Vaping Sequel: Merritt Country Store Removes Signs

Yesterday’s post about vaping drew more than 60 comments.

To recap: An “06880” reader wrote about her frustration that the Merritt Country Store’s front windows were plastered with ads for vaping products. She suggested a boycott of the convenience store, next to Coffee An’.

Juul ads at the Merritt Country Store.

Many people responded with outrage about vaping. Some were upset about the boycott call, saying it was one more example of how hard it is to do business here.

Bart Shuldman defended the store. He suggested that instead of demanding a boycott, the original writer should have gone in and told the owners of her concerns.

Dan Katz wondered why Bart didn’t do that himself.

So he did.

Here’s Bart’s report:

I stopped by the store today. The signs were already removed. When I spoke to my friend at the shop, he said:

“We are here to serve the community. We want people to like us. We were so upset when we heard it. We are a mom and pop trying to make it despite the high rent. Just talk to us.”

Action was indeed swift. Here’s the store today:

(Photo/Bart Shuldman)

Now, if you have a problem with lottery tickets: Hold your fire.

22 responses to “Vaping Sequel: Merritt Country Store Removes Signs

  1. Ann Chernow

    Dear Dan, why don’t people complain about the important things in town , One being the ridiculously poor roads around town? The road going north on Parker Harding Plaza is so rutted and could ruin an axle quickly

    • Jeff Arciola

      Oh Westport how you’ve changed. Blame everyone else. What a shame.

  2. Peter Hirst

    Sorry, Dan, just can’t help it. Replacing one addictive activity with another is not a substantial improvement. Seriously: gambling against stupid-high odds is just out of the frying pan and into the dumpster fire. At least lousy roads have a certain country feel to them.

    • Bart Shuldman

      Happy Mother’s Day to all a Westport moms. You are a great community.

      Peter-keep driving mom and pops out of Westport. Winning is losing.

      As for me-I bought a few tickets. Gotta be in it to win it. Hey you never know. And it should benefit education.

      Dan-06880 once again proves how valuable to the community. While the aggressive poster seemed a bit over the line, the outcome is a good one. Cheers to you.

      Bart Shuldman

      • Matt Bannon

        Great job Bart
        Voice of reason wins out
        Westport needs more people like you

  3. K.F Spearen

    Hello Dan .
    Late yesterday afternoon I personally gave one of the store employies a copy of yesterdays article ( 11 Pages ) , so he could inform the owner of the problem .. They are just a Mom & Pop owned Store , who I support when I can … I understand the Owner was Very Upset ,after reading yesterdays article …

  4. Chris Dwyer

    Well Done! Thank you for taking the initiative.

  5. Sharon Paulsen

    Lottery tickets are a gateway ticket to … lottery tickets! 🤪 yuk yuk

    But on a serious note, kudos to Bart. Done …. and done!

    Okay … next outrage (whether legit or silly), please step forward. Won’t take long, I surmise.

  6. It is good to see swift action. Well done! Thanks Bart.

    As for the lotto – somebody wants to try his luck, good for him! At least the end result here is not lung cancer.

  7. Dana McCreesh

    Kudos to the store. And once again, this column facilitated positive change in the community. Kudos to all! If only it was that easy to truly eliminate vaping ( not just signs).

    • Richard Fogel

      where can I buy Kudos? What Isle? Store.

      • Bart Shuldman

        Richard-Kudo’s are not bought. They are earned. They are a thank you or a way to say someone did something good. An acknowledgement.

        Try earning your first.

        Bart Shuldman

  8. whoever orchestrated and joined in on this boycott is just not nice, not playing fair, & their whole intentions seem to be more than to just make vaping less accessible to their teenagers. to not have 1st gone to the store owners, not nice. my worst ‘opponents’ before I go to media or elsewhere, I go to them directly and make sure I have ‘it’ right, give them a chance to correct or for me to understand why they have to do what they’re doing. Playing fair should be everyone’s, at least, 1st method. would love to know names of ‘westporters’ involved in the boycott, starting at the top.

  9. Joshua Stein

    What an interesting week. Local store owner whining about health department calling him out on being out of compliance and now people whining about a couple small half obstructed ads. What’s with all the whining? Why didn’t the store owner in the first case try contacting / escalating the health department on his own with his concerns before a post online? Why didn’t folks in this case talk to the store owner before posting online. Is it laziness? People have nothing better to do but to try to gang up on others? PS. Why no name with the original “opinion” piece? It’s odd that this website requires commentors to use their names but opinion pieces can be posted with no name…

    • Samouel Martin

      Yes I agree. The names of the writers should be required as they are out here slandering businesses through this blog!

  10. Bob Stalling

    An observation:
    I read once that stores with a lot of signs on the windows are potential targets for robbery etc., due to the fact that those on the outside, including police, can’t see what is going on inside.
    Perhaps keep one of the lottery signs up and remove the other, would think one is enough. Besides, more sunlight into the store can make it more inviting..

    • Kevin McCaul

      Interesting, although too much sunlight can be bothersome to employees.

    • Joshua Stein

      yup go drive by pequot wine and spirit where there was an armed robbery the other week…

  11. Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

    Having never bought a lottery ticket I’ve got to ask: Do they charge sales tax?

  12. Joan Nevin

    Thanks 06880 for posting this! I think we can all learn to help each other and talk to our kids about their health and their best choices. Thanks country store for honoring wishes of your community, it’s my hope that others follow suit!

  13. Tricia Freeman

    Am I the only one to wonder how the Mom and Pop store owners could be so “surprised”? It looks in the picture as though they had seven – yes, SEVEN – JUUL signs in the window! I would think that, after taping up maybe the fourth or even the fifth sign, they would have started to think a little more about what they were promoting so vigorously? I get people’s point about approaching the store owners first, but their innocence strikes me as overly naive at best, and I am happy with the end result so I am grateful to the mom who wrote the original post. In my opinion, JUUL deserves to go out of business for what they have done to our country’s children.

    • Bart Shuldman

      Tricia. So drive them out of Westport and we should get a national brand instead. You win.