Local Non-Profit Buys Historic Store at Five Corners, Now Seeking Operator
A local organization has finalized its purchase of the historic Store at Five Corners at the intersection of Routes 7 and 43 in Williamstown. On January 27th, 2022, the Store at Five Corners Stewardship Association (SAFCSA), the new non-profit formed to purchase and maintain the Store, closed on the sale of the property.
Board president Karen Charbonneau said, “Our board is immensely pleased with reaching the first major milestone to achieve the short and long-term goals of saving, reviving and sustaining the Store. It’s a community treasure, with a very long history and the potential for a very bright future.”
She continued, “We’re grateful to the seller, Dr. Franklin Lewis, for all he has done to ensure a smooth transition. The entire community will benefit when the Store reclaims its role as a vital local resource and gathering place.”
Charbonneau explained, “The purchase also wouldn’t have been possible without the enormous support and generosity from many community members who stepped up to provide the resources necessary for this major undertaking. But we’re now just over halfway to our overall goal of $1.2 to 1.5 million needed not only to purchase the Store, but also to establish an endowment to pay for immediate repairs as well as longer-term capital projects.”
SAFCSA has also applied for Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds for priority improvements to preserve this structure dating back some 200 years.
Charbonneau said, “Even with CPA funding, we still need community members to continue to show their support for this initiative, so we can succeed both in reopening the Store and in keeping it open and thriving for many years to come.”
With the purchase complete, SAFCSA is now turning its attention to securing a new operator to lease the Store – equipped with a commercial kitchen, barista machine, and sunny café seating area – and to run the Store as their own business. To this end, SAFCSA has posted an Operator Application Packet on its website – see https://storeatfivecorners.org/application/ . Interested parties should submit their completed Application by March 1st.