Support Local Packies!

URGENT! We Need Your Help! TUESDAY!

Support the local package stores in Harwich, Brewster, Chatham and Orleans.

Please show up Tuesday night 9.18 at 7pm at Harwich Town Hall and voice your opinion!

If you can’t come – please go to Harwich East Liquors and sign their petition!  Most other local liquor stores, noted below also have the petition too – but call before going to make sure.

Stop & Shop Supermarket on Rt. 39 and Rt. 137 is asking to transfer the all alcohol ( beer wine & spirits) license from Pleasant Lake General Store to their Harwich store when Pleasant Lake requests a seasonal all alcohol license.  This is very concerning to the local liquor stores in the area, as they feel it will have a significant impact on their business and the community.  We too feel that it will also have a negative impact on on not only their business – but ours too!  

Here is the text of a letter written by Harwich East Liquors and Chatham Liquors owners John Kenney and Jon Alger to their customers:

“In case you’re not aware, there is a very pressing matter of public need, public safety, and the preservation of a multitude of small businesses in the surrounding area coming before the Board of Selectmen of Harwich on Tuesday, September 18th at 7pm at Town Hall, 732 Main Street, Harwich.  Stop & Shop (owned by Dutch food giant, Ahold) has applied for the transfer and relocation of an Annual, Package Store, All Alcoholic Beverage License now held by David Henry of the Pleasant Lake General Store into their store in East Harwich – less than 500 feet from where we’ve served the public for over 20 years.  We CAN stop this from happening with your help.

Many of you have already signed our petition in opposition of this transfer, and we thank you kindly for doing so. I know what you’re thinking.  Didn’t we vote against this and win? The answer is, yes.  However, the laws have changed effective this year, and one entity can now hold five (5) licenses – as opposed to three. Currently in this state, Packaging Center, Inc. d/b/a Stop & Shop holds licenses in Malden, Quincy, and Hingham. They are attempting to make East Harwich their fourth.

We are opposed to this transfer for a number of reasons. Make no mistake; we are not afraid of competition.  In fact, we compete 362 days a year, from 8am-10pm weekdays and noon-8pm on Sundays with 14 existing license holders within a 4.5 mile radius. Fourteen. Clearly, not only is the market saturated with convenient locations to buy alcohol, but any additional access would be redundant, unsafe, and unwarranted. 

It’s important to note that we’re a small business specializing in the categories of wine, beer and liquor.  As a family-owned business, this is something we take pride in – not just another offering alongside toilet paper and Cheerios. The fabric of our local small businesses, with the personal touch, the sense of community, hard work, and just reward…these are the hallmarks of the lower Cape – and they are being called into question by the greediness of yet another internationally-owned corporation who wants a bigger slice of the pie.ery one of my employees has undergone Beverage Alcohol Training – as have the vast majority of other independent retailers in the area.

I politely urge every resident of Harwich, Chatham, Brewster, Eastham and Orleans who believes as I do to have their voice heard at the Town Hearing tomorrow night (Tuesday, September 18th) at 7pm in the Donn B. Griffin Room at Town Hall, 732 Main Street, Harwich, MA.

Thank you for the opportunity to share the facts, and I hope to see you there.”


John Kenney & Jon Alger
Harwich East Liquors
Chatham Liquors


and here is the letter that we, Cape Cod Beer wrote to the Harwich Board of Selectmen.

Dear Chairwoman Cebula and the Harwich Board of Selectmen;

We are writing today to voice our concerns over the transfer of the year round all alcohol license from Pleasant Lake General Store to the Stop & Shop Supermarket on Rt. 39 and Rt. 137.  We believe that this would cause irreparable harm to the community and to local off premise liquor license holders who are already meeting the needs of the community.  We also have a concern that it will negatively impact our own local business.

Based on our records, the following nineteen (19) liquors stores are located within a five (5) mile radius of the Stop & Shop location.

