With 20 years of experience in the restaurant business, Monique Holcomb was more than ready to take over the ownership of the Limerick Village Variety on Main Street, from owners Bob and Mimi Clark.
A resident of Watson Hill Road, Holcomb bought the business Feb. 3 at the urging of her husband, Don, who retired from the Coast Guard after a 22-year career and now works as a civilian for the Guard.
Holcomb is assuring customers that nothing has changed at the store. The menu of pizzas and cold cut and hot sandwiches is the same, as is the friendly service. Every one of the eight employees have remained with the business.
"It's pretty much business as usual," said Holcomb, except one thing: the store now accepts credit cards.
They moved to the Limerick area from Boothbay Harbor about 3 1/2 years ago, she said. The couple is familiar with the area because they lived in Lake Arrowhead for two years when Don Holcomb was stationed in South Portland 12 years ago. While living on the lake, she worked at the former Leedy's in Alfred.
Holcomb's most recent job was at the Waterboro
Subway, where she was the manager for two years.
"It's totally different when you work for yourself," she said, adding that her long career in food service included employment at 20 different restaurants. "It's quite an adjustment …"
Holcomb credited the support of her husband in the couple's decision to buy the store in October. "He pretty much started the ball rolling," she said.
When asked why they decided to buy a business in a weak economy, Holcomb said, "Our kids are grown and financially we were able to do it. I might as well be doing it for myself."
The store hours will remain the same until late spring, when night hours may be extended.
Limerick Village Variety is open seven days: Sunday, 6 a.m. - 8 p.m.; Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 5:30 - 8 p.m. and; Thursday, Friday and Saturday 5:30 a.m. - 9 p.m.
But, like any small business owner, Holcomb will go the extra mile. She often opens the store to any of the many local residents who seek a hot cup of coffee at 4:30 a.m.