When I had first told my family and friends that I was going to be moving to the Pioneer Valley last Spring, the most common question I was asked was “how close will you be to Yankee Candle?” (and the answer is that I’m about ten minutes away.)
You see, the Yankee Candle in Deerfield, Massachusetts is the quintessential “to-do” thing for anyone visiting Western Massachusetts. The sprawling store/headquarters- which includes every candle you could ever imagine, an indoor Christmas market (with real snow and a Santa stop for the kids,) home goods, baking needs and a fantastic restaurant- draws huge crowds nearly every weekend. And, while they’ve taken every precaution to remain open and safe during the pandemic- it can still feel a little overwhelming and crowded in there. I would know, since I had stopped by on a Saturday last month to grab a couple of Thanksgiving gifts for my mother- and left feeling more than claustrophobic.
This past weekend, needing to pick up a couple of little, local things to include in holiday presents I’m shipping across the country in a few days- I contemplated braving Yankee Candle’s crowds again, undoubtedly even larger now given that we’re only a couple of weeks away from Christmas- when I remembered that I’m also a short drive away from another renowned candle store and gift shop- Kringle Candle!
Located in Bernardston, Massachusetts- Kringle Candle was founded by the son of Michael J. Kittredge II- the founder of Yankee Candle (it looks like candles are a passion that run in the family.) While Kringle Candle is a smaller space- the store is still charming, easy to navigate through, and filled with high quality, powerfully-scented candles, reasonably priced home décor, and locally sourced food/snacks and body care. I was able to find plenty of gifts while being able to safely socially distance since they’ve been able to maneuver the layout of the store to keep a one-way flow of traffic and avoid congregating and crowding- even when the place had quite a few customers browsing!
Kringle Candle also has a great restaurant directly across the street from their store, The Farm Table– and although I didn’t have enough time to stop and grab lunch- one look at their menu has me eager to make a reservation after the holidays.
If you find yourself in or around Bernardston anytime soon- I highly recommend Kringle Candle as a destination to visit. I had such a nice time browsing their goods and buying gifts that didn’t break the bank. I’ll definitely be stopping by again soon!