Proposed gourmet market begins Cape Elizabeth approval process
CAPE ELIZABETH — Almost a year after a preliminary proposal, plans to build a gourmet market near Cape Elizabeth High School are moving forward.
Resident Michael Concannon hopes to build a 3,000-square-foot, mercantile-style deli and light grocery store called C's Gourmet Market at 349 Ocean House Road, adjacent to the high school's driveway.
Concannon, along with landscape architect John Mitchell, presented the proposed designs for the market at a Planning Board meeting Tuesday night.
"I feel like we're on a good track and hope to get final approval by the spring," Concannon said Wednesday. "We'd love to be open by this time next year."
The board was largely in favor of the plans, but expressed concerns about the market disrupting traffic flow in and out of the high school.
Members planned a site walk for the property at 5 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 23., which is open to the public. The walk is intended to answer the board's questions and addresses concerns, although no decision will be made.
A formal public hearing before the Planning Board is scheduled for Nov. 20. If approved, the market will go through additional public hearings with the Town Council.
The proposed market will have about 24 seats and serve sandwiches, salads, soups, coffee and desserts, which will also be available for take-out, Concannon said. In addition to the prepared foods, he plans to sell wine, fresh bread, meat and a small selection of produce.
He said he hopes to model the business after Clayton's Cafe in Yarmouth or Aurora Provisions in Portland. He also hopes to eventually move his other business, Port Printing Solutions, now in South Portland, into the 1,500-square-foot second floor of the building.
The market will be built on a 3/4-acre property that was formally home to a real estate office and had approval for a fitness center that was never developed. It's also a short distance from the Pond Cove Shopping Center, which includes the Pond Cove IGA supermarket, Ocean House Pizza and Local Buzz coffee shop and wine bar.
A commercial center was proposed for the property in 2004, and would have included a Dunkin' Donuts, but the project was abandoned due to high construction costs.
Neither Concannon nor his wife have restaurant or cooking experience, but they have ideas about the types of food they want to make and hope to hire a kitchen manager who can fulfill them.
"We'll definitely be involved in the day-to-day operations, but we have to realize our strengths and weaknesses in certain areas," he said.
Concannon said the market will probably have four or five full- and part-time employees.