PITA NewsLetter

Sponsored by the Plum Island Taxpayers & Associates, Inc. 2017

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Michael D. Paige
                Post Office Box 893
                        Newburyport, MA 01950
                        Telephone: (508)-405-0673
                        Facsimile: (978)358-8459
                        Email: mpaige@paigelawoffice.com

Year-Round Plum Island Resident
                     Free Initial Consultationsmailto:mpaige@paigelawoffice.commailto:mpaige@paigelawoffice.com?subject=Saw%20your%20ad%20in%20the%20PITA%20Newslettershapeimage_4_link_0

Plum Island Beautification

Plum Island Beautification meetings, the 1st Tuesday of the month

All are welcome to PI Beautification meetings, the 1st Tuesday of the month at PITA hall at 7:00.

Any questions or ideas please email Lynne Petty at lynnepisland@gmail.com

“Our first main road from Town Way to northerly tip of Plum Island, September 19, 1920.  “

From the new book, Plum Island and Salisbury Memories, published by the Daily News, 2016, Alan White Editor.

Call PITA or email Frank at Fpierce1@comcast.net for the book.

As a retired boomer, I had expected to meet a 50-something man with khakis, a polo shirt, and polished loafers when waiting to interview an owner of The Cottage and a developer of the former Angie’s Service Station. But I was surprised and happy to meet a young entrepreneur who is the 21st century version of the old khaki version. Jeff Christensen is a tall, slender, 33-year-old Plum Island resident with hair flowing over his shoulders, expertly rendered tattoos along both arms, black-framed glasses, sneakers, T-shirt and blue jeans — and a remarkably easy way about him.

Jeff is a member of what he calls “the big three” (all of whom have lived on Harvard Way, Plum Island since the early 60’s): Jeff, his sister Marion, and her husband Vince (who live on the island seasonally, calling Florida home). About two years ago, they bought The Cottage (which includes the Island Market, Surf Shop, Plum Island Properties, and Ice Cream Shop). And last year, they purchased the former Angie’s Service Station, as well as a cluster of ten seasonal cottages around Angie’s.

Jeff graduated from Northeastern with a degree in Criminal Justice with an aspiration to work in private security. Instead, he began his career in retail sales as operations manager for Giorgio Armani’ s five Greater Boston stores, including Newbury Street, for 10 years.  But then he jumped at the chance to a more relaxed work and lifestyle on his beloved Plum Island. He was quickly joined by his life-long friend Eric Philcrantz, Assistant Manager, the gregarious associate you’ll likely find behind the counter when patronizing the package/grocery store.  Also on the team are island residents Charlie Slocomb, Rick Christensen (Jeff and Marion's father), Jeff Philcrantz (Eric's father), and Bob Colfer.

The Cottage

The Christensen family bought the former Mr. Moe’s, a small package store, owned for years by the Mahoney family. Jeff and Eric lived in the apartment on the back of the store for about one year. In stages, the Christensen’s have expanded Mr. Moe’s into five businesses: a “surf shop,” a package store, a small grocery shop, an ice cream shop, and a full service real estate brokerage to serve Plum Island.

This Spring, the team is debuting Plum Island Properties, with an office entrance between the Ice Cream and Market.  This full service real estate brokerage will be dedicated to assisting real estate buyers and sellers on Plum Island.  Keep an eye on its 6-seater golf cart whizzing people around the island.  Plum Island Properties will also assist island residents in finding annual or winter rentals for their homes and plans on moving into managing short term vacation rentals as well.

Open one year this May, the Surf Shop carries a wide range of custom casual summer wear merchandise: hats, t-shirts, sweat shirts, jackets, swimwear, sandals, shorts, sweat pants, towels, sunglasses, jewelry (including necklaces with PI’s coordinates) and toys. The Surf Shop also rents paddle boards, kayaks, surf boards, and boogie boards, with delivery available anywhere on the island.  This summer the Surf Shop, headed by Eric, will be offering Surf/Sup camps for kids and teens as well as SUP/Kayak tours, such as a sunset and full moon tour.  Information available at www.cottagesurfshop.com.

Much of the merchandise in the Surf Shop is labeled with “Plum Island.” “Marion and I designed about two-thirds of graphics on our clothing apparel.”  The Cottage’s logo, which can be found on some of the apparel, is a “woody station wagon” derived from Marion’s 1988 Jeep Grand Wagoneer (routinely displayed in front of the store).  Although not completely visible from Plum Island Boulevard, the Surf Shop will become more noticeable in the future as the package store is being renovated so that it will open up more directly into the clothing store.

A few aisles of the package store and a wall of freezers make up the convenience store. It features a wide range of groceries and supplies, including canned goods, ice cream, TV dinners, and cold drinks.  The grocery also features fresh cheeses, salamis, dips and, during the summer season, fresh meats for grilling as well as prepared sandwiches.

The package store’s size, which takes up most of The Cottage’s space, is unexpectedly large, if you’ve never been in The Cottage before. The store’s main focus is wine and, as Jeff points out, “We choose our wines using industry ratings, including Robert Parker, our own research, and from samples we’re given from sales reps.” But, as a beer drinker, I was really impressed with their local craft beers: Newburyport, Riverwalk, Bent Water (Lynn), Lord Hobo (Woburn), Ipswich Ale, Devil’s Purse (South Dennis). “But, I have to tell you,” Jeff emphasizes,” the best beer brewed anywhere right now is Night Shift from Everett. And I highly recommend their single hop series IPAs.” The Cottage sells a lot of bourbon, which has become very popular in last 5-8 years. And here Jeff recommends Jefferson’s Ocean as the best, with Woodford Reserve and Buffalo Trace also very good. Also available are Japanese whiskeys, which are very popular at the moment.  To round out the package store, they have two humidors with various high-quality cigars, with Romeo and Juliet a customer favorite.

The Ice Cream Shop consists of double walk-up service windows and picnic tables outside and is open from May through September. They serve Richardson’s ice cream, frappes, sherbet, and cold brewed ice coffee. A locals’ favorite is the PI Sandy, an ice cream sandwich made with either donuts, chocolate chip cookies, or oatmeal cookies.

Angie’s Redevelopment

Last year, Jeff’s family bought Angie’s and 10 adjacent summer/ seasonal residences. They will live in one house and rent the others — most as seasonal rentals.  In addition, they are in the planning process that will raze Angie’s to another use, including potentially a restaurant.  Once a design has been finalized, they plan on hosting an open meeting for all PI residents to offer advice and to hear about the plans.

The Christensen family brings a whole new flair to Plum Island. They certainly have demonstrated their commitment to Plum Island with an imaginative expansion of the multi-use “Cottage” and with some interesting possibilities for redeveloping Angie’s — a

redevelopment that will be expanded upon in future PITA newsletters as their plans become more concrete.

The Cottage