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New Owners to Reopen Meadow Mart

Meadow Mart on Nov. 4 sits closed at 284 Elm Street, but new owners anticipate reopening soon. Photo by Carla Occaso.
New owners, new selections: Same name. That is the formula for the soon-to-be reopened Meadow Mart — the longstanding Meadow-neighborhood store that recently changed hands after shutting down Oct. 23. The Meadow Mart had been under the ownership of the Demers family for the past nine-and-a-half years. The Meadow Mart sits across from Birchgrove Baking at 284 Elm Street.

Since temporarily closing, new management helmed by Peter Colman, Jean Myung Hamilton, and James Findlay-Shirras have taken up the reins. Colman described the other owners as “two great partners” who live in town in a phone conversation with The Bridge on Nov. 4. Colman said he and his partners are still feeling out the tastes of neighborhood customers. This will allow them to decide how to stock what will continue to be a small neighborhood store aimed at those who want to be able to get to a store on foot, because, as Colman noted, his customers like to walk to get their groceries.

“It’s going to be great,” Colman said before his Sunday hike up Spruce Mountain. During the brief interview, he offered a glimpse of his vision, which included a selection of groceries with a deli counter (like the old Meadow Mart), but with some healthier food options. And, while not disparaging the old Meadow Mart, which he praised, he said they plan to sell more wines than “what you would get at Shaw’s.” Part of Colman’s optimism comes from the fact that the store did very well under previous ownership, he said.

Another way to get a sense of what kind of grocer Colman is would be to look at Alimentari Roscini — or AR Market — on Main Street in Barre. Colman has owned AR Market, which is located in the former Homer Fitts store in Barre, since 2020. There he sells meats, wines, produce, cheeses, bread, coffee, chocolate, and other interesting items. Many of the meats — salami, sausage, and other meats — he prepares himself via his company Vermont Salumi

Born in Italy, Colman grew up on the Cate Farm in East Montpelier, and spent a lot of time in Italy, according to his website vermontsalumi.com. The Cate farm has been growing certified organic herbs and vegetables and flowers since 1981, and sells seedlings and produce to Hunger Mountain Co-op, restaurants, and other central Vermont stores, their website states. But, it was in Italy that Colman learned to work with meats, the Vermont Salumi website states. Colman will likely parlay this traditionally made, fresh-food background into offering what he promises will be “fresh salad and quality meats” at Meadow Mart.

When will it open? Not sure, yet, but the neighborhood is getting jazzed for the reopening, Colman said. Colman sounded enthusiastic about the venture and wants people to know he has put a lot of t.l.c. and love into uplifting the neighborhood. The business was filed with the Secretary of State’s office on Oct. 20 as a Vermont Domestic Limited Liability Company titled “Meadow Martian.”

Meadow Mart has been at the same spot for many years, at least as far back as 1980, when the Rowe family, Terry Shannon, and Stella Gage took out an ad in the 1980 Montpelier High School yearbook advertising “groceries, meats, beverages.”