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Friday, December 14 News

Mackenzie’s switches hands after 13 years

NEW CANAAN — A staple of the town is now under new management.

Mackenzie’s at 7 South Ave., a convenience store turned one-stop shop for anything party related, particularly candy and balloons, has new owners as of Aug. 2 according to the former owners, Phyllis Weinstein and Jim Berry.

Weinstein and Berry’s son bought the establishment 13 years ago, and the former owners thought it was time for someone else to be at the helm of the store.

“My son left a year ago and we’re getting older and it’s a lot of responsibility,” Weinstein said. “We decided it was time and we’re always looking for new opportunities.”

At Mackenzie’s, shoppers could find a bit of everything. From candy weighed by the pound to shirts emblazoned with Weinstein’s late golden retriever, Tango, there was always something of interest.

“Tango died a few years ago,” Weinstein said. “Now we have Tahoe, another golden retriever. All the kids saw him come in as a puppy and now he’s older and this is a very dog-friendly town.”

Trinkets, party favors and office supplies are scattered throughout the store.

“We tried to update constantly,” Berry said. “We wanted to make it the affordable party store with balloons and candy and gifts — there was something for anyone who came in and I think that, along with being a local store, helped us.”

In a year that has seen the departure of notable businesses in downtown New Canaan, Mackenzie’s has persevered due to its local appeal and variety of products, Weinstein said.

“We tried to concentrate on affordable gifts for adults and for young people and we felt pretty fortunate that we were not as affected by online retailers as other businesses,” Weinstein said.

Though Weinstein is leaving the business entirely, Berry will be staying to work part-time.

Weinstein, a former nurse and director of the Red Cross for 20 years, said while she often had to work in situations that could weigh her down, the store was always provided an “upbeat” environment for her.

“I think people appreciated that the candy was fresh. We knew it would be a good and there’s also a lot of impulse shopping here,” Weinstein said.

Weinstein said she was looking forward to volunteering for social service and walking Tahoe at Spencer’s Run park.

“The new owners are a young couple with young children and they have a lot of new ideas,” Weinstein said. “I think they will continue to keep the store with candy and I’m excited to see what changes they make.”

humberto.juarez@hearstmediact.com

Humberto J Rocha|Reporter

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