In the beginning, 1868 to be exact, French and Brawn Market Place was known as Cleveland and Simonton. Then in 1869, the name was changed to Carleton, Norwood & Company. Then later in 1915, a long-standing name was decided upon; Carleton, Pascal & Co. The founder of Carleton, Pascal & Co., Philander J. Carleton, left the store to the care of his son, Captain Frank Carleton, after his death. With the help of his brothers, the store began furnishing fuel and supplies for lime kilns at the location of what is now the Camden Yacht Club. But time passed, and the kilns went out of business, which shifted the focus of Carleton, Pascal & Co. to general trade.
Celebrating 150 Years
Click on the links below to view the articles.
Alton French began working at the store in 1899 and purchased interest in 1916 after the death of William Pascal. The name then changed to Carleton, French and Company in 1927. At the beginning of this new era of our business, Carleton, French and Company would make their rounds on a horse and buggy taking orders from housewives of the supplies they needed on a weekly basis. The goods were then delivered to the homes on that same night. If someone needed medicine? Employees would visit the drug store for customers, and if a customer was elderly, disabled, or bedridden, stops would be made at the post office and/or bank to help them complete their errands. Even in the 1920’s, our customer service was stellar.
An educator by the name of William Brawn moved to Camden in 1953 and entered a partnership with Mr. Alton French, two weeks after the birth of Brawn’s third son, and the future owner of our company, Jeff Brawn. Just under a decade later in 1963, the name then changed once more to the familiar and beloved French & Brawn. Mr. French passed away in 1970, leaving Mr. Brawn the presidency of the company. He continued the longstanding tradition of fantastic customer service to any and all visitors and inhabitants of the town. From locals to summer tourists. As always, the store remained open six days a week, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Jeff Brawn and his wife Robin became managing owners of French & Brawn in 1977.
Jeff Brawn went into partnership with Todd Anderson on New Year's Day in 1995. Within a year, Jeff announced that Todd was now the new owner, as he is to this day. Jeff went in to work at Camden Hills Regional High School on the Zenith Program.
In 1998 a large renovation was undertaken that added 1/3 more retail space and brought in four new 12-foot refrigerated display cases to enhance their Deli, Seafood, Meat and Produce offerings.
In 2004, Todd Anderson and Sarah Beaudoin married, doubling the ownership.
Today Sarah and Todd continue the long-standing tradition of excellent food, competitive prices and top-rate customer service, serving the community of Camden and ensuring the preservation of a piece of coastal Maine history.
French & Brawn has had an impressive history of long term employees. Included in the 2018 staff, three employees have over 30 years each. Out of the staff that hovers around 28, the 10 with the most years combine for a total of 205 years at the store.
A Century of Service
Bob McGowan & Matt Cleveland
Fascinated by the Toys