Doughboys Variety in Paris closing, new owner sought to reopen business

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PARIS — A life-changing event – the death of his father – is forcing David Haskell Jr. to close Doughboys Variety. But hopefully the store will reopen, as Haskell has someone interested in taking over the business that serves the residents of Paris and beyond.

The business – which was known as the Handy Store for years – is at 44 E. Main St. and operates as a convenient store stocked with craft beers and as a deli and kitchen. Haskell will close Dougboys on Sunday, July 23.

“It was a very difficult decision. It took me two weeks to decide what was going to happen,” he said. “It’s bitter sweet, obviously. I enjoy the store. I like the people, both employees and customers, but sometimes you have to make the hard decision and family comes first.”

The store was closed from the end of June to early July, as Haskell traveled to Georgia with his son, Oliver, 2, to surprise his father.

“I closed for a week to go down and see him, but I didn’t make it down to see him. He had passed away while I was in the air,” Haskell said about his father, David Haskell Sr.

“On June 30, 2017 the world lost a father, grandfather, brother, Vietnam veteran and overall great man,” Haskell wrote on his GoFundMe page, www.gofundme.com/david-haskell, to help pay for his father’s burial expenses. “After battling bladder cancer, pancreatic cancer and diabetes, his body would give in and he would pass due to a heart attack at the young age of 68.”

Haskell’s plan is to move to Georgia with Oliver and his wife, Annmarie.

“His last wish in his will was to have his ashes buried on his land and I have to be there to take over his property,” he said about his father. “In order to fulfill that I can not really bury it there and then sell the property. I am taking it as my notice as a time for change in life.”

Haskell hopes a deal will be struck this week with the person interested in taking over his business. He did not disclose the interested buyer.

“Hopefully the store will only be closed down for a few weeks,” Haskell said. He added it takes a couple of weeks to get all the licenses in order from the state, calling it “all the fun stuff I had to do” when he purchased the store with former co-owner Mike Smith in October 2014.

Smith left the business and moved to California in October 2016. Doughboys currently employs six people.

“It would not be fair to my employees or customers to continually close weeks at a time to take care of these things,” Haskell wrote on the Doughboys’ Facebook page about dealing with his father’s estate.

He planned on making his last week at the business as best as possible and had a message to all of his loyal customers.

“I appreciate their patronage and I hope that they continue on supporting the store when the next person takes over,” Haskell said.

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