EAST HOLDEN — A number of things go into having a successful business: location, timing, inventory, technology.
All of these things have combined to help the father-and-son team of David and Greg Hawes to make the transition from convenience store G & M Variety, which the elder Hawes purchased in 1984, to supermarket G & M Family Market, which opened June 8..
The market has a prime location, located at the intersection of Route 1A and Route 46. The 12,000-square-foot store, built by Enman Construction of Ellsworth, is located behind the location of the former 5,500-square-foot variety store, which was demolished last spring. (The four Dysart’s fuel pumps and island remained in the same location.)
G & M Family Market contains D’Amato’s and Dunkin Donut outlets (including a drive-through), and well-stocked meat, deli and produce sections. It’s affiliated with Associated Grocers of New England, and carries the Shurfine line of products. There’s also still a section of supplies for the outdoorsman. It’s the only grocery store between Outer Wilson Street in Brewer and Ellsworth Falls.
This week, the market has been holding its grand-opening event. There have been a number of giveaways, including a flat-screen TV and a mountain bike. At 5-6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, comedian Bob Marley will visit, signing autographs and meeting his fans. (He’s in the area for an 8 p.m. concert at the Collins Center for the Arts in Orono.)
The Haweses have a lot to celebrate so far.
“It’s been going very well so far,” said David Hawes. “We’ve exceeded our projections by 30 percent. We’ve ended up hiring a dozen new employees.”
“We seem to be well-accepted by the community,” Greg Hawes added. “The parking lot always seems to be full.”
There’s a lot of tourists that go by G & M, either driving to the coast or camps at nearby lakes. But local residents are seeing value in shopping locally as well.
“I’ve heard a lot of comments like, ‘With gas approaching $4 a gallon, if I don’t need to go to town, why go to town?,’ “ David Hawes said.
The Haweses aren’t just saving energy for their customers, but for themselves as well, as the market has a very energy-efficient design. The closed-loop geothermal system heats the store while cooling its refrigeration units. All the store’s systems can be controlled from a smart phone.
“We’re operating at a substantial reduction in electrical consumption from the average store this size,” David Hawes said.
G & M plans to give back to the community as well through its Groceries for Education program. Under this program, schools collect receipts from G & M and turn them into the store, and receive back 1 percent of the sales. So far, schools in Holden and Dedham are involved, with Greg Hawes approaching Holbrook School next.
The Haweses are still actively seeking input from their customers.
“Anything we can do to get people in the door,” Greg Hawes said. “Without them, we wouldn’t be here.”
G & M Family Market is open 6 a.m.-9 p.m., Monday-Saturday, and 6 a.m.-8 p.m., Sunday.