The "Coop," as the shop has long been called, has existed in one configuration or another for more than a century, and the business has a rich history, according to James Gould, a local historian and father of Steve Gould, who owned and managed the establishment for 21 years before deciding to lease the business.
The structure where the store is housed was built by Charles C. Bearse, who has been called the "genius of Cotuit.” Mr. Bearse was an architect and builder--he built the first mansard roof house in the village--and a retired sea captain. He constructed the 737 Main Street building in 1863 and opened a ship's chandlery selling pitch, tar,ropes and anchors to the many sailors in town. It was also the location of the "Cotuit Port" post office.
Mr. Bearse sought and received permission to change the name of the village, and in 1872 the settlement was officially named Cotuit, according to James Gould. The first gas station in town was behind the Coop, and the town fire siren was on the roof. Mr. Gould was only the third owner of the store, taking over after the Crockers. (Nellie Crocker died in 1977; Milton Crocker died in 1986). He purchased the property and business from the Crocker grandchildren in
The Goulds were originally from southern California and summered on Cape Cod in the 1960s. While here on vacation as a teen-ager, Mr. Gould worked at the Coop. After graduate school, he and his wife Jan were raising two children in Boston’s Back Bay when they decided to find a safer environment for their family. The Goulds were always attracted to this part of the Cape, and they accepted the advice of their Realtor that they were "more Cotuit than Osterville" in style.
In 1992, the Cotuit Center for the Arts started an art gallery on the second floor of the Coop, in the old millinery shop. The center's founder, Jamie Wolf, moved the operation to a building behind the store in 1994 where art was displayed and plays were performed--including the work of Yarmouthport writer and artist Edward Gorey. The Center for the Arts subsequently moved to its current location on Route 28 in Cotuit.
The Goulds owned and managed the Coop until January 2009, when they decided to lease the business to Mr. Pimental. The Goulds are relaxing and considering the next phase of their lives.
We are a proud supporter of the Historical Society of Santuit & Cotuit.
Cotuit Kettleers – visit us at the Kettleer Kitchen on game day at Lowell Park.