Celebrating Joel’s 65th year at Calef’s


Joel at Calef's Famous Cheese Counter

Joel Sherburne came to work at Calef’s Country store when he was in High School in 1959. Not only was this his first job, but it is also the only job he has ever had. He has been at the store for 65 years and counting. Though his schedule has cut back some over the past few years, for many years he worked 7 days a week, he still works 3-4 days per week.

During his tenure he has performed many jobs at the store but focused on two primary tasks. He cuts our famous Snappy Old Cheese and our equally famous smoked ham. Although no one knows for sure, not even Joel, it is roughly estimated that during these 65 years he has cut over 1.5 million LBS of Calef’s cheese and nearly 1 million pounds of Calef’s Ham. That’s a lot of ham and cheese!

While Calef’s may be the only paying job Joel has held, he has been a pillar of the Barrington, NH community his entire adult life. His many achievements and accomplishments include:

  • President of the Barrington Historical Society
  • Founder of the Barrington Ambulance Service
  • Ambassador for the Rochester Fair
  • Country Joel Comedian
  • Founder of NH Lighthouse week
  • Barrington Citizen of the year
  • EMT of the year
  • Justice of the Peace
  • Notary Public
  • and he is affectionately known as the Mayor of Barrington.

Perhaps Joels most important legacy in our community is measured by the number of young people he has mentored during his 65 years behind the counter at Calef’s. Countless Barrington youth have started their working career at Calef’s, just as Joel did. He has welcomed them all to the store, helped teach them the meaning of hard work, customer service, commitment and nurtured them as they grow into young adults. Not a week goes by when customer doesn’t tell a story of working with Joel back in the day.

People say that Joel is a Barrington institution, it goes deeper than that. He has chosen a simple life in his hometown where he works hard and contributes to his community daily, most recently as a member of the Barrington Tricentennial committee. Few of us can be so lucky. Joel has found peace and happiness by just staying put. Many of us travel near and far in search of the next best thing, the grass is always greener, the next opportunity will be better. Joel would say the grass is just fine right here in Barrington. 

In celebration of Joel’s 65th year we are offering 15% off our famous Calef’s cheese and our delicious smoked ham. Shop the one day in store sale September 10th or our extended online sale September 9th through September 15th.

If you are local to Barrington, please join us at the store September 10th from 1-3 PM, to celebrate Joel’s accomplishments in person. Watch our Facebook page for more event details.

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