Familiar Faces: Northampton gift store reopens in Hampshire Mall

  • Virginia Sinkoski of Belchertown browses around Faces on the store's first day in its new location in the Hampshire Mall in Hadley on Thursday, April 25, 2019. —STAFF PHOTO / KEVIN GUTTING

  • Amy Gallant, one of the owners of Faces, talks about re-opening the former Main Street Northampton store in the Hampshire Mall in Hadley on Thursday, April 25, 2019. —STAFF PHOTO / KEVIN GUTTING

  • Lynn Gray, general manager of the Hampshire Mall in Hadley, talks about the opening of Faces on Thursday, April 25, 2019. —STAFF PHOTO / KEVIN GUTTING

  • Danny McCarthy talks about re-opening Faces, formerly on Main Street in Northampton, in the Hampshire Mall in Hadley on Thursday, April 25, 2019. —STAFF PHOTO / KEVIN GUTTING

  • Customer Virginia Sinkoski of Belchertown completes a purchase with Danny McCarthy of Faces on the store's first day in its new location in the Hampshire Mall in Hadley on Thursday. STAFF PHOTO / KEVIN GUTTING

  • Eve Cadigan of South Hadley shops at Faces on the store's first day in its new location in the Hampshire Mall in Hadley on Thursday, April 25, 2019. —STAFF PHOTO / KEVIN GUTTING

  • Danny McCarthy and Amy Gallant keep it light as they talk about re-opening Faces, a retail store formerly on Main Street in Northampton which had its opening day in the Hampshire Mall in Hadley on Thursday, April 25, 2019. —STAFF PHOTO / KEVIN GUTTING

  • The Hampshire Mall in Hadley on Thursday, April 25, 2019. —STAFF PHOTO / KEVIN GUTTING

  • The Hampshire Mall in Hadley on Thursday, April 25, 2019. —STAFF PHOTO / KEVIN GUTTING

  • The Hampshire Mall in Hadley on Thursday, April 25, 2019. —STAFF PHOTO / KEVIN GUTTING

Staff Writer
Published: 4/25/2019 9:18:15 AM

HADLEY — Faces is officially back.

“Our dream was to keep it open,” said Amy Gallant, one of Faces’ four owners.

The iconic western Massachusetts gift shop, which suddenly closed its downtown Northampton location earlier this month, opened its doors for the first time in the Hampshire Mall a little before 2 p.m. on Thursday.

“It is a shopper’s paradise for having everything under the sun,” said Gallant, who also confirmed that the new Faces has the former location’s inventory.

Faces is currently owned by two couples: Gallant and her husband, Chris Pariseau, and Therese and Daniel McCarthy. Daniel McCarthy said that he will “at the very least” help with the transition.

“We’ll see what happens,” said McCarthy, when asked if he and his wife would be staying with the business beyond that.

Gallant said she was not involved with the management of the Northampton store. However, she is very familiar with the Hampshire Mall, having worked at Hannoush Jewelers there since 1996, one year after graduating from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Gallant is currently the manager of the Hannoush Jewelers at the mall, a position she has held since 1998.

“I have never left,” said Gallant, although she said she had the opportunity to. “I made this my home base.”

Gallant said that after the decision was made to close Faces in Northampton, she approached Lynn Gray, the mall’s general manager.

Gray said that getting Faces into the mall happened in a matter of weeks.

“We made mountains move,” said Gray. “We believe in the brand also.”

She went on to say that “it was a dream come true,” to partner with a brand with such a loyal following.

“The timing worked out well for us. It worked out well for them,” Gray said.

Faces is in a space formerly occupied by American Eagle, which left the mall at the end of January.

Gallant said that when Gray showed her the space, her response was, “Yes, this could actually work.”

McCarthy also praised the shelving system in the back.

Faces has no employees at its Hampshire Mall location currently, with Gallant and McCarthy manning the store Thursday and employees of Hannoush Jewelers helping out.

McCarthy said he has reached out to at least 10 of Faces’ former part-time employees and offered them work in Hadley.

Gallant said applications to work at the store are currently available.

Litigation is still ongoing between Main Street LLP, Faces’ former landlord at 175 Main St., and Chris Andrew Inc., the company that owns Faces. On March 21, a judgment for possession and rent was issued in Northampton District Court by Judge Maureen Walsh, ordering Chris Andrew Inc. to pay a total of $99,090.06.

Gerald Glasser, an attorney representing Chris Andrew Inc., said that litigation is ongoing and that his client has not paid the judgment. He also said that it was “an eviction case” and “they’re out.”

Glasser also noted that his client was willing to negotiate a settlement but that the plaintiff was unwilling.

When asked about the litigation, Gallant said that the only information she has been involved with is trying to keep Faces alive.

One of the partners of Main Street LLP is Stephen Vogel, who helped found Faces in 1971 in Amherst as Faces of Earth. An attorney for Main Street LLP did not return a call seeking comment.

The Northampton location of Faces opened in 1986, and remained after the Amherst store closed in 1991. In 2009 Peter Vogel took the business over following his father’s retirement, and in 2015 he sold it to Chris Andrew Inc., although at that time the McCarthys were not a part of it, as their shares were owned by Camile and Tiffany Hannoush. Therese McCarthy is Camile Hannoush’s niece. 

Gallant said she and her husband cashed in their life savings to buy Faces. And she said that people clapped when they heard the store was coming back.

“Faces is a western Mass. staple,” said Gallant. “How could you go wrong?”

McCarthy said the new location will also have less overhead.

“We had to at least give it another try, if we could,” he said.

One of the first customers at Faces on Thursday afternoon was Virginia Sinkoski, of Belchertown, who said that she had been going to the Northampton store for years. However, she said she prefers the new store’s location because the parking is easier and it’s closer to Belchertown.

Sinkoski, 70, bought some Sea-Monkeys as a gift, and she said she probably bought them for the first time when she was 7.

“It’s just always a feel-good store,” said Sinkoski. “I wish them good luck and I think they’ll do very well here.”

Bera Dunau can be reached at bdunau@gazettenet.com.




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