Thayer’s Store calls it a century

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Thayer's store has been a central part of the Quimby family. From left are Jim Quimby, Judy Quimby, Jocelyn Quimby, Jennifer Nichols and Jamie Quimby. The store, which closed last Friday, was started by Judy Quimby's grandparents, Charles and Grace Thayer, in 1917. 

Thayer’s store has been a central part of the Quimby family. From left are Jim Quimby, Judy Quimby, Jocelyn Quimby, Jennifer Nichols and Jamie Quimby. The store, which closed last Friday, was started by Judy Quimby’s grandparents, Charles and Grace Thayer, in 1917.

Frank and Theresa Jimino of Windham were regulars at Thayer’s Store.

Thayer’s Store in Windham closed Friday, September 22 after 100 years and three generations as a family-owned business.

WINDHAM — After 100 years and three generations of family ownership, Thayer’s Store has closed its doors.

Judy and John Quimby have decided to retire after three decades in charge of the popular business on Windham’s River Road. Thayer’s closed on Friday, September 22.

The South Windham institution was more than a place to grab gas or groceries – it was a community hub where locals would gather to discuss town news over breakfast or lunch. Thayer’s menu of italian sandwiches, pizza, french fries, and other deli classics was as familiar as the cast of regular customers who would frequent the store. 

The Quimbys had run Thayer’s for 32 years, taking over from Judy Quimby’s parents, Edward “Eddie” and Cora Thayer in 1985. Her parents in turn took it over in the 1960s from her grandparents, Charles and Grace Thayer, who opened the store in 1917.

Judy, 69, and Jim ,70, said they’ve received an outpouring of support since the closure was announced on the store’s Facebook page on Tuesday, Sept. 19.

“We’ve seen so many people,” Judy Quimby said last Thursday, a day before the store closed. “It seems like this week, everybody has come back.”

She said that closing the store is “kind of heartbreaking in a way” but thinks her father “would be happy… we need to be retiring.”

The Quimbys both grew up in Windham and met in school there.

“Actually, we were boyfriend and girlfriend in the fifth grade,” said Jim Quimby, who joked that his wife ditched him for someone else in elementary school before they reconnected after high school.

They say that the store has been a central part of their family life over the years.

“Our kids pretty much grew up in here,” Judy said.

Daughter Jocelyn Quimby had been working at Thayer’s until it closed, but now is looking forward to other opportunities and hopes to go back to school.

Son Jamie Quimby and daughter Jennifer Nichols both worked at the store growing up, but have since moved on. They stopped by the story last Thursday, its second-to-last-day in business.

“We’re here to see about back wages, actually,” joked Jamie Quimby.

Both he and Nichols described the closing as bittersweet.

“It’s good to see them get this time off,” Jamie Quimby said about his parents retirement.

Nichols added that there are “not many places like this any more.”

Nichols’ daughter, Stephanie, is now a student at the University of Maine and was the fifth generation in her family to work at the store.

Jocelyn Quimby said that she will miss the people most of all.

“I’m sad… I’m going to miss the people, really.”

Bruce Elder, 73, has lived in Windham his whole life and said he had been going to Thayer’s “as long as I can remember.”

“It’s certainly one of those milestone places in the town,” Elder said at Thayer’s last Thursday.

“I think we’re losing one of the – I guess I’d call it one of the fixture businesses of Windham,” Elder continued. “It was more than a place to have breakfast or lunch, it was an opportunity to connect with the community.”

Elder’s wife, Cindy, said that “if there’s something happening in the community, and you want to find out about it, you come here.”

Chip vendor Jeff Pardy joked about the frequency which Windham Police officers would come to the store for food.

“Where the heck are the cops going to eat now?” Pardy asked the Quimbys with a laugh.

Members of the Windham Police Department presented the Quimbys with a challenge coin in recognition of the role they’ve played in the community.

“I watched them grow up,” Judy Quimby said about some of the police officers that would come in to the store.

Despite the fond memories, the Quimbys indicated that time and financial realities led to the closure.

