The original Benn~Burry Shop was was founded circa 1946 and later incorporated in 1969 by Eleanor Davis and her son Robert "Tony" Davis. Over a span of decades, the store became a local and regional fixture on Vermont's Route 7 (now 7A) straddling the Shaftsbury-Bennington town line. Initially a gift shop, the Benn~Burry Shop had a country store feel and an eclectic mix of wares from fine china, decorative glass and ceramic collectibles to assorted knick-knacks, bric-a-brac and New England staples including Vermont maple products, smoked meats and cheddar cheese cured on the premises.
Eleanor Davis resided in the historic colonial farmhouse next door and managed the store on a day to day basis; Tony helped her build the business while mostly on the road as a sales rep for the Adirondack Bat Company of Dolgeville, NY and others including his father George A. Davis' athletic shoe company, the largest and would-be exclusive importer of Tiger running shoes at the time.
The Benn~Burry Shop was evolving into a full-fledged department store and purveyor of Levi's jeans, outerwear, apparel, sporting goods and jewelry, but the gift shop was maintained in the original building which had been expanded with a warehouse on the back. The business grew and Benn~Burry expanded into a new building Tony constructed on the other side of Eleanor's house. Patrons will remember the stalwart Dorothy "Dot" Colcord keeping stock and inimitable manager Clyde "Sonny" Young when the Bennington store was in its heyday.
Benn~Burry, reincorporated as Benn Burry Stores, Inc., expanded again into downtown Rutland, Vermont in 1976 and ultimately into downtown Burlington, Vermont in 1984 with a monumental 3 story store designed by renowned architect Bud Lench and constructed on Church Street. Times they were a changing though with the proliferation of town sized malls offering cheaper goods and a new experience across the country.
Benn~Burry was ultimately closed in the early nineties in the midst of a changing world and declining market, but what a legacy it left with over four decades of catering to local folks and outdoor enthusiasts from far and wide seeking an authentic New England (or Vermont) experience that existed no where else.
The Benn~Burry online store was created by Tony's son Parker in early 2019 (see About Us). The online store rekindles the themes, values and memories of the original that inspired it, but is in fact an entirely separate entity with no financial or legal connection to the original.