Thursday, June 14, 2018

French & Brawn Marketplace celebrates 150 years!

Camden, Maine - French & Brawn Marketplace, with roots dating back to 1868, will be kicking off its sesquicentennial, or one-hundred-fiftieth, year with a celebration in downtown Camden this Friday, June 16, and Saturday, June 17, during the store’s regular operating hours of 6 am to 8 pm.

Customers will be treated to French & Brawn food samples, raffles and giveaways, as well as a free cup of coffee on Friday and Saturday. Many of the store’s vendors, both local and regional, will also be on hand to share samples of their wares with those who stop by.

Owners Todd and Sarah Anderson would like to thank the vendors, local businesses, customers and friends for the outpouring of support that has made this anniversary celebration possible. The Andersons say that this weekend event is the start of a year-long celebration for their downtown Camden institution, so stay tuned!

French & Brawn is open 364 days a year, only closed on Christmas Day. In addition to groceries, French & Brawn proudly offers fresh brewed coffee, deli, bakery and meat counters, grab-and-go meals, sandwiches made to order, fruit, dessert and deli platters, lobsters live or steamed to order, and custom delivery services. Gift certificates are also available for purchase.

For more information, please call the store at 207-236-3361 or visit them online at You can also find them on Facebook.

A History of French & Brawn Marketplace

In the beginning, 1868 to be exact, French & Brawn Marketplace was known as Cleveland and Simonton. Then in 1869, the name was changed to Carleton, Norwood & Company. Then later in 1915, a long-standing name was decided upon - Carleton, Pascal & Co. The founder of Carleton, Pascal & Co., Philander J. Carleton, left the store to the care of his son, Captain Frank Carleton, after his death. With the help of his brothers, the store began furnishing fuel and supplies for lime kilns at the location of what is now the Camden Yacht Club. But time passed, and the kilns went out of business, which shifted the focus of Carleton, Pascal & Co. to general trade.

Alton French began working at the store in 1899 and purchased interest in 1916 after the death of William Pascal. The name then changed to Carleton, French and Company in 1927. At the beginning of this new era of our business, Carleton, French and Company would make their rounds on a horse and buggy taking orders from housewives of the supplies they needed on a weekly basis. The goods were then delivered to the homes on that same night. If someone needed medicine? Employees would visit the drug store for customers, and if a customer was elderly, disabled, or bedridden, stops would be made at the post office and/or bank to help them complete their errands. Even in the 1920’s, our customer service was stellar.

An educator by the name of William Brawn moved to Camden in 1953 and entered a partnership with Mr. Alton French, two weeks after the birth of Brawn’s third son, and the future owner of our company, Jeff Brawn. Just under a decade later in 1963, the name then changed once more to the familiar and beloved French & Brawn. Mr. French passed away in 1970, leaving Mr. Brawn the presidency of the company. He continued the longstanding tradition of fantastic customer service to any and all visitors and inhabitants of the town. From locals to summer tourists. As always, the store remained open six days a week, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Jeff Brawn and his wife Robin became managing owners of French & Brawn in 1977.

Jeff Brawn went into partnership with Todd Anderson on New Year's Day in 1995. Within a year, Jeff announced that Todd was now the new owner, as he is to this day. Jeff went in to work at Camden Hills Regional High School on the Zenith Program.

In 1998 a large renovation was undertaken that added one-third times more retail space and brought in four new 12-foot refrigerated display cases to enhance the Deli, Seafood, Meat and Produce offerings.

In 2004, Todd Anderson and Sarah Beaudoin married, doubling the ownership.

Today Todd and Sarah Anderson continue the long-standing tradition of excellent food, competitive prices and top-rate customer service, serving the community of Camden and ensuring the preservation of a piece of coastal Maine history.

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