Christie’s Porch

For nearly a century, the front porch of Christie’s Country Store helped anchor its Cross Highway neighborhood.

Christie Masiello and her nephew Don ran the farm stand/market — which opened in 1926 — for almost 7 decades. Several owners followed, serving residents, kids, contractors, and everyone in between.

Since January though — when Chef’s Table closed — the porch has been quiet.

Life returns this spring.

“The Porch at Christie’s” is the name new owners Bill and Andrea Pecoriello have chosen for the venerable space. It’s a nod to the storied past, and a welcome addition to the area.

But the couple will serve much more than breakfast, lunch, pastries, soups, salads and prepared meals. By hiring people with developmental and intellectual disabilities, they’ll provide job training, income, social interaction, life skills coaching, and opportunities for personal growth to that often underserved population.

Andrea and Bill Pecoriello.

This is not the Pecoriellos’ first such venture. Last year — inspired by their own 3 children’s volunteer efforts with a boy with disabilities — they founded Sweet P.

Seven students and 2 chefs operated the non-profit bakery out of a Norwalk commercial kitchen until March, when COVID struck.

The chefs stayed through June, making granola for frontline workers and food pantries. In-person, socially distanced baking classes are set to resume this month, along with another class they run sponsored by STAR Lighting the Way.

The Porch at Christie’s will go much further than the bakery (which will supply some of the goods sold there). Interacting with customers, employees can learn front-of-the-house skills.

The Pecoriellos also wanted to do something for Westport — the town they’ve lived in for nearly 26 years. They envision The Porch as a community gathering spot. “We want to be very inclusive,” they say, bringing together the neighborhood and employees.

They’ll do it with breakfast burritos, muffins and granola (and a more “brunch-y” menu on weekends); coffee, tea and smoothies; lunches; prepared meals to go; salads, paninis and flatbreads.

They’ll sell crackers and jams for picnics, gift baskets — and milk, eggs and cheese, products neighbors have long clamored for. Catering will be available too.

The couple is also excited to bring back the former Frosty Bear ice cream hut. They’re scouting out top local dairy farms to supply it, and will run a contest to pick its name.

The Frosty Bear ice cream stand will reopen, with a new name.

The Pecoriellos are searching too for the best Connecticut coffee roasters.

The Porch at Christie’s will be open 7 days a week, starting at 7 a.m. It will be “very COVID-friendly,” the Pecoriellos says, with curbside pick-up and takeout.

They hope to have a permit for lawn seating. Of course, they’ll have tables on the porch (alongside a new ADA-compliant ramp).

The interior will be refurbished with a “modern farmhouse” look. The target date for opening is March.

“We have a great relationship with our landlord, Tim Purcell,” says Bill Pecoriello. “He knows how important this is for the neighborhood.”

That “neighborhood” extends far beyond Cross Highway residents. It includes construction and lawn workers; parents and athletes at Wakeman Field, and students and teachers at Bedford Middle and Staples High School.

The new owners also hope for a partnership with Wakeman Town Farm, a few hundred yards away.

Next spring, the porch at The Porch at Christie’s will again be open.

Bill and Andrea Pecoriello seem to have thought of everything. They’re even buying a generator, to serve the neighborhood during power outages.

“We’ll have ice and everything else. Including WiFi,” they say.

So when the next blizzard passes, or another storm blows away, you can eat, drink and do your work at — and on — The Porch at Christie’s.

(The Pecoriellos want to hear suggestions and ideas. Email info@theporchatchristies.com.)

24 responses to “Christie’s Porch

  1. This is wonderful !!! Thank-you Andrea and Bill

  2. Wishing them the best! I don’t live that near but will make every effort to stop and support them.

  3. Andrea and Bill are two of the finest people in our community.

  4. This sounds like a wonderful reinvention of Christie’s on so many levels – thank you Andrea and Bill. ‘Looking forward to its opening!

  5. This is great news! Keep us posted Dan (as always!)

  6. Thank you Andrea, Bill & Tim. Having Christie’s Pirch open will be a wonderful place for all of us to enjoy!

  7. So excite for the new store owners!!

  8. Best news!!! So excited!!!

  9. Fantastic news ! Can’t wait.

  10. Great news, and I wish them success – Christie’s is an important part of our hometown and an important piece of that neighborhood – may Christie, Mary and Don Massiello’s legacy live on.

  11. This news just made my day! My husband and I moved to Westport from San Diego 6 years ago. My intro to Westport was a very serious case of Lyme Diease! Finally, after 5 years we are starting to discover the beautiful little town we moved to. We are looking forward to supporting this business as well as ALL our wonderful hard working businesses. See you soon for breakfast 😋

  12. I can’t wait to have breakfast there! We’ve missed it ever since the Hoopers had to give it up. Best of luck to the new owners, it’s a great new plan!

  13. Fantastic news! i love it that they’re preserving the Christie’s name and the ambiance of the place, including the Frosty Bear. Eagerly awaiting the Spring opening.

  14. This is such an awesome plan! The Pecoriellos are change makers in the greatest sense, changing our community for the better. We’re excited to visit and support this venture!

  15. Can’t wait. Wishing them all good luck!

    • Andrea and Bill are truly the nicest people in Westport. It’s no surprise that they are bringing the community together once again with their endeavor. I expect lots of support for them. The Pecoriello’s are bright and kind and extremely giving. This will be a great addition to our town. Looking forward to it!

  16. Bravo, I’ve watched this fabulous location blossom & withier for the last 18 years. The neighbourhood residents would really like to see someone stay.
    Would love to discuss how to help and have some ideas. Lets chat…soon!
    We live down the street and walk past every day.

  17. Good luck to you! You have a unique location. I do want to ask something. A year or so ago, Dan did a piece on Christie’s and a woman asked me if anyone with my last name owned the property her house was on. It was across the street and down a bit towards the direction of North Ave. My uncle owned a farm and I remember being there around 1952. I think he might have bought the property in the early 1940s. I was told he paid $1,000 dollars an acre. If that woman reads this, please contact me. Dan could give you my e-mail address. I have a picture of his farmhouse.

  18. Ray & Dianna Broadt

    Looking for a great ice cream product. You can’t do better than Langfords. I’ce cream lovers from Westport and surrounding towns will attest to that!
    Best of Luck to this new venture. It should be great and as close by locals I know we’ll be there!9

  19. Top ice cream in the area is from Ferris Creamery and farm in Newtown CT.
    Don’t miss the chance to explore an opportunity to connect with the Ferris Family.

  20. Great! What a wonderful idea.
    We will look forward to it.

  21. Jennifer Lindstrom

    Hopefully the Chez Pierre salad dressing will come back as well. I never made it there for it since we moved to Westport and am kicking myself for it. It was an absolute favorite when I was growing up and we used to come up to Westport for dinner. I second Langfords and Ferris, but will add Arenthusa (and Graeters not local but really good). Some nice options like Amples Hill coming out of Brooklyn as well for all our recent transplants. Now we just need to figure out the bagels. It is so great to see new businesses like this and The Remarkable Theater sprouting up. Nice sign that Westport hasn’t completely lost it’s progressive nature. I know the Staple’s community will be very happy.

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