If Spring Came in a Store - The Apple Barrel

Thursday, March 19, 2015
Just when you thought you'd seen it all....here I am, back with yet another shop brimming with color.  The weather might still be looking and feeling like winter, but while it's taking it's sweet, old time transitioning to spring, what better way to pass the time than to window shop where spring has already arrived with a bang!  In compiling this series I've tried to feature stores that were each unique in their offerings, but also spread throughout the area.  Today's feature is a little "out there" but definitely worth the drive from the capital region, and in case you haven't already figured it out, Schoharie County and the ride to it are about as picturesque as it gets.  So sit back and enjoy the view as I give you a little taste of the best of Schoharie County - the Apple Barrel.
Although a few of the stores featured in this series were new to me, the Apple Barrel is an old friend.  We've been patrons for at least twenty or more years and during those years, the Barrel has changed and evolved in many ways, always getting bigger and better.  Originally built in the 1940's, the structure was used as an outlet for the Vedder family orchard. In 1965 the building was purchased by the Truax family.  They named it the Apple Barrel and continued to use the property to sell produce and maple products. In 1983, the Loden family, after owning a country store in Gallupville, purchased the Apple Barrel and has continued to expand ever since - both the structure and in its offerings, including the popular Apple Barrel Cafe.  So enough history, let's get on with the fun stuff!
Although the merchandise may change and evolve, one thing you can always count on at the Barrel is a beautiful and abundant display of seasonal goods.  Whether its spring, fall or the holidays, the Barrel is going to put you into the mood.  This visit was no different.....

In addition to seasonal items, the Barrel always has a vast array of jewelry, clothing, and accessories.  If you're like me and housewares are more your thing, well, you'll find more than you can imagine of these too.

What I love about the Apple Barrel is the unique stuff you won't see anywhere else....
Like the other beautiful shops I've featured, the Barrel staff is gifted at assembling an atmosphere that makes you feel so cozy, you hate to leave.

And if you get hungry during your stay...you're in luck because the Apple Barrel Cafe, which opened in 2009,  was just voted Best Restaurant in Schoharie county - 5 years in a row!

 We enjoyed a delicious lunch while we were there (hey, who could resist?).  John had the special of the day - the Pilgrim Wrap - house roasted turkey, homemade stuffing, and cranberry sauce served warm on a toasted wrap....mmmm mmm good!   I had the soup of the day, Tuscan Sausage Vegetable which was outstanding.   If you know my husband, you know he almost always has room for dessert and even after that HUGE wrap, he made room for this decadent, delicious chocolate mousse cake - made on premises!  Everything in the cafe is top notch and served in large quantity at reasonable prices.  It's worth the trip just to enjoy the cafe.
You must remember when Hurricane Irene flooded and nearly completely devastated Schoharie and Middleburg a few years back..well the Loden family was instrumental in cooking and feeding families and workers during that devastating time.  I remember because we took a drive to Schoharie a few days post hurricane...
and while we were eating at the cafe, Mr. Loden was carrying trays of fresh, hot food out to his van to deliver to the folks in town.  In addition, they did fundraisers including the sale of a t-shirt, designed by Jessica's friend, Andrea Levedusky.  They raised $75,000 towards Schoharie's recovery.  Bob Loden was born and raised in the area and has a vested interest in it's welfare. The Loden family does a lot for the community, sponsoring events and fundraisers.  Everyone in the family has a hand in the business at some level, and you're likely to see daughter Jessica, mom Sue or brother Josh, or father Bob when you visit.  Sue and Jessica run the day-to-day operation.  Their other son, Travis, built the beautiful concrete countertops in the cafe.  The Barrel is clearly the heart and soul of the Loden family and once you visit, you'll understand why.
 In fact, most of the shops I've featured in this series are privately owned and operated by family.  They are run by blood, sweat and tears, much the same as we raise our kids.  These shops are not just a business - they are their lives and because of that, these proprietors give their heart, soul and time to making these businesses what they are today.  They are not manned by large staffs or corporations - they are run by the folks who had the vision and determination to make that vision a reality through hard work, sacrifice and relentless passion.  It is why we are again reminded to shop local and support these small businesses.
Of course I took way too many photos to add here, so once again I hope you'll hop on over to my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/GAWelter) later to view the entire collection.  Better yet....hop in your car and head on over and visit the Apple Barrel and see for yourself.  Even with the complete collection of photos, there's so much more to see in person.  I know you'll be going back again and again, season after season.  It's always beautiful, especially in the fall when it might look like this.......
For more information, including hours and directions, the link to their website is provided below.  The Apple Barrel hosts a variety of events including their upcoming Easter Egg Hunt, Spring Photo Shoot and Easter Brunch in the Cafe.
Thanks for sticking around and for visiting these shops.  Stayed tuned to another festive shop with a history of it's own coming up next!  As always, thanks for letting me share Life As I See It!

1 comment

  1. A most wonderful place. I'm a summer resident, but I visit the Apple Barrel at least a dozen times between June and October.


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