**updated April 12, 2019

“If we don’t have it, you don’t need it.” That’s pretty much the slogan for country stores in Vermont, 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

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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

Vermont general stores

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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; www.vermontsoriginalstore.com)

Spear’s Corner Store in East Charlotte

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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 and completely authentic. 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)

Warren Store

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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

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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 purchased in September by Mike and Kim Cosco. (4 Kimball Hill, Putney; www.putneygeneralstore.com.)

Ripton Country Store

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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)

 

What are your favorite country stores in Vermont?

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