AMID CLOTHING OFFERINGS, Winters Gone owner Judy Taylor gives her collie, Tonto, some attention. The Wiscasset store has returned to its original location after spending nearly three years on Front Street in Bath.

AMID CLOTHING OFFERINGS, Winters Gone owner Judy Taylor gives her collie, Tonto, some attention. The Wiscasset store has returned to its original location after spending nearly three years on Front Street in Bath.

A fter two and a half years on Front Street in Bath, Winters Gone, a clothing store featuring garments made from alpaca fiber, reopened at the farm of owners Skip and Judy Taylor in Wiscasset in mid-March.

“Our dream has always been to offer a completely relaxed and enjoyable shopping experience that both ladies and men would enjoy visiting.”

“Our dream has always been to offer a completely relaxed and enjoyable shopping experience that both ladies and men would enjoy visiting.”

It wasn’t a planned return to its original site, but sometimes the road that leads you home, is the one you didn’t plan to take.

In December, the Bath City Council voted to allow Front Street Public House to open in the storefront next door to Winters Gone just months after The Black Barnacle vacated the space. In those months, the Taylors saw an uptick in business.

WINTERS GONE in Wiscasset once again lives in a small saltbox-style barn with both floors stocked with alpaca garments, many of which have been designed by Judy Taylor, like coats, socks, hats, scarves and dresses, as well as product lines from Patagonia, London Fog, Sea Salt and Tommy Bahama.

WINTERS GONE in Wiscasset once again lives in a small saltbox-style barn with both floors stocked with alpaca garments, many of which have been designed by Judy Taylor, like coats, socks, hats, scarves and dresses, as well as product lines from Patagonia, London Fog, Sea Salt and Tommy Bahama.

“People weren’t standing on our porch swearing and smoking,” Judy Taylor, a retired flight attendant with American Airlines, said as she cradled Tonto, her bearded collie who has no complaints about having his people home 24/7 again.

TONTO, a bearded collie, enjoys having the Taylors around 24/7.

TONTO, a bearded collie, enjoys having the Taylors around 24/7.

Customers also weren’t getting hit in the head with beer cans as was one elderly woman from Brunswick. And the Taylors didn’t lose an employee because a bar patron exposed himself to her, Judy Taylor said. But concerns that another bar next door would bring back mornings cleaning urine off the windows and vomit from the doorstep made the decision to close Winters Gone’s Front Street location easy.

“We kicked around the idea of staying, give them a chance. But the first night they were open (Dec. 21, 2012), we came in the next day to broken lights,” Judy Taylor said.

“I didn’t open the store (on Front Street) for Judy to be stressed. We had a really lovely operation out here,” Skip Taylor, who is originally from Colorado and worked in the ski industry, said as he shared chocolate chip cookies he made in the dining room of the small cape that anchors his property on Alna Road.

“That’s all ancient history now,” Judy Taylor said.

On Jan. 15, the Taylors closed the Front Street store and brought their business home, where it had previously thrived for 12 years. The couple, who have been married for 45 years, got into the alpaca business after Judy realized that her allergy to wool, Cashmere and mohair was not present when she donned alpaca garments. “A friend introduced us to some alpacas and we did some research and decided this would be a good business for our retirement. We wanted something to do because we’re always creating,” Skip Taylor said.

“They’re a lovely animal. You didn’t have to kill them for the end product,” Judy Taylor added.

Winters Gone once again lives in a small saltbox-style barn with both floors stocked with alpaca garments, many of which have been designed by Judy, like coats, socks, hats, scarves and dresses, as well as product lines from Patagonia, London Fog, Sea Salt and Tommy Bahama.

That’s just the draw. But the Taylors want Winters Gone to be more than just a retail destination. Customers of Winters Gone can also walk their dogs on the farm’s nature trails or set them loose for a round of Frisbee in what Skip Taylor calls the “pooch pasture.”

“We used to have alpacas out there,” but the 40-head herd was sold when the Taylors moved to Bath, Skip Taylor said. He might make arrangements with a local farmer to pasture a flock of the farmer’s sheep as built-in “lawnmowers,” but for now the fenced field is an opportunity for dog fun.

Customers can also play bocce on the Taylors’ regulation bocce court with a special customer league planned for Sundays. The Taylors encourage customers to pick up a picnic lunch and enjoy it in the gazebo. Between shopping, dog romping and a few rounds of bocce, customers can stop by a small outbuilding to view Judy Taylor’s watercolors and pastels along with the work of other local artists or hang out in the former alpaca barn to watch neighbor Aaron Weissblum of Alna Wood Creations practice his craft.

“Our dream has always been to offer a completely relaxed and enjoyable shopping experience that both ladies and men would enjoy visiting. With the possible exception of Lowe’s and Home Depot, most men would rather go to the dentist than to accompany their better half on a shopping trip, but that’s about to change,” Skip Taylor said.

“We want people to say ‘let’s go out to Winters Gone.’”

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Winters Gone

— Address: 245 Alna Road, Wiscasset
— Open: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily
— Owners: Judy and Skip Taylor


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