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The Best Country Stores in New England
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Image of Vermont Country Store, Weston VT

Vermont Country Store Weston, Vt. (photo by Eric)

Article and photo by Eric H.

I love a great New England country store -- the quaint old-fashioned feeling, the chance to shop for hard-to-find items, the aromas of candles and soaps, and the delicious offerings of local cheeses, fudge and maple syrup.

New England certainly has its share of great country stores! Without further ado, here are some of the best country stores in New England that we have visited:

Vermont Country Store, Weston, Vt.

Image of Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots

Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots at the Vermont Country Store (photo by Eric H.)

The Vermont Country Store looks like a modest-sized country store from its old-fashioned, front porch exterior, but once inside the store seems to go on forever. It's like a living museum of country stores with extensive toy, clothing, food and candy, and health and beauty sections within a time warp, rustic country setting. The homemade fudge, Vermont cheddar cheese and locally produced maples syrups are amazing, and the hundreds of hard-to-find items including gems like Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots, Beemans Chewing Gum and Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific shampoo will bring back warm childhood memories. It's not just about nostalgia, however, at the Vermont Country Store. This is a store for all generations with useful, quality modern day merchandise, and lots of it! 657 Main St., Weston, Vt. Tel. (802) 824-3184 More on the Vermont Country Store...

Zebs North Conway, N.H.

The "organized clutter" look of Zeb's flies in the face of those sterile, perfectly manicured department stores of today, and that's a good thing. You could spend at least a few hours here browsing the more than 5,000 inventory items, and taking in the classic country store offerings like candy, crackers, jams and jellies, pickles, maple syrup and furnishings! 2675 Main St., North Conway, N.H.

Old Country Store and Emporium, West Mansfield, Mass.

picture of Old Country Store and Emporium, West Mansfield Village MA

A welcoming country store scene at the Old Country Store and Emporium, West Mansfield, Mass. (photo by Eric)

Surprise, a great New England country store proving that this kind of retail business doesn't have to be located in Vermont or New Hampshire! It can, in fact, be located in the fast-paced Boston suburbs  as in the case at the Old Country Store and Emporium in West Mansfield. Once in quaint West Mansfield and then inside the country store, however, the pace slows down to a quintessential country store mode. One of the bigger country stores we've been to in New England, the Old Country Store and Emporium is well-stocked with all the earmarks of a real country store: home goods, furnishings, food (including sweets and freshly ground coffee, maples products, Vermont Common Crackers and a peanut butter machine), toys, player pianos, bird feeders, books, crafts, hardware, antiques and memorabilia, grandfather clocks, cosmetics, and locally made furniture. 26 Otis St., Mansfield, Mass. Tel. (508) 339-8128 More on the Old Country Store and Emporium...

Wayside Country Store, Marlboro, Mass. 

Picture of Wayside Country Store, Marlborough MA

The stately but welcoming look of the Wayside Country Store, Marlborough, Mass. (photo by Eric)

The Wayside Country Store has been around since 1790 and with a rather fascinating anecdote; Henry Ford bought the building in 1928, became owner and operator, and had the building moved -- by oxen -- to its current located on the Old Boston Post Rd. (better known today as Route 20). It's a fabulous country store with a significant candy section at the Old Tyme Candy Shoppe within the building. You'll also find an impressive array of cheeses, gifts, collectibles and toys. 1015 Boston Post Rd., Marlborough, Mass. Tel. (508) 485-4978 More on the Wayside Country Store...

Newfane Country Store Newfane, Vt.

Picture of Newfane Country Store, Newfane, VT

The house-like look of the Newfane Country Store (photo by Eric)

Located at the town common in one of Vermont's most picturesque quaint towns, the Newfane County Store specializes in Vermont made merchandise and foods. In the Quilt Room, you can find more than 100 quilts. The Newfane Country Store also features books written by local authors, toys, clothes, hand made pottery, and, of course, those old country store standbys, fudge, penny candy and Vermont cheese. The Newfane Country Store does not have the size or high profile personality of some other country stores, but it's a comfortable, welcoming place with more than enough interesting yet familiar country store merchandise. Tel. (802-365-7916) 

Brown and Hopkins, Chepachet, R.I. 

photo of Brown and Hopkins Country Store, Chepachet, R.I.

Brown and Hopkins, Chepachet, R.I. (photo by Eric)

Arguably America's oldest continuously running country store, Brown and Hopkins Country Store is a smaller-than- average country store, but like tiny Rhode Island, comes up big with lots of nice surprises. The accent here is on "primitive country wares, period lighting, home furnishings, textiles." The old fashioned candy case is a revelation, too, with some heartwarming, hard-to-find candies.The two floors, with exposed beam and charmingly worn, settled surroundings is really jam-packed with merchandise! 1179 Putnam Pike (Route 44), Chepachet, R.I. Tel. (401) 568-4830. More on Brown and Hopkins...

Ingenuity Country Store, Keene, NH

Image of Ingenuity Country Store, Keene NH

Ingenuity County Store has an idyllic location at the town common location (photo by Eric)

With a relatively new location at the beautiful Keene town common, Ingenuity Country Store certainly can't qualify as a classic, old-time country store, but that's OK. What's wrong with liking a newer country store, and a good one at that? Ingenuity might not be a purist's cup of tea, but it's a darn good country store with the right mix of New Hampshire products, including pottery and jewelry. There's also a nice collection of toys, stuffed animals, puzzles, clothing, Stonewall Kitchen products and wine. It' also nice that a country store is located in a thriving downtown like Keene -- it just adds to the priority of "shop local, buy local," in one of the great small town, downtown districts in New England. 41 Central Square, Keene N.H. Tel. (603) 352-0400

FH Gillingham and Sons, Inc., Country Store, Woodstock , Vt.

This well-established, beloved downtown country store dating back to 1884 is loaded with lots of Vermont goods like maple syrup, specialty foods, farmstead cheese, soaps and gifts. You'll also find a nice mix of books, toys and games, home goods and furnishings, hardware items, clothing, lanterns, fishing and snowshoe gear, and even musical instruments. The quaint feel of Gillingham fits in perfectly in Woodstock -- one of New England's most charming, picturesque towns. They seem to have everything here! 16 Elm St., Woodstock, Vt. Tel. (802) 457-2100

What are your favorite country stores in New England? Please share with us by leaving a detailed reply in the form box below!


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