Middlebury Mountaineer moves to Main

MIDDLEBURY — It’s been a 19-year climb for Middlebury Mountaineer, but it has finally reached its desired summit of a prime retail location on Middlebury’s Main Street.
Middlebury Mountaineer co-owner Steve Atocha said on Thursday the store will soon move from its current spot at 2 Park St. to its new home at 56 Main St., recently occupied by Clementine. The new storefront will give Middlebury Mountaineer greater visibility and more walk-by traffic, Atocha said.
“We love this space, but wanted some more exposure,” Atocha said. “Exposure was our end goal.”
It was in 1998 that Middlebury Mountaineer opened its doors on Mill Street, in a spot above the Storm Café. Around five years later, the store moved to a Park Street spot formerly occupied by Ben & Jerry’s Homemade. After a short stint there, the business moved a little further up Park Street to its present location.
“We’ve been inching our way up, as we always say,” Atocha said.
But the Atochas have constantly kept their ears and eyes peeled for an appropriate opening on Main Street. They hit pay dirt when Clementine recently announced its departure from 56 Main St. Clementine remains in business as an on-line store (clementinestore.com).
In addition to its high visibility, the Atochas like the storefront’s décor, lighting and wood floors. At 1,600 square feet, the spot is roughly 100 square feet smaller than 2 Park St., but Atocha believes the more open, rectangular layout will lend itself well to the display of Middlebury Mountaineer’s extensive fishing, camping, hiking, skiing and cycling supplies, along with other outdoor recreation gear.
It offers rental equipment from such brands as Wilderness Systems, Patagonia and Simms.
The business, through Green Mountain Adventures, also offers professional guide services for fly fishing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, hiking, rock climbing, snowshoeing and backcountry skiing.
Plans call for Middlebury Mountaineer to be up and running at its new location on April 1.
Meanwhile, local attorneys Benj and Lesley Deppman are seeking a permit from the town of Middlebury to relocate their law practice from 7 Washington St. to the 2 Park St. spot being vacated by Middlebury Mountaineer.
The Deppmans currently share a law office with fellow attorneys Jim and Stephanie Foley, under the name “Deppman & Foley PC.” The Foleys will remain at 7 Washington St. as a solo practice, Benj Deppman noted.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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