Generally Speaking

By Julie Suratt | |

The state’s country stores are famous for their grab-bag inventory—everything from hand-crafted candles and soap to penny candy and local preserves. But which ones really have the goods?

ZEB’S GENERAL STORE
2675 Main St., North Conway Village, 800-676-9294, zebs.com.

THE BRAG
"The best of New England–made products."

THE REALITY
A mind-blowing selection of syrup, honey, handmade soaps, pancake mixes, scrubs, lotions, salsa, cheeses, and home décor is laid out over the store’s two sprawling levels. 

THE ODDITIES
Venison jerky; "redneck wind chimes" made from old tin cans

THE LOOK (see photo at right)

 

CHUTTERS
43 Main St., Littleton, 603-444-5787, chutters.com.

THE BRAG
"The world’s longest candy counter."

THE REALITY
A Guinness Book of World Records–listed, three-tier, 112-foot-long counter holds 700 glass jars filled with sours, gummies, jellybeans, chocolates, and caramels. Plus: Zagnuts and Zotz!

THE ODDITIES
PETA-friendly mounted faux-moose heads; a toy moose that poops chocolate candy

THE LOOK 
(see photo at right)

 

THE OLD COUNTRY STORE
1011 Whittier Hwy., Moultonborough, 603-476-5750, nhcountrystore.com.

THE BRAG
"Perhaps the country’s oldest  store."

THE REALITY
Creaking floorboards, a wood-burning stove, and a coin-operated piano can be found in this 1781 building. So can myriad loon-themed items, wrought-iron hardware, hats and mittens, and travel books.

THE ODDITIES
Glass jars of pickled limes; jaw harps; John Deere napkin holders

THE LOOK (see photo at right)


THE VERDICT

Zeb’s stocks every moose-related trinket ever made (including, yes, "I Brake for Moose" stickers), but shoppers would be wise to avoid the weekend tourist logjam. If it’s practicality you’re looking for, you’ll find it at the Old Country Store, which, true to its name, really is an authentic old country store. And for candy—absolutely any kind of candy—hit Chutters, period.
 

Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/2009/04/generally-speaking/