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Marge’s Says Goodbye to Stratford

East Main Street shop closes after six and a half years.

Gerard Sack inside Marge's over the summer. Credit: Jason Bagley
Gerard Sack inside Marge's over the summer. Credit: Jason Bagley
Lolly Renault walked into Marge’s on Monday in hopes of securing some ice cream for dessert later in the evening.

She was bummed to hear from the owner that the shop – after six and a half years at 400 East Main St. – closed on New Year’s Eve.

“Gee, I was looking forward to some ice cream,” said Renault, who lives in Stratford. “We’re gonna miss you.”

Owner Gerard Sack thanked Renault for her patronage with a solemn nod of the head.

Sack and his wife, Margaret, poured everything they could into Marge’s, he told Stratford Patch before Renault entered.

“We exhausted all of our assets,” said Sack, adding that those resources were both financial and emotional. “We basically worked twice the hours of a normal person.”

When the couple opened Marge’s in 2007, they had banked on a good amount of traffic from nearby Ashcroft, Sack said. But that was never fully realized.

There also was the belief that the location offered a quick sandwich stop for motorists on East Main Street, said Sack, adding that he looked at traffic studies prior to opening that supported this idea.

But as the years went on, the faster it seemed the cars whizzed by, he said. So when the opportunity came to sell the property, Sack said he and his wife, who live in Bethel, took it.

“We had a lot of very nice people over the years,” he said, thanking those especially loyal supporters for the “special effort” they gave to keep Marge’s going.

In what would become a last-ditch move for Marge's, Sack over the summer mailed fliers to new homeowners in town, which offered them a free sandwich if they brought the piece of paper to the shop. He said the initiative garnered "some response."

Sack said there are no current plans to revive the business elsewhere. Sack and his wife ran Georgetown Deli in Redding, Conn., for 17 years before they lost the lease and came to Stratford, he said.

After leaving the shop sans ice cream Monday, Renault told Stratford Patch she is going to miss the “special homemade ice cream” at Marge’s, which comes from Dr. Mike’s in Bethel.

Renault said when her mother was at Atria Stratford, an assisted living community in North Stratford, she would drive across town to pick her up and take her out about town.

“This was one of her favorite places,” she said of Marge’s.
Robert Chambers January 07, 2014 at 08:14 AM
It's a tough market to be in this kind of business and he's right about the traffic on E. Main st.. everyone is in a hurry to get North/South and avoid Main st traffic.
Dale January 07, 2014 at 09:22 AM
I will miss it
OldManTeenager January 07, 2014 at 10:52 AM
There's a way better sandwich shop just up the road.
Helene E. Logan January 07, 2014 at 11:01 AM
Best wishes to Sack's, we will miss grabbing a sandwich at Marge's. They were very nice people who always tried to please their customers.
Mikey Philip January 07, 2014 at 11:30 AM
LOVED Marge's. I will miss it in the summertime the most!!
Jay January 07, 2014 at 01:02 PM
goodbye Marge's...you will be missed. Your soups were great and the shop was an important part of the community. It is tough to be a small business; I guess we all have to work/shop at big corporations these days (or the government).
Hal Baird January 07, 2014 at 02:37 PM
They had the best reuben sandwich around and yes, a dish of ice cream made the meal complete. Thanks for your time in business here. We will miss you.
M.Hulton January 07, 2014 at 03:02 PM
So sorry to hear that another hard working family lost their business. I went to Marges' all the time for ice cream. Margaret was a pleasure. I wish you well Marge.
Linda Sanfratello January 07, 2014 at 03:48 PM
I will miss Marge's. It was a great place to have ice cream on a hot summer's evening.
Tina Manus January 07, 2014 at 04:41 PM
Maybe if he sold beer our Town's economic development office would have taken an interest in preserving another small business in town....
Russell January 07, 2014 at 05:22 PM
Sorry to see yet another business go. I love the small town shops of Stratford but they are disappearing quickly. These shops are the bread and butter of what makes Stratford an interesting place. Best of luck to all who worked there.
Mikey Philip January 09, 2014 at 03:04 PM
Those people next door are so rude and HORRIBLE drivers ^
Vincent Caizzi January 11, 2014 at 12:49 PM
Residents of Stratford need to take the extra time to patronize the local privately owned businesses instead of the chains.
Jennifer Gibson Candiotti January 11, 2014 at 12:59 PM
Ice cream was good, but you can get that in Monroe. The rest, pretty bad the few times I tried it.
Donald G. Brelsford January 19, 2014 at 11:03 PM
Unfortunately, people in Stratford go for cheap rather than quality. That's why Marge's went out of business but Dairy Queen on Barnum Ave is a goldmine. A family of 4 could go to DQ for 12 bucks or so for ice cream but at Marge's (although much better quality) the family of 4 would probably have to spend close to $20 or more.
Bob Cerani January 23, 2014 at 10:19 PM
Tina, there is no reason for you to bring politics into this store. This was a nice establishment as was all the other resturants and sandwich shops in town. I guess you do not know how hard it is for a place like this to survive. And by the way,you don't need beer to make it in this business.

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