Janet Dewitz

Janet Dewitz -- GiGi's Country Store

Janet DewitzThe large commercial building at the junction of Maple and Main Streets is usually called “The Yellow Building.” Over the years it has housed many enterprises, among them a restaurant, a taxidermist, a bakery, a flower shop and for a while a laundromat. Except for Donna Hoover’s realty office, most of the businesses have been short lived.

GiGi storeIt is not the ideal spot for a retail business: there is little parking, and most people do not associate it with the Main Street stores, since it is one the other side of the street.

The newest resident is GiGi’s Country Store, and the owner, Janet Dewitz, said she plans to change that perception, get people to notice it. Short of installing a flashing light, of course, which Wilton doesn’t allow.

“My goal is to grow it into a real country store,” she said recently, “what the community needs and wants.” Her second anniversary on the site is in August.

The store carries a variety of all natural products. “Geared toward healthy living,” she said. “Even the chips have no trans-fat.” She plans to gradually increase her offerings.

Dewitz has three children and eight grandchildren, and it is those grandkids who named the store. “I didn’t want my name on it, and they took a vote.” She worked in the food business most of her life, she said, restaurants and some retail, part of the time with her daughter who still assists her. “I’m a people person. I like to be out and about. I was a struggling single Mom.”

During COVID she lost her job and went looking for something else. “We looked at several places. I love Wilton, it has a home town feel. I think I was led here.”

She lives in Pine Valley, “just over the line,” a section of Milford most people think is in Wilton.

She was warmly welcomed when she opened, she said. “So many people stopped in with flowers and saying welcome. I hope I can make GiGi’s work.”

The shop is a bright, airy space that spills out onto the sidewalk.

GiGie's storeMost of her products are organic, from honey and farm-fresh eggs, to home-made jams, jellies, sauces, pickles and pancake mix, and are produced locally. Most of her suppliers are veterans, including her son who lives in Deering. Produce comes from farms in Wilton, Lyndeborough, Amherst, Hollis and Bedford. She also has a line of locally-made organic soaps, lotions and lip balm.

She got a lot of advice from Trombly’s in Milford, she said, “how set up and get organized. They have a wonderful stand and are just kind people.” There is another corner of the store as well, children’s items, novelties, gifts, and cards with New Hampshire inspired pictures, including covered bridges. “Just let us know what you want, and we’ll try to get it.”

She likes to interact with the public, she said. She keeps a supply of treats for visiting dogs – she has some regulars. During Summerfest she offered face painting. “I lost track of how many came in.” She takes part in every event offered on Main Street. “Every event helps new people find me. Wilton really cares, wants to keep the small-town atmosphere. I hope that never changes.”

Her philosophy is “don’t give up on your dreams. It took me 50 years to start living my dream – having this shop. I’m giving it a try.”

Stop in and see for yourself.

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