Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


April 12, 2007

New downtown shop offers gourmet greatness

For fans of high-end food and gifts, Mawby's has a lot to offer. Just ask owner Chris Perry.

"It's so difficult to describe, short of a book, what's in here," said Perry from within his downtown "Gourmet Luxury Lifestyle" shop on Barnard Street, which opened March 19. "People would ask me, 'What's Mawby's going to be?' I used to dread the question. There are so many unusual products. There's so much going on in the store, it's difficult to distill it into a short answer."

For starters, Mawby's boasts gourmet food that customers can order for carry-out eating. A duck breast sandwich and buffalo meat burger highlight the unique menu offerings.

"We're a restaurant with no seating," said Perry. "We're selling people gourmet food that they can take home with them."

Then there's the imported cheeses, chocolates and desserts, and hard-to-find gift items | like antique Victorian-era flasks made of sterling silver and crocodile-skin from London, leather luggage and folding chairs from Africa and hand-made purses and cutlery. And starting next week, Mawby's will have an assortment of fine wines in stock, too.

"I could just have easily called this store, 'These Are a Few of My Favorite Things,' " said Perry, a Chelmsford attorney. "I chose every item, I sampled every item."

"This was one of those dream projects," he said. "I had this in my mind probably for 15 years."

The name of Perry's shop comes from his grandmother's maiden name. As a child growing up in Andover, Perry and his family would frequent Butler's Pantry, located for 27 years at the same site as Mawby's, before the Blue Cow sandwich shop came in 1997, according to Perry.

"When Butler's left, it left a huge void in the town," he said. "Nothing in town was like it."

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