Mystic Market Meets The Community

I love writing stories that welcome new businesses to Westport.

They’re often about the owners: their backgrounds, what got them here, the challenges they’ve faced — that sort of thing.

I don’t usually profile store managers.

But I also don’t usually find a manager with a back story like Dave Griswold’s.

The man who runs Mystic Market — Saugatuck’s new kitchen/eatery that’s earning raves in the old Blu Parrot/Jasmine/Arrow space — grew up in a military family. He went to 10 schools, before graduating from a fine arts academy.

Then he trained in ballet, and did a conservator with the American Ballet Theatre. He danced with Alice Cooper, and at Madison Square Garden for the New York Liberty.

David Griswold: ballet dancer …

After that, came … the US Army.

Griswold was a diesel mechanic in Afghanistan and Kuwait. He was also in charge of morale-building, getting soldiers out of their barracks to mix and mingle. During the service he finished his degree in business management.

… and service member.

All of those experiences — arts, problem solving, team building — serve him well as he helps develop Westport’s next favorite spot.

Griswold moved to Saugatuck last March, as Mystic Market prepared its new space. He commuted to their Old Saybrook store for months. Finally — with the local store open — he can enjoy his new home town.

One of the things he likes best is the “thriving arts culture.” He wants Mystic Market to be part of it too.

They’re donating to the Artists Collective of Westport‘s May 4 studio tour. He bought 5 tickets for his team to the April 27 “Gatsby Return” party at Longshore’s Pearl restaurant.

David Griswold (center) and his Mystic Market team.

Mystic Market’s leadership team will also be out in force on Earth Day, cleaning up the neighborhood.

“We all want to be part of the community,” Griswold says. “We want to be hands-on, giving back just as much as we want people to discover us, and be here for us.”

He also wants Mystic Market to be “the first great job for teenagers.” There’s nothing better, he says, than for students to learn the values of work, in an open, inviting space like his.

Griswold doesn’t know it, but his store’s ancestor — the Arrow restaurant — did exactly that, for generations of long-ago kids.

The iconic spot in the heart of Saugatuck pulses with new, 21st-century life. Westporters — old and young, natives and newcomers alike — should be thrilled.


5 responses to “Mystic Market Meets The Community

  1. Bruce Nemirow

    Mystic Market is a welcome addition to Westport. Its takeout options are fabulous- from an excellent assortment of main course dinner options to creative, delicious assorted cold options. In fact, we haven’t found anything to be lacking. The team is friendly and professional while the space is large and inviting

    Hope this market makes it —it deserves a long run

  2. Excellent new business. Any place that sells homemade bacon jam
    works for me.

  3. I’ve become a regular! Great addition to our community.

  4. Looking forward to checking it out.

  5. It was wonderful to read such a great story on this young man I watched as he grew up and always Knew that he would accomplish wonderful things. He was always strong willed , with a big heart and A Determination within himself that surprised me all the time.. Wherever he stepped, and put, his heart , soul and spirit in. Always turned out great. He has such a great character and it has taken him far. So proud to hear such wonderful things I love you son and congratulations on the wonderful work, you’re doing . Mom