The handmade signs in the windows at the new Rosemont Market and Bakery have been promising “Any Day Now!”
That day finally came Wednesday, when the market’s employees began moving the store from 559 Brighton Ave. across the street to a much larger space at 580 Brighton, the former Rosemont Pharmacy building.
John Naylor, one of the owners, said he hoped for a soft opening today, but a lot depended on permits, paperwork and just how fast the new space can be filled with extra virgin olive oil, cheeses, breads, house-made pies, Maine maple syrup, wines and the local produce that Rosemont’s customers have come to expect.
Count on the grand opening happening Friday, Naylor said, when customers will be treated to a free Italian wine tasting from 4 to 7 p.m. Another free wine tasting will be offered Saturday, starting at 2 p.m.
The new store will be twice the size of the old one, with red pine floors milled in New Hampshire and a color scheme along the lines of salmon, mustard and key lime pie. There’s more room for produce in the new space, and a new 8-foot meat case will serve Maine- and New Hampshire-raised meats cut on site.
The cheese case has been stretched to 14 feet. A new 6-foot fresh fish case will stock sustainably caught fish from Harbor Fish Market on Portland’s waterfront.
The bakery will remain at 559 Brighton Ave. It will double in size and get an extra oven. Naylor said he hopes to turn part of that space into a small cafe, perhaps by next spring.
“The reason this (move) happened was because the bakery needed to get bigger,” Naylor said. “We were finding over the holidays last year that we were running out of bread at 11:30 and 12 o’clock.”
The Rosemont Market on Brighton opened in the winter of 2005. Naylor later added a location in Yarmouth, then a third on Portland’s East End. Together, the markets have 40 employees.
Rosemont is a natural foods store known for its passion for seasonal, local products and a staff devoted to educating customers about the products they’re buying.
For the in-house butcher shop, Naylor has hired Jared Spangler, who most recently worked with Chef Jason Loring at the Nosh Kitchen Bar on Congress Street.
Naylor said he decided to add butchering because the quick custom cutting at overworked slaughterhouses — there’s a shortage of slaughterhouses in the Northeast — was affecting the quality of the cuts of meat the market sold.
Now, Spangler will be the one to “tie roasts to size and also be able to do other things with shanks and short ribs,” Naylor said, “all the things that are good pieces of the cow but are lost on a lot of people because folks don’t know how to cook them.”
The new market will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 9 a.m to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Naylor, who purchased the Rosemont Pharmacy site in April, said the opening feels like it’s been a long time coming.
“I was hoping I would open sooner,” he said, “but it’s been so busy at the other stores, it’s just like, ‘You know what? Let’s do our thing and then just let this thing ripen, and when it’s ready it will go.’
“Kind of like a piece of fruit.”
Staff Writer Meredith Goad can be contacted at 791-6332 or at: