Angel’s Country Store in East Marion was a labor of love for owner Tracey Jacobs Byrnes until another labor of love demanded more of her attention.
After giving birth to her daughter, Hannah, last November, Ms. Byrnes found that the demands of the popular store and her desire to give more time to her child just weren’t meshing.
“It was difficult; it was heart-wrenching,” Ms. Byrnes said of her decision to give up the store, which she had operated since 2006. “I had second thoughts, but I did the right thing.”
Enter new proprietors Erin Fitzpatrick and Lucy Muellner, both 32, who are now calling the store Fork & Anchor — combining the area’s agricultural and maritime histories.
“It was almost fate, because it happened overnight,” Ms. Byrnes said of the change in ownership. She remains involved as Fork & Anchor’s landlord and frequently stops in with Hannah for a cup of coffee and a chance to visit with her former customers, to whom she remains grateful.
She admits she’s a little sad about the name change. The store was named in 1960 by then-owners Florence and Arustus Angel, who operated it for many years. After her husband died, Florence Angel kept the store going for another 20 years before her own health prohibited her from continuing.
Pictures still hang in the store showing its long history. Given its history, when it came time to give up Angel’s, Ms. Byrnes wasn’t about to turn it over to just anyone.
“I know what the people want,” she said. She’s confident Ms. Fitzpatrick and Ms. Muellner will bring to the store the right sensibilities to serve the community.
Read more about the changing of the guard at Angel’s in tomorrow’s Suffolk Times.