Tuesday, October 14, 2008

For the Love of Country Stores and Pizza

Article and photo by Eric H.

Country stores in Vermont are best known for their Vermont clothing, arts and crafts, furnishings, souvenirs, regional food and sweets, gift baskets, Christmas gifts and penny candy, but how about some pizza?

Bailey's and Burke, in East Burke, VT (near the Burke Ski Area), has all the bells and whistles of a country store with its "past and present" gifts within a classic, old wooden country store two-story building featuring dark, creaky narrow hardwood floorboards, a cozy area for eating and a network of larger rooms leading to smaller, quaint rooms with more merchandise. Owner Jody Fried is quoted as saying, "It's like walking into a warm blanket."

From country linens to homemade Vermont fudge, Bailey's and Burke will surely satisfy the most picky country store aficionado. The difference, however, at Bailey's and Burke is the wonderfully overwhelming pizza aroma. For me, it sure beats that eventually nauseating smell of candles at other gift stores!

While it was too early to eat pizza, that aroma led me to the deli section where I saw pizza being made that looked as good as it gets with lots of toppings, a mouthwatering homemade pizza sauce and a fluffy, pastry type foundation. It turns out that the deli section is a main part of the country store with lots of baked goods, pastries, deli meats, and an adjacent small market area with some well chosen natural and organic foods. Despite having a food area larger than most country stores, there's still plenty of opportunity, however, to shop for typical country store merchandise, given that Bailey's and Burke offers the two, large floors of shopping, as well as a wine cellar. There's also a restaurnat on the premises called the Pub Outback -- set in an antique barn and featuring appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, entre├ęs and fresh baked breads and pastries.

So, you can have your fleece mittens and your pizza, too, at Bailey's and Burke. It's like merging a classic country store with your favorite pizza place!

Bailey's & Burke
466 Route 114
East Burke, VT
(802) 626-9250

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