1.     Harwich East Liquors  0.2 mi W **
1421 Orleans Rd, East Harwich, MA
2.     South Chatham Liquors  1.8 mi S  **
2447 Main Street, South Chatham, MA
3.     Shop Ahoy Liquors  2.2 mi SE  **
1589 Main Street, West Chatham, MA
4.      Chatham’s Liquor Locker  2.6 mi SE **
1221 Main Street, Chatham, MA
5.      Millstone Liquors At 137  2.9 mi NW **
1185 Long Pond Road, Brewster, MA
6.      Chatham Light Liquors  3.0 mi E  **
314 Orleans Road, North Chatham, MA
7.      Chatham Liquor Store Inc  3.2 mi SE  **
756 Main Street, Chatham, MA
8.      Harvest Fine Wines & Spirits  3.2 mi SW
706 Main Street, Harwich, MA
9.      Harwich Spirits Shoppe Inc  3.8 mi SW  **
574 Massachusetts 28, Harwich Port, MA
10.    Cranberry Liquors  3.9 SW  *
555 Main Street, Harwich Port, MA
11.    Brewster Wine  4.6 mi NW  **
2655 Main Street, Brewster, MA
12.    Plum’s Package Store  4.6 mi SW
326 Massachusetts 28, Harwich Port, MA
13.    Winslow Spirits & Things  4.7 mi N  **
3643 Main Street, Brewster, MA
14.    Brewster Village Market Place  4.9 mi NW‎  **
1760 Main Street, Brewster, MA
15.    A J Luke’s Super Liquor Store  5.0 mi SW  **
224 Massachusetts 28, Northwest Harwich, MA
16.    Orleans Wine & Spirits  5.1 mi N  **
9 West Rd, Orleans, MA
17.    Luke’s Super Liquor Stores  5.8 mi NW  **
15 Lower Road, Brewster, MA
18.    Fuller’s Package Store Inc  5.3 mi N  **
180 Rt 6A, Orleans, MA
19.   Friend’s Marketplace  5.6 mi N  **
57 Main Street, Orleans, MA
** carry Cape Cod Beer

The sale of alcohol at the Harwich Stop & Shop location will clearly impact each and every one of these locations, as people from Harwich, Chatham, Brewster and Orleans shop at this store.

While most Cape Codders want to support their local stores, we all know too well that convenience most often outweighs good intentions, and good intentions don’t pay the bills.  While Pleasant Lake General Store held this license they may have acted as an evenly weighted competitor in an already tight market.  Actually their remote location, five (5) miles from proposed location, and their size and seasonality is most certainly not equal to the competition that will be created if the only local supermarket starts selling alcohol.  While some competition  as a general rule is  good thing, these stores, given their current  density, already understand competition well – they live it 362 days a year!  Granting a license like this to Stop & Shop would not be competition to some of these stores, it would surely be a death sentence.

As business owners, we know that it is far more difficult and sometimes impossible to do business with giant corporations like Ahold (Stop & Shop).  They prefer to work with large distributors and often cannot accommodate doing business with small businesses.  They do not hold tasting events, which we do with great frequency with our local package stores, and in some cases they can not or will not accommodate requests like keeping our beer cold, as space is “designated” for the larger players.  Clearly we will sell less beer, if we are allowed to sell any, at Stop & Shop than at the locally owned independent stores.  This, of course, concerns us.  If you’ve ever tried to find a product in a large grocery store, you know how frustrating that can be.  Imagine trying to find out which Cape Cod Beer is “hoppier” in a grocery store.

As citizens we are certainly concerned about safety.  We take the public safety issue of over indulgence and driving under the influence very seriously.  Alcohol in a store where the staff is not appropriately trained is a recipe for disaster, and given the sheer volume of grocery store staff,  and what one might assume the turnover of that staff, we have concerns about product being sold to underage and/or inebriated shoppers.  We are also concerned because we KNOW that voters voted against this a few years back, and clearly it is not the will of the people for this to happen, but that politics and lobbying has once again trumped the voter’s decision.

We urge you to consider the financial impact of this decision to our community.  Money spent with local independent shops stays in our local community at a far higher rate that money spent at a Dutch owned company.  Those same locally owned stores combined also sponsor more sports teams, donate more products to local charity events and give more back to our local community than a large corporate entity does.  While we hold nothing against Stop & Shop – and admittedly shop there weekly, don’t they get enough money out of our local economy?  Can’t we leave some things well enough alone?

Please Vote No on the transfer of this license, and let Stop & Shop request a license for one of its other 124 Massachusetts properties!

Thank you very much for you time and attention,



Todd Marcus                                                     Elizabeth Marcus
President & Brewmaster                                Business Manager
Cape Cod Beer Inc.                                          Cape Cod Beer Inc.