Mahone Bay's iconic Jo-Ann's Deli, Market & Bake Shop opened its doors to its 34th season on May 16 under new ownership.
Scott Myers, who worked on the premises last summer, bought the business from owner Rae Kraushar of Dartmouth, finalizing the deal a week or so before the shop opened for this season.
Myers, a resident of Mahone Bay, worked at the Boulangerie La Vendéenne French bakery for 15 years before that.
He made the switch to Jo-Ann's after his children started getting older and working nights became more of a challenge. "Maybe naive believing that I can sort of balance a little more," he says chuckling.
Starting as a simple fruit stand in 1986 in the heart of Mahone Bay, Jo-Ann's changed hands over the years and has grown into a thriving seasonal business providing residents and visitors to the town with fruit and vegetables, coffee and tea, a range of baked goods, preserves, gourmet condiments and pastas, delicatessen meats, and soup and sandwiches.
It has a staff of 10 which grows to number about 15 in the busy summer months.
Myers declined to say how much he paid for the business.
He explained that all the baked goods are prepared on the premises, and his intention is to stick with popular "classics," such as macaroons, date squares and oat cakes. He'll "gradually" add other goods, depending on customer preference.
But he says he doesn't see the offerings changing all that much, because the business is a "tried and true" recipe.
"I want to maintain the service that it's been known for, the products that it's been known for. Continue to carry things that people have been coming in for," says Myers.
He will be taking a close look at prices, however. "I understand people are used to them," says Myers, but he notes that many prices haven't changed in years.
"My first thought was coffee. Like freshly ground coffee, they were only changing $2, right? Nobody's charging $2 any more."
But there's no intention of changing the name Jo-Ann's "at the moment."
Traditionally, Jo-Ann's has closed shortly after the Scarecrow Festival, since the premises are not insulated. However, Myers says he would like to stay open, albeit with reduced hours, until Christmas.
He hopes to re-open again at Easter.
And will the business be an active participants in the Pumpkin Festival as it has in the past? Myers laughs and says, "I'll give it my best shot."
Myers says he's excited to become part of the community. "More a part of the community," he corrects himself.
"Probably meet faces that I have never met. And hopefully I can meet or exceed their expectations," says Myers.