How Ferns Country Store Was Born
It was a bright and beautiful fall day in 2002 with a magnificent blue sky striking a dramatic contrast against the New England foliage at it’s brilliant peak when Larry came waltzing into the house and announced to his lovely wife Robin, who was busy cooking her loving husband a delectable multi-course dinner, “Honey, we’re going to buy the store in the Town village center.”
(OK, so I really don’t remember if it was a bright and beautiful fall day and Robin wasn’t cooking up a multi-course dinner. But I really DID announce that we were going to buy the store.)
She cast a raised eyebrow, looked up at me and asked how much they were asking. “Well, it’s not actually up for sale,” I replied. “But let’s approach them and make an offer!” She didn’t say anything. See, after 25 years as business partners, she was pretty accustomed to my off-the-wall ideas. This one seemed to resonate. And that’s how it all began.
For an entire year we set out across New England to research country stores. But in our travels we were surprised to discover that there really wasn’t the ideal store we had imagined. So we had to create a composite from the little gems we discovered. This aerial photo was taken in early 2004, soon after we opened Ferns.
A year later, on December 26, 2003 we acquired the business and on January 10, 2004 we re-opened the doors as Ferns Country Store. Certainly, when we opened our doors, our local community walked in to find a very different establishment. Not only were things moved around, fresh paint on the walls brightened the space up, and the shelves were stocked with all sorts of new products. But most importantly, we set out to change the entire environment by bringing back the flavor of the old time village store that had graced our very spot since 1844.
Above all else, beyond any of the physical changes, we believed then (and now) that the true country store we were looking to establish was more of an attitude.
The paint on the walls, the products on our shelves, the way we greet and treat our customers, the support we provide to our community… all of it has its foundation rooted in our Mission Statement.
Meanwhile, each day remains an ever-evolving adventure. The warmth and support we continue to receive from our customers fuels our passion. And with each and every product we bring in or physical change we make, we remain true to our vision.
And THAT friends, is how Ferns came to be.
– – Ray Charles