Old Deerfield Country Store celebrates 30 years

DEERFIELD — Within the scenic foothills along Routes 5 and 10, the Old Deerfield Country Store has been the tourist stop and the local knickknack shop for 30 years.

In the old country cottage-style building, jelly beans, braided rugs, colorful tea cozies and antique Polish pottery line the walls. In the backside of the shop, nostalgic toys like paddle balls, Balancing Eagles and Poppin Hoppers take shoppers back to their childhoods. And homemade ice cream from fudge swirl to cotton candy satisfies their taste buds.

This month, the shop celebrates 30 years of business with a 20 percent off sale until Sept. 1. Items for sale include aprons, bath products, Christmas cards, wind chimes, lamps, table runners, candles and calendars amongst other goods.

In 1983, shop owner Nancy Sadoski bought the property at 480 Greenfield Road in the hopes of transforming what was then an antique shop and family home into a country store.

The Deerfield native had grown up watching her father work on the family farm. She had just graduated from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst with a degree in education. But rather than pursue a profession in teaching, Sadoski decided to open her own business.

She started off selling dried flowers.

“At the time I bought the property, I was raising dried flowers and selling them. I thought I might as well have a store,” Sadoski said. “I always liked retail. It was a natural progression.”

What started off as a flower design shop expanded and grew, doubling in size.

At first, the country store had one room, where previous owners ran an antique shop. Sadoski expanded her business to the other half of the long building, where the antique shop owners previously lived. Eventually, Sadoski added an ice cream bar inside the shop.

Sadoski has styled her business after the country stores commonly found in southern Vermont.

“My father always took us to Vermont,” Sadoski recalled. “We’d go into the country stores. I liked them and wanted to do my own.”

A young 30-year-old small business entrepreneur at the time, Sadoski had no fear when she opened her shop.

“I didn’t realize that 75 percent of small businesses like this fail,” Sadoski said. “It was a lot of hard work for me and my employees.”

Over the next three decades, the store became more than just work for Sadoski, but a fun experience.

“I have a great time doing this,” Sadoski said. “It’s enjoyable. It doesn’t feel like a job.”

To get her assortment of products, Sadoski attends trade shows.

“I’m always looking for things made in America. I would like to have jobs here,” Sadoski said.

Unlike many small businesses that felt a pinch during the 2008 economic recession, Sadoski said the store continued to do well.

“We were a little nervous about it but we were debt free and if we couldn’t buy new products, we could sell what we have,” Sadoski said. “Luckily, we weren’t impacted.”

Minutes away from Historic Deerfield, the country store has become a destination for tourists, the private prep schools and local townspeople.

“We’re in a great location,” Sadoski said. “We have tourists that come back year after year.”

This week, a bus load of Pennsylvania visitors stopped in the store.

The Christmas season also brings in customers from Bright Nights at Forest Park in Springfield.

“It is fabulous to be around the people. They are usually in a good mood when they come here,” Sadoski said.

When most people visit the store, Sadoski said they are surprised by the cheap price of the products and by the amount of merchandise the store offers.

“They’re usually pleasantly surprised,” Sadoski said.

You can reach Kathleen McKiernan at:
kmckiernan@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261 ext. 268.

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