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June 19, 2018

Iconic Yarmouth seafood market finds new owners

Courtesy / Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northeast Real Estate
Courtesy / Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northeast Real Estate
Day's Crabmeat & Lobster, located on Route 1 in Yarmouth, finally sold after a decade of being intermittently on the market.

Day's Crabmeat & Lobster, located on Route 1 in Yarmouth, has finally sold after a lengthy period on the market.

Sandy and Dennis Owens sold the business to Jennifer Rief and Randall Curit in a deal that closed June 15. The business, which can be seen from Interstate 295, will continue to operate under the Day's name.

Curit, a Maine native who lives in Gray, said he's worked in the seafood retail and wholesale business in different towns around Maine for more than 25 years. Rief, a New Hampshire native, has extensive seafood experience in all facets of the Maine lobster industry as a senior executive with Craig's All Natural, Durham, N.H.-based seafood wholesaler.

A friend who lives in Yarmouth made them aware of Day's as a new marketing opportunity, Curit said.

Curit and Rief know each other through doing business together over the years. Curit said he'll operate Day's, while Rief will provide strategic guidance and access to her established Maine-based infrastructure. The two view the purchase as a great complement to Rief's business, he said.

While keeping the business's same iconic feel, plans are in the works to modernize and upgrade the establishment, said Curit. That includes energy-efficiency and workflow improvements. They also have plans to expand Day's products into wholesale and ecommerce.

In addition, the season and hours have been extended. Formerly operating from Memorial Day to the first week for October, the plan is stay open through the holidays.Operating hours were extended several hours into the evening, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily in the lobster pound and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the takeout kitchen.

With part-timers on the takeout side, the business employs 15 people.

The property includes 2,338 square feet on the business side plus a 1,040-square foot home.

Loyal following built up over generations

Built in the 1920s by brothers John and Charles Hilton, it was sold to Robert Neal Day Sr. in 1946. His son, Robert Day Jr., purchased the business nine years later and ran it for 35 summers.

Sandy Owens started working at Day's in 1976. She and her then-husband bought it in 1988. Owens became sole owner in 1993. Celebrity visits have included "Bizarre Foods" host Andrew Zimmern, who autographed the building, according to a Portland Press Herald story from 2015.

It's been on the market off and on for the past decade, with two or three different brokers, said seller's representative Gilbert "Specs" Eaton III, of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northeast Real Estate in Freeport. The sellers "thought maybe there was a deal but it didn't quite work out and it went back off," he said.

Eaton took on the listing last summer.

Sandy Owens has "a lot of history in that place," he said. "I think it was just time. They wanted to move on. It was time for a change."

"I think we're looking for someone who would take it over and would appreciate the value of it and would meet their price," Eaton said. "This time they found someone, so they took the jump."

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