The East Calais Community Trust exercised its option to purchase the building that houses the General Store of East Calais on May 15. A purchase and sales agreement is now being completed with expected closure in 30 days. The store closed in December and that gaping hole in the small, rural community has been deeply felt and the store sorely missed, especially in these difficult times. The purchase is the first exciting step toward rehabilitating the historic landmark and the re-opening of a revitalized General Store.
A little background: About a year ago a small group of Calais residents formed a Vermont non-profit called the East Calais Community Trust (ECCT). Its mission has been to purchase the building, keeping it locally owned, with the goal of making restorations and resurrecting the store. The Preservation Trust of Vermont has provided guidance and fiscal sponsorship, accepting donations on its behalf. Up to this point, the fundraising campaign had been low key while negotiating the sale. Several Calais residents have made generous donations and pledges raising about half of the purchase price.
Now the ECCT is reaching out to the Calais community and beyond for support. They have about 30 days to raise the balance of the purchase price and closing expenses to get over the finish line.
The re-opening of the General Store will bring back to life the beating heart of the village and will be a catalyst for further economic opportunities. Along with donations the ECCT is seeking creative ideas to help envision a more vibrant General Store that will also serve as a gathering place for the community and travelers passing through the village.
Board member Denise Wheeler commented, “Now that we will own the building we can use it for small pop-ups, community cleanup work bees, and begin garnering that sense of community we want for the new store. We look forward to a grand opening with the store shelves full of local products and more.”
To be clear, the East Calais Community Trust will now own the building. As renovations get underway the ECCT will be searching for someone to lease or manage the store.
For more information please contact any board member:
• Jan Ohlsson – 232-1028 firstname.lastname@example.org
• Denise Wheeler – 456-8730 email@example.com
• Marc Mihaly – 454-1070 firstname.lastname@example.org
• Scott Bassage – 456-8971 email@example.com
Donation checks should be made out to: The Preservation Trust of Vermont with a notation to credit the East Calais Community Trust.
Mail to: East Calais Community Trust, PO Box 14, East Calais, VT 05650
Website – eccommunitytrust.org
FaceBook – https://www.facebook.com/groups/267135284252507