Johnson, VT – October 7, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — Johnson’s Sterling Market opened with a public ceremony celebrating the renaissance of the new downtown supermarket on October 3, 2013. The store had a “soft” opening on October 1, and had over 2,000 customers through its doors in the first two days. The town has been without a grocery store for over two years.
The space in the Pomerleau Real Estate-owned shopping center at 131 Lower Main Street West is now occupied by a grocery store because of a collaborative effort by local, regional and state agencies and officials, store owner Mike Comeau and the Pomerleau team.
Governor Shumlin was onsite to celebrate this wonderful cooperative effort, and said, “(the biggest thank you goes to) the local boards, commissions, citizens who said ‘no way are we going to let water and flood take away the heart of our community.’ It was really you all that made this possible.”
The Governor also remarked on the strength of the Johnson community: “This is about Vermont Strong – when floods hit, when disaster hits, we’re going to rebuild our community better than how that storm found us. A huge thank you to this community…now let’s buy local every single time.”
Ernie Pomerleau spoke to the collaboration with the Johnson community and its part in creating such a successful public/private partnership. “You’ve invested so much into your community, and without a supermarket it was like not having a heart. Working with your officials and state officials…I’ve never seen so much collaboration and so much support. This is a phenomenal success.”
Proprietor Mike Comeau gave praise and thanks to his staff, the Pomerleau team and the community for their commitment to this project. “The community really supported me the first day…I look forward to staying here for a long time, and giving you guys the store that you’re looking for. If there’s anything we can do to make the store better, please let me know – I’ll be around Johnson a lot.”
Comeau also owns Richmond Market and Beverage and the Village Market of Waterbury.
Funding for the start-up costs comes from multiple sources, including the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), the Vermont Economic Development Agency, the Village of Johnson’s revolving loan fund, the Lamoille Economic Development Corporation, People’s United Bank, Pomerleau Real Estate and the Associated Grocers of New England
Kaza Hagan Associates
apeterson (at) kazahagan (dot) com