12 Favorite Vermont General Stores
September 29, 2016
“If we don’t have it, you don’t need it.” That’s pretty much the slogan for Vermont general stores, where you can find long underwear, fishing bait, penny candy, coffee, sandwiches, honey, and good conversation all under one roof.
Vermont general stores have been an integral part of the state’s landscape for more than a century. With dozens of small, independently owned stores across the state, each one offers a unique atmosphere and a story all its own.
Of course, the most famous one is the Vermont Country Store in Weston. But here are 12 more old school and upscale general stores also worth stopping for in Vermont.
Willey’s Store in Greensboro
In the heart of Greensboro is Willey’s Store, which sells everything from craft beer and Boar’s Head deli meat to tote bags and hiking shoes. The store was started by Burt Willey in 1900 and it’s been a family business for five generations. (7 Breezy Ave, Greensboro; www.facebook.com/willeys.store)
West Townshend Country Store
The West Townshend Country Store serves as a café, post office, thrift store, and meeting house all in one. Located on Route 30 in Windham County, The West Townshend Country Store is part of The West River Community Project, an organization that was founded in 2010 by local residents. Its mission is to support farms, businesses, and social activities in Vermont’s West River Valley. The store recently adopted a donation-based model to address food insecurity in the community.(6573 Route 30, West Townshend; https://westtownshend.wixsite.com/wrcp)
Floyds’ General Store in Randolph Center
Floyds’ General Store sells veterinarian supplies, groceries, maple syrup, deli sandwiches, and offers dry cleaning. Established in 1843, the store is no-frills and has a timeless feel. It’s the kind of place where you can stop by and chat with the locals. (2964 VT Route 66, Randolph Center; https://www.facebook.com/pages/Floyds-General-Store)
J.J. Hapgood in Peru
The J.J. Hapgood General Store and Eatery, which first opened 150 years ago, was once the longest-running general store in Vermont before closing in 2009. After reopening in 2013 under new ownership, the store is where you will find wine, beer, cheese, charcuterie, oven wood-fired pizza, ski hats, toys, and more. Don’t miss the store’s impressive dinner menu, which offers table service and an outstanding menu. (305 Main Street, Peru; http://jjhapgood.com)
Buxton’s Store in Orwell
In the southern reaches of Addison County is the little town of Orwell and the home of Buxton’s Store. Established in the early 1900s, Buxton’s is a classic Vermont general store that sells fishing and hunting licenses, groceries, coffee, and snacks. It’s also a big game reporting station. (499 Main Street, Orwell; http://buxtonsstore.com)
Dan and Whit’s in Norwich
This beloved local landmark, which dates back to 1890, has everything you need: cheese, apples, gasoline, and lightbulbs. Located in the heart of Norwich and right next to the Norwich Inn, Dan and Whit’s official motto actually is “If We Don’t Have It, You Don’t Need It.” (319 Main Street, Norwich; danandwhitsonline.com)
Barnard General Store
Established in 1832, the Barnard General Store is one of the oldest in the state. Inside, you’ll find everything from fresh coffee to sandwiches to ice cream. Located near the shore of Silver Lake, the store made headlines years ago when it closed for business until local fundraising efforts helped rescue the store in 2013. (6134 VT Route 12, Barnard; www.facebook.com/barnardgeneralstore)
Original General Store in Pittsfield
Along Route 100 north of Killington is the Original General Store—the kind of place where you want to visit again and again. The store sells coffee, smoothies, snacks, wine, beer, as well as burgers, BLTs, and pancakes. Outback is The Backroom, a tiny restaurant that seats 20 people in a communal dining setting from November to June. (3963 Route 100, Pittsfield; https://thegeneralstore802.com)
Spear’s Corner Store in East Charlotte
Walking into Spear’s Corner Store feels as if you’re stepping into someone’s home. It has a cozy, unassuming, and friendly vibe—nothing fancy but completely real. Located near the corner of Spear Street and Hinesburg Road (but named after shop owner Carrie Spear), the store is also a stone’s throw from where the town holds its annual fall tractor parade. (20 Jackson Hill Road, East Charlotte; www.facebook.com/Spears-Corner-Store)
Back in 1970, an old hardware store was transformed into a funky country store on the banks of the Mad River. For decades, the Warren Store has been the heart of Warren Village (and center stage for the Warren July 4th Parade). The two-story general store sells everything from egg sandwiches and trail mix to baby clothing and stylish jewelry. (284 Main Street, Warren; www.warrenstore.com)
Putney General Store
Lyssa Papazian never pictured herself running a country store. But when the Putney General Store closed in December 2016, she stepped in to help reopen the business and manage operations. Lyssa, a historic preservation consultant and Putney Historical Society board member, manages the store with fellow historical society board member Betsy MacIsaac. The two have been running the store since it reopened in May 2017. Update: The store was eventually purchased by Mike and Kim Cosco. (4 Kimball Hill, Putney; www.putneygeneralstore.com.)
Ripton Country Store
The Ripton Country Store was purchased by new owners last year, but it still feels like the same cozy, small-town place it’s always been. Eva Hoffman and Gary Wisell bought the store after much fanfare, thanks to coverage in a New York Times op-ed by Bill McKibben, who is a Ripton resident. Dick and Sue Collitt, who purchased the 139-year-old store in 1976, had put the store and their upstairs apartment on the market. Once the op-ed by McKibben was published, interest in the store skyrocketed. (1192 VT-125, Ripton)
Janet ( Boyce) MahanPosted at 22:29h, 29 September
Have been going to the Warren store since the 50’s when it was Long’s. ……gas pumps and Post Office ?
