144 Danielson Pike #A
Square footage: 1,200
Years in operation: 8 years
By Sara Capozzi
Conveniently located on Route 6, Healey’s Liquors has served the Foster area with its great selection and competitive prices for more than eight years. The family enterprise is owned by Dan Healey and run daily by his sister, Joyce Healey, with the help of a small team of friendly employees.
According to Joyce, the space has always been a liquor store. Originally Gabriel’s Package Store, the owners were looking to retire when they approached Dan about purchasing it in 2015.
The family renovated the building a bit, knocking down an adjoining wall to get more floor space and adding coolers, while keeping some of the building’s unique features intact, such as its antique, mid-century cooler, which Joyce said she believes is the original from the late 1950s or early 1960s.
No stranger to the industry, Joyce worked at her brother’s former store, Healey’s in Cranston, for 10 years on top of the time spent in her current role. Healey enjoys working in the industry and her day-to-day rapport with her clientele. “It’s been a good experience,” Healey said. “It’s been interesting. I had never worked in retail, up until 18 years ago, and I like people. I have a lot of wonderful customers.”
Shoppers hail from Foster and the nearby towns of Scituate and Coventry to just over the Connecticut state line in Danielson and Brooklyn. “Most of them are really down-to-earth, everyday working people,” Healey said. “I get a lot of traffic on Route 6, coming from Connecticut into Providence. We have a lot of campgrounds in the area, so in the summertime, just before Memorial Day till Columbus Day, there’s a lot of camping people.”
Healey has increased her expertise and product knowledge as the landscape of the beer, wine and spirits industry has continued to change. “I started where I didn’t know anything about it,” Healey said. “I learned a lot about the business. I learned about different kinds of beers, wines, and spirits and all the RTDs that are going on these days. [And] I learned a lot about people.”
Seltzers and RTDs have been top sellers over the last few years. “Those are the big pushers nowadays,” she said. “At least for the summer, I think it’s easier with the campgrounds and beach, cookouts. They’ve come a long way. There’s so many different [brands] and it’s hard to keep all of them in stock. I’m limited in space, so I try to keep a little bit of everything and keep everybody happy.”
Local craft beers also sell well. Healey estimates that 60% of the store’s sales are in the beer, seltzer and RTD categories. Healey’s also offers plenty of wine and spirits to appeal to the diverse tastes of its clientele, from the biggest names to more artisanal items.
Healey does most of the ordering for the shop and prioritizes the customer’s experience, along with friendly service. “If it’s a customer that’s looking for a particular item, I do my best to get it in here,” she said. “Whatever they want, whatever makes them happy, we try to do that. We encourage customers to ask if they want something and then I’ll do my best to get it for them.” More customer draws include in-store tastings, which Healey said she plans to have more of in the future.