DERBY - Good Stuff, the adult novelty store that has caused controversy in the area, has received its Certificate of Occupancy from the Town of Derby and is opening Feb. 1 at 4267 Route 5, in the same building as Roasters Café. Good Stuff has stores in Vermont and New Hampshire.
The business started as a variety store for clothing and knickknacks, but customers demanded adult “gag” gifts and tobacco pipes, the store’s website states. That demand transformed the store into what it is today, the site says.
Frank Cluba will own the Good Stuff store in Derby. He also owns the one in Waterbury Center. A friend of his owns the other Good Stuff stores.
When the news first broke that the store was opening, many said that a store like Good Stuff should not be located next to a café and should be in the town’s industrial zone, away from where kids might see it.
Derby’s bylaws, however, do not regulate the types of retail stores that can be opened in a commercial zone.
The owner of the building, Joe Warantz, applied for a change of use permit with the town over the summer. The change, to make the property a combined office and retail space, was granted. Town officials stated that they had no idea what was going into the location. Warantz said that he needed to rent his space and many had expressed interest in the building, but he had not received anything in writing from potential tenants when he had applied for the permit. He said that changing the use would open up options.
The next day, Good Stuff applied for a sign permit.
Dr. Richard O’ Hara appealed the decision to grant the change of use. He said that he found the type of store to be morally offensive. Many people who opposed to the store turned out for the town’s regular meetings and expressed their concerns over the business. Opponents, as well as those who supported the store, expressed their sentiments with letters to area newspapers.
O'Hara lost his appeal and has not appealed the zoning board's decision to environmental court.
Cluba says he received a letter from O’Hara with the announcement. Cluba said the letter states that O’Hara feels he could not win another appeal.
O’Hara could not be reached for comment by press time.
Cluba said he's not offended by the actions of those opposing the store. He said it was their right to appeal.