I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for general stores. When providing the general, anything is possible. There inevitably will be a smattering of local color, beer, junk food, some hardware this and that’s, some sporting good this and that’s, local papers, and locals.
I love that. You never know what you’re going to find in a new general store. Guns, candy, post cards, local fare, you can’t beat it. I could easily squander large sums of money in a General Store much like a vegan at a Whole Foods.
In my quest to find pizza on Sunday, we found that our pizza joint of choice was closed and so was the town’s grocery store. This left two gas station quick marts as my remaining options. I was not optimistic.
And then I remembered the West Arlington general store. We have no reason to ever venture to West Arlington, save for a walk on River Road, one of the best walking/biking dirt roads in Vermont. Yet, we never need anything so desperately that we have reason to drive the 5-10 minutes down 313 down to the store.
But Sunday was different. I drove to the West Arlington General Store hoping to find a better frozen pizza. And it delivered. Well, I still had to go there and pick it up, but you catch my drift.
The West Arlington General Store is one of Vermont’s best kept secrets. They have the usual junk food and grocery items, but a decent hardware/etc. section and deli make up a big chunk of the store. I also noticed to really nice locally made bread and other products about the place.
The building is an old barn with the wide, uneven, weathered boards lining the floor. There is an authentic rustic character about the place.
I actually found a locally made, whole wheat organic pizza that had been made in a brick oven! That’s the kind of character I’m looking for.
So if you ever make a wrong turn onto 313 and find yourself in West Arlington, or if you’re looking for Norman Rockwell’s old home, which happens to be right around the corner, pop in for a pizza, some wine, or whatever else you can find.