WHO’S IN CHARGE Mike and Kim Coscohad a retirement plan. Once the kids left home, the Middleton couple would go north to the mountains and open a general store.
But in 2011, the couple ditched the distance and took over the struggling West Village Provisions in Boxford, a town next door.
They’ve done well. Nearing its sixth year under their ownership, West Village Provisions is a general store that serves excellent food with a focus on local and organic. Specialty foods, toys, handmade soaps, cards, and art by local artists fill the shelves.
The store is a hallmark of the couples’ careers. Mike was a longtime Krups product developer (“I know what good coffee is”). Kim’s expertise is retail. (Hallmark, anyone?)
While Kim focuses on the store, Mike makes the homemade soups and award-winning chili using “the most basic General Electric stove.
“We’re just doing everything we can with what we got,” he said. “Probably like a lot of people.”
The business keeps growing, said Mike. He added catering last year.
THE LOCALE West Village Provisions is housed in an 1883 red building it shares with a tiny post office and other local businesses. A cigar-store statue and American flag mark the entrance on Main Street. Parking and a deck for outdoor seating are behind the store.
Mike said the original building was a general store. It’s easy to see in the wide-plank floors, low ceiling, myriad shelves, and counter area where food is ordered. Just two tables, a couch, an easy chair, and a coffee table define the “dining” area in the back of the store. Tibetan prayer flags (for sale) breathe calm into the space.
Gerry Santelli, formerly of Boxford, drives from Andover to meet friends for coffee. Alvin Brown, who works in Lowell, said the focus on locally sourced foods is “a beautiful thing.” He vows to return.
ON THE MENU The chalkboard teases with many choices, mostly made from scratch. Breakfast includes muffins, omelets, and pancakes. The latter blueberry version are tender, moist cakes served with organic maple syrup ($6). Phenomenal. The coffee, from Rhode Island roasters, is good and hot ($2).
Sandwiches, wraps, and homemade soups make up lunch. We can’t resist the burger made with “hyper-local” beef from Millbrook Fields Farm less than a mile away ($7.50). It’s heavenly with sautéed mushrooms, onions, and the house organic ketchup.
The falafel is fresh (baked, not fried), stuffed into a wrap ($6.75), and the chili is a thick hearty version, flavorful with some heat ($5.75/bowl; $4.50/cup). Chicken soup, heavy on the thyme, has a plethora of meat ($5.25/bowl, $3.95/cup).
We attempted to share a moist chocolate chip cookie, but ended up buying two ($1.50 each).
“Maybe I’ll do this again up north,” Mike said. “We’ll see. That’s years away.”
West Village Provisions, 561 Main St., Boxford. 978-352-9711, westvillageprovisions.com.Naomi Kooker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.