EricaPosted at 11:02h, 30 September
Hi Janet — That is so great! I would love to track down photos from Warren back then. It’s such a wonderful little town and so beautiful! -Erica
Cristina MinkPosted at 20:31h, 30 September
Thank you Erika for adding The Country Store on Main to this list! We’re honored to be mentioned amongst these long standing stores in our great state. Thanks again!
EricaPosted at 10:34h, 01 October
Thank you, Cristina! Have a wonderful fall season!
marji grafPosted at 07:40h, 01 October
be sure to purchase the Scenic Route 100 2017 country store calendar and scavenger hunt! it’s a great fall foliage drive too!!
EricaPosted at 10:33h, 01 October
Thanks for the suggestion, Marji! Great idea.
JudyPosted at 07:42h, 01 October
Love the Weston Village Store in Weston!
EricaPosted at 10:33h, 01 October
Hi Judy — That is a great store! I have fond memories of going there over the years. I love Weston so much — I got married there in 2004 at the Community Church and our reception was at the Inn at Weston. Have a great weekend!
Adriana CurutchetPosted at 20:24h, 01 October
Missing FH Gillingham in Woodstock, Vermont – 130 years old, same business, same family.
EricaPosted at 21:40h, 02 October
Hi Adriana — You are the second person to mention FH Gillingham. Sounds like I need to visit there again. Thanks. – Erica
DanPosted at 21:38h, 01 October
Lincoln general store in Lincoln Vermont has some of the best eats in New England
EricaPosted at 21:39h, 02 October
Hi Dan — Thanks for the suggestion! Haven’t been to that one yet, so I’ll put it on my list to visit. -Erica
BonniePosted at 09:35h, 02 October
The Newbury General store is fantastic!
EricaPosted at 21:39h, 02 October
Thanks, Bonnie! Great suggestion. I will have to check that one out.
JudyPosted at 10:43h, 03 October
You missed Curriers in Glover, which includes the Glover Post Office and an incredible collection of mounted stuffed animals all over the store. If you haven’t been there, it’s worth a trip.
EricaPosted at 17:10h, 03 October
Thank you, Judy! It’s on my to-do list this fall!
LindaPosted at 11:19h, 04 October
MKT stopped there newly renovated. Lovely place, great food, nice wine & cheese section, Grafton cheese.
EricaPosted at 14:12h, 04 October
Hi Linda — That is a great little store! Stopped by there a couple of times over the years, and Grafton is about as beautiful as it gets! Thanks for saying hello. -Erica
Esther SheldonPosted at 03:43h, 06 October
How about Sheldon’s Mar
ket in Pawlet-been there well over 50 years
EricaPosted at 10:00h, 15 October
Hi Ester — Is it still there? I thought the store in Pawlet had closed, but maybe I’m wrong!
LindaPosted at 15:54h, 15 October
They all look great! I love the atmosphere and service in these old stores, so much better than the big box ones of today. 🙂
EricaPosted at 09:06h, 16 October
I agree, Linda! Well said. 🙂
BarbaraPosted at 22:25h, 23 April
Don’t forget Sherman’s General Store in West Rupert, Vermont about 15 west of Manchester. Delightful.
EricaPosted at 21:39h, 30 April
That is a great one! Thanks for the tip, Barbara!
Diane TerryPosted at 20:22h, 30 November
My daughter and I just stopped by the Sharon General Store. We walked in and smelled beautiful scents of incense and soaps. This quaint store has beautiful gifts, t-shirts, scarves, and mismatched socks, food, a deli counter, jewelry, wine, etc… The people were very friendly and you can hear the sound of laughter from the staff at the deli counter. Truly a gem!
EricaPosted at 10:23h, 01 December
Hi Diane — That is a good store. I often stop there on my way down to Boston. Thanks for the suggestion!
Josh hardtPosted at 21:21h, 30 November
Ripton country store really should be on this list
EricaPosted at 10:22h, 01 December
Hi Josh — Ripton’s store is a good one. Definitely a throw-back kind of place. Thanks for the suggestion!
John DumvillePosted at 23:07h, 30 November
Be sure to include The Sharon Trading Post at the junctions of Routes 14 and 132 in Sharon, Vermont!
John DumvillePosted at 23:08h, 30 November
Be sure to go to The Sharon Trading Post on the corners of Routes 14 and 132 in Sharon, Vermont.
EricaPosted at 10:21h, 01 December
That is a great store, John! Thanks for the suggestion, and hope you’re doing well!
Theresa WoodPosted at 16:49h, 01 December
Beaudry’s in Huntington is a great place — community gathering spot and wonderful people
EricaPosted at 09:22h, 02 December
Hi Theresa – You are so right! A wonderful spot. I need to get back there for a visit. Thanks for the suggestion! -Erica
Emily FosterPosted at 14:24h, 05 December
Craftsbury General Store in Craftsbury is amazing!
EricaPosted at 15:14h, 05 December
That is a good one, Emily! Thanks for the suggestion! -Erica