The store is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. (It’s closed Monday and Tuesday.) The cafe is open Fridays, Saturday and Sunday during the store’s hours.
Johnny Appleseed Farm, an apple orchard turned furniture store that was a Madison County fixture for decades before closing three years ago, has reopened with a slightly different name and a new business model.
The Shoppes at Johnny Appleseed held a “soft” opening June 9, selling an eclectic mix of handmade artisan furniture, Americana home accessories, hand-dyed yarns, artwork and an “apple kitchen” selling homemade baked goods and, soon, New York State wines. A grand opening is scheduled for July 22.
Nestled in the green rolling hills of the hamlet of Erieville six miles east of Cazenovia, the first Johnny Appleseed was started as an apple orchard 1963 by Owen and Florence Gilmore.
The Gilmores opened a furniture store across the road from their 2,000-tree orchard in 1969. It featured a mix of high-end, country and unique furniture, and a cafe that sold apple cider and baked treats made on site, including apple crisps. It attracted shoppers from throughout Central New York, with many coming almost as much to enjoy the picturesque country setting as for the furniture and treats.
The store closed in the summer of 2014 when the Gilmore’s oldest son, Owen, who had taken over its operation from his parents, retired due to health reasons.
The Gilmores’ youngest son, Patrick, his wife, Erica, and Florence Gilmore are the owners and operators of the new Johnny Appleseed. Erica Gilmore said many people still remember the old store fondly, so the three decided to give the business another go.
“It’s definitely a destination, and there’s a lot of nostalgia involved,” she said.
She said they did not have the capital to run a 20,000-square-foot furniture store like the original Johnny Appleseed. So, they decided to operate the store somewhat like a co-op business, leasing much of its space to vendors and artists. (They’re charging $1 a square foot.)
About three-fifths of the space is already filled with a collection of shops:
- Alexandra’s Attic sells home accessories including rugs, wall art and candles.
- Room To Improve sells Americana including signs, wall ornaments and other home decor.
- Country Knoll sells hand-dyed yarns and other items.
- Decorative Edge sells handmade soy candles, goat milk soap, maple syrup and handmade home accessories.
- Route 20 Sofa Company
The store also sells Patrick Gilmore’s handmade tables, benches and sofas, and his art woodwork. In addition, Patrick is the chef for the Apple Kitchen, which sells soups, salads, carrot cake and, of course, apple crisp, all made on site. It also sells coffee from Coffee Mania, of Cortland.
Erica said they are working on getting a liquor license so they can sell New York State wines at the cafe.
The family’s apple orchard is starting back up, too, though on a limited basis. The apples produced by its remaining 300 apple trees will be used in the store’s cafe.
The Gilmores are planning to turn 5,000 square feet of the building into event space for weddings and other occasions.
Erica said they also plan to make portions of the family’s 85-acre property available to the public for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.