- ShireTown Marketplace's tri-tip sandwich
Middlebury's creemee drought ended last month when ShireTown Marketplace opened its walk-up window on August 19, serving cones and cups of classic vanilla, chocolate and twist.
"We anticipated it being busy, but nothing like what we actually saw," owner Kevin Archambeault said. "We kind of got it handed to us on the first day."
Now, Archambeault is preparing for the next phases of his three-part business at 54 College Street: ShireTown will open a retail marketplace and start counter service of breakfast and lunch on Thursday, September 22.
Location Details ShireTown Marketplace
For breakfast, customers can order staple items such as huevos rancheros and sausage gravy and biscuits from the counter and dine on-site in the market. The creemee window will offer drip coffee and convenient grab-and-go breakfast tacos, with meat, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free versions available each morning.
The counter's lunch menu will be barbecue-centric, with chopped pork sandwiches and Santa Maria-style tri-tip steak — influenced by Archambeault's time in California, where he and his wife, Dani, lived before moving to Vermont in 2018. Premade salads, soups and sandwiches will be available from the market coolers all day.
Archambeault spent a decade managing winery tasting rooms around Paso Robles, Calif., and developed a barbecue catering program for Derby Wine Estates. When the family moved to Cornwall, he transferred that knowledge to his role managing the pub at Middlebury's Otter Creek Brewing before striking out on his own with ShireTown. (Dani is a partner in the business but continues to work in hospitality for WhistlePig.)
The building's history as a market dates back to 1815, Archambeault said; it was most recently home to Ales Family Restaurant. He plans to fill ShireTown's freshly renovated market space with local products, picnic provisions and house-baked breads, rather than the convenience store-style goods stocked there in the past.
"It has supplied a lot of college students because of the proximity to the [Middlebury College] campus," Archambeault said of the space. "But the culture of food has changed. Everything's a little bit more refined these days."
ShireTown has seating for roughly 30 people inside, between a newly built banquette and antique Windsor chairs; it will serve brunch on Saturdays. Local craft beer and cider will be available, along with draft wines from a four-handle wine kegerator.
Creemee service will continue year-round, too. In the winter, Archambeault said, customers can enjoy their soft serve in the warmth of the market's wood hearth.