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Published: 07/28/2006    print this story   email this story  

Main Street market is mainstream Hampstead

By Jim Montalto

Very few towns have a school-house-turned-local-market, but Hampstead can take claim to such a unique place known as Don's Market. According to current owner Wayne Dumas, the tiny school was purchased in 1930, then moved closer to the street, and converted into the town's produce and bait shop. "In 1933, an upstairs was built where I live now and the previous owners also lived," says Dumas, who bought the store in 1974. "In 1959, Donald Duston bought the place, and then added an addition. He was a well-respected man around town, and that's part of why it's still called Don's today."

Dumas says he also kept the name to honor Duston because he made it so affordable for him to buy Don's along with the land across the street shortly after he and his wife were married. Since then Dumas has worked seven days a week to keep the store's old time charm - his butcher has worked at Don's since 1960 - while updating it just enough to meet the discerning tastes of today's shoppers.

Visitors can purchase anything from bait and natural gas to baloney sandwiches and lobster Newburgh. They also can be entertained by Dumas's stories as he reminisces about the good times he's had working at this Hampstead landmark. Don's Market is at 219 Main St.

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