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BENNINGTON — Lia Diamond is selling The Apple Barn and Country Bake Shop to fulfill a promise she made to herself upon joining the family business two decades ago: retire at 60. And that day is just half a year away.

The business, located along U.S. Route 7 South in Bennington, went on the market in April for $1.45 million. The price tag includes 19 acres of land as well as the shop’s furniture, equipment and customer lists, according to TPW Real Estate.

Having been a Bennington landmark for generations, it’s not surprising to hear from Diamond that The Apple Barn’s sale has received a lot of interest.

She said the farm market could have been established as early as the 1920s, then expanded through time.

Her father, Harold Albright, purchased it in 1973, a year after buying the nearby Southern Vermont Orchards apple farm. Diamond joined the business in 1995, creating what has become The Apple Barn’s famous apple cider donuts and their mini versions.

Besides the donuts, the Apple Barn also offers pies, jams, fresh produce, souvenir items and berry picking.

Its four longtime employees include manager Marie Walk, who apparently started making donuts when she was only 15, and her sister, Denee Facto.

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Diamond hopes to find new owners that will put as much love and care as she has in the business, its employees and customers. “I would love to see The Apple Barn be passed on to also very compassionate people,” she said on Friday.

When asked what she will miss most about the business, Diamond said it will be smiling at customers every day. She estimates having met thousands of people through the years, including tourists who have come on hundreds of buses.

But she will remain connected to family business through Southern Vermont Orchards, described as once being the largest privately owned orchard in the U.S. Now encompassing some 300 acres, the apple farm’s clients include local and national supermarkets.

“The orchard will remain, it’s the legacy of our family,” she said.

The Apple Barn will be open for the remainder of the 2021 season (until the last Wednesday before Thanksgiving), but that’s as far as management can tell.

“I don’t know what next year will bring for me,” Diamond said. “The Apple Barn was my playground, and I promised when I turned 60, not to get personal, that I would retire from the Apple Barn.”

Contact Tiffany Tan at or @tiffgtan both on Facebook and Twitter.


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