Jim Quimby displayed an old photo of the store when regulars would sit around a wood stove and converse.

“The good old days, when you could actually make a living,” Jim Quimby reflected. “Not so easy now… too many box stores and chains.”

Bruce Elder said that he understood the decision to move on.

“I don’t blame ’em,” Elder said.

The Quimbys said last week that they are in talks to have a new store open at the Thayer’s location, but said that nothing was final as of last Thursday.

“It’s not finalized yet, but we’re close,” Jim Quimby said, adding that the new store at the location could come in as soon as the next couple of weeks but could be longer.

Judy Quimby said that the closure and potential deal “all come together suddenly… but we’ve been thinking about it for a while.”

“It’s time to move on,” she said. “The next chapter, we’ll see.”

“The customers have been great,” she added, saying that they’ve now found out how many lives they’ve touched over the years.

One customer that they’ve heard plenty from over the years is Frank Jimino, who lives on River Road in Windham and owns Jimino Saab and Volvo. He says that he’s been coming to Thayer’s since the late 1980s, and is one of the regulars.

While the the Quimbys bantered with Jimino and joked that his opinion on the store couldn’t be trusted, he and his wife Theresa had nothing but good things to say about Thayer’s and the family that has run it.

“It’s just the idea of walking in and knowing pretty much everybody,” said Frank Jimino about Thayer’s draw. He added that “you just don’t see” the type of camaraderie on display at Thayer’s with corporate stores.

“They’re such a good family… they really are,” he said about the Quimbys.

Theresa Jimino said that losing Thayer’s family atmosphere will be the hardest part.

“Everybody is family here,” she said. “It will be missed.”

Matt Junker can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or mjunker@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @MattJunker.

WINDHAM — After 100 years and three generations of family ownership, Thayer’s Store has closed its doors.

Judy and John Quimby have retired after three decades in charge of the popular business on River Road. Thayer’s closed on Friday, September 22.

The South Windham institution was more than a place to grab gas or groceries – it was a community hub where locals would gather to discuss town news over breakfast or lunch. Thayer’s menu of Italian sandwiches, pizza, french fries and other deli classics was as familiar as the cast of regular customers who frequented the store.

The Quimbys had run Thayer’s for 32 years, taking over from Judy’s parents, Edward “Eddie” and Cora Thayer in 1985. Her parents in turn took it over in the 1960s from her grandparents, Charles and Grace Thayer, who opened the store in 1917.

Judy, 69, and Jim ,70, said they’ve received an outpouring of support since the closure was announced on the store’s Facebook page Sept. 19.

“We’ve seen so many people,” Judy Quimby said last Thursday, a day before the store closed. “It seems like this week, everybody has come back.”

Closing the store is “kind of heartbreaking in a way,” she said, but she thinks her father “would be happy… we need to be retiring.”

The Quimbys both grew up in Windham and met in school there.

“Actually, we were boyfriend and girlfriend in the fifth grade,” said Jim Quimby, who joked that his wife ditched him for someone else in elementary school before they reconnected after high school.

They say that the store has been a central part of their family life over the years.

“Our kids pretty much grew up in here,” Judy said.

Daughter Jocelyn Quimby had been working at Thayer’s until it closed, but now is looking forward to other opportunities and hopes to go back to school.

Son Jamie Quimby and daughter Jennifer Nichols both worked at the store growing up, but have since moved on. They stopped by the story last Thursday.

“We’re here to see about back wages, actually,” joked Jamie Quimby.

Both he and Nichols described the closing as bittersweet.

“It’s good to see them get this time off,” Jamie Quimby said of his parents’ retirement.

Nichols added that there are “not many places like this any more.”

Nichols’ daughter, Stephanie, a student at the University of Maine, was the fifth generation in her family to work at the store.

Jocelyn Quimby said she’ll miss the customers most of all.

“I’m sad … I’m going to miss the people, really.”

Regular customer Bruce Elder, who has lived in Windham his whole life,  said he had been going to Thayer’s “as long as I can remember.”

