TREMONT — Christina Lapointe figures customers of Thurston’s Lobster Pound pass by the Little Red Store at the end of Bernard Road at least twice and may want to stop for a Maine keepsake.
Lapointe has managed the lobster pound for the last seven years and watched the business grow, but she said she has always wanted to have a retail space.
Slated to open inside the Little Red Store the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend, Slack Tide Shop will be Lapointe’s project featuring as many items from Maine and New England artisans as possible.
“I’ve had really good response from well-established [artists]. Cool, local stuff,” she said. She recently put a notice on Facebook about the upcoming store and need for merchandise.
“We’ll have art to sell on more of a consignment deal, she said. “Hopefully, it will be a nice mix of things.”
Built in 1855, the approximately 570-square-foot building, that has a small second floor not included in that measurement, was originally the T.W. Jackson Market that sold meats, cheeses and vegetables grown outside the store.
It eventually became the Bernard Store and Post Office run by Jackson’s descendent Mable Condon and her husband Herbert. Harriet Condon Hinton, Herbert’s daughter, took over as postmaster in 1941 and ran the post office until she retired in 1974, according to a document posted inside the store.
In between being the market and post office, dates unknown, the building has also served as a refuge for fishermen in the community where they could play pool on the pool table upstairs, get a haircut and get teeth extracted.
Mary Lyons oversees the property. When it became available last year, Lapointe jumped at the opportunity to turn it into a retail space.
“We leased it last year to be able to have it for this year,” she said. She got her first look at the inside of the space a few weeks ago.
“I’ve always wanted to have a store… It felt like if the items were thoughtfully chosen, it might work out.”
Prior to taking over her family’s successful restaurant and lobster pound, Lapointe worked in retail as a visual merchandiser for The Gap. Her first job as a young adult was at a local children’s store.
Lapointe will continue to run the 175-seat restaurant, as well as the new retail space located a hop up the road from the waterfront business.
The store name Slack Tide refers the period of time when the water is still, completely unstressed, between the shifting of the tides. Soon it will be a corner store, catering to those on vacation who are hopefully in that same type of space.
“I’m trying to keep in mind who’s coming in and inherently catering to that,” said Lapointe about the new shop.