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J.J. Hapgood: A Not So General, General Store

apres ski bars Vermont, apres ski Bromley Mountain, apres ski Vermont, Bromley Mountain Ski Resort, Bromley Mountain Ski Resort Peru Vt, Hill Farmstead Brewery, JJ Hapgood, Peru Vermont -

J.J. Hapgood: A Not So General, General Store

Blog post updated: February 16, 2022

Lead Photo Credit: JJ Hapgood 

The Elusive Maple Latte From J.J. Hapgood

JJ Hapgood Latte

Photo Credit: @JJHapgood Instagram

All my brother-in-law wanted was a maple latte from J.J. Hapgood General Store and Eatery. It seemed like a simple request. I mean how hard could it be to get this poor guy a cup of coffee, especially when we were right down the road at Stratton Mountain.

Apparently, it was impossible.

He never did get that maple latte, held back by the differing opinions of family on where to go next.

It happens.

I kind of did feel bad when I made my way over there a day after he left and got one of my own. I had to. My brother-in-law, having been to JJ Hapgood in the winter of that year when visiting Bromley Mountain Ski Resort, had talked it up so much. Not getting one would have been plain old wrong.

It was delicious and the trip there was fortuitous which is why I don't feel too bad about going without him. His elusive latte was ultimately my gain as it introduced me to one of the most unique general stores I've ever seen, J.J. Hapgood General Store and Eatery. 

J.J. Hapgood is so much more than just a general store. It's a magical place where an old town market becomes a place for people to linger, gather and indulge in deliciously creative food and drink. 

In fact, JJ Hapgood is cooking up some tastiest food in the Green Mountain State, while pouring, hard to find, Vermont beers and serving as a gathering spot for a quick bite, dinner and, of course, après ski while at Bromley Mountain Ski Resort.

 

A New Owner With Ties That Ran Deep 

Photo Credit: JJ Hapgood 

Owner, Juliette Britton grew up in the small town of Peru, Vermont. When she returned with her husband and children, J.J. Hapgood general store had been shut down for three years. Growing up in the area, she remembers the location well. Dating all the way back to when it first opened in 1827, JJ Hapgood was the longest continuously running general store in Vermont until it closed in 2009. 

Being a local, Britton's ties to this store, "ran deep." So much so, that seeing it close down was disappointing.

Immediately the wheels started turning trying to think of ways to bring back this village cornerstone. The Brittons considered various business endeavors before deciding, "to go for it and (they) took on the challenge of restoring the community hub in the small village of Peru."

Restoring JJ Hapgood to its Former Glory but With a Twist

JJ Hapgood

Photo Credit: @JJHapgood Instagram

The notion of simply opening a general store in an area as off the beaten path as Peru seemed like a major risk. Bromley Mountain Ski Resort is a few minutes away while Stratton Mountain Resort and Magic Mountain are a bit further, but beyond that, Peru isn't exactly a major Vermont town. 

With this in mind, the question of sustainability over the long term immediately surfaced for this husband and wife team. Yes, general stores have a great history in Vermont however, could one withstand the test of modern times in this specific location?

The answer that the Brittons kept coming back to was, probably not. At least not in the traditional way. Ultimately, this set them on a course to not only rebuild but also revamp the former JJ Hapgood general store. 

JJ Hapgood

Photo Credit: @JJHapgood Instagram

Their new business plan began with the addition of a kitchen to the location and, more recently, a bar. This turned out to be a brilliant idea and a primary contributor to their success. The new food and beverage concept is what is driving this business. It has not only brought back JJ Hapgood as a local market but also turned it into a prime après ski and dining location for those visiting nearby Bromley Mountain Ski Resort. 

"The atmosphere at JJ Hapgood is very unique and comfortable!  The backdrop of a general store is very unique and seems to resonate with everyone.  It is a perfect balance of nostalgia with a modern twist that just seems to work!" said Britton.

Having been there on multiple occasions, I could not agree more.

JJ Hapgood's Food Ranks Near the Top

JJ Hapgood Breakfast Sandwich

Photo Credit: @JJHapgood Instagram

When you walk in, you immediately realize that this is far from your grandfather's general store. Beyond the quaint small-town market feel, it is JJ Hapgood's role as an eatery and place to gather that sets them apart. 

The food offerings on their menu are freshly made with locally sourced ingredients. They also happen to be highly creative yet simple all at once. For this, they have been recognized for their food time and again by many publications such as Thrillist and Maxim. 

JJ Hapgood's homemade biscuits are a must-try. They have been recognized nationally! Alone and warmed with a little bit of butter it is a delight. However, you really need to order their breakfast sandwich. Serving as the vessel from Vermont fresh bacon, eggs and cheese it is to die for. 

JJ Hapgood Pizza

Photo Credit: @JJHapgood Instagram

Their wood-fired pizzas and sandwiches are equally delicious and also widely publicized. The Pulled Pork Pizza was recognized by Vermont Fresh Network as one of the ten best pizzas in all of Vermont. And, their "Plymouth Hunter" was named as the best Vermonter Sandwich in a USA Today reader's choice travel poll

As if delicious food isn't enough, J.J. Hapgood also has a series of taps. Pouring out tremendous craft beer from the state of Vermont like the widely acclaimed and hard-to-come-by Hill Farmstead, you will have plenty of excellent options to wash down each savory bite.

Bromley Ski Resort Après Ski and More at J.J. Hapgood

JJ Hapgood Beer

Photo Credit: @JJHapgood Instagram

Through word of mouth and a highly active social media platform that keeps patrons up to date on the food and entertainment offerings, people are starting to take notice of what is a uniquely special place to gather and dine. 

It's hard to blame them...JJ Hapgood is that good.

Whether you are popping in for a quick breakfast sandwich, grabbing a beer or two après ski or having a nice dinner with friends and family J.J. Hapgood is proving to be a general store that is far from general. 

Ski Clothing for Any Occasion

Whether you are stopping into JJ Hapgood en route to skiing at Bromley Mountain or hanging there après ski we have the best ski clothing for either occasion.

Our Happily Ever Après ski sweatshirt is an excellent choice. Wear it while running in for one of their excellent lattes in the morning. Then use it as a mid-layer while skiing for the day. This way you'll be ready to ditch your coat when you head back to JJ Hapgood for beers and show everyone that you are happily ever après.  

Do you enjoy good times with good people at some of the finest places après ski has to offer? If so, then our Après Ski Blog is for you. Sign up today and never miss another post. You won't be disappointed. 


2 comments

  • Edna

    The Britton family has brought back a town which was literally, shuttered before.
    Peru is alive and well again, with this amazing revival of JJHapgood! Thank you, Juliette, Tim and family! Obviously the author Who created this article has exquisitely fine- tuned taste and enjoys a fine dining experience! JJ Hapgood warms the heart of our village!
    Edna
    Edna’s Garden

  • Juliette Britton

    Very nice! You pegged it.

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