Covey & Nye opens new store

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MANCHESTER — Looking for an interesting, outdoor alternative to golf? In Manchester, Covey & Nye wants to introduce locals to the classic game of clay shooting, and gear them up as well.

Covey & Nye recently moved from its location in the village to a new spot on Bonnet Street to increase the store's accessibility.

"We're excited to have all of those connections right here and embrace the great energy in town," said Suzy Maneggia, one of the store's owners. "We're glad to be a part of that, and we hope to contribute as well."

To increase its community involvement, Covey & Nye is planning a series of summer events to engage the town in the sport of clay shooting. It also hopes to draw more visitors to their retail location, which sells apparel for town and field alongside shotguns and rifles.

"We have a whole menu of events coming up," said employee Alexandra Cianciosi. "We have some ladies nights planned to get women into the sport of shooting, and we also have some dog training events coming up."

Though the primary impetus for the move was to centralize the stores location and increase foot traffic, the owners found that the space itself fit the establishments aesthetic.

"This building has tremendous flavor," said founder Lars Jacob. "It really enhances who we already are."

"This space is very conducive to our products," said employee Christine Palmeri. "There was definitely a lot of hard work that went into it, but everything happened very fast and everything just seemed to flow."

Selling brands like Filson, Hunter, Dorset's own Icy Palmer, and Jack Rogers the store hopes to offer a selection that cannot be found elsewhere in Manchester.

"We don't want to just limit it to field sports and hunting," said Maneggia. "We seek out handpicked brands that you can't find around town."

In the new location, more emphasis will be placed on the variety of options available beyond the high end firearms that the store specializes in.

"We have stuff from $4 lip balm to the big guns," said Cianciosi. "There's a little bit of something for everyone, and I think that the new store really highlights that."

Going forward, Covey & Nye looks to introduce the local community to the growing sport of clay shooting. Well known in the United Kingdom, sporting clays began to gain popularity in the United States in the 1980's and enthusiasts herald the sport as a high end alternative to golf.

"Sporting clays is a golf course for the shotgunner," said Jacob. "Golf is a six hour game minimum, while sporting clays is a two hour game maximum."

"I'm new to a clays course of a shooting club," said Palmeri. "It makes sense because I can relate to the idea of golf."

Increasingly, the sport is gaining popularity among female shotgunners.

"Twenty-seven years ago when I first started coaching less than 10 percent of my students were women," said Jacob. "It's over 33 percent now."

The store, established in November 2009 as Ptarmigan Outfitters, embraced the moniker Covey & Nye in the spring of 2011. A play on words, covey is the term for a flock of quail or partridge, with nye referring to a brood of pheasants.

Reach Cherise Madigan at 802-490-6471.

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