When the folks in Damariscotta learned S. Fernald’s Country Store was returning to town after a 10-year hiatus to Waldoboro, the buzz was palpable. The casual atmosphere of the store celebrated — and still does at its new location (the former Lincoln County Weekly building) — a bygone era and small-town life.

The store on Main Street boasts a wall of penny candy, a soda fountain and a collection of Moxie memorabilia. There are also joke gifts including fake vomit, toys, reproduction tin signs and lots of quirkiness — like the sign that points out a gigantic “mouse hole” located under the coffee pot.

S. Fernald’s offers a breakfast menu and a deli menu. When my companion and I arrived on a Sunday afternoon for lunch, the store was busy, but we were able to get a small, rustic metal table near the toy offerings. It was hard deciding what to order, because so much on the menu looked good.

I ordered the jerkin chicken ($4.25 for half, $6.99 for whole), a chicken salad with jerk slather on French peasant bread. My companion ordered two eggs and toast for $3.25. I also couldn’t resist selecting a chocolate coconut cupcake, which, I learned, was made by a local baker in Bristol (as were the other pies and goodies available).

We didn’t wait long for our meals. My companion thought his breakfast was great. I am particular about my chicken salad, so I was a bit nervous about ordering the jerkin chicken, but it was terrific. A nice chicken salad with the kick of the jerk slather.

The store offers a soup of the day ($2.99 for a cup, $4.50 for a bowl), vegetarian chili ($2.99 for a cup, $4.50 for a bowl) and salads ($4.50 to $6.99).

The sandwich offerings are extensive. Menu items include the Dragon Lady (ham, provolone cheese, lettuce and tomato on sourdough; $3.75 for a half, $5.99 for a whole); the lox, stock and barrel (smoked salmon, onion, lettuce and tomato on rye; $4.50 for a half, $7.50 for a whole); Help Me Rhonda (turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and lettuce on wheat; $4.25 for a half, $6.99 for a whole) and the Hysterium (avocado, provolone cheese and sprouts on sourdough; $4.25 for a half, $6.99 for a whole).

There’s also a variety of standard deli sandwiches, including egg salad, turkey and honey ham ($3.75 for a half, $5.99 for a whole), bakery items (sticky buns, scones, bagels and muffins), ice cream, ice cream sodas and milkshakes. 

The Features staff of The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram anonymously samples meals for about $7.