You’ve Got  Questions – We’ve Got Answers
(and if we don’t know the answer, we’ll make something up)

Q: Who is “Fern”?
A: That’s one of the most oft-asked questions and requires a longer answer Naming Ferns

Q: How long has there been a store in Carlisle?
A: Since 1844 – Ferns Country Store is on the original site. For a more complete history about stores in Carlisle – Old Country Store.


Q: What’s a “Ferns Cahd“??
A: Ferns Cahds are our own in-store ‘debit/gift card’…. They are rechahgable, carry no maintenance fee or service chahges – and they don’t expire. Lot’s of folks who regularly shop us find them wicked handy.. They’re great for kids and our cycling friends find them totally convenient because they don’t have to deal with carrying change or handing over sweaty, wet bills! Get your Ferns Cahd at any register.

Q: How’s that differ from a “CoffeeExpres Cahd?
A: A Ferns CoffeeExpres Cahd is a pre-paid, Honor System cahd – you can buy a cahd for a smalleh, mediumeh or lahgeh coffee – – 10 or 20 cups and get a FREE cup for every 10! When you come in for your coffee – simply go to the self-serve Expres counter, get your Regulah, Decaf, Hi-Test or Coffee of the Month and punch your cahd.

Q: Why don’t you use “R’s” when you write?
A: In New England, friends don’t let friends talk with “ah’s”

Q: Didn’t Carlisle used to be a ‘dry town’?
A: Yup, for 150 years! During the Temperance Movement some folks thought that all liquor ought to be banned in Carlisle. We took on the six year process to undry the Town – in Massachusetts, it takes three elections over a six year period to undry a town. Heck, we elect the leader of the Free World in ONE vote! Don’t get me started… At any rate, the citizens of Carlisle decided that having wine & beer sales in Town would be OK. After going through the licensing process, we opened our Wine & Beer Department on Nov 11, 2009. 

Q: Does your Wine & Beer Department have different hours than the rest of the store?
A: Yup, 10:00am – 9:00pm. Closed Sundays per the Board of Selectmen. I guess they figured that after being dry for 150 years, we couldn’t rush into these things....

Q: Why doesn’t GPS work in Carlisle?
A: Folks come into the store on a regular basis – map in hand announcing “I’m lost!” To which we reply: “No you’re not – you’re heah!” We believe that it has to do with the unique geological magnetic rock formations that are hidden beneath our town which wreaks havoc on GPS systems, causes folks to become lost and come into our store asking for directions… Actually, I made that part up. I really have no idear. But if you find yourself misguided, directions are always free at Ferns.

Q: Why is The Smiling Duck Café called “The Smiling Duck Café?”
A: Because we thought it would be more fun than, say, The Corner Café.

Q: Does the smiling duck on the sign have a name?
A: Ferdinand the Amazing Smiling Duck

Q: Do you have BYOB @ Ferns?
A: Yup, BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle) was approved in 2011. You can bring your bottle of wine or beer from home – or buy it at Ferns and enjoy it in our Cafe. BYOB Hours: Mon-Fri 4p – 9p; Sat-Sun 12-9.

Q: What’s with the clocks on the wall behind your front register?
A: It’s simple – those are our surrounding towns – everyone’s behind Carlisle (the correct time)… and Concord is further behind everyone else.

Q: Why do you charge $2 to fill a water bottle?
A: We’re on a private well and septic and under strict DEP rules on how much water we can use every day. Charging to fill a water bottle encourages folks to purchase a bottle of water instead – which also helps keep us in business!

Q: Your bathroom is – ah – unique!
A: That wasn’t a question.

Q: OK, so what’s with the toilet?
A: Because we have a private septic system, we installed our self-composting Clivus system that has a series of baffles in the tank and a timed misting system. There’s an internal fan to eliminate odors and a couple thousand worms at work in the tank. The system is in use in many environmentally fragile areas.

Q: How about that mirror?
A: The old mirror was rescued at the Carlisle Transfer Station Swap Shop – the place where nice Carlisle folks leave good stuff for other nice Carlisle folks to reuse. When we saw the old mirror – once part of an antique makeup table – we knew immediately that once cleaned up it would look terrific in our bathroom. See, it’s simple, at Ferns Country Store, we like old stuff. That’s why Robin likes Larry.

Q: Can I post my business card or flyers in the store?
A: Sorry, but we have very limited space on our Community Bulletin Board so it’s restricted to non-profits and community events. If you’d like to advertise your business to our vast audience, we have some terrific opportunities – check this out: Advertise @ Ferns

Q: What year is your pickup truck?
A: Lucille the Ferns WonderTruck is a 1956, Chevy ½ ton shortbed pickup. Larry’s the second owner – she’s originally from Colorado where she toiled most of her life on a farm. She’s driven daily, year-round. 

Q: Are you hiring?
A: Robin handles all of the hiring and, depending on the time of year, she may be looking for help. Go heah for more info – Employment

Q: Are there other Ferns Country Stores?
A: Not yet.

Have a Question? Contact Us

“Always remember that the person you’re talking with may not be wearing underwear.”
– – Tim Arc

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