The Goodness Store and News Room Restaurant in East Douglas, Mass., might have faded signs outside, but inside you’ll find a hometown business with no signs of fading.
This old-time variety store that has been around forever won’t win any beauty contests, mind you, but it’s a great, budget-friendly place to grab a burger or hot dog, coffee and newspaper. What you’ll also find is a pride of ownership that is not always apparent in a world less focused on good customer service.
Case in point: I asked the owner about the “specials of the day.” He paused and felt terrible saying, “I didn’t make any special today. I’m sorry.” This wasn’t your basic vapid-response-in-between-texting from some dopey employee. He really meant it and as a result, I will be back. That might sound strange for a place that didn’t offer any “specials of the day,” on the day I was there, but I’m more into business sincerity and communication to go along with a good deal.
By the way, the “News Room Restaurant” that you see on the sign in the photo above needs a little further exploration: the restaurant is just a few tables with chairs in the front and back. That’s OK, though, that’s the way many variety stores used to be, so I was glad to run across this roadside Americana remnant of unpretentiousness.
If you’re traveling down Route 16 in south central Massachusetts en route to perhaps a day in Worcester, Mass., or antique shopping in Putnam, Conn., I suggest you stop here for a quick bite. It’s so nice to see a long-time business in a nice small town community like Douglas remain a presence even though the signs are worn. There’s still some “goodness,” after all, in the locally-owned and operated mom and pop business world!
The Goodness Store and News Room Restaurant
328 SE Main St.
East Douglas, MA
Tel. (508) 476-2202