Patrons of Marie's Sandwich Shop and MacKenzie's Pharmacy say they'll miss the "Mom & Pop" feel of Trumbull Center.
The two oldest businesses in Trumbull Center, Marie's closed Monday and MacKenzie's is becoming a CVS starting March 18 (after shutting down March 16 and 17). Marie's was about 50 years old and MacKenzie's more than 80 years old.
According to MacKenzie's Website, "[Owners] Pat and Kathy and the staff of MacKenzie's Pharmacy will remain at the new CVS/pharmacy to continue to serve the community, now with the extensive resources of CVS/pharmacy. We want to thank the people of Trumbull for allowing us the privilege to serve them for so many years."
Trumbull Patch users and Facebook commenters said while CVS might be more convenient, they prefer the personalized feel of family businesses.
Said a user named Joan, "This is a huge loss for Trumbull. Even with the same staff, it's hard to imagine that the new pharmacy, under the CVS umbrella, will have the freedom to provide us with the level of personalized service we had with MacKenzie's. MacKenzie's Pharmacy was a town treasure."
Added Andrew Blum, "The Walmartization of America has finally hit Trumbull. MacKenzie's was a great Pharmacy. CVS is fine retailer but there was something about that mom&pop store."
Tom Gallo, a daily patron, said a combination of reduced businesses and increased costs are hurting independent businesspeople in Trumbull Center.
"End of an era for sure to see our breakfast place go by the wayside joining the other small businesses in Trumbull Ctr. Good to see so many memories of Marie's but unfortunate that too many did not go there in recent years or maybe their doors would still be open.
"Aside from the no-class act landlords forcing small businesses out to make way for chain outlets, a contributing factor was that not enough residents supported Maries in recent times and that was a shame. I'm proud to call myself a regular daily customer so I will miss them as part of my routine," he said.
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Other commenters criticized the parking arrangement in Trumbull Center and blamed the closing of Trumbull Center businesses on the economy.
Plans for Trumbull Center's Future
Peter DiNardo, one of a group of owners of the shopping center, could not be reached for comment Tuesday but has said in a letter that the center is important and is being renovated.
"We recognize that many people in Town care about Trumbull Center, and the same feelings that have made the Center so important to the Town and popular for several decades also come with a responsibility for us, as owners. Please know that we take the concerns and even the criticism to heart, and we will continue to work towards improving Trumbull Center," he said.
He noted that some areas cannot be rented out while they are being renovated but said new tenants would be announced this year.
In another letter, First Selectman Tim Herbst said renovation of Trumbull Center is advancing in phases.
He said he is confident because the owners are investing "millions" in improving the shopping center.
Herbst said he will miss Marie's but is glad the owners of MacKenzie's will stay in the plaza. He said he hears from other municipal leaders that independent businesses in other towns are also closing their doors because of the economy.
"As part of a broader discussion, I hope our elected leaders in Hartford will look at the small businesses that are struggling across our state as proof positive that higher taxes, new taxes and more regulation does not spur economic development or small business creation - - especially during an economic downturn. That being said, we need to look to what we are doing here in Trumbull and find ways to build upon all that has been accomplished to date," the first selectman added.