HALLOWELL — The prospective owner of the former Boynton’s Market, Aaron Austin, said doing due diligence caused him to pull out of the deal on Tuesday.

Current owner Michelangelo Ciccarelli disputed Austin’s claim, stating that Austin tried to “pull a fast one on him.”

Aaron Austin of Lewiston said in a Tuesday text message that he was not moving forward with the purchase of Ciccarelli’s Market, Deli & Gelato at 153 Water St., formerly known as Boynton’s Market.

When asked why he wasn’t moving forward with the acquisition, Austin said he was “very excited to be apart of the community, upon due diligence of the current status of the business.” When asked to clarify his comment, Austin declined and redirected comment to the current business owners.

Elizabeth and Michelangelo Ciccarelli bought Boynton’s Market at 153 Water St. in Hallowell and renamed it Ciccarelli’s Market, Deli & Gelato in October. Less than four months later, the couple are seeking a buyer for the business while they continue to operate it. A potential buyer pulled out of the deal Tuesday.  Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal file Buy this Photo

“I wish the best for the market and Hallowell,” he said.

When asked about Austin’s assessment, Ciccarelli’s owner Michelangelo Ciccarelli said that he was actually the one to pull out of the deal after Austin “tried to pull a fast one.”

“He wanted me to lower the price after our committed deal,” Ciccarelli said. “I’m not desperate; the store is still making money.”

He said the change would have resulted in a reduction of “a lot of money” from the deal with Austin.

He (put in) all of his license applications into it,” Ciccarelli said. “He had $1,000 invested and he tried to pull a fast one on me. He won’t be the owner of this store ever unless he brings cash.”

When asked for comment on Ciccarelli’s claim that he pulled a fast one and attempted to lower the price of the deal, Austin said “no thank you. I wish the best for the market and Hallowell.”

On Monday, the Kennebec Journal reported that three new businesses would likely be opening in downtown Hallowell, including Aaron Austin’s potential rebrand of the market Austin appeared before the City Council this month to receive a victualer’s license to operate the business at 153 Water St. under the name “1852 Market and Deli,” named after the year the city’s charter was approved.

Ciccarelli bought the lease to operate Boynton’s Market from Don and Ruth LaChance in October 2020 but announced in January that the store was back up for sale. Ciccarelli said he was not the right person to run the business.

He said Tuesday the store will soon be debuting a new barbecue-style menu, which is a sign that he is still making changes at the store.

“I’m not walking away … and I’m not giving up on it,” Ciccarelli said. “It’s just not my thing. I’m certainly not going to give it away.”

Boynton’s Market had more than 80 years of history between two neighboring locations in Hallowell. It opened in 1936 one door south of the current location.

Related Headlines


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.