Day Trips From Rhode Island - Visiting Stonewall Kitchen in York, Maine
Day Trip to York Maine
At only about two hours away, the Stonewall Kitchen Company store in York, Maine makes for a great day trip from anywhere in Rhode Island. As a matter of fact, the Stonewall Kitchen Company Store is a great day trip for most people living in Southern New England. If you do not think it is worth it to drive two hours to go to Stonewall Kitchen, I have two things to say to you. One: it is most definitely worth it. Two: there are a number of others things to do in the near vicinity of Stonewall Kitchen and York, Maine. If you wanted to turn that day trip into a weekend trip, York is a beautiful area to stay in. It is definitely a New England town.
This article will be about the Stonewall Kitchen Company Store in York, Maine. The York store is the only store with a cooking school, and it is the company headquarters, but I just want to get it out there that there are a number of other store locations. The other store locations are in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Maryland. For those who still wish to visit a Maine store, but are coming from the North, or want to take the extra drive, there is also a store in Portland, Maine.
Stonewall Kitchen Company Store
My wife and I have always loved Stonewall Kitchen's products, specifically their jellies, jams, and preserves. After moving back to Rhode Island and realizing how close the company store was to us, we knew we had to go and check it out. Why not just go to the local supermarket and save myself a total of four hours of driving, you may ask? Great question. Let me tell you why. Nothing against the local supermarkets, but their selection of Stonewall Kitchen products is not a fair representation of the vast number of products that the company actually makes. Besides, it's always nice to go on a short road trip with the family, especially to a great place like Maine.
Okay, so let me get down to the good stuff. It was very easy to find, and it was easy to navigate the parking lots and find the store's entrance. Once inside, it is slightly overwhelming. This place is stuffed damn-near floor to ceiling with product. It was actually quite impressive. What helps is the fact that the store is very well organized. Jams, jellies, preserves, chutneys, and marmalade were in one section of the store. Marinades and sauces in another. Dry goods likes pancake mix, waffle mix, and cake mix in another. Syrup and toppings in yet another section of the store. It was nice to be able to recognize what section I was in, rather than aimlessly wandering around hoping to find what I wanted.
The selection of products was great. What was also nice was the selection of small gadgets and kitchen utensils they also sold there. I'm talking mostly small things like thermometers, basters, pastry tools, jam/jelly/butter knives, small kitchen electronics, etc. They also sell dishes and plates (in sets). Be sure to check out their beauty care products, such as lotions and soaps, as well.
We went to Stonewall Kitchen because it was a quick day trip, and also because we really do enjoy their products. However, I still did not expect to buy as much as we did. After spending over an hour in the store, we finally made our way to the checkout. We ended up spending just over $100. Do not get me wrong, I am not surprised we spent this much because the prices are outrageous, because they are not. The prices are very reasonable. We just bought that much stuff. To give you an idea, we visited Stonewall Kitchen in February. We use the jams/jellies/preserves that we bought several times a week with toast, bagels, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and other similar things. We still have unopened jars. It is August. Yeah, we got that much.
Stonewall Kitchen - York, Maine
What Stonewall Kitchen product do you enjoy most?
Classes and More
What I thought was pretty awesome was the activities Stonewall Kitchen offers besides a fully stocked store. You have to book it ahead of time, but you can actually take classes and workshops there. The classes are run by Stonewall Kitchen's chefs and staff. From my understanding, and from looking at their website, the classes are one day classes. Every day there is a different class that involves cooking/making different things. Apparently, you can also rent out the classroom kitchen area for private parties. Stonewall Kitchen's website has the full calendar and more information about classes, private parties, and other events.
Taking the trip to Stonewall Kitchen would have been enough for me, but what was really great was the fact that the Kittery Premium Outlets in Kittery, Maine are less than ten minutes down the road. The Kittery Premium Outlets consists of several small strip malls on either side of the road. The best part is that they are outlets. Well, most of them anyways. The great thing about them being outlets is that you can find most items for cheaper than you would at normal stores.
If you are in the mood for a beach, then there are several beaches within ten minutes of Stonewall Kitchen. Just drive east to the coastline and you will be sure to find a beach. Even if you did not want to go onto the beach, there is plenty of Maine coastline to take in.
Getting There and Other Details
Alright Rhode Islanders. Listen carefully because these directions are rather complicated. Carefully follow these complicated steps below:
1 - Get on I-95 North.
2 - Take exit 7 on I-95 North in Maine.
3 - Stay right off the exit and you will see Stonewall Kitchen on the left.
As you can now hopefully see, I was being sarcastic about the complicated directions. Here are some other things you may want to know.
Children of all ages are welcome. We took our then nine month old son, and it was no problem at all. That being said, most of the store consists of glass jars. While children are welcome, please supervise them. I'm sure you do not want to have to hear about a "you break it, you buy it" rule after your child swats a glass jar from the shelves.
Also, be aware of the weather. If you are from New England, you know how the winters can get around here. Check the forecast before taking the trip. The last thing most people want to do is to get caught out of state in a snowstorm. If you are not from New England and are coming here to visit/stay/live, you have been warned. The further north you go in New England, the more snow you are likely to see, and also the colder it will likely get. It may not cause an issue driving, but summers are hot and humid.
The greatest thing about the Stonewall Kitchen Company Store is that there is no cost to go there (not including the gas to get there). How much, or how little you spend will depend on how much you purchase at the store. The store also has a small cafe if you need to buy lunch or a quick snack. If you are going just to look, or if you stop in on your way to your final destination, you could leave without spending any money.