Brookline store to re-open soon

BROOKLINE – For a small town like Brookline, a general store can be much more than a place to buy a sandwich or pick up the milk you forgot to buy at the supermarket. It’s a welcoming place to congregate, share news and see neighbors.

A little more than a year ago, William Batte, the longtime owner of the Brookline Village Store, died while on vacation in Barbados. Since then, the store has been closed, leaving a hole in the community that will soon be filled.

Cheri Leach-Scott and her husband, Kevin Scott, are the store’s new owners, and they are completely renovating it – and more importantly, they are bringing a warm, friendly spirit to the center of town.

“We are trying to create the effect of the old-
fashioned general store,” a store that belongs to the community, said Cheri, and they have renamed it the Brookline General Store.

Cheri and Kevin live in Pepperell, Mass., and buying a small country store was part of changes they made following his open heart surgery.

Cheri, who is 54 worked for the past 20 years as a social worker at Boston Medical Center. Kevin, 58, worked in auto transport for 30 years.

They’ve decided it’s time to slow down and enjoy life, and not “be like ships passing in the night,” Cheri said.

They installed a new kitchen with a six-burner stove and a double oven and Kevin plans to bake and cook.

“I was on the road for 30 years and I’ve had really good food and really bad food,” he said, and remembers the biscuits and gravy at one cafeteria in Mississippi as being “amazing.” But he is open to feedback from customers about what kind of food they’d like the store to serve.

They are also building a wine nook and there will be a checkerboard and chess set at a table by the front windows.

“We want kids to feel welcome,” Cheri said.

The couple is aiming for an April opening.

“Everyone we meet is so happy that the store is going to open again,” Kevin said.

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100 or kcleveland@cabinet.com.