Country Gourmet is closed, what’s next?

The Country Gourmet earlier this year

The Metrowest Daily News reports that the Country Gourmet closed up shop at the beginning of the month. Shohdy Ziada, who owns Turnpike Liquors on Route 9 applied for a liquor license in hopes of opening a new market on the property, but the article says the liquor license was recently rejected by the state board because Ziada is already a proprietor in town.

That means the future of the site remains uncertain. Many of you suggested it would make a good home for the recently-closed Benchmark Deli, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

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Seymour Goode
14 years ago

After Capasso’s gave up the business the newbies ran it into the ground – the place was filthy, disorganized and unbelievable poor quality of produce was offered. Surprised that it lasted as long as it did.

May the new owners bring all-around A+ quality back.

14 years ago

Hear, Hear. Good bye to one of the most disgusting places in town.

Joe M
14 years ago

It’s my impression that the CG folks blamed the citizens of SB because they didn’t give the place a chance. When it was Capasso, we went there at least once a week and loved the place. After it changed, everything went downhill. It wasn’t the customers’ fault. The problems were many (some already stated). There we several times I went and it was closed during posted business hours. You simply could not count on the place.

We don’t need a convenience store either. We need the place resorted to its farm stand character. I really hope we get a Capasso Farms like experience back.

Deb M
14 years ago

If I recall from meetings long ago. That space must be operated as a farmstand. Otherwise it could be divided into 5 or so building lots. Something Southborough does not need. A farmstand, yes. More houses, people, traffic. Uh, No.

14 years ago

I always felt so bad for the manager of CG. He really wanted to run a little store but he just had poor business sense. I wish they could change the zoning for the place. It would be a great location for Benchmark Deli. I was so happy to see those guys with a successful deli. As much as I would like the “old” farmstand days back, I think the deli with a little more seating than the old place, would be a great replacement.

Pam T
14 years ago

I second mimimom’s thoughts about getting the Benchmark Deli folks into the store. I am VERY concerned the liquor license will be used for a liquor store only. The CG owner showed me the plans for the division of the store before it failed. The liquor piece was to be virtually the entire north side, where the coolers were.

The LAST thing we need in town is another liquor store.

Joe M
14 years ago

I think having the Benchmark folks in there would be great. Call me greedy, but nirvana would be a legitimate deli coexisting with a legitimate and reinvigorated farm stand.

This is a time when farm stands are coming back. People are starting to seek out local food in much larger numbers. The Capassos had every right to retire. Now we need someone in there who is passionate about the town and food the way the Panzano folks are (you may not realize it but they are not just a run of the mill Italian market – they mix their Italian imports with lots of local, organic, and biosustainable food – including but not limited to their wines).

There is a lot of space there and several good options. Just no convenient store and no liquor store.

14 years ago

Ahh… if Russo’s in Watertown could take it over…
That would be fantastic!

And if you don’t know Russo’s:

14 years ago

Mr. ziada is a very creative person; I talk to him about the future of the farm. He said, it will be a dream of every resident in Southborough. There will be a break oven for fresh bred, curassow, and other bakery product. Also, he wants to build an enjoyable walk behind the building. I encourage you to visit his store on road 9, you will be impressed. The store is spotless, beautiful, and the most important thing smells good.

Mark R
14 years ago

Georg – I am sure Mr Ziada is a fine person, but as one of the earlier bloggers wrote, I too saw the proposed layput for the Country Gourmet when the owne tried to sell his liquor license to Mt Ziada. That store would have been 90% liquor store and 10% farm stand.

We do NOT need another liquor store in town and defnitely not in a residental area.

Kelly L
13 years ago

I second Joe M’s comments! Would love, love, love to have a real farmstand in Southborough, and would love it if someone with passion for good food (like the Panzano/Tomasso owners, who are doing an amazing job) would take this on and make it a place to buy fresh local produce. When I’m coming home from work and wishing I could pick up some salad greens or a few ears of corn there is no place that isn’t 20 minutes out of the way. Surely our charming, rural/suburban town can come up with a great farmstand…and support it with plenty of business.

I really miss the local strawberries at the old Capasso’s. (We’ve only lived here 8 years – is that long enough to sound sentimental about that? And the so-called Country “Gourmet” was completely filthy and disgusting, such a disappointment.)

I’ve never joined a CSA farm but would definitely consider it if it were close by. I think the nearest one is in Westborough. Anybody know if the property at Capasso’s would be big enough for that? I have no idea, but it would be a great addition to the area and I’d love to introduce my kids to that kind of farming.

13 years ago
Reply to  Kelly L

A CSA is just what I have been hoping for! It would be the right time to investigate this option as CSA’s have been doing well. If we can’t have a CSA, then a regular farmstand would be most welcome to buy local produce. That is a part of a very historical piece of property in the town and I would hate to see it developed into stores or houses. We really need a farmstand/bakery in town! A Southborough Russo’s would be a dream come true!!! That place is phenomenal!

I would like to see Benchmark come back in town but at another location. I would like to see a business that can make use of the farmland.

13 years ago
Reply to  Carol

There is a CSA drop off on Overlook Drive during the summer (stillmans) – and there are options in Framingham, Westborough and Hopkinton for picking up at the farms. But I agree that a working CSA farm in Southborough would be great!

I’d love to see a farmer’s market in town and while it would be a seasonal thing, the Capasso property, Chestnut Hill (where they do the pumpkins) or behind Town Hall all come to mind as potential locations….

carrie alpert
13 years ago

-i absolutely love the people and the connections i have made at both Tomasso’s and Panzano’s (same owner), and Starbucks for that matter :)
I think everyone can agree that there is a constant thread here, and that is those of us who are blogging feel that it would be great for the town to have a sustainable store (that is sanitary!) where Capasso’s used to be that focused on local produce as well as other products–be it fresh, healthful prepared foods and/or organic milk that is served up in a friendly environment. Perhaps during the summer months the produce that is grown at the co-op on Breakneck Hill could be sold there?
Not alcohol. Whatever for?
Why? Because there is not enough access to it at Mauro’s, Old Colony, Fitzgerald’s and the other mini one on route 9–and if you are highbrow the wine selection at Panzano’s-
I concur that Russo’s is dreamy……

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