“Our goal is to keep it a store.”
That’s what Bonnie Clement and Helen Thorgalsen hope an eventual buyer is able to do with H.B. Provisions, an old-fashioned general store they have run in Kennebunk for 20 years.
“This past fall, we kind of said, you know what, it’s time,” said Clement, during a Monday interview with NECN/NBC 10 Boston, alongside Thorgalsen, her partner in business, life and marriage.
The price for the business and the building it’s in, which includes an apartment and a working 1952 pickup truck is $3.8 million.
To say a lot has happened at the store would be a vast understatement.
Before it was known as H.B. Provisions, the business existed as a store in various iterations going all the way back to 1865.
Under Clement and Thorgalsen, the store has opened every day since its official first day of business in May 2002 and has been a favorite of presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush as well as celebrities from the entertainment world like Maine native Patrick Dempsey, and Caroline Rhea.
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“President Bush 41 would come in, often on Sunday mornings after church, pick up the paper and always a cinnamon donut,” said Thorgalsen.
As for who the ideal buyer is, Clement and Thorgalsen say that "person" is actually two people - a young couple.
They admitted $3.8 million might not necessarily be an easy amount for two young people to prepare to pay for but they believe the residential and commercial value of the building as well as its location near Dock Square make it desirable.
"I think a young couple would need to do some financial planning around it, perhaps with another family member," said Clement.
Clement and Thorgalsen say the building they have restored is in good shape, that they are selling before they are "burnt out" running their business and that the largest challenge facing an eventual buyer might be staffing.
As for what they plan to do after the store is sold, the couple would like to move to Vermont to be closer to children and grandchildren as well as "head west" on a RV trip.
"It’s a lot of fun," said Clement, adding "we’re totally going to miss it, I can’t even put myself at that place of walking out the door for the last time."