Rosemont Market expanding to long-vacant Route 1 property in Falmouth

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FALMOUTH — Betting that it’s locavore vibe will fit in perfectly with the ethos in Falmouth, Rosemont Market & Bakery announced it will open a new store on Route 1.

Rosemont will take over the former Pratt Abbott Cleaners at 231 U.S. Route 1 and plans to renovate and add on to the building to “align the new space with the look, design and feel of our current stores,” company spokesman Joe Appel said.

He would not say how much Rosemont plans to invest in the project. The building has been empty for the past two years after Pratt Abbott moved out in the summer of 2016, citing a significant rent increase as the reason for relocating.

The Falmouth store will be Rosemont’s seventh since it first opened on Brighton Avenue in Portland in 2005. Company owners and co-founders John Naylor and Scott Anderson most recently opened a store on Shore Road in Cape Elizabeth about 10 months ago.

“Falmouth is attractive to us because it clearly has a population of people who are eager for the types of foods and beverages we sell in terms of quality, variety, environmentally sustainable production and more,” Appel said.

“Moreover, as we’ve heard numerous times, Falmouth residents are eager to be a part of the relationships with producers that we cultivate and maintain,” Appel added. “Falmouth itself has a wonderfully strong, long-standing history of farming and gardening and we’ll be honored to become a part of that.”

“We’re proud of the role we’ve played in expanding outlets for local producers throughout Maine and the region and we’re very excited to be bringing our spirit and skills to Falmouth,” he said. “Most of all, we just live and breathe local markets and the role they can play in supporting a community.”

In January, Ford Reiche, of P&K Realty Trust, which owns the lot at Route 1 and Depot Road and several adjacent properties to the south, blamed his vacancy woes on restrictions in the new Village Commercial Zone that were put in place to support a recent $12.3 million redesign of Route 1.

Earlier this year Reiche told the Town Council that the new zoning which, among other things, requires buildings to hug the curb and restricts new drive-throughs, was limiting his ability to find a desirable tenant.

That was despite the parcel being described in marketing materials as having “exceptional exposure to passing traffic” and being “in the center of Falmouth’s commercial activity.”

Rosemont plans to redevelop the nearly 1-acre site, which sits across Depot Road from Leavitt & Sons Deli.

Appel said Rosemont was attracted to the location because “it’s relatively central to where many Falmouth residents work and live and is part of the area that those residents consider their downtown.”

He could not provide a specific date for the opening because even though “all of our applications and building permits have been approved by the town, there are variables regarding design, planning and build-out.”

The goal, according to Appel, is for Rosemont to open its doors sometime in “early winter.” He said some Rosemont employees would be moved to the Falmouth location, but the company would be adding new employees, too.

In a prepared statement, the company said the new store would include a full deli with a cheese counter and house-prepared cold cuts, along with an all-local butchery, a Harbor Fish Market-licensed seafood counter and hand-made bakery items.

“I worked and grew up in small neighborhood markets all my life,” Naylor said in the statement. “It’s what I know and love. And we’ve known for a long time that Falmouth would be an ideal town for such a market.

“Our whole reason for being is to connect our neighbors to the farmers, fishers and other food producers we love working with, and so we’re really excited to bring those relationships and that spirit to Falmouth.”

Kate Irish Collins can be reached at 710-2336 or kcollins@theforecaster.net. Follow Kate on Twitter: @KIrishCollins.

At Rosemont Market & Bakery on Brighton Avenue in Portland are, from left, John Naylor, Lisa Childs, Joe Appel, Scott Anderson and Erin Lynch. The business is expanding to the former Pratt Abbott Cleaners building on Route 1 in Falmouth.

Work has already begun to convert the former Pratt Abbott Cleaners site on Route 1 in Falmouth into a new Rosemont Market & Bakery.

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