KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine — The Emporium, a staple in Dock Square for more than 30 years, is closing its doors.
Jennifer Lanigan, who took over the business after the death of her husband, Mat Lanigan, said Thursday that the store is closing, though a final date has not been determined. Items in the store are being offered at up to 60 percent off, she said.
Mat Lanigan was not only a well-known local business owner, having taken over the business from his aunt and uncle in 1995, but was also an involved community member who served on the Kennebunkport Board of Selectmen and more.
After his death in November 2012 from complications during brain surgery, Jennifer Lanigan took over operation of the store, but that on top of raising the couple’s three young children — Bryce, Carter and Audrey — has become too much, she said.
“It’s been such an honor to have met all of Mat’s not only customers but friends from the past 33 years. It’s been nice. All of Mat’s friends and customers have been so supportive, too, which has been such a relief for me,” Jennifer Lanigan said. “I didn’t want to disappoint anybody, so it’s been nice having the support not just from my own friends and family, but the store’s long-term customers over the last 33 years.”
Mat Lanigan’s aunt and uncle opened The Emporium — the first store located over what is now the Mathew J. Lanigan Bridge connecting Kennebunk’s Lower Village and Kennebunkport’s Dock Square — 33 years ago.
Mat Lanigan gradually started working at the store after driving his aunt up from Florida one summer and when his relatives retired, he took over the store.
The Emporium has offered crystal, collectibles and ceramic figures and has been named one of the top 100 retailers of the world by Swarovski, M.I. Hummel’s Retailer of the Year for North America, and has been one of the largest carriers for the Llandro and Herend companies.
Jennifer Lanigan said she talked with her late husband’s uncle before deciding to close the store, and he gave his support.
“He thought I was making a good decision for my family,” Jennifer Lanigan said. “He was understanding that I’m making a good decision for the kids and I.”
Jennifer Lanigan, who is a member of the Kennebunkport Business Association and involved in organizing Kennebunkport’s Prelude celebration, says she will still be involved in the community.
“It’s just too much for the kids and I. It was a group decision with them,” Jennifer Lanigan said. “I want to move on to something that’s a little more me.”