Unsung Hero #78

The other day, a woman came into Ryan Meserole’s store.

He owns Quentin Row — formerly Suited.co, a men’s custom clothing shop on Railroad Place — so she wasn’t looking to buy.

In fact, she was crying.

Through her tears, she told Ryan that Sarah Kennedy had been her best friend.

Sarah Kennedy

Sarah was the owner of Cellar Workshop — a much-loved custom jewelry store that previously occupied the space opposite the train station.

The woman was upset that Ryan had changed the interior. It was all she had left to remember Sarah by.

Ryan chatted with her for an hour. As she got ready to leave, he said he had something that might cheer her up.

In the back of the building — where store owners and staff park — a sign said “Reserved for Sarah Kennedy.” Ryan got a screwdriver, took down the sign, and gave it to the woman.

Her tears turned from grief to joy.

Ryan says, “I realized then that I didn’t just lease any old space for a suit shop, in any old town. Westport is filled with legacies. Even though the signs on many buildings have changed, it’s up to local shopkeepers to share the stories of the past. I feel privileged to know and pass on the history of Railroad Place, and of Sara.”

So this week’s Unsung Hero is Ryan Meserole, and the many other local businesspeople like him — men and women who understand that being local storeowners means a lot more than just selling suits and jewelry.

It means you take something from this town. And then you give it back.

Ryan Meserole, with an apt saying on the wall of his store.

10 responses to “Unsung Hero #78

  1. IT’S STORYS LIKE THIS THAT INSPIRE US ALL TO BE KIND

  2. Bonnie Scott Connolly

    I don’t know any of these people personally but this story makes me cry. Good tears. Thank you to such kind and thoughtful people.

  3. Dan, Sarah had many best friends, she was a loving, kind and gorgeous person. Many of us just went to her shop to sit and talk with her because she was so much fun to be with. I don’t think anybody knows her back story, but if someone reads this and would fill you in a little about who she was, where she came from , about her knowledge of jewels, about her generosity, a column should be devoted to her. I know she had children, I don’t know where they are, or if they know the special place Sarah had in her heart for all of us who thought we were best friends. And her beloved tech , Eduardo was also part of that scene. She is SORELYmissed.

  4. Sarah was a very special person. Her daughter is my wife’s best friend and for 27 years my parents rented this space as a photographic studio. My dad always felt that each business should have a “ships log” or journal with information and history about past businesses. Railroad Place will always be a very special place in my heart, as well as Sarah.

  5. Bill Boyd... Staples 66

    Dan…I don’t know how you find all these great stories but WELL DONE AGAIN!!

  6. Let us not forget what a sensitive and caring person is Ryan, in all of this.
    How many folks do we each know who would have thought to, or cared enough to, alleviate a stranger’s grief as he did?

  7. To Ann and the many others who have commented to kindly on our mothers life and passing. Yes for those of you who knew our mother well and were not certain about her family…Sarah has two daughters, myself Sherry Schultz (Minneapolis, MN) and my sister Michele Mottola (Marblehead, MA). We grew up in Westport and as life often does it took us to other parts of the country. Our mother resided in both Arizona and Florida after shutting the store and my sister and I were with her in Florida the months up to her passing in May. While our mother was known to all of you as a creative and kind person sitting behind her desk at 3 locations in Westport (the Railroad location bring the last)…Church Lane being the longest storefront of the 3 she had…he life did span beyond the storefront and Westport friendships. Our mother leaves behind 2 daughters, two son-in-laws and 3 grandchildren of whom you may not know but are equally as driven and passionate about their lives, communities and contribution. My sister and I grew up in Westport and share your fond memories and in the legacy of being part of the many family run businesses in Westport from downtown to the Post Road and beyond. So to all the “best friends” our mother may have had ..yes there is more behind the woman but an equal respect and understand for the impact she had on many.

  8. This is such a touching story ! Thank you Dan for bringing it to our attention. Ryan is an angel for his kindness to a total stranger . That’s how you define real character….catching someone being completely selfless and expecting nothing in return. Ryan ‘s store is quite beautiful too and he does a super job. Sarah Kennedy was much loved by our community and we will never forget her. What a beautiful holiday story.

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