A sign in the Brooklin General Store driveway announces the store’s closure but there’s been no word on why or if it might reopen. PHOTO BY JENNIFER OSBORN

Brooklin General Store closes

BROOKLIN — The hub of the community — Brooklin General Store — has closed and there’s no word on when or if it will re-open.

The store had been operated by Steve Nygren.

Nygren could not be reached for comment.

Nygren was charged last September with embezzling more than $732,000 from Brooklin Boat Yard, where he had been employed as chief financial officer. That case is still pending. District Attorney Matt Foster has said he expects the case to be prosecuted at the federal level because there are allegations that Nygren moved money via wire transfer.

Of the store, Brooklin Selectman Bill Cohen said “the three of us on the Select Board have often talked about how important the store is and what do we do to help it?

“My assumption is with all the legal stuff going on we won’t know until something actually happens.”

The store offered many necessities, including gasoline and milk, as well as coffee, wine, beer, cigarettes, ice, newspapers, snacks and sandwiches.

According to state records, the store’s liquor license expired Feb. 3.

The closing is an inconvenience at the very least for Brooklin residents as well all the people who work in town at the boatyards and at Wooden Boat publications, not to mention area fishermen and tradesmen.

Without the store, workers and residents have to drive to Blue Hill or Sedgwick.

Eggemoggin Country Store in Sedgwick is nine miles and about a 15-minute drive away from the center of Brooklin. The nearest Blue Hill stores are 12 miles away — about a 20-minute drive.

The store was also the place to connect with neighbors.

A few readers shared their thoughts about the closure on The American’s Facebook page.

“It’s sad to see this happen and it affects everyone from the locals that worked there to the regulars who were there every day to grab coffee or lunch and talk it over with their friends and neighbors,” wrote Kate Powers of Blue Hill.

Brionna Blodgett of Blue Hill said, “Seeing this makes my heart sink. Brooklin is my hometown and I go home to work for the summer. It is the first time I have heard about the store closing, though I know it struggled for a long time.

“The store was a hub for friends to gather and get a cup of coffee, and fishermen, as well as all the locals went there to get lunch just about every day. People went to the store to get information about what is going on in the town (sometimes events, and sometimes town gossip). I truly hope that the store comes under new ownership and opens back up,” Blodgett said.

Richard McWilliams of Yarmouth commented, “Very sad. Aside from the inconvenience, the real loss is that of community.”

Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.

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