FRANCONIA — The sale of Mac’s Market, the only grocery store in town, began Thursday and is expected to end with the store’s closure next month.
A large sign in the huge front windows of the store at 347 Main St. announced the sale, while a second sign directed potential buyers to call “the owner” at a Vermont phone number, but a message left at that number was not responded to by press time Thursday.
The Franconia Mac’s Market is owned and was operated since 2006 by Sherman V. Allen Inc./Mac’s Markets of Rutland, Vt.
In September, the company closed its Mac’s Market in Whitefield. Before it became a Mac’s, in 2006 like its Franconia sibling, the Whitefield Market was the Martin’s Food Basket.
An employee at the Franconia Mac’s said they were told not to answer media inquiries but to direct them to the company’s headquarters.
According to Franconia property records, the one-story, nearly 10,000 square-foot Mac’s was built in 1965 and sits on 1.570 acres in the heart of Franconia Village.
Most recently, the land was assessed at $263,500 and the building at $507,800.
Formerly Kelley’s Shop N Save, the parcel was last sold in May 2006 to Sherman V. Allen Real Estate Inc. for $1,350,000.
The Franconia Mac’s employee said they were confident that “something good will come out of this,” pointing to the former Whitefield Mac’s, which has been renamed the Whitefield Market n Deli, and which, according to its Facebook page, is “Coming soon!” and has begun accepting resumes and applications.
This year, North Country consumers have seen some major changes made in how and where they can shop for groceries.
On Sept. 3, the Save-A-Lot food store in Gorham wound down its own closing sale and closed its doors for good. Save-A-Lot was the successor of an IGA, and then a Butson’s Supermarket. Its owner said the Save-A-Lot fell victim to several years of softening sales and increasing expenses.
That closure left food shoppers in the Androscoggin River Valley with two choices in the area: the Walmart Supercenter in Gorham and the Berlin Marketplace, which itself was purchased in late September by Associated Grocers of New England.
Should the Mac’s not re-open in Franconia, shoppers will have to travel to Littleton, which has a Shaw’s, Walmart and the Littleton Co-op.