallies to find solutions when needed, and we are confident that a responsible outcome will be found. The journey to transition the store to a functioning, upgraded and compliant venue is almost complete. Once the sewer connection takes place in the fall, the new business operator or owner will be able to realize the store’s full potential.”
The couple had hoped to offer prepared foods but had been hampered by a septic system that has not permitted such expansion.
The store has increased its offerings with a beer and wine license for spirits sold on the second floor. The first floor has remained a community meeting spot as much as a place to pick up a few items on the fly. Horowitz is a co-owner of the Harvard Press newspaper, located on the third floor of the building.
Milk and cream from Stillman Dairy is sold in glass bottles. Cokes are sold in aluminum bottles. Coffee is brewed at the counter. Locals gather daily for their caffeine fix. Wine tastings are held occasionally upstairs. Some convenience items are available, though shelves are also well stocked with gourmet goods and products, as well as gift items.
The Harvard General Store — as it’s presently situated — dates back to 1896 when it opened under the name “Gale, Dickson and Co.” The Still River Road store at the heart of Harvard’s downtown has had varied ownership over the generations since.
Horowitz is personally accepting offers from interested parties at email@example.com.
Follow Mary Arata at twitter.com/maryearata.