Letter: Oasis Natural Foods will close unless a buyer is found


By on Wed, June 3, 2009

NOTE: Frank Long, owner of Oasis Natural Foods on Main Street, is closing his store to go back east to care for his parents. In a letter to friends, Frank made it clear that he’s selling the business for personal, and not economic, reasons.

As it looks now, I will be having to relocate within the next couple of months; more specifically, during July or August at the latest. While stores have been dropping like flies here in town due to the lack of tourism, hanging in there through the dip in the economy was certainly a doable option for me since the resident traffic has been reasonably steady of late, so my decision to relocate is not an economic one being forced upon me as with many other businesses in town. It’s been slow .... but not that slow.

Over the years, I have developed the friendship of many, many Coastside residents, many of whom have honored me by trusting me with their stories of ill health or personal tales of woe. I guess I now know what a hairdresser must feel like. I am also grateful to those physicians in town who felt comfortable enough to send their patients to me so that I could also help connect the dots for their patients.

Well, that said, if anyone is thinking they might know of someone possibly interested in carrying the next torch, I am perfectly willing to work with them to come up with a REALLY sweet deal. Since Marilyn Wattyne originally opened the store with Martine Sweeney back in 1987, there has been a presence there for nearly 23 years and I would hate for the chain to be broken now. I have to say, I have the best landlord on Main Street and he has been absolutely super to work with. When I first discussed the location with him, even though he himself lives over the hill, he commented that a health food store would better serve the community than another gift shop and I guess that is what it’s really all about.

Since I don’t have all that much time, maybe two months at best, before I really need to be back in Rhode Island to help out there, if I can’t find any interested parties, I’ll be having to progressively sell off the inventory, hardware and fixtures. Unless a rabbit pops out of someone’s hat, this looks like the plan.

While many of you have been like family to me these many years, it’s my OTHER family that I am now having to address. If it weren’t for that, I’d stick it out here with all of you. You will all be greatly missed.

Frank Long
Oasis Natural Foods