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Small Business Saturday: Top 10 Reasons to Shop Locally

November 30th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh

Small Business Saturday in Vermont

Michelle had a good reminder for us in her post earlier this week.  Thanksgiving “was not originally intended to promote Christmas sales”.  But I have to admit that Black Friday is the first time I think about buying holiday gifts.  The reality for most of us is that when you have popular toys on your list or you’re shopping for something big (like appliances, cars, computers, furniture) you can’t ignore Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

So, in contrast to all that holiday shopping madness, today we have Small Business Saturday.  It’s a day to re-discover your local merchants and the character and richness they add to your community. They may not be able to beat the lowest prices you’ll find online but there’s an unmeasured value in their goods and services.  How much is it worth to you to have a beautiful downtown?  A local economy?  Jobs for your friends and family?  In Vermont it’s worth a lot.  So we’ve come up with a list of the Top 10 Reasons to Shop Locally at your favorite downtown, mall or rural shopping outpost (like Stonehurst):

  1. Take the kids to see Santa – you can’t do that online
  2. Enjoy the Christmas and Hanukkah lights
  3. Take a rest at an art gallery or book store that has a cafe
  4. Find unique jewelery, ceramics, glassware and other handmade gifts
  5. Buy local food delicacies and eat free samples!
  6. Listen to the Christmas carolers and bands
  7. Bump into your friends and catch up on the neighborhood gossip
  8. Relax and enjoy lunch and a glass of wine with your shopping buddy
  9. Order local specialty items you can’t find online
  10. Support your local community so it continues to be a great place to live

Have more of you own?  Let us know on Facebook before you head downtown.



Vermont Farmers Markets, A Summer Tradition

June 22nd, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh


By Dennis Shanoff


So I ran across an interesting Vermont statistic the other day, interesting but not surprising.  According to the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, Vermont has the most “Farmers Markets” per capita. And not only are there dozens of great farmers markets but also hundreds of roadside farm stands as well. With nearly a million and a half acres of Vermont’s land being of agricultural use it’s easy to see why farm fresh products are so accessible. And what’s fresher than a farm truck that just loaded up their goodies that morning and headed straight to their space at the market!

You can make a quick stop at a market to grab some fresh  ingredients for that night’s dinner, or make a day out of it by hitting up a few of them. (plus getting in a pleasant country drive in as well)  What would you typically find at a Vermont Farmers Market? Well you will certainly find your Vermont staple products such as cheese, breads, pies, maple syrup, fruits, vegetables and wine but you are certain to find the unexpected as well. I think this is the best part of a farmers market, discovering new foods, arts, crafts and other unique products you just don’t run into in a typical market place.

For a complete directory of Vermont farmers markets visit the “Vermont Agency of Agriculture” website. Below is a list of the larger, more popular “Saturday” farmers markets:

Brattleboro Farmers Market:  May – October / Saturday 9 am – 2 pm             

Burlington Farmers Market:    May – October / Saturday 8:30 am – 2 pm

Middlebury Farmers Market:  May – October / Saturday 9am – 12:30 pm

Rutland Farmers Market:         May – October / Saturday 9 am – 2 pm

Montpelier Farmers Market:    May – October / Saturday 9 am – 1 pm

So Vermont’s Farmers Market season is in full swing, so go early, go hungry and go often to get the most out of this summer’s market season!