October is Independent Country Store Month

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October is Independent Country Store Month

Wed, 10/13/2021 - 9:59am -- tim
Visit Country Stores and Enjoy the Spirit of Vermont

Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott has signed a proclamation declaring, once again, October to be Independent Country Store Month in Vermont, recognizing how important the state’s country stores are to the cultural, economic and social lives of Vermonters. In signing the proclamation, at the request of the Vermont Retail and Grocers Association (VRGA), Governor Scott acknowledged the integral role independent country stores have as an essential piece of Vermont communities and the tourism industry. He also highlights how they have played an integral role in supporting their communities during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Find highlights of country stores, their community efforts, technological modernization, and much more on social media by searching #vtcountrystores. Be sure to use the hashtag to show your support as you visit these community staples through October and beyond!

“Today’s country stores continue to be creative and driven in their endeavor to strengthen and build their communities – just as store owners did 100 and 150 years ago.These independently-owned stores are innovative and persevere in an ever-changing retail environment,” said VRGA President Erin Sigrist. “Vermont’s country and general stores represent the best of Vermont – always willing to help nurture and support their communities, and always promoting the best of our state. Visitors can often find Vermont-made products, a delicious and balanced meal, the best of Vermont’s beverage scene, and a sense of the pride for this formidable state found in every corner of the Green Mountains and each country or general store you visit.”

In addition to serving their communities and acting as welcome centers to visitors, country stores continue to seek progress in supporting other Vermont brands and addressing issues that impact us locally and globally. In partnership with VRGA, Farrell DistributingCabot Creamery, and Efficiency Vermont are celebrating these historic and integral members of the retail community throughout the month of October.

“We have deep roots in our state and are committed to supporting the people, communities, and environment around us, just like our Vermont Country Stores across the state. Ensuring our Country Stores continue to grow and thrive is critical for our state, and all of us here at Farrell Distributing as local business partners, and customers at these community gathering spots. We are fully committed to being there for the Vermont Alliance of Independent Country Stores in October, and beyond.” stated Ryan Chaffin, Director of Marketing & Business Development at Farrell Distributing.

“We are proud to join VGRA and Governor Scott in honoring Country Stores throughout Vermont,” says Sara Wing, Director of Marketing at Cabot Creamery Co-operative. “We deeply appreciate Country Stores for providing the perfect place to showcase and sell the World’s Best Cheddar, highlighting Cabot’s Vermont roots. Just as importantly, we appreciate the role they serve at the center of their communities – benefiting our employees, the farm families in our co-operative, and the community at large. Our Country Stores are a huge part of what makes Vermont such a special place to live and visit”.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, Independent Country Stores will carry on serving the communities they call home. The Vermont Alliance of Independent Country Stores thanks Governor Scott for recognizing its members during these trying times. The Vermont Alliance of Independent Country Stores also asks that you continue to patronize and support your local stores. Without the support of the community around them, independent country stores would cease to exist.

“Efficiency Vermont is excited to support Independent Country Store Month. Our local country stores are vital hubs of the community, and it’s our goal to help each one identify energy efficiency opportunities to stay resilient well into the future.” said Meghan Chambers, Customer Engagement Lead.

The Vermont Alliance of Independent Country Stores is a subgroup of the Vermont Retail & Grocers Associations. Country Stores are the essence of Vermont with memorable and individual character. These stores provide the staples of everyday life in Vermont along with eclectic and special wares, community-oriented customer service, and quite often operate as the community hub for information sharing, event support, and much more.

About Vermont Retail & Grocers Association: 

The Vermont Retail & Grocers Association represents approximately 800 Vermont retail stores and 250 suppliers to the industry, including members of the Vermont Specialty Food Association. VRGA is an association of merchants and trade partners united to promote the sustainable growth of the industry through the educational, economic and public policy needs of its members. They are the leading voice in the legislature representing members when it comes to proposed changes in laws surrounding employment regulations, taxation, bottle redemption, sugar tax and much more.  

Source: Vermont Retail & Grocers Association 10.12.2021