Community Store leaving void one year after closure

One year after closing, the Marblehead Community Store, 214 Beacon St., remains vacant. The decades-old grocer anchored Beacon Street for over 50 years before shuttering last August. In some residents’ eyes, the market offered more than groceries — it was a community hub.

Resident Charlotte Lewis wishes a new Community Store, like the one that shuttered a year ago at 214 Beacon St., would open on the west side of Marblehead. CURRENT PHOTO / LEIGH BLANDER

“It’s not actively being listed anywhere,” said Charlotte Lewis, a Marblehead resident who lives near the building and is a real estate broker. “We go to Crosby’s instead.”

Known for its on-site butcher and made-to-order sandwiches, the Community Store is missed.

“I have a personal interest in it because I am a neighbor,” Lewis said. “There’s a lot of demand for a community store.”  

Lewis noted Marblehead has seen significant population shifts lately, affecting the need for such community pillars.

“A lot of people moved in, and others left or passed away,” Lewis said. “There’s a new group coming in here, so the need for a community store is even more pressing.”

Once Marblehead gets its financial house in order, Town Administrator Thatcher Kezer emphasized the municipal government aims to create conditions for businesses to thrive.

“I plan to provide focus on growing our commercial sector, and so there’ll be more to come,” he told the Marblehead Current. “This is very much for the next budget cycle and very much on my mind.”

A throng of people entered the Marblehead Community Store last August after the business’s owners posted over Facebook that they were giving their inventory away for free. CURRENT PHOTO / LEIGH BLANDER

He highlighted the town’s role in establishing a positive climate while saying it’s up to the private sector to capitalize on opportunities.

When the Community Store closed last August, store owners Fahaam Ahmad and Abdul Hanan cited high operation costs. In a surprise move, they invited residents via Facebook to take remaining inventory for free. A frenzy ensued as people jammed the aisles, grabbing anything they could. Carts brimmed with items as some loaded up backseats and trunks.  

Today, the building remains empty — a monument to its once-vibrant role.

“We need a leader in the community or someone who wants to create a new community store,” Lewis said.

For now, its future is uncertain. But the consensus is clear, says Lewis: Residents want the cherished space reactivated.

According to Patriot Properties, the building was valued at $1,276,000 in 2023. This includes a building value of $674,900, land value of $596,000 and an extra $5,100 for additional features. The property spans 0.368 acres, and it comprises one unit and two half-baths.

As of press time, the Marblehead Current could not reach the building’s owner, Peter Brown, for an update on plans for the site.

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