(Senate - July 21, 2011)

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[Page S4800]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                         ADDITIONAL STATEMENTS


                       RECOGNIZING WAY WAY STORE

 Ms. SNOWE. Mr. President, it is always devastating when a 
business that has been part of the fabric of a local community closes, 
whether it is the drycleaner, the candy shop, or the grocery store. 
That was the case with the Way Way Store in Saco, ME, which closed its 
doors 8 years ago after nearly 80 years in business. However, due to 
the entrepreneurial spirit of a local couple, the Way Way Store has 
recently reopened, reinstating the original store's dedication to 
offering personal service and affordable products. Today I commend the 
Way Way Store for its grand reopening and discuss its remarkable 
  The Way Way Store was originally opened in the southern Maine town of 
Saco in the late 1920s by the Cousens family. Eugene Cousens 
constructed the store from handmade concrete blocks, an effort that 
resulted in the building being placed on the National Register of 
Historic Places. Today, the building's exterior retains its original 
red-and-white color scheme, and the original cash register still sits 
atop the counter. Through the 1940s, the Way Way Store was essentially 
a rest stop for travelers as it offered gasoline, clothing, outhouses, 
and food. Over time, the Way Way Store began to focus on selling candy 
and other foods and quickly became a popular local establishment.
  Like many other established small businesses, the Way Way Store 
places a strong emphasis on family. The Cousens family owned the Way 
Way Store from the time that it opened until Peggy Tyrell and Catherine 
Cousens decided to close the store in 2003. Eight years later, Peter 
Scontras, a retired historian and schoolteacher, and his wife Bridget 
reopened the store last month to much acclaim, thus restoring a local 
landmark. They remain determined to honor the legacy that the Cousens 
left behind while adapting to ensure the store's success.
  The Way Way Store has been something of an institution in Saco, and 
the reopening has provoked a strong positive response in the town. 
People who frequented the Way Way Store before it closed in 2003 are 
coming back to take in the atmosphere that harkens back to the mid-20th 
century and to enjoy the wide range of sweets that the store offers. By 
offering a multitude of traditional favorites like penny-candy and 
employing original ideas like a takeout ice cream window, the Scontras 
family has proved to be shrewd business owners, and the new Way Way 
Store has endeared itself to yet another generation of Mainers.
  As many specialty shops fall to the wayside due to competition from 
larger chains, it is inspiring to see a small business rediscover 
success and continue its contribution to the local economy. People in 
the Saco area have expressed their gratitude to Mr. and Mrs. Scontras 
for reinvigorating a true gem in York County. I join them in thanking 
the Scontras family for the risk they have taken in opening a small 
business in this tumultuous economy and commend them on their hard work 
and dedication to their customers and to the Way Way Store's grand