Three years ago, David Griswold moved to Westport.
For months he commuted to Old Saybrook. That was the closest Mystic Market location to here. It was where he learned to manage the Westport store.
It opened in 2019, in the old Blu Parrot/Jasmine/Arrow space. It took a while, but the market — with eat-in and takeout foods, baked goods, coffee and more — has become a vital part of the Saugatuck scene.
Mystic Market serves the community in a variety of ways. And one of the main reasons for its visibility and vibe is Griswold.
The manager has a fascinating back story. He 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 conservatorship with the American Ballet Theatre. He danced with Alice Cooper, and at Madison Square Garden for the New York Liberty.
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.