History of the Way Way Store
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.
(taken from 2011 congressional record)