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CJ & Company offers an ‘old-time’ grocery store

CJ & Company offers an ‘old-time’ grocery store

Posted: Monday, October 10, 2011 8:03 pm

By ROGER BROWN
Bristol Herald Courier
BRISTOL (AP) — Beth Morton, co-owner of CJ & Company’s Downtown Market, said she and her husband, Mark, didn’t open the Sixth Street store simply to fill a longtime need for a full-time downtown grocery — even though the site is doing just that.
The store, she said, also has another major purpose: to bring a slice of old-timey Bristol to the downtown area — right down to the vintage-style popcorn machine, baskets of lush, locally grown produce, homemade cheeses and breads, classic-style bottles of pop, jars of pear honey, neighborhood delivery service and stacks of Pointer Brand jeans from the nearby L.C. King Manufacturing Co.
“We want to have a market that really incorporates Bristol and its character all throughout the store,” she said. “And I think people have taken to that. The response has been nothing but positive and receptive. It’s really been great to see.”
Opened nearly a month ago, the downtown market is next to the CJ & Company restaurant, which the Mortons also run and have operated for several years. Mark Morton said he and his wife weighed the idea of running a small market for some time and jumped at the chance to inhabit the vacated adjacent building, which had been the Karma party center.
“We said if we ever did have a market, we’d want to do it the way they used to do it, whether it was delivering items or just having an old-fashioned feel,” he said. “It’s given us a chance to feature a lot of local and regional products, and we’d even like to get more. We’re hoping to keep growing and adding to the market.”
Christina Blevins, executive director of Believe in Bristol — a community organization that promotes downtown — said the market has filled “a very huge void” for a conveniently located, downtown grocery store that offers fresh produce and other items.
“It’s been awesome,” Blevins said of the early response. “We haven’t had a business like this for years and years in downtown Bristol. And it’s particularly needed now, when there are more and more people living in the loft (apartments) we have downtown. It’s absolutely a wonderful addition.”
Mark Morton said he and his wife are currently leasing the market space on a monthly basis, but are optimistic it will become a downtown fixture for years, rather than months.
“I really think we’ll be here awhile,” he said with a laugh. “We’re already looking to add milkshakes to what we can offer customers. They’ll be old-fashioned style milkshakes, of course.”

Published in The Messenger 10.10.11

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