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Owner Says Road Project Forced His Store To Close

By Eileen Curran, WBZ-TV
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(CBS)

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FRAMINGHAM (CBS) – A family owned business in Framingham is closing down after nearly 80 years.

The owner says it’s not the recession that did him in, but a road construction project that has gone on for years. “This business can not support itself anymore,” said Michael Gerard, third generation owner of the farm.

Since 1931, The Gerard family has been serving up homemade turkey dinners, sandwiches and more.

Tom Leddy has been coming here 35 years. He’s upset the farm is closing. “The government is complaining we need small businesses to get this country going. This is a small business that has been around an awful long time,” said Leddy.

Gerard says the road construction has literally cut him off from the 15,000 people who work in the Speen Street area.

What used to be a five minute trip down the road to his farm is now a long ordeal of stops and starts and detours. “The road construction has killed me,” said Gerard. “I used to have a very, very large lunch business…people just can’t get here now.”

Customers who do make it in say the traffic is daunting. “Just last week there were four construction crews on the road ripping it up,” said Leddy’s daughter Patricia.

“I think there are other businesses along the road that are in financial difficulty (too) because of it,” said another long time customer Lindsay Kimball.

The farm has been cooking Thanksgiving dinner for local families for decades. It’s a tradition in the Leddy home. Gerard says he will close right after the holiday.

Now the Leddy’s aren’t sure where they’ll go next year.

As for Gerard, he says it’s like a death in the family. “Is it sad,” he asked with tears in his eyes. “Extremely,” he said. “It’s one thing if you want to close; it’s another if you have to close.”

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