‘Live Poultry, Fresh Killed’ sign remains local after East Cambridge Business Association bought it at auction

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“What a crazy race !!! We won !!! “, Wrote on Facebook the business association, which promotes neighborhood commerce, following the auction.

Ahead of the auction, the group said it wanted the sign because it’s “Such [a] great Cambridge symbol [Street] and the small business community.

Butcher shop owner Jim Gould announced the sale of the sign earlier this month, as he prepared to move his business from a storefront just outside Inman Square to a new location at Newmarket Square in Boston.

The building, which also housed a mattress store that closed during the pandemic, sold for $ 5 million in May, according to Middlesex County property records. Gould’s new headquarters won’t have a retail operation, and he didn’t want the brand to get lost in storage out of the public eye.

In an email, Gould said he was “super excited” that the East Cambridge Business Association, a group in his hometown, had won the auction.

“Very happy that he will stay in the [neighborhood]”, he said,” and I know the neighbors are very happy about that too, so just awesome all around. “

A portion of the proceeds – approximately $ 2,500 – will be donated by Gould to Food For Free, a Cambridge charity.

“So very happy with that too,” he added.

Jason Alves, executive director of the East Cambridge Business Association, said the competition at Thursday’s auction was fierce. A small group gathered outside the butcher’s shop, eager to bring home the sign, which is about 6 feet tall and 5 feet wide.

Alves said the auction started at $ 7,000, a number started by an anonymous buyer over the phone who called from outside Massachusetts. From there he continued to climb.

” The people were [bidding] online, people were on the phone, and then there were people who were there, ”said Alves, who was bidding on behalf of the association. “There was also a decent crowd in front of Mayflower who was just watching.”

In the end, Alves came out the winner.

“I don’t think anyone had any idea it would go for that much money,” he said with a laugh. “It was a daylong whirlwind.”

Alves said the feat would not have been possible without the help of Riverside Properties Inc., which purchased the plot where Mayflower Poultry is located; and various members of the association.

“They deserve some credit for making this possible,” he said. “This was the culmination of many companies who came together and recognized the importance of the sign and tried to make it work. It was a good day all around.

As for the future of the sign, Alves said there was still work to be done. But he has already reached out to Cambridge officials to express interest in having the blatant slogan with his chicken figure displayed somewhere in public, so he can live on.

“I hope people get the impression that he is in good hands and that we take care of him, and we do what we can to make sure he comes back,” he said. “It’s a symbol of the Cambridge Street small business community. … It’s rich in our history.

Alves said people can also expect to see new merchandise featuring the image, since the association also owns the trademark rights. (Gould has a long history of selling t-shirts and hats bearing the logo).

“There will be new T-shirts for sale soon,” he said.

Alves, the Business Association and Gould weren’t the only ones excited to keep the sign in a neighborhood it has long called home.

In response to the association’s Instagram publication on the brand’s victory, city councilor Alanna Mallon intervened by replying “yassssss !!!!!” in a commentary and punctuating the post with a series of joyful emojis with a raised hand.


Steve Annear can be reached at steve.annear@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.



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