“It’s certainly one of those milestone places in the town,” Elder, 73, said at Thayer’s last Thursday.

“I think we’re losing one of the – I guess I’d call it one of the fixture businesses of Windham,” Elder said. “It was more than a place to have breakfast or lunch, it was an opportunity to connect with the community.”

Elder’s wife, Cindy, said “if there’s something happening in the community, and you want to find out about it, you come here.”

Chip vendor Jeff Pardy joked about the frequency which Windham Police officers would come to the store for food.

“Where the heck are the cops going to eat now?” Pardy asked the Quimbys with a laugh.

Members of the Windham Police Department presented the Quimbys with a challenge coin in recognition of the role they’ve played in the community.

“I watched them grow up,” Judy Quimby said about some of the police officers that would come in to the store.

Despite the fond memories, the Quimbys indicated that time and financial realities led to the closure.

Jim Quimby displayed an old photo of the store from when regulars would sit around a wood stove and converse.

“The good old days, when you could actually make a living,” Jim Quimby reflected. “Not so easy now … too many box stores and chains.”

Bruce Elder said that he understood the decision to move on.

“I don’t blame them,” he said.

The Quimbys said last week they are in talks to have a new store open at the Thayer’s location.

“It’s not finalized yet, but we’re close,” Jim Quimby said, adding that the new store at the location could come in as soon as the next couple of weeks but could be longer.

Judy Quimby said that the closure and potential deal “all come together suddenly … but we’ve been thinking about it for a while.”

“It’s time to move on,” she said. “The next chapter, we’ll see.”

“The customers have been great,” she added, saying that they’ve now found out how many lives they’ve touched over the years.

One customer that they’ve heard plenty from over the years is Frank Jimino, who lives on River Road in Windham and owns Jimino Saab and Volvo. He says that he’s been coming to Thayer’s regularly since the late 1980s.

While the the Quimbys bantered with Jimino and joked that his opinion on the store couldn’t be trusted, he and his wife Theresa had nothing but good things to say about Thayer’s and the family that has run it.

“It’s just the idea of walking in and knowing pretty much everybody,” Jimino said.”You just don’t see” the type of camaraderie at Thayer’s at corporate stores, he added..

“They’re such a good family … they really are,” he said about the Quimbys.

Theresa Jimino said that losing Thayer’s family atmosphere will be the hardest part.

“Everybody is family here,” she said. “It will be missed.”

Matt Junker can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or mjunker@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @MattJunker.

WINDHAM — After 100 years and three generations of family ownership, Thayer’s Store has closed its doors.

Judy and John Quimby have retired after three decades in charge of the popular business on River Road. Thayer’s closed on Friday, September 22.

The South Windham institution was more than a place to grab gas or groceries – it was a community hub where locals would gather to discuss town news over breakfast or lunch. Thayer’s menu of Italian sandwiches, pizza, french fries and other deli classics was as familiar as the cast of regular customers who frequented the store.

The Quimbys had run Thayer’s for 32 years, taking over from Judy’s parents, Edward “Eddie” and Cora Thayer in 1985. Her parents in turn took it over in the 1960s from her grandparents, Charles and Grace Thayer, who opened the store in 1917.

Judy, 69, and Jim ,70, said they’ve received an outpouring of support since the closure was announced on the store’s Facebook page Sept. 19.

“We’ve seen so many people,” Judy Quimby said last Thursday, a day before the store closed. “It seems like this week, everybody has come back.”

Closing the store is “kind of heartbreaking in a way,” she said, but she thinks her father “would be happy… we need to be retiring.”

The Quimbys both grew up in Windham and met in school there.

“Actually, we were boyfriend and girlfriend in the fifth grade,” said Jim Quimby, who joked that his wife ditched him for someone else in elementary school before they reconnected after high school.

They say that the store has been a central part of their family life over the years.

“Our kids pretty much grew up in here,” Judy said.

Daughter Jocelyn Quimby had been working at Thayer’s until it closed, but now is looking forward to other opportunities and hopes to go back to school.

