In 1869, just after the Civil War, Mary Chesley Calef
mortgaged her family farm and pledged her savings to open Calef's Store in the
front rooms of her modest home in Barrington NH. Five generations of the Calef
family operated Calef's Big Store until the 1990's, including Mary's son
Senator Austin Calef. Today the traditions endure as Calef's Country Store
serves the local community as well as visitors from afar. We still pump our own
molasses and honey, cheese is aged in our cooler, and our smoked Ham is
Walk through our doors today and take a step back to a
simpler time, when customer service wasn't a gimmick, but the way things were
The wood floors creak with stories of lore, our wood stove
warms passersby, the aroma of fresh baked breads and donuts entice even the
healthiest of folks.
Jar after jar of penny candy tempts young and old alike.
Our Calef's brand old fashioned jams, jellies, pickle items,
bread and soup mixes offer something for everyone.
The wooden pickle barrel is still a focal point in the
store. Our Ginger Snaps are renowned for their bite.
Next time you visit New Hampshire, stop by and pay us a visit, you'll be glad you did. Click here for store hours and directions.
Calef's has been "buying and selling local" since Ulysses S. Grant was president, we currently feature over 150 New England craft food and gift vendors in our shop.
The Ballad of Calef’s Country Store
On Barrington Road, not far from Dover,
You could hunt the whole world over
To find the equal of Calef's Store,
With all its food and gimmicks galore.
Here is a sugar barrel close by the cheese
And fresh ground pepper, to make you sneeze.
Right near the pickle barrel, lots of crackers;
This combination has plenty of backers.
Thick, dark molasses, sold in bulk:
Children who taste it will never sulk.
Home-made doughnuts, each with a hole,
Taste mighty good, as over you stroll
On to the counter where they sell meat
That is cut and trimmed, ever so neat
If you need a new mower to cut the grass
You may find one draped with fresh "sass".
Now this is not all you will find in the store;
Just hold your patience, there is always more.
There are dresses and smocks and blue dungarees,
To fit the young miss as tight as you please.
Or, if you desire a villain to nip,
Why not buy a long buggy whip?
Watch for red onions, hung on a string,
These are good for any old thing.
And dark smoked herring is a tasty bit
That cooked in cream will make a hit.
If for ginger snaps you have a yen,
Order some by word or pen.
Whether it's shoes or a catty nap,
Come to Calef's, you wont need a map
They have fresh eggs equipped with a cackle.
They even sell good fishing tackle.
They sell a hundred loaves in a single day,
Of homemade bread, and that ain't "hay"
A homemade turnover in fresh pineapple
Will liven up Philadelphia scapple.
On the Barrington Road, not far from Dover,
You will find it pays to be a rover;
For once you find Calef's store,
There you'll trade for evermore!
By permission of New Hampshire Profiles
and Author Leola J. Pepler