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BELLOWS FALLS — You can get everything from organic beauty products to fresh salad mix at The Common Sense Store in the downtown.

The store, located in one of the storefronts in the Rockingham Town Hall, opened just before Christmas. The past three weeks have been good ones, said Daraq Racine, a spokesman for the Twelve Tribes, which owns and runs the store.

Racine said Tuesday that the coronavirus pandemic delayed the opening, which was first announced about two years ago. He praised the support of Rockingham Development Director Gary Fox for helping them navigate local and state regulations.

But he said about six months ago they made a concentrated decision to get the storefront ready and to open. It opened Dec. 19.

The store, in the historic Fletcher’s Store, needed cleaning and painting, he said. Cafe 7 had been located there until three years ago.

The Twelve Tribes religious community lives at the Basin Farm in nearby Westminster, and grows produce there, including the store’s popular organic salad mix. The lettuces are grown in greenhouses during the winter months, Racine said.

“We sell out of the fresh salad mix every day,” he said.

The salad mix, which Racine said is deliberately priced “very affordably,” is popular with the residents of Bellows Falls, second only to the Common Sense beauty products that are sold at the store.

Other farm-grown produce for sale includes winter root vegetables, such as carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, as well as garlic and onions.

Once the growing season starts, people will be able to get warm-weather vegetables, including cucumbers and tomatoes. The Basin Farm’s soil is very fertile and managed carefully, Racine said. “We have very good crop rotation.”

The Common Sense store is also a big venue for its ever-expanding line of beauty products, everything from fragrance-free natural soaps to toothpaste and hand cream, he said. The beauty products are made in nearby North Walpole, N.H.

The store is not a restaurant, and only offers coffee, tea and muffins to customers. It has a small seating area for people to drink their coffee and take advantage of the store’s WiFi service.

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It sells the coffee from the neighboring Rockingham Roasters, which is located just across Rockingham Street.

Racine said the store is another place to get a cup of coffee in downtown Bellows Falls, and would not be competing with either Rockingham Roasters or Flat Iron Coop, two coffee shops that have opened in the past several months. Cold drinks are available, as well as various teas and yerba mate, a caffeinated drink from South America.

“We don’t specialize as a coffee shop. We point them across the street to Rockingham Roasters,” he said.

Their muffins are not baked at the store, he said.

The store features many Vermont and local products, in addition to things grown by the community at the Basin Farm, including local raw honey from Hall Apiaries of Plainfield, N.H., maple syrup from Hidden Springs Maple in Putney, as well as a Twelve Tribes syrup operation in Norton, and milk and dairy products from the Miller Farm in Vernon, among many other items.

The Twelve Tribes have operated restaurants in Bellows Falls in the past, and the group recently opened a Common Sense Store in Plymouth, Mass., although each store is unique, Racine said.

The Common Sense products are also available online. He said they would be using the store to test out new products.

The company is making small-batch Artisan Bar Soap, as well as Green Mountain Soap, which is fragrance-free, and targeted to people with sensitive skin. “We don’t test our products on animals,” he said.

In all, the store carries about 45 to 50 different Common Sense beauty products, from shampoos and conditioners to triple-milled hand soaps, toothpaste and moisturizers. Scents range from Garden Minte to Coconut Cream, Creamy Mango and Wild Berry. Prices range from $6.50 for toothpaste to $18.50 for shampoo or conditioner. In the next few months, the store will be debuting its baby care line.

“We formulate and manufacture everything here,” Racine said. For more information, go to

Hours for the store are Sunday, 12 to 8 p.m., Monday and Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Friday, 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. The store is closed Saturday.

Contact Susan Smallheer at