Worm seller told to cease and desist

Staff ~ The Amherst Daily News
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AMHERST - Most days, after the sun goes down, Rickey Hicks heads outside.

Once there, he begins scouring the ground, looking for worms. He then stores them, complete with moss and dirt, in a cooler.

Worm seller told to cease and desist

AMHERST - Most days, after the sun goes down, Rickey Hicks heads outside.

Once there, he begins scouring the ground, looking for worms. He then stores them, complete with moss and dirt, in a cooler.

During the daylight hours, while at home watching his four children - ranging from 11 months to 12-years-old - he sells the worms.

He didnt think he was doing anything wrong by selling the night crawlers, that is until he was delivered a cease and desist notice by his landlord.

Its ridiculous, Hicks said from his home on Russell Street. There are quite a few places that sell worms from the residence. Anybody that I talk to about it feels its ridiculous as well.

Last month, Hicks was given a notice by his landlord. When his fiancé, Debbie Lewis, went to pay the rent, she was given another.

In the first two letters, the couple was informed that it is not permitted under their term of lease or the municipal bylaws to conduct or carry on a business or retail from residential premises.

For the full story, pick up a copy of Wednesday's edition of the Amherst Daily News.

Organizations: Amherst Daily News

Geographic location: AMHERST, Russell Street

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Recent comments

  • asonj
    August 07, 2012 - 09:41

    I heard that it was a matter of animal cruelty, and that the landlord had no choice but act, as these defensess animals were being confined and sent to slaughter. Be like a responsible business man and get a permit. The lucrative worm business will quickly provide returns on your investment. Maybe a spot could be designated downtown.

  • Josh
    January 18, 2010 - 11:22

    It is pretty bad when a drug dealer, pushing pot out of apartments surrounding elementary schools, public parks and so on can keep up good business without anyone bothering them, but an honest man cannot sell fishing bait from his apartment. Perhaps we should start looking at the weed dealers selling pot to kids and leave people like Mr.Hicks alone!!!

  • Jason
    January 18, 2010 - 11:16

    well well well.... The Landlord is correct to provide notice to cease and desist but come on! I'm not sure how Mr. Hicks can wiggle his way out of this hole in the ground. Pretty rough when a guy can't sell worms, from the looks of it, in a cooler in his yard. I would argue that selling worms is an Amherst tradition. The Worms 4 Sale signs on the telephone poles are as much apart of Amherst as are June Bugs in May.

    Having said we have not heard from the other tenants and it may be that the other Tenants do not wish to endure the sight of wriggling worms being sold in their yard.

    However this sets a dangerious precedent for children's lemonade stands. Kids you are next!

  • My 2 ¢
    January 18, 2010 - 11:14

    I love the sarcasm Jason. LOL

  • Jason
    January 18, 2010 - 11:01

    With respect to the comments made by Laurie and Josh, it may be guys that the other Tenants complained, if so I would defer to the decision of the Landlord. However if the Landlord is simply being a jerk and follow his rights to the strict letter of the law then I would say he should exercise his discretion and allow the man to sell his worms. Having said that Mr. Hicks is free to sell his worms on the street......oh wait the Town of Amherst made a by-law placing restrictions on street vendors. Mr. Hicks couldn't just sell his worms without a license.

    Poor Mr. Hicks will need to find a place of his OWN to sell his property. Maybe he can share his profits with the landlord. After all the Landlord is providing him with a place to do business, just like commercial tenants.

  • Laurie
    January 18, 2010 - 10:59

    What possible harm could Mr Hicks be doing by selling a few dozen worms from his apartment.People need to realize Amherst is a small town with nothing in it for employment.Mr Hicks is making the best for his family by spending hours picking worms.The landlord should be more considerate towards this mans attempts to gather income and realize hes not harming anything at all by selling nightcrawlers.

  • Robert
    January 18, 2010 - 10:28

    Also understand we are not privy to all the information here. It could be that the landlords insurance may be increased if they were to learn that a business were operating out of the premises. Insurance companies look for any reason to raise rates and allowing a business to operate out of a residence is certainly one of those things that would cause it to be raised...

    I'm not sure if that is the reason in this case but it certainly bears consideration before this individual is vilified for not allowing this.