Parsonsfield, Maine - Village Variety in Kezar Falls has been the place where locals go for over 30 years. Colleen Allard opened the store committed to serving her community, providing excellent customer service and building a loyal customer base. She succeeded and continued to grow her business, has employed many locals, and regularly supports important causes within Sacopee Valley. Colleen has been recognized as an outstanding businesswoman, winning the Business Plan Execution Award from SCORE, and volunteers in the community.
About to become a first-time grandmother, Colleen has made the bittersweet decision to retire and welcome a new family owned company, Haffners, to take over Village. Below is her open letter to the Sacopee Valley Community.
Dear community members,
It is with mixed emotions and a heavy heart that I share with you that the time has come for me to retire and say goodbye to a part of my life that has meant so very much to me. After 33 years of owning and operating Village Variety, I will begin a new chapter in my life. I have been beyond blessed to serve my community and travelers over so many decades.
When we began this journey, we were newly weds sharing a dream to own a 'Mom and Pop" store and Maine is where we felt we belonged. We proceeded to grow our business and our family. I found my home, my community, my purpose and my happiness. I learned about loyalty, dignity, hard work and opportunity. I could not have done any of these things without the support of this amazing community, my family, my friends.
As I approached the idea of retiring, I knew the most important thing would be to find the right buyer and I believe I have found the exact right successor who will continue to serve in the spirit that Village Variety and the community deserves.
My employees have been at the core of many of my decisions as they have stood by me through thick and thin. I have full faith that the new owners will carry on with the legacy we all created. My team enabled me to grow my dreams, they are such an important part of this story, and words cannot express my gratitude and appreciation.
Lastly but not least, I would like to give a huge shout out to my children. They sacrificed precious family time so that I could continue to grow my business and support our community. I am beyond blessed to have their support, love and understanding throughout all of the transitions. This new chapter in my life will include taking some much needed down time, some travel, community involvement, healing and new growth. I am thrilled to know that I will soon be a first time grandmother and cannot wait for these wonderful changes to help shape and grow my future.
Saying goodbye is never easy. But this is not a goodbye, it is a stepping aside as a new chapter unfolds. For me, community is an extension of family, and I will miss so many aspects of all we have shared, all we have endured. I could not have done this without you, and you will forever be in my heart and mind.
Thank you for 33 incredible years of growing up together. I retire February 1 to a home filled with Golden Retriever cuddles, a lifetime of memories and a profound sense of appreciation, respect and gratitude. Thank you for being the best community ever. This experience will forever be near and dear to me. No matter what different path I may end up taking, I will be taking a little of each of you with me, everywhere I go. Thank you from the bottom of my very full heart.
With my love always,