“Before I could run the stand I had to take a 12-week training program to get my state license,” Chapdelaine said.
The Commission paid the rent but he paid for everything else, including insurance and inventory.
For years he was busy selling coffee, snacks, cigarettes and Lottery tickets - one of the more interesting parts of running his own business.
“It was always exciting when someone bought a winning ticket,” he said. “I sold a few $100,000 Mass Cash tickets over the years along with a lot of smaller winning tickets.”
With limited vision, a lot of his work was done by feel, which meant keeping a neat and orderly stand where everything was in the same place every day.
Several years after opening his stand, Chapdelaine began dating one of his customers, who happened to be a postal worker.
“Denise and I have been married 15 years,” he said.
For years Chapdelaine worked 50 to 60 hours a week and was open Monday through Saturday. But he recently cut back as business began to slow and he was spending more time sitting and waiting for customers to arrive.
“I was seeing a lot less foot traffic than years ago,” he said.
Closing his little stand means opening the door to more time playing the guitar, one of his favorite past times, more time taking care of things around his home and more time traveling with his wife.
“We love going to the beach,” he said. “I’ll be taking care of our house, too. There’s always something to do.”