, Newburyport, MA

July 19, 2013

Leary's set to open store in Amesbury

By Mac Cerullo
Staff Writer

---- — AMESBURY — Newburyport’s oldest liquor store is about to become Amesbury’s newest, as Leary’s Fine Wine and Spirits is set to open a new location in the Carriagetown Marketplace on Route 110.

The new store will be located toward the west side of the plaza, and Todd Baltich, the store’s owner, said his hope is that the new store will be open in two weeks.

Baltich said he decided to open the new store after the managers of Carriagetown Marketplace approached him and said they had space and the city had an unused liquor license available if he was interested.

“I thought about it,” he said. “And I thought, it’s only eight minutes away, and there will be very little cannibalization of my customer base.”

Most Amesbury residents are familiar with Leary’s, which has been in business in Newburyport since 1897. The store bills itself as the oldest purveyor of wine and spirits in the state, and it even remained open during Prohibition, when it sold soda pop and carbonated beverages in lieu of beer and wine.

The store’s longevity, history and name recognition throughout the region prompted Baltich to keep the Leary’s name when he decided to open the second store.

“The brand has value in the Greater Newburyport area,” Baltich said.

Customers who frequent the Newburyport store will find the Amesbury location to be familiar in terms of product mix, service and pricing. The Amesbury store will offer wine and beer tastings on Friday and Saturday like the Newburyport store does, and as time goes on, Baltich said the store’s product mix could be modified to better serve the specific needs of Amesbury residents.

By opening a second store, Leary’s will be able to take advantage of greater economies of scale, which means lower prices at both the Newburyport and the Amesbury store going forward, Baltich said.

“The way it works is the more you buy, the lower the price is,” Baltich said. “So I’ll be able to pass on a lower price to the consumer.”

Baltich has been the owner of Leary’s for nine years, and he said this is the first time Leary’s has opened a new store while under his ownership. He said Leary’s previously opened a second store in Natick, but that store no longer bears the Leary’s name.

With the new store, Baltich said his goal is to grow the business and expand Leary’s tradition of service and its wide-ranging mix of products to the Amesbury market.

“I’m looking forward to providing the same service, selection and competitive pricing in Amesbury as we do here in Newburyport,” Baltich said.