Son Jamie Quimby and daughter Jennifer Nichols both worked at the store growing up, but have since moved on. They stopped by the story last Thursday.

“We’re here to see about back wages, actually,” joked Jamie Quimby.

Both he and Nichols described the closing as bittersweet.

“It’s good to see them get this time off,” Jamie Quimby said of his parents’ retirement.

Nichols added that there are “not many places like this any more.”

Nichols’ daughter, Stephanie, a student at the University of Maine, was the fifth generation in her family to work at the store.

Jocelyn Quimby said she’ll miss the customers most of all.

“I’m sad … I’m going to miss the people, really.”

Regular customer Bruce Elder, who has lived in Windham his whole life,  said he had been going to Thayer’s “as long as I can remember.”

“It’s certainly one of those milestone places in the town,” Elder, 73, said at Thayer’s last Thursday.

“I think we’re losing one of the – I guess I’d call it one of the fixture businesses of Windham,” Elder said. “It was more than a place to have breakfast or lunch, it was an opportunity to connect with the community.”

Elder’s wife, Cindy, said “if there’s something happening in the community, and you want to find out about it, you come here.”

Chip vendor Jeff Pardy joked about the frequency which Windham Police officers would come to the store for food.

“Where the heck are the cops going to eat now?” Pardy asked the Quimbys with a laugh.

Members of the Windham Police Department presented the Quimbys with a challenge coin in recognition of the role they’ve played in the community.

“I watched them grow up,” Judy Quimby said about some of the police officers that would come in to the store.

Despite the fond memories, the Quimbys indicated that time and financial realities led to the closure.

Jim Quimby displayed an old photo of the store from when regulars would sit around a wood stove and converse.

“The good old days, when you could actually make a living,” Jim Quimby reflected. “Not so easy now … too many box stores and chains.”

Bruce Elder said that he understood the decision to move on.

“I don’t blame them,” he said.

The Quimbys said last week they are in talks to have a new store open at the Thayer’s location.

“It’s not finalized yet, but we’re close,” Jim Quimby said, adding that the new store at the location could come in as soon as the next couple of weeks but could be longer.

Judy Quimby said that the closure and potential deal “all come together suddenly … but we’ve been thinking about it for a while.”

“It’s time to move on,” she said. “The next chapter, we’ll see.”

“The customers have been great,” she added, saying that they’ve now found out how many lives they’ve touched over the years.

One customer that they’ve heard plenty from over the years is Frank Jimino, who lives on River Road in Windham and owns Jimino Saab and Volvo. He says that he’s been coming to Thayer’s regularly since the late 1980s.

While the the Quimbys bantered with Jimino and joked that his opinion on the store couldn’t be trusted, he and his wife Theresa had nothing but good things to say about Thayer’s and the family that has run it.

“It’s just the idea of walking in and knowing pretty much everybody,” Jimino said.”You just don’t see” the type of camaraderie at Thayer’s at corporate stores, he added..

“They’re such a good family … they really are,” he said about the Quimbys.

Theresa Jimino said that losing Thayer’s family atmosphere will be the hardest part.

“Everybody is family here,” she said. “It will be missed.”

Matt Junker can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or mjunker@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @MattJunker.

Thayer’s was always a place for regulars to gather and catch up on town news. In this old photo, customers talk around the woodstove.

WINDHAM — After 100 years and three generations of family ownership, Thayer’s Store has closed its doors.

Judy and John Quimby have retired after three decades in charge of the popular business on River Road. Thayer’s closed on Friday, September 22.

The South Windham institution was more than a place to grab gas or groceries – it was a community hub where locals would gather to discuss town news over breakfast or lunch. Thayer’s menu of Italian sandwiches, pizza, french fries and other deli classics was as familiar as the cast of regular customers who frequented the store.

The Quimbys had run Thayer’s for 32 years, taking over from Judy’s parents, Edward “Eddie” and Cora Thayer in 1985. Her parents in turn took it over in the 1960s from her grandparents, Charles and Grace Thayer, who opened the store in 1917.

