How Customer Reviews Shape Us

If you’re new to The Vermont Country Store then you might not know a lot about our history. We are a real country store, here in Vermont, and we have been around since 1946. We have two locations, one in Weston, Vermont and another in Rockingham, Vermont. Our grandfather, Vrest Orton, started The Vermont Country Store back in 1946. He, and our grandmother Mildred, printed and mailed the first catalog to about 1,000 (lucky!) people. Our grandfather was inspired to bring back the quality products (and top-notch customer service) that he felt were starting to get lost as big industry took a toehold in the United States. He carefully selected a variety of products—home goods, food, gadgets, clothing, cleaning products, and more—and told each unique story and promise of quality in the catalog. And he made sure these products made good on those promises once the customer received them.

coffee mills in original vermont country store catalog 2
Two coffee mills as featured in one of our first catalogs

How do you know?

You’re probably wondering how our grandfather knew his products lived up to their story and promise. Well, repeat customers are one way and catalog requests are another—but the best way to know if we’ve hit the mark is to hear from our customers themselves. And over the years, we’ve built quite the rapport with our customers through their letters and phone calls. You might say that they were our first “customer reviews”.


customer letters to The Vermont Country Store

We’ve come to count on this personal communication to improve upon current products and to recreate or rediscover products that our customers loved but thought were long gone. If a customer suggested a product, once we found it or created it and put it in the catalog, we would print their name above it as “suggested by”.

We’re very grateful for the tips, suggestions, emotional pleading, and even the stern admonishments—we take every letter and call seriously and attribute them to our success today. (We also think people kind of like seeing their name in print, too!)

customer suggestion featured in The Vermont Country Store catalogOnce we opened our online store, we added “real” customer reviews to the avenues of communication with our customers. And we think they’re pretty great. The feedback is instantaneous and we can respond just as quickly too. We’ve even started added customer quotes from our website to our catalog, too. The Vermont Country Store typewriter review

Reach out! We’d love to hear from you!

If you have an idea for a product, we’d love to hear it! You can send us a note, give us a call (800-564-4623) or enter your request on our website. We’ve created a page for you to give us all the details of the product you’re longing to find once again!

Just like our grandfather, we love to find out what you think about the products you buy from us. If we’ve hit the mark, that’s great, we’ll keep doing what we’re doing. If we’ve fallen short, we’ll take a look at the product and see how it can be improved. And if you’re looking for something and can’t find it, we’re up to the task to see if we can seek it out or recreate at it as close to the original as possible. They’re don’t call us the Purveyors of the Practical and Hard-to-Find for nothing!

Click here to suggest your favorite, hard to find products:

Customer Suggestion Form

5 Responses to “How Customer Reviews Shape Us”

  1. Jeanie

    I am a avid tea drinker. Drinking several LARGE mugs of tea per day. My problem is tea stains! I have been looking for a latte sized mug with a dark interior. Your mug is almost perfect although it is just a bit too small! I am looking for 20 ounces! Yes, I really do drink 3 or 4 of those per day! Would it be possible to track down such an item. I tried the internet and found them with Harley or skull and crossbones ( hardly appropriate for a older lady). Starbucks thought it was a good idea but had never thought of it (duh!). I tried green interior with the same staining results (sigh!)

    • Storekeeper

      Hi Jeanie,
      It can be so hard to find the right mug! We love our handwarmer mugs but it is only 14oz. We’ll share your suggestion with our product team and see what we can come up with.

      In the meantime–have you ever tried using baking soda to remove tea stains from your favorite cups? We find if you wet the cup and sprinkle in enough baking soda to make a paste, and use your fingers or a paper towel to scrub around the inside of the cup, the tea stains will come right up. )You’ll want to give the cup a good soapy wash after using baking soda.) Hope that helps!


    I love the Mountain Weave Table linens. I grew up with those tablecloths and loved them. My parent’s had a family owned business and these linens were a staple for their store and for our family. Their customers loved them as we do and I was bummed when they retired and I couldn’t get them anymore. I also grew up with the cardboard lighted houses and when their basement flooded I didn’t get theirs but you had them some years ago and I got those too. I love seeing all of the things I grew up with and it’s great to have these things for our kids too!

  3. Mark

    I love your company! Can I please have a catalog mailed to me? Thank you for having such a fine store!


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