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The Top 8 Country Stores In & Around The Upper Valley

Oct 09, 2018 01:10PM ● By Linda Ditch
Few things make you feel cozier and more at home than a good country store. If you’re lucky, you’ll find items you remember from your grandparent’s house when you were a child. Better still, you’ll discover a place with old-school charm and modern-day foods and products.

Here are eight country stores to explore in the area:

The Vermont Country Store, Weston, and Rockingham, Vermont

Folks around the US are familiar with the The Vermont Country Store  catalog full of retro clothes, household goods, beauty products, candy, and more. But there are two actual stores in Vermont where you can check out stuff in person. Vrest and Ellen Orton opened The Vermont Country Store in Weston in 1946. They were inspired by childhood memories of Vrest’s dad’s general store in North Calais, Vermont, which opened in 1897. The Weston store was the first restored rural general store in the nation. Today, both stores are still in the family, owned by Lyman Orton and sons Cabot, Gardner, and Eliot—seventh- and eighth-generation Vermonters, as well as fourth- and fifth-generation storekeepers.

Chapman’s Store, Fairlee, Vermont

Chapman's Store originally opened in 1894. While the items for sale may have changed, the charm hasn’t. You will find artisan crafts, jewelry, educational toys, wine, fishing gear, and a whole lot more. They also have book signings by local authors, art shows, wine tastings, and a local farm stand on Fridays in the summer months.

Dan & Whit’s Country Story, Norwich, Vermont

This store’s motto is “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it!” Dan & Whits General Store though it may look small from the outside, it’s packed full of everything from seasonal items and groceries to hardware and Vermont products. They will also special order items they don’t keep in stock.

Beaver Valley Farm, Pelham, New Hampshire

This is part country store and part farm supply store. Beaver Valley Farm & Country Store is a family-owned business has been around for more than 30 years with a focus on keeping it local. They sell pet food, grain, annuals, perennials, shrubs, food, and gifts.

F. H. Gillingham, Woodstock, Vermont

Frank and Jireh Billings carry on the tradition started in 1886 by their great-grandfather, Frank Henry Gillingham. The store is still located in its original building on Elm Street, with products such as Vermont specialty foods, wine, toys, housewares, wooden bowls, musical instruments, hunting and fishing apparel, and tools. Bringing guest to FH Gillingham & Sons General Store is a must!

Teago General Store, South Pomfret, Vermont

Another step-back-in-time place, filled with tasty foods, baking, and dairy goods, produce, wine, and souvenirs.  Teago General Store owner Kathleen Dolan, founder and executive director of ArtisTree, which is nearby. And the freshly made sandwiches are terrific!

Barnard General Store, Barnard, Vermont

 This store’s story is one of resilience. Established in 1832, it survived the Civil War, the boom and bust of the 1920s and ’30s, and more. However, when Tropical Storm Irene and a snowless winter hit, the store was in trouble. The Barnard General Store community-backed efforts to “restore the store” kept it from permanent closure, ensuring the epicenter of downtown Barnard continues to thrive.

South Woodstock Country Store, Woodstock, Vermont

While the building itself may be more than 200 years old South Woodstock Country Store, the offerings of this store are totally modern. They include free high-speed Wi-Fi access, salads, sandwiches, prepared meals, baked goods, fresh produce, dairy products, wine, snacks, candy, and souvenirs.


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