Store Door BellEvery so often, some salesman tries to convince us to install an “electronic entry alert chime” in our store. That’s one of those little plastic devices that beeps when you step through a laser beam. We say thanks, but no thanks, we don’t need one. We have a shop bell.

In its day, the brass shop bell was a high-tech security item. It alerted the storekeeper, who was often out back—getting stock, keeping the ledger, or having lunch—that a customer had entered the store. Today, that pleasant jingle has come to mean much more to us. It means another person has discovered our store—and boy, are they in for a treat!

Some customers, especially the ones who have been ordering from our catalog for years, make a special point of driving up for a visit. For others, we are just one “quick” stop on a tour of Vermont’s scenic attractions. These folks end up staying longer, once they realize we are a genuine country store stocked with goods they haven’t been able to get in years. And sometimes a lost traveler will come in looking for a cup of coffee or directions. These unsuspecting customers are the most fun; first the bell jingles, then they stop and stare in amazement, like they’ve stepped into a time machine. Our antique display cabinets, Victorian light fixtures, and vintage candy scales do create quite an impression, but more importantly, they still work really well—just like the bell.

If your travels take you to Vermont, why not reward yourself with a trip to our store? We’ll be listening for you.

Eliot Orton

For the Orton Family, Proprietors of The Vermont Country Store