Quincy pair open new cafe in historic building

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Charlene Sherman prepares to bake a fresh batch of homemade pastries at the new Sage an Artisan Shoppe cafe on Murphy's Corner in Quincy.

QUINCY - When long-time friends Carrie Weber and Charlene Sherman decided to go into business together, they knew they wanted to do something a little more non-traditional.

Instead of opening a business in a regular commercial building, the pair purchased an old structure on Murphy's Corner on state Route 283 - a building with a long history in the Quincy and George area.

They opened their cafe, Sage an Artisan Shoppe, in the old building earlier this year.

The building was originally built as a garage and bus depot, and has housed everything from a grocery store to a restaurant over the years.

"It's Murphy's corner, everyone knows this place and has memories of this place," said Weber.

When Weber and Sherman turned the historic building into Sage an Artisan Shoppe, they kept most of the interior the same.

The old vehicle lift is still a part of the flooring, and the original garage doors are still intact, said Weber.

"I've always liked this building, and I live down the road and drive by every day," said Weber, who operates a soap and candle shop out of her home. "I always thought it would be so cool to sell my soaps and other items here."

Weber knew that in order to be successful however, she would have to sell more than just soaps and candles. So she began talking to Sherman about different business ventures the pair could get into.

"We got around to thinking and throwing ideas around, and Charlene said that she had always wanted to get into baking," said Weber.

The pair came up with the idea for Sage about a year ago. They purchased the building on Murphy's Corner, and spent about seven months renovating the space.

Weber and Sherman installed new lighting, partial flooring and brought in commercial kitchen fixtures.

"I remember last winter, it was freezing and we had portable space heaters on while we painted in here," said Weber. "We were thinking to ourselves, what have we gotten into."

But their hard work paid off, said Weber, once their shop finally opened this July.

"It was a big adventure, but it all came together," she said.

The coffee shop specializes in homemade baked goods, soups, deli-style wraps and bagel sandwiches. Sherman said the cafe's Grandpa Bill Bars are already becoming a customer favorite. The oatmeal cookie with fudge was named after Weber's grandfather, she said.

Other popular gourmet items include Sherman's butterscotch crispy treats and maple bacon cupcakes.

Sage also sell crafts, artwork and candles made by local crafts makers.

Weber said the two friends wanted to provide an outlet for local people to sell their crafts and other homemade goods.

"We want to help others, not just ourselves," said Weber. "We were looking for a way to help people turn their hobbies into a business, just like we did."

Weber said Sage also offers space for community groups to hold meetings and provides free wireless Internet access for customers.

Weber said the pair is looking at hosting their own mini farmer's market next season, in order to provide local growers with another platform to sell their produce.

They are also looking forward to hosting art classes at the cafe in the future.

"We want this to be a neat place to sell local items, besides just being a place with good coffee and food," said Weber.

Sage an Artisan Shoppe is located at 1099 state Route 283.

They are open from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays.

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