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Meet Gardner Orton


I love being a proprietor of The Vermont Country Store and seeing the joy and excitement our products bring to our customers’ faces when they discover a long-lost product or find something they never knew existed that solves a problem. With each turn of the catalog page, or bend around another aisle in our stores, there are literally hundreds of opportunities for new discoveries, revived memories, and moments of excitement.

One of my first memories of our store was marking products with my brothers; we were working in the connector between our warehouse and the Weston store. A woman named Peggy was in charge of making sure we marked things accurately and in the correct place on the products. I must have been pretty young, because I also remember the thrill of visiting the penny candy section and filling up a bag while keeping track of how much money I owed. (My favorites were candy corn, Swedish fish, and red and black raspberries.) We had a lot of fun!

As a kid I loved our mini harmonicas; they were a small version of a full-sized harmonica. As an adult, I love our cozy flannel sheets! They remind me of when I would stay at our grandmother’s house; she always had them on the bed I slept in; she called them "blanket sheets".

Growing up in Vermont, we had an abundance of clean rivers and streams to swim and play in. I would spend hours playing in the river behind our house. We used to dam up the river with rocks, sticks, and mud and see how high we could get the water on the banks. I feel fortunate to have been born and raised in Vermont, where people love, respect, and protect the natural environment. I loved it as a child and as I age, I continue to appreciate how beautiful our state is and how special its people are.

Since graduating from the University of Vermont, I’ve studied at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and the Academy of Natural Healing. I share my main passion for health and wellness with others as a Pranayama Breathwork Practitioner and Nationally Certified Holistic Health Coach. My practice, Sacred Mountain Wellness, is located in Burlington, Vermont. I also own and manage Sacred Mountain Studio (also in Burlington), where I run weekly Breathwork Healing Circles and rent space to other wellness practitioners in the area for a variety of classes, workshops, and special events.

In addition to my health and wellness practice and the people I serve, my passion is to be outdoors. Whether hiking with my dog Kaya, skiing, or biking, I make sure to connect with nature every day.