Quality And Tradition Continues To Thrive At Allen Bros.
The Monadnock Shopper News Keene, NH Sept. 26, 2013
WESTMINSTER, VT. - When this writer thinks about Allen Bros., the first things that come to mind are a quality and local tradition. This unique store was established in 1956 by original owners John, Russell, Raymond and Frank Allen and in 1985 Tim Allen took the reins and is now owner, along with his wife, Stacey.
Photos by Joe Milliken. Allen Bros. owner, Stacey Allen, sits amongst the beautiful fall colors
Originally, the four brothers purchased an apple orchard in the beautiful Connecticut River Valley with a goal to produce the highest quality apple crop possible and over 50 years later, the Allen Bros. operation continues to uphold the same traditions by growing their own produce, while also expanding their business to now offer their loyal customers many more products and services. However, not only has Allen Bros. thrived, but they have also endured, having recently celebrated the two-year anniversary of a store re-opening after the devastating floods of Tropical Storm Irene.
With the fall season upon us, let’s start with all the beautiful colors in the Allen Bros. greenhouses and garden center. From sweet corn in the summer to apples and giant pumpkins in the fall, they offer a seemingly never-ending selection of plants, annuals, perennials, hanging baskets, herbs, fruits, vegetables and fall mums, all spread out over 20 acres in scenic Westminster. Their garden center places an emphasis on hardy varieties that thrive in northern New England gardens and also offer various garden supplies such as bark mulch and even a stone yard.
The varieties offered in the Allen Bros. bakery, deli and convenience store is simply second to none in the area. The deli features fresh breakfast items and homemade soups, salads, pizza, stromboli’s and made-to-order sandwiches daily, while in the bakery section you will find delicious breads, cookies, fresh fruit pies and their “famous” cider donuts – all are made from scratch. Customers can relax in their spacious indoor eating area or in the sun, outdoors near the garden center.
The popular Allen Bros. farm stand also offers an array of “picked today” fruits and vegetables. Yes, the motto is “apples to zucchini” – everything from tomatoes, strawberries and sweet corn, to peaches and apples from Russell Allen’s Orchards. They also offer a unique selection of the finest Vermont Made products such as pure maple syrup, cheese, salsa and salad dressings. Oh, and did I mention that Allen Bros. won an award for “#1 homemade apple pie” from the prestigious Yankee Magazine?
Just a few of the many convenience store products and services include Mobil gas, diesel and propane fill-up, a wide variety of snacks, beverages, beer and wine, a coffee island, maps and travel supplies, an ATM machine and even free Wi-Fi. We also put the store’s “convenience” to the test, through a quick interview with a random customer.
“I discovered Allen Bros. on my way back to Boston from Burlington, said Annie G. “I didn’t expect to be bowled over or anything, but was quite surprised at the variety of homemade foods at the deli counter. My smoked turkey and Swiss sandwich was absolutely delicious, and I topped it off with some great homemade cookies.
"I was also impressed with the wide selection of produce, deserts, maple syrups and even fresh eggs! The store, bathrooms and eating area were all very clean and the employees were pleasant and actually looked like they wanted to be there. The next time I am passing through, I will definitely stop here again.” Yes, they indeed passed our “random customer” test with flying colors.
Still other services include the Allen Bros. Oil Company, (established in 2002) complete with 24-hours service availability, a thriving nursery and tree farm and even the Allen Bros. own pole pruner, a top-of-the-line tree pruning tool that has served New England aborists for over 30 years.
“Today was actually the first day that we are pressing our own Vermont Sweet Apple Cider!” owner Stacey Allen said with a smile during our interview. “Pressing cider is a new venture for us – and we are also now expanding the store to feature our own free range chicken, pork and eggs. Timmy (owner Tim Allen) is a farmer at heart and is happiest when gets to grow things and play in the dirt.
“We have a very busy, but fun-filled day here at Allen Bros. Our baker and donut maker arrive at 4 a.m. each day to start making our well-known cider donuts and our store manager is right behind them to get the Green Mountain Coffee going. We work hard, but have fun, plus we also get to see all our favorite customers each day which makes it all worth it! Thanks to our many loyal customers our business continues to thrive, and also because of our solid family values and traditions passed down from our previous generation and now, on to our third generation moving forward.”
Allen Bros. is off Interstate 91 (exit 5, easy on - easy off) in Westminster, Vermont. The store is open from 5:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. 7 days a week. The phone number is 802.722.3395 or visit online at www.allenbrothersfarms.com.