Boothbay’s T&D Variety went to new owners Max and Sage Patel May 18. Deb Frenkel and Tim Simmons said the idea to sell the convenience store and gas station after seven years came a few months ago when they knew they wanted to slow down a bit.
“Things happened very quickly. Monday the 11th we were told we would be closing on the Friday the 15th,” said Frenkel. “We actually closed on the 18th on a Monday. It was kind of a whirlwind, less than a week of making it happen.”
Frenkel and Simmons said COVID-19 was not a deciding factor, but posed some challenges navigating the world of real estate while dealing with the mixed emotions of moving on.
“We were so pleased how this community so generously welcomed us. We have had the pleasure of building many meaningful friendships and meeting so many wonderful people along the way. We hope those relationships will continue as we transition to this next stage, as we will still be around!” the couple wrote in a letter to the community.
The couple looked back on fond memories which start the wintery day they pulled into the parking lot as owners. Wendell Lewis was plowing the lot before even meeting the two. Said Frenkel, “We've since become special friends.”
“We’ll also miss … the fishermen. For example, Martin Page and Jim Lowe’s karate match at the store – memorable, but not necessarily a fond memory!”
The couple thanked Neal and Jean Reny for their help building the business and long-lasting friendship, and to Ethel and George Brewer for countless conversations over lunch. Other fond memories include once in a lifetime events like getting to celebrate Lucille Machon’s 100th birthday at the store and all the regular day-to-day banter with employees.
“When you come to the store you will find the same hardworking, friendly employees and hopefully a few new faces, too! There will be a few small changes in the store that we think will enhance or improve the customer experience …”
The couple said moving on from the daily hustle that comes with running a high traffic business will allow them the time and energy to focus on themselves and to spend more time with family. Simmons said he will be able to lobsterfish full time with no interruption; Frenkel plans on slowing down, focusing on her health and looking for a part-time, low-key job.
Said Frenkel and Simmons in their letter, “This transition is bittersweet for us, as we feel extremely loyal to our customers and employees. It has been such an honor to serve you these last seven years. Those relationships have been so special to us. We so appreciate all the business support and relationships we’ve made at the ‘store’.”