Steve V. Purcell sold Larry’s Tackle Shop Monday to Peter and Melissa Sliwkowski of Chappaquiddick. Mr. Purcell is leaving the Island to become a business manager at an orchard farm in North Brookfield. He said he has mixed feelings, both of appreciation and sadness. He said he has had a wonderful time at the store, and fishing the Vineyard with friends and customers.

Mr. Purcell bought the store in 2008, but he worked there for nearly two decades before that. “I had been on the Island six days, and Ruth Meyer, the store owner, offered me a job,” he said.

“Working for Ruth helped fund my interest in fishing,” Mr. Purcell told the Gazette in an interview done soon after he bought the business. At that time the store was closer to town at Depot Corner gas station. Later the store moved to where it is today, next to Al’s Package Store.

Mr. Purcell said he is still amazed at how he became the store owner. “I am wicked thankful for all the support I got,” he said.

The future for Mr. Purcell is exciting too. He will manage Honey Bee Orchard, a large apple and vegetable farm. “I’ll be working as a farmer and growing apples,” he said. His employer is a longtime friend he has known since high school. He will also work as a hunting guide and he will live a lot closer to his family. Mr. Purcell said he plans to return to Vineyard waters as an avid recreational angler.

He said he was deeply touched by the generosity and the fellowship given him at the store, from start to finish. He is also optimistic about the future of Larry’s Tackle Shop, founded in 1947. The new owner has the most important qualification, Mr. Purcell said.

“Peter is crazy about fishing.”