Almost two years ago, Gene Snyder, of Augusta, purchased the Hilltop Superette from then owner Bill Simpson. At the time, the former Colucci’s Market had been for sale for a long time and it was rumored for an excessive sum of money. Following the sale, new owner Snyder told mhn.com he paid “too much.” So, that answer from Snyder didn’t come as a surprise.
Reports have recently surfaced that the convenience store is up for sale again for a reported $1.2 million – possibly the same price that Snyder paid for the landmark building on January 3, 2019.
Snyder owns the Twins Country Store in Sydney and told mhn.com in a January 4, 2019 interview for this blog that he would be spending most of his time at the North Street Superette – despite the long commute from Augusta. He wanted to learn how the Superette functioned as he knew well how his Sydney store operated. Snyder said at the same time that he intended to reduce the cost of coffee to customers, although he did not predict what other changes might be coming.
Snyder is a conservative who did not mind sharing his views with customers, whether or not they were wanted. He was an anti-vaccine advocate as well. Posters in the Hilltop Superette store window once publicized his view on the matter. He once told mhn.com that the former Mayor Ethan Strimling was a “nut job.” He said he knew that because members of the Portland Fire Department across the Street had told him so. Although the Fire Department considered Mayor Strimling a “nut job”, members of the Munjoy Hill Department supported his re-election for Mayor.
One current customer said of the Superette: “It’s not like it used to be. It’s not friendly. People are not as happy as they used to be. It seems as though they don’t want to be at work there. They are always looking to hire people here because the store is short of people.” A regular customer, she added that Greg Snyder has not been seen in the store for months. “The place is a mess,” she concluded.
Today, after receiving additional confirmation of the ‘for sale’ news of the Hilltop Superette, mhn.com went to the store to get a comment or confirmation from a store manager or perhaps Greg Snyder if he were in the store.
Rather than refer mhn.com to Mr. Snyder, Delacruz, a front end manager, said she had “no comment” when asked if the store was for sale. Then she unleashed a tirade of foul and obscene language at this blogger which still rings in my ears. It is common practice for bloggers and others to check with both sides of an issue for confirmation. What? No face mask, although they are required for entry into the store.
Back in March of 2013 a two alarm fire destroyed the former Colucci’s Market. Renters above the store were vacated and one dog was lost in the fire due to smoke inhalation. The building underwent an extensive restoration over a long period of time, causing some to wonder if the store would ever reopen. Eventually, it was sold to Bill Simpson with the financial backing of the controversial developer Tom Watson. Please visit a post herein dated January 4, 2019 for more information on Greg Snyder and the Superette from Hell.
Meanwhile, Pandemonium, a long-time upscale gift shop in the Old Port of Portland plans to close at the end of October 2020. The reason given is a “personality conflict” between owner Rod Joslyn and his new landlord. Pandemonium is located at 2 Exchange Street. A closing sale will start on October 1, 2020, with a 40% discount with CASH sales only.
Joslyn owns a similar business with a different name in Ogunquit that will remain open.