Wellington Marketplace in Concord
A must-visit shop in the capital city
Do what you love — those are Debra and Randy Barnes’ watchwords. “We met eight years ago and our passion for food is part of what brought us together,” says Debra. “Owning a food business has been a longtime goal for us. We wanted something hands-on that we could work at together, that would be ours.” A specialty store with great wines and cheeses became the answer to that goal. After looking around for a while, they realized that to get everything they wanted in a store, they would have to build it.
A trained chef, Debra taught cooking and bought, sold and renovated real estate before becoming the head cook and wine, cheese and mustard advisor (as well as bottle washer) at Wellington’s Marketplace. Randy has kept his day job for the time being, but spends as much time as possible at the store.
Named for Debra’s grandfather, Wellington’s makes everything in-house from scratch. Stop in at lunchtime for a great soup and sandwich. Fan favorites include the Classic Italian, the Cuban Sandwich and the Korean Pork Burrito. An eclectic selection of soups, everything from Thai chicken curry to split pea, changes every day or so. While you are there, you can pick up a side dish for dinner as well as imported olive oil, marcona almonds and artisanal crackers. Don’t forget a bottle of wine. Ninety percent of Wellington’s unique selection of 75 wines cannot be found in New Hampshire liquor stores.
“I’m so happy we have Wellington’s,” says Debra Douglas, a fan of the store. “It is my one-stop shop for specialty foods.” Debra praises the shop’s cheese selection that easily rivals the best that New York or Boston has to offer. “Chef Barnes is one of the most talented chefs I know. She thinks outside the box but her food is very approachable,” Douglas says.