HURLOCK — A brand new business had its grand opening on Main Street in Hurlock on March 4. C&J Market and Deli, owned by local real estate developer and entrepreneur James Chaney and his partner Charlene Hurley opened on S. Main Strfeet a month ago and, according to them “business is booming.”
The grand opening was spirited, crowded, and chock-full of food. After the ribbon cutting guests trooped back inside to sample homemade goodies and participate in a wine tasting from two local vineyards – Layton’s Chance and St. Michaels wineries.
Mr. Chaney said, “The council and the mayor, and everybody in town were excellent to deal with. The citizens have been wonderful.
They’ve opened their arms to us and come in; they’re friendly, and we really appreciate serving them.” Mayor Joyce Spratt has anticipated the opening for several weeks. She said, “I’m really, really excited about this. The food is wonderful and we’re so happy to have them here and open.”
Getting to the end of the planning road and beginning the food service road was not easy. Mr. Chaney admits, “There were days we didn’t know if we would get through it we were so busy. But I care about what I do. We give it our all. I mean, why go halfway when it’s just as easy to do it the right way as the wrong way.”
The store is open from 6 am-9 pm daily but the owners arrive at 5:30 a.m. to begin preparation and they do not leave until around 10 pm. Eleven employees work in shifts to cover the long days.
What motivated a real estate investor and a retired banking professional to open a food service business? For the investor, it was part of what drives him. He says, “I knew about the property and I thought something needs to be done with that. I always have a vision about what could be done with these properties and I’ve done a lot of stuff in Cambridge.”
Ms. Wheatley was in banking for 40 years; she was tired of it and wanted something different. “We talked about it,” explained Mr. Chaney, “and we said, ‘well, let’s give it a try.’ And, we’re glad we did. Charlene’s always been a good cook. That’s why I look the way I do sometimes! Of course I’ve lost a lot of weight from the hours we’ve put in here. We’re trying to provide fresh products, hand patted burgers, homemade food, and local vendors. We’re glad we’ve taken the route that we’ve taken. No regrets!”