Jacqui Painchaud, primary owner of Grampa’s Garden, stands by the shops collection of weighted blankets and some of its essential oils. The store, currently located in the Tontine Mall, will move across the street to the Wyler’s building, hopefully sometime next month. Hannah LaClaire / The Times Record

BRUNSWICK —The Maine Street storefront that will soon be home to Grampa’s Garden natural therapy store is still under construction, but walking through the space, Michael Painchaud is full of ideas. 

The exposed brick wall, gleaming espresso machine, antique sofa and collection of historic tea and coffee memorabilia give off a relaxed, bohemian vibe; a far cry from the bright colors and energizing atmosphere of Grampa’s Garden’s current location in the Tontine Mall. Though the move from the Tontine Mall to the Wyler’s Building on Maine Street — expected in February — is a short one, it’s a big step for Grampa’s Garden. 

Since finding a space in Tontine two years ago, Grampa’s Garden has been limited in its growth potential. The store is small, there’s no room for employees, no closets for belongings and storage space to speak of, Jacqui Painchaud said, creating complications for the manufacturing facility in Topsham. 

The main benefit was its proximity to Wild Oats, which announced in September that it would move to Brunswick Landing at the end of the year. 

“It was a cool space to start but we felt it was time,” primary owner Jacqui Painchaud said. “We put a lot of work into this space, but it’s too small for us.” 

“It is a great space for the right person,” Michael Painchaud, who runs the business with his sister, agreed. “I hope we’ll leave a great legacy for whoever wants to come in after us.” 

The relocation of both Grampa’s Garden and Wild Oats Bakery and Cafe will mean big changes for the Tontine Mall. 

“We’re sad to see them go on one hand, but on the other, we’re excited to have the chance to do a remodel down there, which we think the Tontine deserves,” said Dan Catlin, owner of the Tontine Mall and CEO of Commercial Properties, Inc. in an earlier interview.

Catlin said he is in talks with several potential tenants for the Wild Oats space. He does not know who may fill their spot. 

In the future, he hopes to move toward a “nighttime trade,” perhaps a cocktail bar or a brewpub. 

No matter what, “there’s definitely going to be a well-deserved facelift there and a remodel,” he said. 

With a new location and the planned departure of Wild Oats, they knew they had to expand to “a holistic vision that carries us beyond 4 p.m.,” and that a little coffee and tea could do wonders to draw people in. Maybe on a cold winter day someone might stop in for a hot tea and leave with a hot pack, he suggested. 

“We’re creating an experience,” he said, adding that despite their international presence, he and his sister want the business to remain “as community-oriented as possible.” 

Once the inventory — the essential oils, weighted blankets, hot and cold packs and other natural remedies that have helped make a name for Grampa’s Garden over the last 27 years — is in the new location, it will feel more like home, he said.

When customers walk through the doors, they will be greeted by the smell of the essential oils diffusing. In one corner will be the children’s play space, in another, the massage area. As customers walk deeper into the store though, the feel will start to change and the wafting smells of teas and coffee will get stronger. 

In the very back, he has visions of a small clearing for open mic nights, where community members can sip Turkish coffee or Maine made tea and listen to music or poetry in the evening, It will be “an eclectic mix for the community,” said Jacqui Painchaud. 

“I believe in healing from the inside out,” Jacqui Painchaud said. She helped start the company in 1993 and now, almost 30 years later they have more than 23,000 retail customers, with orders coming in from France, Ireland and Dubai. Their medical line is used in hospitals and doctor’s offices around the country, providing comfort in the form of weighted, hot and cold or washable packs taking every form from blankets to lobsters and teddy bears. Jacqui Painchaud is doing exactly what she always hoped she would: Teaching “healing for the world, healing for our community … bringing comfort and health in a natural way.” 

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