Leicester store to re-open soon
LEICESTER — Leicester residents will be happy to hear that the only store in town will soon re-open.
Brothers Peter and Paul Handy of Chittenden County have bought the Leicester General Store, which has been closed since April.
The store and gas station, located near Leicester Four Corners, occupied a unique niche, being the only retail establishment on Route 7 between Middlebury Beef Supply and the Jiffy Mart in Brandon.
The Handy brothers, who are working with Rutland businessmen Tom and John Maniery, plan to re-open soon under the name “Burlington Beverage Corp.” They have entered into a lease-to-own agreement for now with owner Dale Counter, and will be selling gasoline and will re-establish the convenience store.
“We want to make it a one-stop destination,” Peter Handy said in a phone interview last week. “We heard it was a great spot and we want to make it clean, simple and affordable.”
If all goes as planned, Handy said they hope to open in early to mid-October.
The Handy name is well known to Vermonters as a large, extended family of business owners across the state. Together, the brothers run PCH Corp., founded by their father, Peter Handy, in 1970. According to Dun & Bradstreet’s corporate profile, PCH Corp. is an independent business located in Shelburne that specializes in retail and convenience stores, with 31 employees and estimated annual revenues of $3,300,000.
The brothers also own the Vermont Tap House restaurants in Burlington and Rutland, and the IHOP restaurant in South Burlington. Peter Handy also owns the Sunset Drive-in Theater and the Starlight Inn in Colchester.
Shannon and Les Emmons operated the Leicester General Store from 2007-2009, and then their daughter Tonya and her husband Derrick Counter took over operations. They shut down the store in April with hopes of re-opening as a snack bar and flea market over the summer, but that planned was never realized.
Peter Handy said he is looking for the right operators to come in and run the day-to-day operation of the store, and has had interest from several local residents.
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