MARYLOU'S NEWS - The Beginning

On December 1, 1986, a young woman named Marylou opened her first store in Hanover, MA. Prior to opening this store, Marylou held a professional position with a large corporation for a period of 18 years. Marylou, looking for a more fulfilling job, wanted to try her hand at operating her own business, ideally an early morning coffee shop.

Marylou wanted her business to have a friendly atmosphere with upbeat personnel and super-tasting coffee to perk up great conversation and to make it a fun place to visit and work.

After accomplishing these goals in her first store, and eager to take on more challenges, she opened her second store in Braintree four months later and proceeded to duplicate her winning philosophy.

Due to a lot of hard work, a perfect coffee product, pride, and a staff which has literally become famous and talked about throughout the entire South Shore, Marylou's has grown into a sizable chain of stores in Massachusetts and Rhode Island and is still growing.

Country Store Owner builds unusual chain.
as seen in
The Patriot Ledger

Marylou Sandry loves old country stores.

That's the big reason she bought Erickson's News on Washington Street in Abington Center. The store, which has had several owners, had been Erickson's as long as merchants in the area could remember. But now it's Marylou's Coffee.

Marylou's was Sandry's seventh store in a chain of small, old-fashioned mom-and-pop stores where you can buy lottery tickets, snacks and newspapers and join in conversation on almost any topic.

Sandry purchased her first store in 1986, at Hanover Four Corners. "The building sold me," she said. "At that time I couldn't even operate a cash register."

Marylou's is hiring

One of the stores' trademarks is gourmet coffee. "We thought it would appeal to women," Sandry said. "But the same percent of the gourmet coffee drinkers are men."

One of the first things she did when she took over Erickson's was to put in a coffee bar with stools in the front window and middle of the floor. The store has a tin ceiling and had the last soda fountain in town. Customers can have their newspapers "saved" for them because of the close interaction with the employees.

Sandry has also put in an assortment of snacks, serves fresh doughnuts, bagels, and other great bakery products.

The interior is painted two-tone pink, because it's a happy color.

Most of the customers in all her stores are regulars. "Most of the people come in day after day," she said. "We know when someone is new."

Sandry said her stores also "specialize in happy faces or a smile and a wink."

Why go to the big chain when you can get more personalized service at Marylou's and a lot more to choose from!