Elizabeth and Michelangelo Ciccarelli have bought the former Boynton’s Market at 153 Water St. in Hallowell. The market, which opened in 1936, closed last Thursday and reopened Friday as Ciccarelli’s Market, Deli & Gelato. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

HALLOWELL — Boynton’s Market, Hallowell’s cornerstone store for the past 84 years, closed last Thursday and reopened Friday under new ownership and a new name.

Don and Ruth LaChance have sold the store at 153 Water St. to Michelangelo and Elizabeth Ciccarelli of Farmingdale. Under the new ownership, the store is now Ciccarelli’s Market, Deli & Gelato.

The “Boynton” name, however, is not going to be erased completely, according to Michelangelo Ciccarelli, who said he was working on a tribute to Boynton’s Market that will go into the store’s front window.

“Just because we’re changing the name doesn’t mean we’re changing the business,” he said. “I do want to continue their legacy, while building ours. We’re just looking to bring some fresh blood in.”

In June, the store’s lease and name went up for sale for $69,000. Michelangelo Ciccarelli declined to say how much he paid for the business.

The market opened in 1936, but the original location was one door south of the current location, until 2011, when the store was caught in a whirlwind of events, including the sudden death of then-owner Karen Buck. In December 2011, the LaChances announced the market was coming back.

Ruth LaChance said she and her husband had planned to own the store for 10 years, but have cut that a bit short.

Laurie Bourgeois, left, buys a snack Saturday from owner Michelangelo Ciccarelli at Ciccarelli’s Market, Deli & Gelato at 153 Water St. in Hallowell. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

“It’s bittersweet,” she said of selling the landmark store. “We love our community, and we love the aspect of seeing so many people throughout the years and getting to know so many people.”

Ruth LaChance said Ciccarelli topped the couple’s list of prospective buyers after they received several offers for the store.

“We picked him because of his high energy,” she said, “and ability to grasp the understanding of how to run a store.”

Ciccarelli said he has owned other small businesses, but this is his first experience owning a grocery store. He said the store has been performing well during the COVID-19 pandemic, which influenced his decision to buy the market.

“A lot of people don’t want to go to the big grocery stores, with all the lines,” he said. “A lot of the locals want to support the locals.”

Ruth LaChance said she thought it a bit saddening when she learned the Ciccarellis planned to change the name of the business, but she said the store needed an upgrade as it moved forward.

The logo for Ciccarelli’s Market, Deli & Gelato, formerly Boynton’s Market, in Halllowell. Image courtesy of Michelangelo Ciccarelli

“It’s sad to see, but, then again, it’s his business,” she said. “It does need to move and shake. By changing the name, that’s part of the upgrade, and that’s his right.”

On Saturday afternoon, many of the roosters that lined the walls of the shop had been removed and the Ciccarellis were contemplating how to reorganize the store. Not much had changed, but a large, wooden shelf in the middle of the store was bare after items had been moved onto a different shelf.

Hallowell resident Lucas Mueller stopped in for two slices of pizza and a few other groceries. He said city residents might miss the name, but as long as the store remains the same convenient stop for locals, there will be no issues.

“It doesn’t really matter to me,” he said.

Michelangelo Ciccarelli, a dual citizen in the United States and Italy, said the gelato portion of the business will likely be added in the spring. He said some Maine gelato spots have “Americanized” gelato by adding toppings to the popular dessert.

“They’ve got all the cookie crumbs inside of it,” he said of gelato establishments in Maine. “(Authentic gelato) is smooth. It’s rich, rich, rich in flavor.”

Ciccarelli said his gelato will be offered in traditional flavors, including chocolate and vanilla, but he has been experimenting with pumpkin spice and rhubarb flavors at home.

And when it comes to the other food, he said he might add more of an Italian influence to the pizza, but most other offerings will likely remain the same.

“A lot of their food is good,” he said, “but it needs more advertising.”

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