By Katy Savage
After 11 years, Plymouth has a new store on Route 100.
Chloe’s Market and gas station, formerly the Plymouth Country Store, opened Oct. 3, giving a long-vacant stretch on Route 100 new life.
“We have nothing between Ludlow and Killington — nothing like this,” said Rick Martin, the owner.
Plymouth Country Store closed just after Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, leaving the community without a place to buy groceries within a 20-minute drive.
Martin, who sits on the Plymouth planning commission, bought the building in August 2022 and spent a year doing extensive renovations.
“The place shut down and sat derelict for 11 years,” Martin said. “A lot of my friends said, ‘Oh Rick, you should buy the store.’ The community needed it. We needed it desperately and I kept hearing it all the time. I finally buckled and did it.”
Plymouth saw a series of closures around the time the country store closed.
Plymouth Elementary School on Route 100 closed in 2010 and Plymouth Notch, formerly Round Top, ceased operations after the 2017-18 season. A former restaurant and real estate office also closed.
Chloe’s Market will join another new business, Green Union Dispensary, a cannabis shop, which opened on Route 100 earlier this year.
Rick Martin chose to name the store Chloe’s after his rescue dog who died of bone cancer in 2020. “I always promised her that if I ever did this I would name it after her,” he said.
Martin plans to donate a portion of the store’s proceeds to animal rescue groups.
Outside of opening the store, Martin, who moved to Plymouth from Massachusetts 20 years ago, is the head of quality of a biotech pharma company. He also owns rental properties in Massachusetts.
“Doing the renovation was easy for me,” Martin said.
He’s still learning the retail part of it.
“It’s fascinating, Martin said, explaining the overwhelming gratitude he’s heard so far from residents.
A number of people stopped in the store a recent afternoon just to see what it looked like.
“People are coming in with huge grins on their faces,” said Hannah Davidson, the store manager.
The building was an auto garage in the 1960s before it became a country store in 1972.
“The place is like a castle, it’s so solid,” Martin said. The interior, however, was “rough” and needed to be gutted. “We took everything down,” Martin said.
The ceilings are now about 14 feet high. “We wanted to go for an industrial country store feel that was open and airy,” he said.
The interior was sprayed with foam and Martin’s using a pellet stove and heat pumps to conserve energy.
“We’re trying to carry a lot of basic needs, like cleaning supplies as well as cereal and we have a whole wall of double door refrigerators with wine and beer,” he said.
There are also local products, such as craft beer and maple syrup made from trees on Lynds Hill Road in Plymouth.
The store will have a deli with breakfast sandwiches, soups and muffins.
“The plan is to expand everything as we get more input from the community,” Martin said.
He also hopes to hold events, such as wine tastings on the store’s property.
Chloe’s Market is currently open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and closed Mondays.
A grand opening is scheduled for Oct. 17.