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One of the most popular shopping areas in Gatlinburg celebrated its 50th anniversary this year! Since 1969, The Village Shops has become a staple in Gatlinburg, along with its first shop, The Donut Friar. Both The Donut Friar and The Village in Gatlinburg are must-visits on your vacation. Read on to learn more about both of these top spots:
The History of The Village in Gatlinburg
In 1965, an important decision rose for the owners of the famous Pancake Pantry and Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen. Jim and June Gerding, owners of The Pancake Pantry, and David and Peggy Dych, owners of Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen, had to make the decision whether they wanted to buy the property their stores were on or hope that the next owner allowed them to keep their shops open. In the end, the four decided to purchase the properties, as well as the next 1.25 acres for $350,000. Four years later, in July of 1969, they opened The Village in Gatlinburg. In 1991, The Village was taken over by the Gerdings’ and Dychs’ children.
About The Village in Gatlinburg
Throughout the last 50 years, The Village in Gatlinburg has become one of the most popular places to shop and explore in the area. It is home to a collection of 27 unique boutiques, clothiers, eateries, and galleries. This European-themed village is a place for visitors to shop, eat, and relax. Some of the top shops in The Village are The Donut Friar, Pepper Palace, and The Spice & Tea Exchange.
About The Donut Friar
You definitely want to put a stop at The Donut Friar on your Smoky Mountain vacation itinerary! This iconic shop was the first to open in The Village and is the only original shop still open today. When you visit, it’s easy to understand its success. Start your morning off right with a cup of coffee and a freshly made donut from this shop. When you’re walking through The Village, the smell of the donuts, cinnamon bread, and pastries will draw you into The Donut Friar. It’ll be hard to resist buying every treat in the shop!
More Shops in The Village in Gatlinburg
From unique boutiques to eateries, learn more about some of the other shops you can find in The Village in Gatlinburg:
Celtic Heritage – Celtic Heritage includes gifts imported from Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. When you enter this shop, you’ll be surrounded by Celtic music, food and beverages, jewelry, clothing, and more. Some of these items you’ll only be able to find at The Village in Gatlinburg!
Pepper Palace – If you love spicy foods, Pepper Palace is the place for you! This Gatlinburg shop is home to a variety of hot sauces, salsas, BBQ sauces, marinades, seasonings, and more. Pepper Palace also offers free samples every day for visitors to enjoy!
The Spice & Tea Exchange – The Spice & Tea Exchange is a unique shop that food lovers, chefs, and tea enthusiasts love. It is home to more than 140 spices, 70 hand-mixed seasoning blends, sugars, salts, loose-leaf teas, and more. When you’re there, you can create your own custom gift, or you can choose from a variety of recipe samplers and gift boxes.
Village Cafe & Creamery – In addition the The Donut Friar, you can also enjoy sweet treats and coffee drinks at the Village Cafe & Creamery. From ice cream to hot coffee, you can have it all at this Gatlinburg shop. They serve a variety of hot and cold drinks, from lattes, to espresso shakes, to hot chocolate. If you’re in the mood for ice cream, you can choose from sundaes, shakes, malts and more. This shop also lets visitors sample some of their treats!
Don’t miss your chance to visit The Village in Gatlinburg that has become a staple in town over the last 50 years! Take a look at other great things to do in Gatlinburg while you’re here and start planning the best Smoky Mountain vacation.