About Us

The Cracker Mill Hearth & Emporium is owned and operated by Jerry and Janet Wemple, along with their daughter and son-in-law, Lauri and Sean Kennedy. It was started over 30 years ago in the small town of Boiceville, New York, about 5 minutes from the current store location in Shokan, NY.

For most of our past we were known locally as the Cracker Barrel Country Store. Due to a change in our focus, along with a legal agreement with the restaurant chain of a similar name, we changed our name to the current Cracker Mill Hearth & Emporium.


After Sean and Lauri were married in 1987 they both started helping Jerry and Janet Wemple manage the business. While the roots of the business are a small country store, from which Jerry rented a small space to show his wood stoves, the focus gradually changed to selling, installing and servicing all kinds of hearth products, not just wood stoves.


When Sean joined the business he took a particular interest in building custom fireplaces for clients who were looking for more than a cookie cutter "builders box", (a typically ugly and inefficient fireplace often chosen by the original builder of many homes). Sean comes from a background in construction and the fireplace business is a great fit. The Cracker Mill now offers complete custom fireplace services that will fit into any budget.


We specialize in quality mid-range and high-end "zero-clearance" fireplaces, along with high-quality stoves and inserts. Despite our focus on high-quality brands, our clients do not need to be rich to afford a nice custom fireplace. Available materials allow for an almost unlimited array of choices for your fireplace project. Our showroom is a good place to start when you are looking for ideas. We also offer on-site consultation services and can work with your own designers, architects, or other contractors.


We hope you will choose to visit the Cracker Mill when you are ready to begin your own "fire space" project.

Left to Right: Lauri Kennedy, Sean Kennedy, Jerry Wemple, Janet Wemple