Located on U.S. Route 1 in Monticello, Maine, is a small convenience store that sells everything you might possibly need in a pinch including groceries, household supplies and gasoline. It also has a large variety of takeout options including pizzas, subs, chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, French fries, onion rings and so much more. To many, the Monticello Country Store looks like any small town store. But to the people of Monticello, the store is much more than that.
The Monticello Country Store is owned and operated by two locally raised sisters, Sheri Swimm and Kelly McLean. They bought the store back in the summer of 2005, but they hadn’t always planned on running a store together. In fact, all they really knew is that they wanted to work side by side. But unfortunately the store (Corey’s Market as it was previously named) had just been sold. As luck would have it, however, the sale fell through after the new owners got overwhelmed the very first day.
Swimm remembers looking at McLean and saying, “This is an omen. We have to buy it. Come on! It will be fun!”
And so they did. Together, two sisters bought and opened what is now known as the Monticello Country Store.
The sisters work well together, although there are occasional hiccups. Swimm said, “Kelly is my best friend, but we are complete opposites. She is the tough one and I’m the softie. We have had our share of fights, but we just won’t call each other that evening and by morning we are over it.”
Swimm is quick to point out what she loves about the business. “It’s the customers. Most of them are like family to us. We see them several times a day.”
After spending some time in the Monticello Country Store, it didn’t take long to see that their customers thought a lot of these two girls as well.
“They are the two hardest working girls I know and they’d do anything for anyone.” customer Sheri Welch said. “Whether they are cooking food for a grieving family or boosting someone’s car, they are always willing to help anyone who may need it.”
Many of these customers get together every day for coffee and to catch up on the local town gossip.
“I come in here every day to have coffee with my friends. If I didn’t have this place and these girls, I probably wouldn’t get out much,” another customer, Jackson Grass, said.
It’s easy to see after spending some time here that this place means a lot to the people of this small town. It’s not just a store, it’s a family. So if you happen to find yourself traveling through Monticello, stop in and grab a bite to eat. Not only will you leave with a full belly, but a full heart as well.