December 23, 2007
End of an era? Main Street General Store for sale
The best-smelling store in Racine is closing.
Open the door to the Main Street General Store and your olfactory senses are overwhelmed by the mingled aromas of dozens of exotic coffee beans. You stand by the door and drink it in. After a few moments, you wander to the back of the store and read the labels on big glass jars of beans from all over the world, and try to choose among them. A half-pound of this, a pound of that... And, of course, a bag of chocolate-covered coffee beans.
The caffeine high is an extra bonus.
Enjoy it while you can. Proprietor David Azarian has put the "For Sale" signs up on his general store / gift shop. After 25 years running the store (it opened in 1976), he's ready to hang up his apron for the last time. Azarian is 64, and says simply, "I've had enough. It's time." He's not necessarily retiring (he's also an accountant), but will see what else develops.
He and his wife, Mary Kaprelian (a teacher and former Racine alderman), are not leaving the area; they've just bought and moved into a house in Caledonia.
Azarian would prefer to sell the business as a going concern, but if no future general store proprietor-wannabe steps forward, the building at 302 Main St. is listed for sale at $249,900. Azarian recently sold the building next door, and is eager to see how the new owner renovates it. "If it comes out well, it will increase the value of this building," he says.