The Round Pond general store, King Ro Market, is for sale.
Owners B.J. Russell and Lori Crook put a roughly 1.5-acre parcel and the turnkey business on the market last month for $695,000.
The husband and wife plan to sell their home in Round Pond and build a new one on 12 acres behind the store, which they plan to keep.
Russell and Crook hope to find a buyer who shares their vision for the store and will keep it open year-round, but acknowledged they cannot completely control that.
“We’re really hoping that whoever gets it continues the Friday night dinners and the Monday night music. … We just wish it would be someone who is a big part of the community and who wants to keep the store part of the community,” Crook said.
The store has hosted weekly dinners during the winter months since the conversion of a former redemption center into a cafe space in 2016.
The open acoustic jams, every Monday from 5-7 p.m., have been happening since Valentine’s Day 2009. Guests over the years have included singer-songwriter Slaid Cleaves, a native of Round Pond; Nashville country musician Brent Moyer; and James Taylor’s brother, Livingston Taylor.
Crook said the couple’s worst nightmare would be if someone turns the store into a chain like Cumberland Farms or begins closing the store from fall through spring.
“Whoever buys the store has to realize that they’re not going to get rich. It’s a lifestyle. There are not a lot of people who would go for that,” Russell said.
“You live it and breathe it every day. We’re seven days a week, Christmas, everything,” Crook added.
She said they never see the fireworks on the Fourth of July. The day is usually their busiest of the year because of the village’s popular parade, and they are worn out and in bed by 7 p.m.
As an example of how the community and visitors have come to rely on King Ro for certain things, Russell said that on the Fourth of July, whenever the phone rings, they simply answer it “noontime” because everyone calls to ask when the parade starts.
Crook said the store will get calls from local residents asking for guidance or information when the power is out or the roads are bad. She said the store has become “kind of a hub” for Round Pond and its visitors.
Crook and Russell said they have sat down with four local residents so far who have expressed interest in the business, but nothing definite has been set in motion.