New owners for Monticello’s country store
MONTICELLO, Maine —The town’s local grocery store is under new ownership as David and Billie-Jo Beals have purchased the popular business.
The Beals bought the store Aug. 1 from Sheri Swimm and Kelly McLean, who ran the store for 14 years.
“We had been talking about it for about two years,” David said. “We came here all the time, and one day Billie-Jo came home from work and said ‘Let’s buy the store.’”
Over the years, the store has gone by many names. It was once known as the Village Store and up until recently was known as the Monticello Country Store. With the sale comes another change in the name to Beal’s Country Store.
“It’s exciting,” David added. “All of the customers are really great. We have a lot of regulars that come in every morning.”
David also works for Garelick Farms delivering milk in Aroostook County, but plans to be in the store most afternoons cutting fresh steaks and grinding beef for hamburg for the coolers and the restaurant side of the business.
Beal’s Country Store is renowned for its pizzas. In fact, the couple have been so busy making pizzas that they purchased a second pie oven to keep up with the demand. “We had people waiting over an hour for a pizza during the rush hour,” Billie-Jo said. “It has been crazy busy so far.”
Taking over the store involved a fair amount of paperwork as there were numerous licenses — alcohol, tobacco, lottery and food — that needed to be acquired before they could operate.
The special recipe for pizza remains unchanged. The Beals also kept the same staff with sale, so customers will see plenty of familiar faces. The couple is looking to add a catering business to the services they offer.
With seating for about 12, the store also serves as a diner of sorts, as customers can eat their meals right inside the building. “We have those that come every morning for breakfast and come back for lunch,” Billie-Jo added.
In the future, the couple plan to expand the grocery selections available and will offer daily home-cooked specials like lasagna. They also have a few customers who order specialty items like barbecue chicken salad with Fritos.
“We will make anything to order,” David said. “If you want bread pudding with M&Ms, we’ll try to do it.”
Beal’s Country Store is open 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.