Judy, 69, and Jim, 70, said they’ve received an outpouring of support since the closure was announced on the store’s Facebook page Sept. 19.

“We’ve seen so many people,” Judy Quimby said last Thursday, a day before the store closed. “It seems like this week, everybody has come back.”

Closing the store is “kind of heartbreaking in a way,” she said, but she thinks her father “would be happy… we need to be retiring.”

The Quimbys both grew up in Windham and met in school there.

“Actually, we were boyfriend and girlfriend in the fifth grade,” said Jim Quimby, who joked that his wife ditched him for someone else in elementary school before they reconnected after high school.

They say that the store has been a central part of their family life over the years.

“Our kids pretty much grew up in here,” Judy said.

Daughter Jocelyn Quimby had been working at Thayer’s until it closed, but now is looking forward to other opportunities and hopes to go back to school.

Son Jamie Quimby and daughter Jennifer Nichols both worked at the store growing up, but have since moved on. They stopped by the story last Thursday.

“We’re here to see about back wages, actually,” joked Jamie Quimby.

Both he and Nichols described the closing as bittersweet.

“It’s good to see them get this time off,” Jamie Quimby said of his parents’ retirement.

Nichols added that there are “not many places like this any more.”

Nichols’ daughter, Stephanie, a student at the University of Maine, was the fifth generation in her family to work at the store.

Jocelyn Quimby said she’ll miss the customers most of all.

“I’m sad … I’m going to miss the people, really.”

Regular customer Bruce Elder, who has lived in Windham his whole life,  said he had been going to Thayer’s “as long as I can remember.”

“It’s certainly one of those milestone places in the town,” Elder, 73, said at Thayer’s last Thursday.

“I think we’re losing one of the – I guess I’d call it one of the fixture businesses of Windham,” Elder said. “It was more than a place to have breakfast or lunch, it was an opportunity to connect with the community.”

Elder’s wife, Cindy, said “if there’s something happening in the community, and you want to find out about it, you come here.”

Chip vendor Jeff Pardy joked about the frequency which Windham Police officers would come to the store for food.

“Where the heck are the cops going to eat now?” Pardy asked the Quimbys with a laugh.

Members of the Windham Police Department presented the Quimbys with a challenge coin in recognition of the role they’ve played in the community.

“I watched them grow up,” Judy Quimby said about some of the police officers that would come in to the store.

Despite the fond memories, the Quimbys indicated that time and financial realities led to the closure.

Jim Quimby displayed an old photo of the store from when regulars would sit around a wood stove and converse.

“The good old days, when you could actually make a living,” Jim Quimby reflected. “Not so easy now … too many box stores and chains.”

Bruce Elder said that he understood the decision to move on.

“I don’t blame them,” he said.

The Quimbys said last week they are in talks to have a new store open at the Thayer’s location.

“It’s not finalized yet, but we’re close,” Jim Quimby said, adding that the new store at the location could come in as soon as the next couple of weeks but could be longer.

Judy Quimby said that the closure and potential deal “all come together suddenly … but we’ve been thinking about it for a while.”

“It’s time to move on,” she said. “The next chapter, we’ll see.”

“The customers have been great,” she added, saying that they’ve now found out how many lives they’ve touched over the years.

One customer that they’ve heard plenty from over the years is Frank Jimino, who lives on River Road in Windham and owns Jimino Saab and Volvo. He says that he’s been coming to Thayer’s regularly since the late 1980s.

While the the Quimbys bantered with Jimino and joked that his opinion on the store couldn’t be trusted, he and his wife Theresa had nothing but good things to say about Thayer’s and the family that has run it.

“It’s just the idea of walking in and knowing pretty much everybody,” Jimino said.”You just don’t see” the type of camaraderie at Thayer’s at corporate stores, he added..

“They’re such a good family … they really are,” he said about the Quimbys.

Theresa Jimino said that losing Thayer’s family atmosphere will be the hardest part.

“Everybody is family here,” she said. “It will be missed.”

Matt Junker can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or mjunker@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @MattJunker.

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