Enduring landmarks are testimony to a community’s economic sustainability and to the creative industry of its citizens.
Do you remember arriving at your yearly vacation destination and feeling that sort of reassurance that descends upon us when we reach familiar, trusted territory? This is what it feels like to return to Stowe and area towns. The landmark businesses that have been here for decades (some for centuries) and continue to withstand changing trends and economic storms provide a sense of stability, as well as a sort of live narrative of the history of this region.
Think of McCarthy’s Restaurant and Shaw’s General Store in Stowe or the Johnson Woolen Mills in Johnson, for example. As visitors, we do not come to this area only for the outdoor activities; we come here, also, to partake of the rich quality of foods and product assembled in welcoming, friendly establishments, as we might reach for a familiar hand at the conclusion of a long journey.
The things and services we find here are unique to this area, and they are made even more unique by the people who labor to create them, for they work from the heart and this, more than anything, is what we connect with when we arrive in town for the first time, and every time after this on the way back for another vacation and on the way from work when we have already called this home for many years.
Business with heart is people-committed. This sort of commitment is a Vermont Trademark. Johnson Woolen Mills’ story and philosophy are a good example:
“The Johnson Woolen Mills Tradition reaches back to 1842 when local farmers brought their wool here to have it woven into cloth. In an age when fashions change overnight and markets vanish almost as fast, it is something of a miracle that we have survived through two centuries by rarely changing our main product line.”
“Located in the village of Johnson, Vermont, just north of skiing Mecca Stowe, Vermont, the clothing company still makes the same woolen shirts, jackets and the famous iceman’s pants that have been best sellers for decades.”
“As our customers requested more variety, our business expanded and our store now includes the original, century-old factory space… Our ‘Sale Room’ offers real values in factory irregulars, discontinued styles and one-of-a-kind samples.”
“As a Vermont Business Environmental Partner, we are committed to protecting the environment, the health and safety of our employees, and the community in which we conduct our business. It is our policy to seek environmental quality improvements throughout our business operations and to practice sound environmental management.”
Whether we are passing through or have long-established roots in Stowe, Johnson or any other town in this area, local merchants who take their community to heart observe, listen and find inspiration and incentive in the pursuit of goals and practices that honor the best values of their community and the world at large. This is the Vermont way.