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Meet Cabot Orton



To me, being a storekeeper is to be of service: to walk in the shoes of others, to anticipate their struggles and their joys, to address unmet needs and to exceed unfulfilled desires. Pleasing people is immensely satisfying!

As a kid I spent countless hours with my grandfather Vrest Orton, who perched like an owl on a stool at the back of our store. He loved to regale visitors with the achievements of historical Vermonters, describing life in a bygone era before Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. Listeners were fascinated by Vrest's encounters with Presidents Coolidge and Eisenhower, by his correspondences with creative giants of the early 20th Century: H.L. Mencken, Theodore Dreiser, H.P. Lovecraft, John Dos Passos, Sherwood Anderson, Rockwell Kent, Dorothy Parker, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Robert Frost -- he knew them all!

Like my grandfather, I take great pleasure in meeting people and discovering what makes them tick. Back then, as today, folks came from all over the world to visit us in Weston. Vrest believed- as do I- that we need stories to furnish our lives with context and character. Great stories offer humankind a glimpse of who we are, where we have been and where we may go. It is no accident our success as a business enterprise evolved with our passion for sharing great stories.

That said, our customers’ stories are equally important to us. Our ambition is to know those we serve as we know our neighbors and friends. We listen to their stories and appreciate their uniqueness. I feel so honored by the outpouring of letters, phone calls and emails we receive yearly from our customers. Their willingness to share their own stories with us is a level of trust that doesn’t come unearned.

Though I love to travel and explore new places, Vermont will always be my home. There's no place in America like Vermont. Our hills and valleys are dotted with small towns, separated by forests and meadows. We live in many ways as our great grandparents did. Things change slowly. Authenticity matters where artifice fails. Vermonters are a hardy, self-sufficient bunch who, in the words of Calvin Coolidge, "beggar themselves to serve others." They are ingenious, independent and resilient. When families live in the same place for generations, they open to newcomers gradually, and trust neighbors completely. We survive and thrive over the generations by depending on one another. Our State motto prescribes this way of life: Freedom and Unity.