BARNARD - There are shelves and racks to be put in place,
suppliers to arrange, and a whole lot of sweeping to do, but
Jillian Bradley and Joe Minerva say the plan is to re-open the
Barnard General Store by the end of the month.
"It all comes together at the end," Bradley said.
Originally from Long Island, Bradley and Minerva moved to
Richmond in 2008. Both have grocery backgrounds, and they started
looking for a suitable location, and they thought they had one in
Richmond, but it fell through at the last minute. Paul Bruhn, the
executive director of the Preservation Trust of Vermont, told them
about the Barnard store. One thing led to another and they moved to
Barnard in February to begin work.
"When Paul told us about this store, we fell in love," Bradley
The Preservation Trust has been working closely with a local
community group, the Friends of the Barnard General Store, to
reopen the store and make it a viable and sustainable business. The
Friends are the store's actual owners.
"We like the history, and we like being able to live upstairs,"
Minerva said. "We intend to run this store more to serve the locals
rather than the tourist trade."
Originally established in 1832, the store has seen its ups and
downs over the years, and closed last May. The new proprietors said
they plan to operate a full service grocery store and deli.
"We heard the previous store didn't have the greatest
selection," Minerva said. "We'll have competitive pricing. We plan
to bring meat cutting to the store. We'll offer steaks and chicken.
We'll offer bulk groceries and we'll have a little freezer
Bradley said the store would work with local farmers. Minerva
said they plan to use Associated Grocers, based in Pembroke, N.H.
as their general wholesaler. Springfield-based Black River Produce
will supply organic produce.
Bradley and Minerva will keep the grill open, and expand its
offerings as well.
"We'll be serving burgers and cheesesteaks, but there will be
vegetarian options" as well, Minerva said. "We'll also offer soups
and sandwiches. We'll be hiring someone to operate the grill. I'll
cut the meat, and Jill will be running the deli."
Preservationists will be pleased to know that Bradley and
Minerva have no plans to alter the building: "It's staying just as
it is," Minerva said.
The couple will also be offering the standard general store
amenities. Patrons will be able to buy lottery tickets, tobacco,
fishing licenses and beer. The gas pumps outside the store will be
"We have plans for an ice cream window, too," Bradley said.
The Friends of the Barnard General Store closed on the building
in January. The group put $300,000 down, and took out a $200,000
one-year mortgage, which means they still need to raise money not
only to pay the mortgage, but to cover improvement expenses. More
information can be found at friendsofbgs.com.
Stephen Seitz is a freelance writer for The
Mountain Times. He can be reached directly at
Photo by Sephen Seitz
Joe Minerva and Jill Bradley are the new proprietors of the Barnard
General Store. They plan to reopen the store on April 30, almost a
year after it last closed.