By Zack Lamothe.
Plymouth’s destination for the freshest locally sourced food, in a historic setting.
Horse farms, a white-steepled church, and a general store—this must be Vermont or New Hampshire! Actually no, this describes the village of Chiltonville, a part of Plymouth. The hamlet feels truly worlds away from busy Route 3 and the sprawling housing developments which are ever-present in southern Plymouth. The anchor of this community is Bramhall’s Country Store, which, incredibly, has remained in the same family since 1828. This neighborhood gathering place is known for its fresh produce, lobster rolls, ice cream, and numerous local products.
Talk about family-run, the great-great-great-great-grandfather of the current owners founded the store almost 200 years ago! The building itself dates from 1750. Prior to being a general store, its uses included a barn for carpentry, a cobbler’s shop, and even one of the country’s first post offices!
As you’ll notice when arriving in Chiltonville, Bramhall’s Country Store is the focal point of the village. The red saltbox building draws one’s attention, bringing with it the feel of a bygone era. Outside, the grounds are as picture-perfect as the interior. Imagery of classic New England abounds with bins of fresh produce, locally picked flowers for sale, pumpkins in the fall, and a lobster tank with live lobsters greets patrons. On summer evenings, the hillside across the parking lot is teeming with families chowing down on lobster rolls or kids enjoying an ice cream cone.
The focus of Bramhall’s in the modern day is local and fresh. What they sell comes mainly from the Plymouth and its immediate environs. As manager Tracy Velloso explains, “Our hope is to bring the best and freshest products to our community.” And the community plays a large role in what Bramhall’s is. Bramhall’s serves many functions; it’s perfect for picking out locally grown produce for dinner or stopping by for an ice cream from Crescent Ridge Dairy in Sharon, MA, or from Ben and Jerry’s. Although currently there are no special events scheduled for summer 2022, in the past, Bramhall’s has been the location of the Second Wind Brewing Company’s beer garden. Reflecting on the store’s longevity, Tracy continues, “We absolutely love our community, and they are truly why we are still around today.” Bramhall’s is a summer tradition for many folks living in the Plymouth area. The combination of delicious food, local products, and history makes it an unforgettable dining experience.
Dinner or lunch at Bramhall’s also pairs well with a trip to nearby Plimoth Patuxet, which is located just a short walk away. Bramhall’s Chiltonville address is only a five-minute drive from busy downtown Plymouth. When the throngs of summer tourists infiltrate the waterfront and lines are out the door at downtown restaurants, Bramhall’s is a welcome reprieve from the hustle and bustle of Plymouth Center.
There’s nothing like eating a Bramhall’s lobster roll on a summer evening. The lobster comes directly from the lobster tanks that are viewable by the customer—and are a hit with the kids! They are caught locally out of Plymouth. Their take on a lobster roll is build-your-own. A container of super fresh lobster meat is included in your pack, along with a bun, mayo, salt, and pepper. Personally, I withhold the mayo. I shove the tender lobster meat into the bun and go to town. They serve regular and jumbo sizes. I often opt for the jumbo, just for myself. Don’t judge! One of my favorite menu items is the lobster grilled cheese. It’s scrumptious lobster meat wedged into a gooey grilled cheese sandwich made with Havarti cheese, which cannot be beat. They use bread from Hearth, a local Plymouth bakery.
Also on the menu is an egg salad sandwich, wraps, hot dogs, and salads. Another favorite item is their tacos. They come in a variety of styles, including beef, carrot, and lobster. All are fantastic and served on homemade corn tortillas. Speaking of corn—in the summer, Bramhall’s is known for their fresh corn.
Inside the store itself, check out the historical artifacts that line the walls. As an addition to their store, they have constructed a second outbuilding on the property in which they typically sell locavore provisions, including jam, pasta, maple syrup, hot sauce, lip balm, honey, grain, and flour, as well as eggs, cheese, and an expansive selection of grass-fed free-range meats. Drinks here include local soda, coffee, and kombucha. Tracy enthusiastically notes, “You can come by and know that what you’re getting is quality products made and grown right here in Massachusetts.”
In addition to food, Bramhall’s sells fresh flowers that are grown in the family’s garden located close to the store. Bramhall’s will help create a custom arrangement of flowers or allow you to mix and match as you please.
Bramhall’s Country Store is open seasonally from mid-May through early December. As the store reflects the season, the food and local goods change along with it. Summer is here, so make sure to visit Bramhall’s for the freshest produce, an absolutely scrumptious lobster roll, and a refreshing ice cream cone. Bramhall’s Country Store is a Plymouth summertime tradition for scores of families, and after visiting, you will understand why!
Bramhall’s Country Store
2 Sandwich Road, Plymouth, Massachusetts 02360
Zack Lamothe is an aficionado of all things lobster. During the summer you can find him chowing down at Bramhall’s with a jumbo lobster roll or a gooey lobster grilled cheese sandwich.