GILFORD — For David Fraser and Marlene Minemier purchasing the Gilford Village Store was like coming home to their roots.
The couple, who were successful in real estate and building, wanted to start something different than before, but be involved in something familiar to them — family and community.
"We want to bring this back to be the focal point of the village," Fraser said.
The Gilford Village Store was built in 1936 by Jeremiah Thing, Albert Chase and Benjamin Jewett Jr. according to a Gilford Village Walking Tour published online. Most recently, it's been owned by Norm Soucy who sold a variety of sandwiches, homemade soup and salads.
Fraser and Minemier plan on continuing with most of the above, including pizza, but said they want to add some local touches — like N.H. native wine, local micro-brewery beer and other local products like maple syrup, sauces, marinades jellies and the like.
"We have already had some vendors reach out to us," said Fraser.
The couple plans on staying open and make some small changes as the summer and fall come. During the winter months, they will close and give the store a "100-year face-lift" said Minemier.
She said they'll keep a little bit of the convenience portion but expand their product lines.
"We'll be rolling it out in phases and getting feedback from the local people," she said, noting she wants it to be a "destination" place where people can come in, enjoy a cup of coffee and visit.
"We are not corporate," said Minemier. "We're like Mom and Pop and want to offer a little bit of something for everybody."
The parents of a young daughter, the both said there will be a "Leah's Candy Corner" where she will select items of particular interest to her and other children.
"We've always been entrepreneurial and we wanted our daughter to have a small role in our business.
Both have worked in Concord for a number of years while living in Meredith, but wanted to get back to working in a small town like Gilford.
"We're able to do this because we've been so successful," said Minemier.
"And we want to be part of a community," said Fraser.
CUTLINE: New Gilford Village Store owners David Fraser and Marlene Minemier stand in the eating area of the nearly 200-year-old business. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Gail Ober)
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