Mawby’s is not your typical restaurant. Sure, they have food, wine and candy – three items checked off of the list. But add another couple of items to that checklist: Curious George, teddy bears, a model hot-air balloon, hand-made chairs and luggage from South Africa, among other things. It’s all there, and more. These items are just a sampling of the goods Mawby’s, a new store in downtown Andover, offers. The store opened nine weeks ago on Barnard Street, where the Blue Cow used to be. As Chris Perry, owner of Mawby’s, said, “We opened cold.” Although Mawby’s opened without customer base to build upon, after just nine weeks, Mawby’s has become a popular restaurant in Andover, due in part to its eccentric offerings. Daniah Missmar ’09 said, “It reminded me of the stores back home in Saudi Arabia because it has a lot of items imported from Britain. I liked it because they carried food from England that you can’t find in any other stores.” Mawby’s, which sells mostly European food items and goods, is a locally-owned business run by Perry. The idea for the store has been in the back of Perry’s mind for a couple of decades. When he was growing up in Andover, he always shopped at a store called The Butler’s Pantry. He said, “When I used to come to the Butler’s Pantry I enjoyed it so much that in the back of my mind I thought to myself, ‘If I ever have the opportunity I’d like to do something like this.’” The Butler’s Pantry closed in 1997, and, Perry said, “I was sad to see them go. It left a huge void in the town.” Nevertheless, the opportunity to open a store passed Perry by, and he continued through law school and became a trial lawyer. Throughout the years, Perry traveled around the globe and lived in New York City for an extensive period of time. He said, “I missed having a place where I could find the types of imported goods from Europe that I enjoyed consuming.” Thus, when Blue Cow moved out, Mawby’s moved in, becoming a reflection of Perry’s memories and worldliness, as well as an outlet for his creative side. In addition to running Mawby’s, Perry continues to work as a trial lawyer. Perry said, “[Working at Mawby’s] beats law any day.” Mawby’s offers items from around the world, including places such as England, South Africa and New York City. Perry said, “I wanted to offer something that wasn’t available. What I have here is unavailable anywhere else around here.” In addition to imported European goods, Mawby’s offers food items such as sandwiches, soup, candy, cookies and wine. Unfortunately, Mawby’s does not have tables, so if you’re planning to sit down for a dinner, you won’t be able to. Kaitlin Freedman ’08 said, “I don’t like that there aren’t tables, but it’s been warm outside so I’ve been taking my food and eating in the park with friends.” Despite the lack of tables, if the response from the last nine weeks is any indication, Mawby’s is on the road for success. Perry said, “We opened to an overwhelmingly positive response, which was a very pleasant surprise. I’ve been flattered by the overwhelming response that I’ve received.” In the future, Mawby’s will continue to grow, focusing on the demands of customers. Plans are in the works for a delivery option and later hours on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Perry said, “If people like what I’ve done here, which so far seems to be the case, then I would expand to the level necessary to satisfy Mawby’s customer base.” Perry however, tries to think outside of the box and is looking to expand beyond the typical expectations. “I want to have an art department, a specialty foods store, country clothes and sweets and desserts.” Because of its friendly staff and unique offerings, it seems as though Mawby’s will become a favorite within the Andover community.
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