Their Story started long before they ever met, and long before they were even born. Two families and their unique stories and passions would inevitably combine to become the beginning of “Their” Story.
Village Common is a dream three generations in the making, spanning over 40 years. They are continuing their families passion, rooted in bringing authentic, unique, and well-made products to the community.
Beginning in 1968, and from where we get their name, the first Village Common opened its doors in Avenel, New Jersey. It was run by Grandma Bernadette, current owner Ben Lebel’s grandmother. In its first incarnation, Village Common was an antique store of carefully selected, fine pieces from all eras. Grandma Bernadette also had beautiful plants and flowers for sale on the front porch that always attracted passers by to stop in.
In 1984, the Village Common moved to Stroudsburg, Pa., on the property of the Stroudsmoor Country Inn, and was re-imagined into a country store by Susan Lebel, Bernadette’s daughter and Ben’s mother. Antiques were still available alongside candles, soaps, homemade canned goods, and unique gift ideas. Susan has since blossomed this once country store into a thriving floral and decor studio.
From their southern roots, Billy Hays, current owner Blake Hays’ grandfather, opened his first country store in Pineville, Louisiana in 1960. It served as a vintage bodega; offering local produce and custom goods. Because of the construction of the new “American Highway”, Billy moved and opened his second store in 1978. This time offering mouth watering barbecue and other country store favorites. After years of serving his community, he decided to close the doors to his store.
Blake Hays and Benjamin Lebel bring to you a new installment of these family traditions blended together. Creating handmade, natural apothecary goods, kindled by their family history, Ben and Blake are continuing the legacy of the Village Common.
“...Village Common is a dream coming true.
Our relationship has brought our families and their traditions
together and together we bring you Village Common...”
Ben + Blake