Old Brick Store tradition carries on in good hands

New owner Whitney Finley stands in front of the Old Brick Store last week in Charlotte.
New owner Whitney Finley stands in front of the Old Brick Store last week in Charlotte.

by Robin Reid

The long history of the Old Brick Store (OBS) continues as it changes hands again. Welcome to Whitney Williamson Finley as the new proprietress at the OBS. Carrie Fenn (formerly MacKillop) let go of the reins on March 19. The store was closed on March 20 and open again the next day. Fenn can be proud of the mark she leaves in the “West Village,” and can move on knowing that the beloved Old Brick will be in great hands.

In recent times (meaning the last quarter of a century), there have been four different versions at this venerable locale once known as Williams’ IGA. Each owner brought something special and the store has morphed along the way. Back in the day when Gary Therrien made his meatballs from the deli counter located at the far North end of the store, the “back room” where the coolers are today had not been renovated at all. The store changed hands about two decades ago when Claudia and Nigel Mucklow partnered with Rolf and Carolyn Sennhenn. Together they expanded the floor plan and reconfigured the counter/retail space. Then the Sennhenns took over for about a dozen years. When they were ready to retire, the Old Brick sold to the Cuhna family of Manhattan Pizza fame. The pizza kitchen came to be but due to family tragedy, their tenure was short. Fenn and Ripple in Still Water, LLC whipped the place into shape, kept making pizza, and put in a creemee bar. The community was engaged and numerous young Charlotters were employed these past five years.

Although new to ownership, Finley is not an OBS newcomer. During the Sennhenn years, she was on the job as the right-hand, go-to-girl. Just a few years ago, she was the behind the scenes baker. Regular OBS customers have already known and loved Finley’s smile and great service. And the store is dear to her heart for another reason. She met her husband Erich Finley at the OBS some years ago when she worked with the Sennhenns. You will also see Mr. Finley helping his wife as they bring the beloved store into their fold.

Renovations are planned and the OBS will close around the third week of April for approximately seven days. The staff will fluctuate a little but will remain fairly steady at present. Finley herself takes on the early morning prep routine as, in her words, “I’m here to work!” At your service, please welcome Whitney Williamson Finley as proprietress of The Old Brick Store.