The H. N. Williams Store looks like an old Vermont barn along Route 30 in Dorset. The building’s siding is a bit dusty and weathered; the front door creaky and free of any fancy signage. I’ve driven by the store hundreds of times over the past 25 years, but only recently did I finally step inside.
I’ve heard people rave about this store over the years, and now I understand why. I was impressed by the size of the store and the variety of items for sale: coffee, sandwiches, garden tools, pet food, work gloves, worms and crawlers, mud boots, hunting coats–you name it. Also, on every Sunday between May and October, H. N. Williams hosts the outstanding outdoor Dorset Farmers’ Market (one of the best in Vermont).
In operation since 1840, H.N. Williams really looks like a typical Vermont general store: the old, sloping wood floors, the community bulletin board, a handmade ATM sign. But there’s something else. Maybe it’s the gathering of locals chatting near the register, or the friendly hellos to neighbors and strangers at the front door. Whatever it is, something about this place makes it feel like the heart and soul of Dorset.
**If You Go: H.N. Williams Store