The Gingerbread Country Store

By Rebecca K. Fay

photo by Rebecca K. Fay

photo by Rebecca K. Fay

   Deb Wilkinson, a native Vermonter, owns the Gingerbread Country Store in Middlebury.  The Store is visible from Route 7 and decorated to look like a life-size gingerbread house.  Entering the store would remind any Vermonter of a classic country store with candy sticks, maple syrup, fresh fudge, and local Vermont crafts filling every nook and cranny of the store.

   Deb has also diversified her product by selling Fair Trade coffee, tea, chocolate, jam, and cashews.   Fair Trade promotes fair wages for the artisans who create the product.  Deb explains she likes to sell these items because it is a “gift that gives twice-helping artisans and…as a gift to a special friend.”

   Deb and her husband, Allan, purchased the store in August 2004 from Doug and Arlene Marsden.  Before that Deb ran the gift shop at the Middlebury Inn.  Deb always wanted her own business, and when the opportunity presented itself, she jumped on it.  

   When the deal was made, Doug Marsden passed on the secret to making great tasting fudge to Allan Wilkinson.  Throughout the year the Gingerbread General Store features 12-15 types of fudge.  The most popular flavors are maple walnut, chocolate peanut butter, mint chocolate, and orange crème.  Deb explains, “If I don't sell anything else in a day, it will be the fudge, syrup or cheese.”

   The Store also sells souvenirs, t-shirts, puzzles and jewelry.  “It's not just a country store with syrup and pancake mix. I do more than that.” Deb says with a smile.  And she does, Deb designs clever gift baskets for any occasion.  Deb explains, “I can put together a gift basket to [match] whatever your idea is.”  All she needs to know is the price range and theme.

   So if you're looking for a unique gift or a classic Vermont souvenir, stop by the Gingerbread Country Store.  You will be greeted with a smile, the smell of fudge, and coffee and an opportunity to support a local Vermonter.


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