Crystal Vachon, who has spent 24 years at Pool Street Market, first as an employee and later as owner, has sold the property. She is shown here on Wednesday, April 27, the day before her last day – and while she and her staff made an array of sandwiches to fit taste and wallet – what is inside this waxed-paper wrapped package is perhaps her most famous – a lobster roll, made on the spot. Tammy Wells Photo

BIDDEFORD — If adding them up were possible, the number of lobster rolls — along with Italian, egg, ham, tuna, and other sandwiches Crystal Vachon has made since she bought Pool Street Market would be staggering. Add in the  years she spent working for the former owner as a teenager and young woman and there would be many, many more.

Vachon, however, has hung up her apron at Pool Street Market for the last time. Thursday, April 28, was her last day. She sold the 77 Pool St. property the following day.

“I’ll take the summer off and then decide” what is next, she said at the store on Wednesday, April 27, the day before her last at the market. While she had some flexibility and was able to take the time to attend her children’s school sporting events when they were young, she has worked a lot of hours, a lot of nights and weekends, over the years. There have been many seven day work weeks.

It was busy, as usual, on a recent day at the store, with orders for lobster rolls, and an employee was busy filling an order — tucking ham, tomatoes, green peppers, and other Italian sandwich fixings into half-a-dozen rolls from Reilly’s Bakery.

Crystal Vachon, who worked at Pool Street Market as a teenager and later bought it, sold the property on April 29, after 24 years in the business and after making innumerable lobster rolls, like this one. She said it is time to relax a bit and determine what’s next. Tammy Wells Photo

Pool Street Market has been the local store for the neighborhood for years. It sports an array of items — snacks, milk, canned goods, pet food and more. It has also been the place to get a generously sized fresh sandwich, made on the spot, right before your eyes. While the homemade egg salad and other sandwiches are popular at Pool Street Market, one of the most sought after has been the lobster roll, offered in four sizes. Vachon estimated she used 4,500 pounds of lobster annually, making lobster rolls.

In an interview a year ago, Vachon said she was  raised in the neighborhood and used to come to the market with her mother when she was little. When she turned 16, she began working there part-time for then-owners Mike and Loyce Bolduc.


After high school, Vachon worked in insurance, but found she enjoyed the customers and the camaraderie at the store, and so with the Bolduc’s wanting to retire, she first leased Pool Street Market and then bought it soon after.

“I like the interaction with customers,” said Vachon.

When news of her selling the store broke, people expressed best wishes on the Pool Street Market Facebook page.

“Best lobster roll in the state of Maine …… sad to see you go but new adventures are always a blessing Godspeed and have a blast,” said one customer.

“Perfect example of an amazing, honest, hardworking woman,” said another, in part.

Vachon in a social media posting, thanked Reilly’s Bakery, Shields Meats & Produce, and Ipswich Shellfish Group — vendors who made deliveries to the store every day.

She also thanked her customers.

“I will miss it and I will miss you,” Vachon said, “the regulars, the seasonals, and the ones visiting for the first time. I will miss all of you…I thank you for all your years of support.”

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