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Sun., Aug. 30
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Behling’s Spookhill Farms store reopens in Adams


ADAMS CENTER — After a more than five-year hiatus, the Behling’s Spookhill Farms store is once again open for business.

The store’s opening was a pleasant return for Mike W. Behling, a member of the Jefferson County Board of Legislators.

“After you get away for a while, you realize you miss all of the people,” Mr. Behling said. “It’s those people you’ve been around all of your life.”

The store, located at 12139 U.S. Route 11, reopened last week, following the closure of the Backyard Farmer in April. The store closed after M&T Bank foreclosed on the mortgage.

“This was an opportunity to jump back,” Mr. Behling said. Mr. Behling will operate the store with his wife, Catherine M. Behling, in space they will rent.

Since coming back, Mr. Behling said he’s slowly been working on remaking the store, describing his work as many small projects. However, many parts of the store’s operation have come from memory.

“You kind of forget it’s kind of natural to do this,” Mr. Behling said.

Five employees have been hired for the store, including two that worked at the store when it was last open as Behling’s in 2007.

Mr. Behling said he’s been encouraged by the response he’s received from both customers and his suppliers.

“Hopefully they’ll remember you, and they did,” he said.

He said the store’s sales during Mother’s Day weekend were almost as big as the store’s largest sale days when it used to operate.

On Tuesday afternoon, business seemed to be going smoothly. A steady stream of customers were coming in, and many of the store’s shelves were stocked with plants. In the adjacent greenhouse, Mr. Behling’s daughter Maria, a student at Jefferson Community College, was watering marigolds and dahlias. Mr. Behling said he expected the store to sell produce in early June.

Mr. Behling said he and his family operated the store from 1973 to 2007, and said the property has hosted produce retailers since the 1930s.

“It builds a tradition,” Mr. Behling said. “It’s always been this.”

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