Bristol’s Village Creeme Stand Is an Iconic Stop for Soft-Serve | 7 Nights Spotlight | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Bristol’s Village Creeme Stand Is an Iconic Stop for Soft-Serve

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Village Creemee Stand - CALEB KENNA
  • Caleb Kenna
  • Village Creemee Stand

A hot summer day in Bristol screams for two things: a brisk dip in the tumbling waters of Bartlett Falls, followed by ice cream at the sole spot in town that advertises, "No shirt, no shoes, no problem."

It's the Village Creeme Stand — and if you're accustomed to another spelling of Vermont's word for soft-serve, you're mistaken. "C-R-E-E-M-E is the right way," Tom Wallace says in a stern voice — but with a smile. The Bristol native and his wife, Claire, have been in the ice cream business since 1982. Their word is law.

Location Details Village Creeme Stand
41 West St.
Middlebury Area
Bristol, VT
802-453-6034
seasonal hours
Fast Food

And their creeme stand is an iconic seasonal stop for visitors from all across Vermont and New England. Newlyweds pose for photos in front of the quaint yellow-trimmed exterior. Motorcycle clubs and classic car owners park out front. Punk band Bison Bison even featured the stand on one of their album covers.

As soon as the front window opens for business — in late April or early May, depending on weather — the crowds line up. "It will be 50 degrees, and they will still come get creemes," says Claire. "It's like waiting for Christmas."

Village Creemee Stand - CALEB KENNA
  • Caleb Kenna
  • Village Creemee Stand

Claire and Tom — high school sweethearts now in their seventies — share with their family the rigorous responsibility of serving "thousands and thousands" of creemes per season. Daughters Kelly Laliberte and Piper Westbrook both started working at the stand in their early teens. Today, Piper manages it, employing all four Wallace grandchildren and more than a dozen other local teens.

On a blue-sky August afternoon, customers chatted easily on the porch, where Tom's home-garden surplus — supersize zucchini and squash — sat in a crate, free for the taking. Fifteen-year-old Tatum Laliberte worked the window, scribbling down orders for fried chicken sandwiches, juicy burgers and maple dogs — hot dogs cooked in Vermont maple syrup, of course.

Village Creemee Stand - CALEB KENNA
  • Caleb Kenna
  • Village Creemee Stand

Sides such as creamy mac-and-cheese bites, onion rings, and Howlers (jalapeño poppers) fulfill any fried-food craving — but save room. Dessert here is nonnegotiable.

Handwritten menus list the many options, from malts to milkshakes, sundaes to ice cream sandwiches. Dusted with nutmeg, a cone of coffee creeme is dreamy — or perhaps you'd prefer cherry-dipped vanilla. Can't decide? Ask Tatum to whip up her personal favorite: a small chocolate with Oreos, fudge and homemade sprinkles.

This article was originally published in 7 Nights: The Seven Days Guide to Vermont Restaurants & Bars in April 2019.

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