The Holidays are Here!

It​ ​feels​ ​like​ ​we’ve​ ​had​ ​elves​ ​working​ ​in​ ​secret​ ​for​ ​months,​ ​and​ ​now​ ​we get​ ​to​ ​load​ ​up​ ​the​ ​tables​ ​at​ ​General​ ​Store​ ​with​ ​wonderful​ ​goods​ ​made​ ​by​ ​our​ ​local​ ​producers​ ​and a​ ​few​ ​new​ ​friends.

One​ ​of​ ​those​ ​new​ ​friends​ ​would​ ​be​ ​Bevin​ ​Bells.​ ​Bevin​ ​Bells​ ​was​ ​started​ ​in​ ​1832​ ​by​ ​four brothers.​ ​No,​ ​it’s​ ​not​ ​a​ ​Paso​ ​company,​ ​but​ ​it’s​ ​an​ ​American​ ​company​ ​from​ ​a​ ​small​ ​town,​ ​and​ ​at General​ ​Store,​ ​we​ ​search​ ​for​ ​treasures​ ​like​ ​Bevin​ ​Bells​ ​wherever​ ​we​ ​go.​ ​

Established​ ​in​ ​East Hampton,​ ​Connecticut​ ​(known​ ​as​ ​Bell​ ​Town),​ ​it​ ​was​ ​one​ ​of​ ​over​ ​30​ ​companies​ ​there​ ​to​ ​produce bells,​ ​and​ ​is​ ​the​ ​only​ ​one​ ​still​ ​in​ ​operation.​ ​They​ ​patented​ ​the​ ​first​ ​foot-operated​ ​bell​ ​in​ ​a​ ​car (called​ ​a​ ​foot​ ​gong,​ ​later​ ​replaced​ ​by​ ​a​ ​car​ ​horn),​ ​the​ ​bells​ ​rung​ ​by​ ​the​ ​Salvation​ ​Army​ ​and​ ​the New​ ​York​ ​Stock​ ​Exchange,​ ​and​ ​home,​ ​sheep,​ ​ship​ ​and,​ ​yes,​ ​cowbells.​

The​ ​company headquarters​ ​was​ ​struck​ by​ ​lightning​ ​in​ ​2012​ ​and​ ​burned​ ​to​ ​the​ ​ground,​ ​but​ ​they’ve​ ​risen​ ​from the​ ​ashes​ ​and​ ​are​ ​on​ ​track​ ​to​ ​hit​ ​their​ ​200th​ ​anniversary​ ​in​ ​2032.

We​ ​met​ ​Cici​ ​Bevin​ ​this​ ​summer,​ ​and​ ​were​ ​charmed​ ​by​ ​how​ ​classic​ ​and​ ​simple​ ​the​ ​bells​ ​were​ ​— their​ ​ring​ ​really​ ​does​ ​sound​ ​clear!​ ​We​ ​asked​ ​Cici,​ ​who​ ​is​ ​a​ ​sixth​ ​generation​ ​Bevin​ ​and​ ​handles marketing​ ​and​ ​custom​ ​projects,​ ​if​ ​she​ ​could​ ​create​ ​something​ ​just​ ​for​ ​us.​

We​ ​love​ ​what​ ​we developed​ ​together:​ ​a​ ​holiday​ ​bell​ ​ornament​ ​that​ ​says​ ​“Paso​ ​Robles”​ ​on​ ​one​ ​side​ ​and​ ​“JOY”​ ​on the​ ​other.​ ​And​ ​to​ ​give​ ​it​ ​a​ ​little​ ​more​ ​history,​ ​it’s​ ​the​ ​exact​ ​same​ ​bell​ ​that​ ​rings​ ​in​ ​​It’s​ ​A Wonderful​ ​Life​​ ​whenever​ ​an​ ​angel​ ​gets​ ​their​ ​wings.

We​ ​couldn’t​ ​stop​ ​there.​ ​We​ ​also​ ​brought​ ​in​ ​classic​ ​sleigh​ ​bells,​ ​jingle​ ​bells​ ​and​ ​a​ ​custom​ ​PR black​ ​cowbell​ ​for​ ​chiming​ ​in​ ​at​ ​Pioneer​ ​Day,​ ​or​ ​just​ ​getting​ ​people​ ​to​ ​come​ ​in​ ​for​ ​dinner.​ ​There is​ ​also​ ​an​ ​assortment​ ​of​ ​cowbells​ ​in​ ​smaller​ ​sizes​ ​and​ ​cheerful​ ​colors,​ ​and​ ​yes​ ​—​ ​a​ ​version​ ​of​ ​the same​ ​cowbell​ ​was​ ​rung​ ​by​ ​Will​ ​Ferrell​ ​on​ ​Saturday​ ​Night​ ​Live.

Another​ ​custom​ ​project​ ​we’re​ ​excited​ ​about​ ​for​ ​the​ ​holidays:​ ​our​ ​enamelware​ ​camping​ ​mug​ ​with custom​ ​Paso​ ​logo.​ ​With​ ​an​ ​assortment​ ​of​ ​rim​ ​colors,​ ​it’s​ ​a​ ​one-of-a-kind​ ​gift​ ​for​ ​camping,​ ​for kids​ ​to​ ​use​ ​outside,​ ​or​ ​for​ ​cozy​ ​nights​ ​sipping​ ​cocoa.​ ​And​ ​the​ ​cocoa​ ​you​ ​should​ ​be​ ​drinking? Why,​ ​the​ ​locally​ ​made​ ​and​ ​organic​ ​hot​ ​cocoa​ ​from​ ​Yes!​ ​Mixers​ ​of​ ​course!​ ​Lauren​ ​and​ ​Brandon made​ ​mulling​ ​spices,​ ​cider,​ ​cocoa​ ​and​ ​Mexican​ ​cocoa​ ​(just​ ​a​ ​touch​ ​of​ ​cinnamon​ ​—​ ​yum!)​ ​just​ ​for General​ ​Store.​ ​They’re​ ​great​ ​for​ ​teacher​ ​gifts,​ ​to​ ​share​ ​with​ ​neighbors,​ ​or​ ​for​ ​Christmas​ ​morning.

Come​ ​see​ ​us!​ ​It​ ​may​ ​not​ ​be​ ​as​ ​easy​ ​as​ ​ordering​ ​in​ ​your​ ​pajamas,​ ​but​ ​we​ ​promise​ ​it​ ​will​ ​be​ ​a​ ​lot more​ ​fun.​ ​Open​ ​10​ ​a.m.​ ​to​ ​7​ ​p.m.​ ​daily,​ ​and​ ​on​ ​Saturdays,​ ​donut​ ​holes​ ​and​ ​Spearhead coffee​.