Thayer’s Store has been operated by members of the same family since it opened in 1917. On Sunday, August 28, friends, family and current and former employees gathered at the store for a celebration for its 99th anniversary.
Judy Quimby and her husband Jim have owned the store for 31 years. Quimby’s grandfather started the store in 1917 out of his house. Eventually it was moved to its current spot, which was once a stable. When her grandfather passed away in 1962, Quimby’s father stepped in, purchasing the store from her grandmother. When her father passed away unexpectedly in 1985, The Quimbys took over. “We’ve been very family oriented,” Quimby said. Currently, she added, there are five generations working at the store.
The small interior of the store was crowded with well wishers on Sunday morning. The event included raffles, entertainment and face painting. The fire department was on hand with a truck to give tours to children who stopped in.
Regular customer Billy Joe Lake provided entertainment just outside the store. His offer to perform was the inspiration for the celebration. “He entertains at the nursing homes up the road. He comes in here and has his supper on his way out,” said Quimby. “He offered to come and perform here for us, so we thought we’d combine it into a 99th birthday party,” she said.
The store hit a slow patch for a couple of years due to construction on River Road, but the regular customers helped keep them going.
“All of these people who are here today have been very supportive of us,” Quimby said. The celebration on Sunday drew these regulars out to help them celebrate, along with family, old school acquaintances, and former employees, Quimby said. The people are a large part of why she has stayed in the business so long, Quimby said.
Thayer’s Store is open Monday through Saturday from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m, and on Sundays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.