Island Variety, the popular year-round variety store off Old South Road, is up for sale after more than 23 years in business.
Owner Allan Bell said there were several factors in his decision to put the store on the market, including the fact that his daughter and longtime store manager Toni Struncis and her husband are planning to move off-island.
“Toni and Bill want to sell and leave, and she’s run Island Variety for over 20 years,” Bell said. “She’s put her heart and soul into it for so long. She just needs a break. And I don’t want to hire a manager. I’m 70 now so I’m done.”
Struncis confirmed that she and her husband have put their house on the market.
“I have run the business for my family for 23 years and it is time for a change of scenery and lifestyle,” Struncis said. “With me stepping away, my dad has decided to sell the business. The hope is someone will come in and continue what we have started.”
Bell said he had already received seven inquiries about the business over the weekend. The asking price is starting at $450,000, he added, and the inventory alone is likely valued at more than $300,000.
The locally-owned and operated year-round variety store full of cards, toys, gifts and other items, has been an island favorite almost since the day it opened back in January 2000.
After operating out of its original location at 5 Freedom Square for 18 years, Island Variety moved to 59 Old South Road in 2018. The new location, owned by Richmond Great Point developer Phil Pastan, allowed Island Variety to double its square-footage to 5,000 square feet of retail space and carry a larger inventory of products.
"It definitely has a niche, and I think that area is going to get bigger," Bell said of the ongoing development of Richmond Great Point's 225-apartment, 94-house subdivision off Old South Road. Bell said Island Variety had its best year ever during the pandemic in 2020 even though COVID-19 kept the store closed for six weeks.
While Bell still owns and operates Nantucket Pharmacy at 45 Main Street, he has been starting to wind down his other business ventures. In 2021, he transitioned Island Pharmacy on Pleasant Street by forging a partnership with Nantucket Cottage Hospital, which assumed the operation of the pharmacy and relocated it to Vesper Lane under the name Cottage Pharmacy. The Pleasant Street location now operates as ACKcetera, a natural health and convenience store.