In 1945, Vrest and Ellen Orton printed their first catalog. It was just 12 pages and 36 products, but they mailed it to the folks on their Christmas card list! The rest as they say is history!
Founders Vrest and Ellen Orton built a business as purveyors of the practical and hard to fin. Vrest was a frugal Yankee at heart and insisted that the merchandise be durable and above all practical. His wife Ellen, who grew up on the Wilcox dairy farm in nearby Manchester, Vermont made certain the new business was as practical as the products it sold. Decades latter….the Orton family still holds this value.
To compliment the catalog mail order business Vrest and Ellen Orton opened The Vermont Country Store in Weston which was inspired by childhood memories of Vrest’s fathers’ General Store in North Calais Vermont that opened in 1897. The Weston shop was the first restored rural general store in the north!
“I can still remember my father’s store, where most of the men came in the evenings to wait for the horse drawn stage that brought the mail from Montpelier thirteen miles away” Vrest recalls. “The store was warm and cozy. It smelled of harness, coffee, smoky kerosene lamps, tobacco and pine wood burning in the big stove”.
Today, the Vermont Country store is owned by Lyman Orton and sons Cabot, Gardner and Eliot, 7th and 8th generation Vermonters and 4th and 5th generation storekeepers. They still adhere to the old fashioned values set forth by Vrest and take pride in being the purveyors of the practical and hard to find. The Vermont Country Store serves a global economy and searches throughout the nation an abroad to fine goods that fill the needs of American and international customers.
They are known for Apparel, Home Goods, Food and Candy and more! They also have a second location in Rockingham, Vermont.