The Little Store Enjoys a Rebirth
Local neighborhoods often develop a solidarity that lives on
through generation after generation. Lebanon’s School Street district and the
downtown area are no exception and once again an historic and intricate part of
that neighborhood has survived to carry on a solid tradition.
The Little Store located at 55 School Street is experiencing the hustle and bustle of people stopping by an institution that has been there since the 1920’s. A pair of enthusiastic (and talented) Vermonters, Scott and Stephen (Bud) Marsh, have crossed the Connecticut River to keep the tiny market place open after it recently went up for sale. Once again the sweet aroma of meats and other tasty items smoking away on the grill in front of the tiny building can be experienced.
The brothers, along with cousin Kirby Monteith, swung open the doors the day after Mothers Day in May and the response has overwhelmed the trio to say the least.
“The response has been unbelievable,” exclaimed Bud. “We
didn’t do very much advertising and around 75% of our initial business came
from right here in the neighborhood. We are much busier than we thought we
would be that is for sure. It is so good to see all those people coming though
The Little Store has quite a history with several owners striving to make it work in a time when neighborhood stores faded into history to make room for the huge super markets.
“I think one factor is the size, as the name on the sign indicates. This place sits on four tenths of an acre and measures 20x30 feet. Inside, our walk-in cooler takes up most of the room so we have limited space, but have managed to offer pick-up items local customers need plus a full deli menu. Our specialty is smoked meats and we serve breakfast as well.” Bud explained.
The Little Store was designated as a Historic Land Mark by the Heritage Commission on July 4, 2009. The proclamation read as follows: The Little Store was built in the 1920’s as a small convenience store. Lebanon had many such local markets that served local neighborhoods, but this is the last of its kind in the city of Lebanon.
That proclamation was signed by Georgia Tuttle, Mayor of Lebanon.
Judging from initial reaction from Lebanon residents, it
appears as if the Marsh family have the ability to keep the Little Store’s
reputation alive and well.
“The past owners have always tried to make it more than just a sandwich shop and we will continue to do that. However, we realize that the neighborhood needs convenience items as well and we will stock them. We look forward to seeing the Little Store stay alive. Like I said, the local reaction has been positive and simply awesome. All this would not have been possible without the financial aid of the Mascoma Bank and the Grafton County Development Corp.
Also Lebanon residents visiting the Little Store take care not to wear baseball gear supporting the New York Yankees. The March brothers are devoted Boston Red Sox fans.
“Yes,” Bud said with a big grin. “You will see a Red Sox theme for sure!”