It Doesn't Get Much Sweeter Than The Bittersweet Farm Mercantile

Saturday, April 29, 2023

 Some of the best treasures are the ones that take a little effort to discover and that's true about the one I'm sharing today.  Located in West Burlington, NY, the Bittersweet Farm Mercantile, was definitely worth the extra miles we drove both the first time we visited and the second too!

West Burlington is a hamlet of the town of Burlington, NY which is about 16 miles west of Cooperstown.  One might not expect a rural town that is 45 square miles and a population of only 1,140 people to have such a fine gift shop, but oh, they would be so wrong.  If you're reading this thinking I've lost my marbles to be driving an hour and fifty minutes to visit a gift shop, by the end of this blog you'll understand why I did.   

First of all the ride from the Capital District is so easy and so scenic -  through rural landscapes far and wide.  We took Route 20 from Duanesburg and then a variety of rural back roads that were suggested by the GPS.  I knew after our first visit that we'd be coming back and thanks to the lure of social media posts, it didn't take much to get me back.

Debbie Hamm, the shop owner, began her journey thanks to a love of crafting, an appreciation for pretty things and a knack for design.  A couple small shops preceded the current Bittersweet Farm Mercantile which makes its home in what was previously a roller skating arena.  Now the building houses several businesses including a hair salon, a nail salon, a tanning salon, a chiropractor and even a country deli.  

Debbie's husband, Rod, used his contractor skills to build the shop and her sister Joyce, who we met on our first visit, also helps out when she's able.  Debbie tries to incorporate many of their handmade items as well as unique one-of-a-kind finds to make the shop different from the competition.  They hope to inspire decorating ideas with their displays and inspire creativity with their classes.  The Mercantile offers classes in needle punch and crafting with IOD. Iron Orchid Designs sells a high quality line of transfers, moulds, and stamps that can be used separately or together to make beautiful decorative pieces for your home.   She is a distributor of supplies for both needle punching and IOD.  Check out their Facebook page for examples of all of these products:  

Needle Punch Patterns

IOD Supplies

So, want to see more?  I know you do!  

That covered bridge picture did I resist that???

Wow, right? And if you're wondering, I did not come home empty handed. I may have to reconsider my blog byline, Collecting Moments Not Things. I seem to be on a roll collection things lately! Like other small, family owned shops like Bittersweet that we've featured here on the blog, Debbie and Joyce are so friendly and welcoming. Debbie says they try to be a happy place in the midst of the hard times in the world we are living in. I can vouch that they are definitely a bright spot in the darkness we are often surrounded by today. We were excited to take advantage of the take-out deli next door, Sister Sammy's, on both of our visits and I can tell you - the food is fresh and delicious! Sister Sammy's Facebook Page

If you find yourself near the Cooperstown area, or are looking for a great day trip, I strongly urge you to head to West Burlington and pay a visit to the Bittersweet Farm Mercantile.  I can't wait to go back, but I might be a little grateful that this gem of a shop isn't too close to home, if you know what I mean.  Bittersweet Farm is located at 2353 State Route 80.  They are open Wednesday through Friday, 10:00-5:00 and Saturdays 10:00-4:00.  Tell them I sent you.  

Thanks for visiting Life As I See It.  To read about more great shops like this one, check out my blog Directory under the Category: Let's Shop.

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