Two and a half years after opening, Happy Belly Deli’s Colchester location closed its doors on Saturday.
Although Colchester residents will have to go elsewhere for a cup of coffee on their morning commute or a sandwich on their lunch break, owner Ron Cameron will continue to run the Happy Belly Deli in Winooski.
“Everyone has been super sad,” Cameron said. “But we’ve gotten lots of good feedback, and a lot of people have come in to say thanks.”
Looking back at his time at the Colchester store, Cameron said one thing he will take away from the past two years is the relationships he formed with regular customers.
The announcement, which was posted on the store’s Facebook page on March 31, also garnered attention from community members.
“I’ll miss having a market so close to home,” Jennifer Patterson wrote under the post.
After opening his flagship store in Winooski nearly four and a half years ago, Cameron said he decided to open the Colchester location hoping he could run both stores easily.
But eventually, Cameron said he reached the point where he could not keep both stores maintained and running up to his high standards.
“I realized over the past three years that I can’t run the stores the way I want to,” Cameron said. “It will be a big benefit for me to focus on one thing.”
Since his decision to close down at the end of March, Cameron said the store has had sales on the majority of its inventory, including alcohol and tobacco products. Before the final day, his aim was to liquidate as many items as possible.
In addition to regular sales item, Cameron has also put all the stores appliances up for sale, using Craigslist to market the items. As of last Friday afternoon, Cameron had already sold the store’s convection oven and a commercial grade icemaker. Buyers have come from Plattsburgh and New Hampshire to steal the deals.
Although any products that he doesn’t sell will eventually be brought to the Winooski location, Cameron’s Colchester employees will not be making the move.
“Right now there no openings, but as soon something opens up we’ll revaluate,” he said.
Even after the store was closed officially at the end of the day Saturday, Cameron said he plans to work in the store tying up loose ends and finishing internal business.
What is done with the building, which Cameron doesn’t own, will be left up to the landlord, he said.