The Newfields Country Store on the seacoast of New Hampshire takes me back to a time when people were warm and sincere and everything was made from scratch. My close friends in Newfields live walking distance to this treasure-trove of homemade goodness. I never leave the NFCS without feeling inspired to make a new sandwich combination or add some freaky ingredient to my otherwise run-of-the-mill cookies.
I had the pleasure of sitting down with the owner, Charlotte, who is one of those people you just met but you feel like you have known for years.
COOP: How did you choose the Country Store in Newfields, and relocate thousands of miles from Alaska?
Charlotte: Leroy [Charlotte’s husband] was an air traffic controller, and we wanted to move to the lower forty-eight and downsize a little. There were several little businesses I looked into; a B&B, a small winery, and a country store. I just decided to wait a bit, and by happenstance, I looked for “General Stores” on craigslist. I saw the store’s listing, and screamed to Leroy that “I just found our store!” That was in April 2009. By July 16th, I was here.
COOP: What is your favorite part of owning the Country Store?
Charlotte: What I love the most about the store are my customers. We have such a diverse clientele that I am always entertained. The children, who are so precious and fun to watch grow up, or the construction worker, whom I kind of feel like I am their Mom, and am so happy to see how much they like our food. Also the locals, with whom I have become fast friends. The history–the fact that it has been a store since 1877.
COOP: What is your favorite product you make in-house?
Charlotte: We make a lot of unique sandwiches with our homemade bread but one of our specials is Buffalo chicken breast topped with bacon-caramelized onion jam on our homemade toasted sesame roll, with chipotle ranch spread on one side, and blue cheese spread on the other.
COOP: Where do you see yourself/the store in five years?
Charlotte: Hopefully, in five years, the store will be a destination. Not just a neighborhood store, but where people travel to get a great sandwich, a cup of coffee, or a Made in New Hampshire product.
COOP: What is your secret weapon?
Charlotte: My secret weapon is the love that I have for the store and the community. I think it shows on my face every time someone opens the door.
COOP: If you could have a celebrity chef visit you at the General Store, who would you choose?
Charlotte: As far as a celebrity chef…my style is closest to Rachael Ray. I always would have loved to have a throwdown with Bobby Flay.
The Newfields Country Store is located at 66 Main St. in Newfields, New Hampshire and open M-F: 6 am to 8 pm, Sat: 7 am to 8 pm and Sun: 7 am to 7pm. You can reach them at (603) 773-5656.
To learn more about my favorite NH lunch spot, visit them on the web at www.newfieldscountrystore.com