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Shoppes at Johnny Appleseed is a Madison County destination

Carly Stone
Staff writer
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Posted 6/10/22

Tucked away off State Route 20 just six miles outside of Cazenovia lies the Shoppes at Johnny Appleseed, a quintessential countryside farm offering a unique destination shopping experience.

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Shoppes at Johnny Appleseed is a Madison County destination


ERIEVILLE — Tucked away off State Route 20 just six miles outside of Cazenovia lies the Shoppes at Johnny Appleseed, a quintessential countryside farm offering a unique destination shopping experience. The business is celebrating its five-year anniversary this June.

The farm’s roots go back decades to its genesis as Johnny Appleseed Furniture, a name that locals knew far and wide for providing quality, high-end American and Canadian made furniture.

The business got its start by the late Owen Gilmore, who, in the 1970s, decided to end his career as a traveling carpet salesman and open an orchard. “They put in thousands of trees, and the first year that they put the trees in, they had a hail storm and they lost everything,” explained Erica Gilmore, co-owner of the Shoppes at Johnny Appleseed and Owen’s daughter-in-law. “So he decided that along with apples, he would offer unfinished furniture.” From there, the business would grow into a full-blown million dollar family-owned furniture store, Erica shared, which also included a cafe.

Owen and his wife Florence Gilmore ran Johnny Appleseed Furniture for decades along with their eight sons.

The business officially closed in 2015.

Not long after, Johnny Appleseed was brought back to life as something new in 2017.

Florence along with her son Patrick Gilmore and his wife Erica are now celebrating five years in business as the Shoppes at Johnny Appleseed, a unique cooperative-style artisan marketplace located at 3402 Old State Rd. in Erieville, where Johnny Appleseed Furniture used to be.

Inspired by the artisan co-op business model like that at the Artisans’ Corner in Clinton, partners Florence — who’s a continued entrepreneur at the age of 92 — and Erica run the “shoppes,” facilitating marketing and sales.

Patrick is the chef at Johnny Appleseed’s cafe, the Apple Kitchen. Utilizing his years of experience with the family business, he also maintains the 80-acre property in pristine condition. “It’s constant work, and it’s so nice to have someone with that kind of a handyman background, because otherwise we’d be in trouble,” Erica remarked.

Erica and Patrick moved to the area with their children from Clinton in 2016 to get the new business model off the ground.

Over 55 different artisans sell their products at the Shoppes at Johnny Appleseed. What’s unique about these partnerships, Erica explained, is that the vendors do not have to work the sales floor.

“When we opened, we had just four vendors. Over the course of the next year, it increased to 24, and by the end of our second year we had over 50,” Florence shared.

The merchandise available is vast and diverse, spanning from food products, art, decor, candles, antiques, vinyls, clothing, jewelry, and much, much more to fill the building’s nearly 20,000 square foot space. “We have really everything you can imagine,” Erica remarked. The majority of products are locally made or made in America, she noted.

Vendors are constantly rotating and evolving. “The synergy is what makes it so interesting,” Erica commented.

After building an appetite walking through the aisles, guests can stop into the Apple Kitchen, which serves homemade soups, sandwiches, and desserts like apple crisp using the farm’s own organic crop. Guests can also enjoy NYS craft beers and wines. “It’s like a little mini-mall in the country,” Erica commented. Regardless of making a purchase at Johnny Appleseed, browsing the aisles and enjoying the property offers its own value.

The surrounding 80 acres provide picturesque countryside views featuring maintained nature trails for guests to enjoy, complete with 400 apple trees and outdoor seating with a pond-side view connected to the cafe. In the fall, after the Gilmores take the apples they need, the public is encouraged to take what’s left, for free.

The expansive property and amenities bode well for hosting large gatherings and other events.

Guests often come to enjoy a slow-paced, thoughtful kind of consumerism at Johnny Appleseed, Erica explained. “People come sometimes from an hour to two hours away. It’s really a destination location,” she remarked.

To celebrate all its achievements, the Shoppes at Johnny Appleseed is hosting an open house on June 11-12 with storewide sales, live music outside the Apple Kitchen, and free gift raffles. The open house will take place during regular business hours, Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. The Shoppes at Johnny Appleseed is also open Wednesday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Apple Kitchen is open Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.

With a five-year milestone completed, the Gilmores are excited for the growth that is to come. Space atop a hill on the property is slated to accommodate yoga and Tai-Chi classes this summer, Erica revealed. Other business renovations and upgrades are also in the works, she shared.


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