Spring quickens the air. New businesses sprout like rhubarb busting from the earth. This week, the big news in Yarmouth Village is Andy’s Handy Store will soon morph into tastes of Portland.
Developer Sean Ireland purchased the corner market, which resembles Mr. Hooper’s Store (complete with awning). After interviewing 30 prospective coffee slingers, he tapped Guy and Stella Hernandez of Hilltop Coffee and Lolita to open a cafe.
It gets better.
Slice scions Mike Keon and Anthony Allen of Otto Pizza were wooed to this well-groomed village for store number 10. A pizza oven in the middle (squash and cranberry za anyone?) surrounded by a grocery store, run by his cousin Amy Ireland, completes the Handy’s Store 2.0 three-fer.
“We are excited about the support we’ve gotten from the community. That property needed a lot of love,” said Ireland, who is giving the dilapidated corner of Maine and Elm streets the treatment. “We renovated it, took it down to its bones, revealed post and beams and exposed the ceilings.”
When it opens in June, Andy will be more than Handy. “It’s a reimagined convenience store,” said Ireland, who lives in Yarmouth and recognized the need for a neighborhood market selling more than Skittles and newspapers.
Next phase, starting in September, includes construction of a post and beam carriage house, which will have seating for up to 35 people. After 4 p.m. it will be reserved for Otto’s pies of plenty.
Though not looking to expand, Allen, co-founder and owner of Otto, is not one to pass up a sure thing. “When we learned more about the history of Handy Andy’s and what it has meant to the Village and Yarmouth, we just fell in love with it,” he said in a release. “We’re really excited about becoming a part of the community.”
The community, served by a Rosemont Market a few blocks away, needed a place to grab lunch, toilet paper and staples like pepper during the day and return for gourmet pizza, at night. Macchiatos? Hilltop Coffee, which the Hernandez’s run on Munjoy Hill, will fuel Yarmouthers all day with coffee, espresso, tea, sandwiches, soups and fresh baked breads and treats.
Will the new Handy compete with Rosemont?
“They do what they do well, they are a specialty shop. We are casting the net wider,” said Ireland, who wants to meet “the needs of the families and children in this town.”
In the summer that means ice cream. The Hernandez’s will be scooping it out at Hilltop. No word if chef Guy is mixing his own gelato. But here’s hoping.
Look for a June opening. Yay for Yarmouth. Handy’s Store. 367 Main St.