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Iconic Stockholm store in new owners’ hands

STOCKHOLM, Maine — Almost exactly one year after putting Anderson’s Store on the market, its former owners have handed the century-old Stockholm fixture to a couple from the Sebago Lake area.

Former co-owner Suzy Anderson said the new owners, Deb Paiement and Phil Andrews, were the “perfect fit” for the store, and that she and Gale Anderson “could not be happier” with them taking over the business.

Gale, whose cuts of meat are known throughout The County and beyond, and his cousin Suzy, whose baked goods are just as noteworthy, will stay at the store indefinitely to help out the new owners.

“We’ll both be around helping out as much as they want us to,” said Anderson.

Anderson said she was particularly thankful for real-estate agent Lehrle Kieffer of RE/MAX, who initially suggested the cousins consider the southern Maine couple as new owners.

Deb Paiement, left, and Phil Andrews recently purchased Anderson’s Store in Stockholm. While the store has been in the Anderson family for over a century, former co-owner Suzy Anderson said the couple is a “perfect fit” for taking the reins and that she and her cousin Gale Anderson could not be happier with the transition.
(Christopher Bouchard)

While Paiement and Andrews describe themselves as “from away,” they said the community has been immensely supportive.

“We got flowers with a card that says ‘You can, and you will,’” Paiement said. “The whole town has been supportive of us. We’re from away, but his family is from Caribou, and we have a camp in Sinclair.”

A group of regulars who come in every morning for coffee, and refer to the store as “the office,” were particularly supportive, and Paiement said they have offered their help whenever it is needed.

Andrews said they first found out about the store via the Zillow app while staying at their Sinclair camp last August, and that the Andersons held out despite receiving other offers.

“They liked the way we fit in,” said Paiement, adding that they bought the adjacent farmhouse (also owned by the Anderson family) so “the property stays together.”

They originally started looking at farms and barns as a place to host music events. Looking ahead, Paiement said they may consider renovating the barn for that purpose within the next few years.

The couple have no intentions of changing the store’s name, as it has been a fixture in the town for over a century and also because customers “wouldn’t know who we were.”

“We want to keep offering everything that people have come to expect,” said Paiement, “and also try to add some new items.
Andrews and Paiement said they are lucky to have the Andersons’ guidance during this transitional period, and both value their experience in the industry.

“Gale started teaching [Phil] how to be a meat cutter,” said Paiement. “They even have shirts here that say ‘You can’t beat Gale’s meat’ on them; his experience is just incredible.”

They said the biggest surprise after taking over the store is just how well received it has been, and both are working hard to ensure the iconic shop stays in town for the next generation.

“It’s been wonderful,” said Suzy. “I get goosebumps just thinking about it.”

Paiement said “we’re all lucky” that the Andersons have helped, and are looking forward to their future with the store.

“It’s a bittersweet time for us because the store has been in our family for so long,” said Anderson, “but they are the perfect people to take the keys.”

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