Keeping the Best, Changing the Rest
“Oh, my goodness, it’s like going back in time!” That’s a sentiment we hear a lot, especially from customers visiting us for the first time. We also hear them say how real everything is. The kerosene lanterns hanging from the rafters are real. The potbelly stove is real (they knock on it to make sure). Mostly, they’re surprised that all the old-time toys, household gadgets, and health tonics are really for sale. We think they were expecting a museum and were surprised to find an actual working store. In many ways, my brothers and I feel the same way. So much of what you’ll find on our shelves has a history and heritage that makes them nostalgic—but at the same time, we’re always searching for new items, whether it’s a product brought back from the past or a never-seen-before item that’s destined to become a tried-and-true favorite.
As storekeepers, it’s our job (and joy!) to listen to our customers and to search for the products they’re longing for, to stand behind our products with a no-fuss guarantee, and to treat our customers and employees as neighbors and friends. This is the art of storekeeping, and we were fortunate to have the best teachers, our father, Lyman, and our grandfather, Vrest. Together, they worked hard to create and then preserve the type of country store you used to find in rural towns in the late 1800s.
Our father and grandfather also taught us how to balance keeping tradition with keeping up with the times. Over the years, we have grown the modest mail-order catalog our grandfather first printed in 1946 into a nationally recognized catalog, “built” an on-line store, and have recently expanded and improved both of our stores in Vermont.
Even with these changes, we’ve kept a lot the same. You can still call us to place your order and we’ll answer the phone in Vermont, you can still find your favorite products on our shelves, and you can still enjoy delicious comfort food in both our Weston and Rockingham eateries. Our stores remain as authentic as ever, too…right down to the rockers on the front porch and the creak of the floorboards when you walk inside. We did eventually upgrade those kerosene lanterns to electric lights, but both give off a welcoming glow that we hope will continue to guide you to our doorstep.
The Orton Family,
Gardner, Cabot, Eliot, Lyman
Want to suggest a product for The Vermont Country Store? We’d love to hear from you! CLICK HERE to submit your suggestion, and keep your eye on future catalogs…you never know what we might find.