Robie’s Store in Hooksett is looking for someone to love itBy BENJAMIN C. KLEIN
Union Leader Correspondent September 29. 2013 9:39PM
HOOKSETT — Town Administrator Dean Shankle said he is confident Robie’s Country Store won’t be closed long.
“I think Robie’s is very important to the town in terms of its history and culture,” Shankle said. “People in town care about it ... someone will jump in, so I am not worried; all will be well.”
Before a new business operator is selected, Robie’s Country Store Historic Preservation Corp. President Robert Schroeder said the nonprofit group has to go through the 100-year-old building and see if any repairs are needed.
“It’s not my favorite pastime, looking for new operators. I like to see the store open,” Schroeder said.
He said he has spoken to multiple people interested in keeping the doors open.
The Robie’s Country Store Historic Preservation Corp. bought the building in 2000 from the Robie family, which had owned it for five generations. The deli and breakfast spot has long been a campaign stop for candidates in New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary.
Debbie Chouinard has run the business for the last eight years, and worked at Robie’s for 10. Sunday was her last day.
“This is very hard for me to do right now, but I think I made a good decision,” Chouinard said. “I just can’t do it, and I’ve been (very upset) about it.”
Schroeder acknowledged that Chouinard would be hard to replace.
“At this point (Chouinard) has become a bit of a fixture there herself,” Schroeder said.
The store has been designated in both the state and national registers of historic places.
“We are looking forward to regaining the old customer base and hope that people won’t forget about us; I feel like we are a vital part of the community,” Schroeder said. “We want to be here and continue in that role.”