Paris Farmers Union to open in Raymond
By Dawn De Busk
RAYMOND — If anyone had on their Christmas wish list the opening of a hardware store in Raymond, their request will be met. But, they won’t be shopping there until around Valentine’s Day.
A Paris Famers Union store will be opening in Raymond, according to Marketing Director Mike Rogers.
“Our tentative date will be between Feb. 1 and March 1,” Rogers said.
The location of the future Paris Farmers Union is in the building that once housed Aubuchon Hardware in the Raymond business district. The property is owned by Richard “Rick” and Sharon Dodson.
“The building is actually like it was designed for” a Paris Farmer Union store, Roger said.
“The setup is fantastic. 302 is a great road for bringing in customers,” he said. “The location falls halfway between the Bridgton and Portland locations.”
“We are hoping to hire eight to ten people, some part-time, some full-time, a little bit of both,” Rogers said. “Our assistant manager in Bridgton will be taking the manager’s job in Raymond.”
“We will have our regular array of Paris Farmers’ goods: pet foods, all our hardware from nuts and bolts to hot water heaters, regular farm supplies, chicken and farm animal supplies, metal roofing,” he said.
The new store will also hold events like the chick days twice a year, pet photo days, and seminars on topics like bee-keeping, he said.
“All that local community stuff will be going on at the new Paris Farmers Union,” he said.
The process of going from ‘that would be nice building for this business’ to a done deal was a pleasant one, he said.
“The town has been fantastic to work with,” Rogers said.
According to Raymond Town Manager Don Willard, Code Enforcement Officer Chris Hanson did most of the work with PFU representatives.
“Naturally, to have the building back in use as a thriving business is part of our integral plan to have a vibrant business district. It’s a big step in the right direction,” Willard said.
“I believe that Paris Farmers Union is the right business for that location,” he said.
While box stores are nearby in Windham, the uniqueness of what PFU sells is likely to draw people into the store, he said.
“The predecessor was quite successful there,” he said.
“I am thrilled that they have chosen Raymond as a location. The highest and best use for that building is a hardware store — that is something that we missed having,” he said.
“A hardware store is something people think is integral to the town,” he said. “It is great to have it back in business.”