The next time you’re traveling by the 175 Littleton Road plaza you may notice some changes and one that will be appealing to the palate.
First, the Fred C. Church Insurance Agency moved a couple of doors down from its old location in the shopping center. While it may not seem like a huge thing when an insurance company changes locations, what happened in the wake of that change is a pretty big deal.
The Westford Package Store last month literally doubled its size and is now offering an expanded array of beer and liquor, food, and racks and racks of wine.
Bob and Donna Bursey, the current owners, say that while they’ve expanded the store’s selection, most of the items were always in the store – just in cramped space.
“It was tight,” Donna Bursey said. “It’s not too often that something on either side of you becomes available. You’ve got to take advantage of it … it’s either take advantage of it or stay that size.”
It took the construction crews about a month of demolition work and once the walls came down between the spaces, about a week before the couple could start stocking the new shelves.
The new expansion features a tasting bar, hardwood floors, locally produced food, and a much bigger, open space.
“January is the time to get yourself organized,” Donna Bursey said. “We’re excited.”
“For years we’ve wanted to do it,” said Bob Bursey.
The store will also be expanding its tastings from once to twice a month, with vendors offering all kinds of new products. The store will also be featuring foods that match the wine and spirits.
The business is also a family affair and has been for a bit of time.
Donna Bursey’s mother, Maryann R. Leonard Popolizio, owned the store for two decades. The couple took it over when she passed away in 2011. The store has been on the stretch of road for more than 50 years.
Today in business, there’s a lot of competition. Liquor, beer, and wine in Massachusetts is regulated by the state government, which means that the price difference between mom and pop shops isn’t much. For the Burseys, their worst competition is big box stores, and surprisingly, New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlets.
But by expanding their square footage, offerings, events, and opportunities to try new things, and many of them local, in origination, the couple hopes to give customers a reason to shop local.
With the new space comes more opportunities and the couple is working on coordinating events for customers and nonprofits, and will also be displaying local artwork at the store. They will also be working with area restaurants to feature their food products at the events and will sell food products that are featured at local farmers’ markets.
“It’s all about working with the community,” she said. “All in time.”
“We’re really going after that local, community feel,” he said.
The couple will also be posting historic pictures highlighting the history of Westford in the store.
“We’ve got a picture of our first start when it was built, the town center back in the day,” he said. “It’s going to be really nice.”
The space isn’t quite finished yet but it’s getting close.
Bob Bursey said that they are waiting on some more wine racks and another cooler, with the couple hoping customers will consider it their general store, featuring local milk, eggs, cheese, and other items.
“It will be nice when it’s all done,” Donna Bursey said.
A future grand re-opening will be held at the store soon.