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 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.