New owners hope to build on community connection at Hopkinton Village Store

By SRUTHI GOPALAKRISHNAN

Monitor staff

Published: 03-28-2023 6:52 PM

After three years of running the Hopkinton Village Store, owners Allison and Will Castelot have bid farewell to the market that has become an integral part of the community and are selling the business to new owners with a similar mission.

The Castelots took over the store in 2020 and were able to boost sales within the first year while building strong relationships with customers who valued the corner store near Town Hall and the Harold Martin Elementary School.

“Being part of the community was really fun when it went well for our family,” said Allison Castelot. “We are happy now that we can pass that on to somebody who is going to create something good.”

The new owners, Anna Wells and Dulcie Lipoma had been long-time admirers of the store, despite recent changes in ownership, and had always dreamed of being involved with it. When the chance to purchase the business arose, they recognized it as the perfect opportunity to revitalize the community asset.

“I’ve had a lot of different roles in Hopkinton and this is just another way that I thought that I and my family could be involved and really build that sense of belonging, love and community that we feel,” said Wells.

The Hopkinton Village Store, which was previously called the Cracker Barrel store, has been a fixture of the community for generations, creating a lasting impression on the locals. It has been a place where people could gather, socialize, and enjoy good food and drink. The store has remained a convenient stop for residents to buy groceries, household items, and food over the years. A store has been at that corner for more than 200 years in one form or another.

Lipoma, who has served on various town boards and committees, and Wells, who has lived in Hopkinton for six years, are well aware of the importance of the store to the neighborhood.

Wells’s husband was born and raised in town. Her father-in-law would stop by the store after attending church to pick up the Sunday paper and his favorite lemon pepper chicken, which they would later grill for their Sunday dinner. 

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The store’s new owners hope to create a space for people to come together and talk to their neighbors while stepping in for their cup of coffee or their breakfast sandwich, Wells said.

After a short renovation, Wells and Lipoma have plans to incorporate more food options and envision holding events at the much-admired local store. 

They anticipate encountering typical challenges such as the expenses of supplies, labor shortages and disruptions in the supply chain. However, they are heartened by the support from the community.

“I think there is a real pent-up demand for the store to sort of be returned to that really vibrant and vital convenient corner store that it once was,” said Wells. “We hope to be able to provide that.”

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