South Thomaston couple buys Owls Head General Store
Owls Head — There is an old saying that some things of value are worth waiting for, and to the Craigs of South Thomaston the homily rings true.
“We have anticipated the purchase of the Owls Head General Store for several months, and finally it happened this week,” said Sherree Craig.
She and her husband Richard “Rob” Craig closed on the property July 16, having bought the Owls Head landmark from Thomas and Martha Luttrell.
No strangers to the food business, the Craigs own the Aviary Café at the Knox County Regional Airport in Owls Head. The couple also hosts one of the annual Rockland Rotary Club Progressive Dinners, in which members go from house to house for each course of a meal.
Built in 1880, the building has always housed a general store, said Rob Craig. The couple intends to follow tradition and keep everything the same, including the décor, the menu and the staff.
A walk into the store seems like a journey to the past. Jams and jellies cram one shelf, while a large sign that says “General Store” hangs above to greet one entering the building.
Tables with seating for 14 are in a designated dining area, and another three tables with seating for 20 are outside.
“How many times can someone walk into a traditional general store and have breakfast, lunch or dinner?" Rob Craig asked.
“Sherry Emery, a gift shop specialist, has done a lot with our front end,” said Rob.
The store will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday and from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday during the summer. The Craigs are still working on a winter schedule.
Providing services year round to the local commercial fishermen who come in for their morning coffee is important to the Craigs. Owls Head has a working harbor just a short drive down the road from the building.
The Craigs are also sensitive to the desires of vacationers. Rob said one vacationing family has eaten all its meals there all week.
“Nothing changes, including the staff,” said Sherree Craig in an interview Saturday, July 21.
The backbone of the kitchen staff includes chefs Deb Landre and Jennifer O’Hare, baker Anne “Gram” Gustin, and Kim Curtis, a cook at the former Wayfarer Restaurant in Rockland, said Sherree Craig.
Former owner Martha Luttrell plans to stay on the staff, as well, she said.
Several local high school students are employed part time at the restaurant.
The couple will be busy. Sherree is with the employee benefits division at the Allen Agency in Camden, and Rob will continue to open the Aviary Café at the airport every morning at 6 a.m. and keep the café open through lunch at 2 p.m.
“Buying this store is all part of the synergy of working together in Owls Head,” Sherree said. “It gives Rob a chance to be creative at the Café, while we keep the menu the same here,” she said.
“I’ve been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and support of local clientele,” said Sherree.
Courier Publications reporter George Chappell can be reached at 207-594-4401, ext 117, or at email@example.com.