Jake’s Market Building Quechee Grocery Store

Quechee — Sometime in August, it will much easier to buy a fresh tomato in this resort community.

For years, residents have had to travel to Woodstock, Windsor or West Lebanon to buy fresh produce and to find other grocery needs. Now, filling the larder will be much easier with two new stores across the road from each other.

In addition to the recently opened Singleton’s Market, which has groceries, a deli and butcher and fish counter, Jake’s Market plans to open a larger full-line grocery store and restaurant some time in August on the opposite side of Route 4 near the entrance to Quechee Lakes.

“We’re building a 10,000-square-foot grocery store and a restaurant that will serve three meals a day,” Jake’s owner, Ed Kerrigan, said Friday.

“This an entirely different concept for us,” said Kerrigan, who has eight convenience stores with gasoline pumps in New Hampshire and Vermont and a coffee shop and car wash on the Miracle Mile in West Lebanon. “This is big by our standards. Most of our stores are 1,500 square feet to 2,500 square feet.” The store will have 20 full- and part-time employees and have produce — as much as possible from local farmers — a butcher shop and fish market as well as standard grocery items, he said. “We want this to be the sort of place that Quechee residents can do their weekly shopping.”

However, there will not be gasoline service at the new store, Kerrigan said. “We have more than enough gas stations in the Upper Valley to serve our needs, and in the future there’s going to be a declining need for gasoline with more efficient cars and new technology. Besides, if you put in gas pumps, it says gas station. This is a grocery store.” The hope is that area residents also will enjoy gathering and hanging out in the restaurant in new market. “The local market has sort of gone away in our society. I’m hoping that this will bring some of that back, be the kind of place where people come and see the same people every day.”

Kerrigan said he is not planning to move the company’s headquarters from the Miracle Mile to the new store. “We’ll have an office for training and the business, but I’m very happy being upstairs over the cafe.”

Warren Johnston can be reached at wjohnston@vnews.com or 603-727-3216.