Twenty-ish years ago - on August 23rd, 1988 -my parents first opened the doors of the Mercantile for business. I was there... and still remember one of our very first customers... if not the first customer...Mary Lee. Mary shared my love of teddy bears - and could always be counted on to pick the cutest one out of any new line of bears we would get in.
Brewster - the bear that sits in the front entrance of the store - and Thorndike -the bear that came home with me for a Christmas soon after the store opened - were two of her favorites. (the brown bear in the basket above is Baby Brewster -and I think he might have gone home with Mary that day...)
I did not work in the store as long as my sisters have - mostly part time while I was in college, and again on occasion when Hubby and I were living nearby. But it's one of those places that just feels comfortable - and when we go down to visit it just feels natural to step in and help a customer or stock a shelf or grind up a pound of coffee beans.
Ten years ago I posted this newsletter of pictures and memories from our first ten years. There are many more entries in "the scrapbook" now - and many customers that have passed through our doors, gotten to know us, and let us share their passions - be they stamps, beads, candles, puppets or any of a long list of things we have carried over the years.
Unfortunately Mary Lee is no longer with us - but I am sure some little bit of her lingers on in Brewster and that she is smiling every time someone comes in the store for the first time, pats that bear on the head, and instantly becomes part of the Mercantile scrapbook.
(- and Happy Birthday, Dad!)