Business of the Month

Featured Co-op Connection Business – Pro Skin Studio

Is your skin in need of some TLC? Or maybe you’re long overdue for a massage? Check out our Co-op Connection Business of the Month, Pro Skin Studio! Co-op member-owners can enjoy 10% off when they visit this beautiful boutique spa in the heart of Middlebury’s Marbleworks!

As a Co-op shopper, you likely know that eating well does a body good, but did you know that carving a little time out of your hectic schedule to care for your skin and body can also reap major benefits to your overall stress level and sense of well-being?  Experience the bountiful benefits of the wide range of treatments that Pro Skin Studio has to offer!

Pro Skin Studio offers a unique experience unparalleled to that found in a large salon and spa or medispa. Their skilled staff members provide technology accelerated skin treatments, peels, massage, shiatsu, fireless cupping, gua sha massage, lash lifts, full-body waxing and eyebrow waxing/design. They have the ability to customize services not only to a clients’ skincare needs but also to their budget.

 

Meet the Crew

Jenn Buker, the owner of Pro Skin Studio, has completed over 200 hours of post-graduate education in the skincare industry. She is acne-certified by Educated Therapists, oncology-certified by Greet The Day, certified in natural brow design by Regina Brows and was personally trained by Cricket Enos, one of the most highly respected Brow and Brazilian waxing educators in the United States. She is a Dermalogica Expert Plus and Roccoco Botanicals Skin Specialist. In addition, Jenn is a master trainer for ThermoClear and is a distributor for many of the large equipment brands in the skincare industry. Jenn’s philosophy on skincare is simple – healthy skin is beautiful skin, and only needs accentuating, not covering! She is deeply committed to her clients, and truly enjoys the time spent with each and every one of them.

 

 

Georgia has been a licensed esthetician since 2018. Her holistic approach to skincare is influenced by her former 14-year career as a certified massage therapist. She combines her skilled, confident touch with her ongoing studies in the skincare field to offer exceptional skin care and waxing services. Georgia is a well-rounded esthetician with a focus on helping people make significant and lasting changes in their skin, which ties in well with her passion for wellness. Georgia is dually certified in acne treatments by Educated Therapists & Face Reality and is a Roccoco Botanicals Skin Specialist.

 

Gina has been in practice as a certified Massage and Bodywork Therapist for 16 years. She started her training in Minnesota at Centerpoint School of Massage and Shiatsu Therapy. She has continued to expand her repertoire in Thai Massage, Reiki, Ayurvedic Energy Balancing & and variety of spa relaxation treatments and wraps. Gina loves to read people’s body and designs treatments specific to each client. She is very well rounded with her training and ability and loves to range from relaxation massage to energy work and deep tissue massage. She believes each individual is unique and manifests stress and blockage in different ways. It is her job to find what each client needs that day to leave feeling revitalized and refreshed.

 

 

 

Chelsey is our fabulous ‘receptionist / keep-Jenn-organized’ chica. She apprenticed as a cosmetologist, and is our resident makeup guru! She is a highly organized individual that always greets our guests with a huge smile.

 

As skilled bodywork practitioners, the team at Pro Skin Studio is able to bridge the gap between the result-driven corrective services of a medispa while still providing the relaxation and pampering of a larger salon and spa. The only way to truly know the unique services that Pro Skin Studio has to offer is to come and experience them for yourself. They guarantee that you will look and feel your best!

Call (802) 458-8964 to schedule an appointment today!

Click here for great skin care tips from the pros at Pro Skin Studio!

Business of the Month – Maple Landmark

Looking for local and sustainably made toys for the kids on your holiday shopping list? We invite you to check out our featured Co-op Connection Business  – Maple Landmark! They’ve been making eco-friendly educational wooden toys, games, and gifts since 1979. Have you visited their factory store on Middlebury’s Exchange Street? Show your Co-op card and receive 10% off your purchases! Read on to learn more about this fantastic local business and their sustainable practices:

 

Maple Landmark is a company of 40+ people dedicated to making great products right here in Middlebury, Vermont. Their business began in 1979 in President & Owner Mike Rainville’s parents’ basement and today they occupy a 28,000-square-foot facility where they make the vast majority of the products they sell. Primarily, they sell to thousands of toy stores, gift shops and catalogs nationwide, but they also have a sweet little factory store that shouldn’t be missed by those of us lucky enough to live nearby. They take pride in being a local company that supports other local companies who operate in a responsible and sustainable manner.

A Family Business

The business was started by Michael Rainville. Since then, three more generations have joined the rank and file at Maple Landmark. The youngest are Michael’s sons, Adam and Andrew. One generation up from there is Michael, wife, Jill, and sister, Barbara. Up from there is Michael’s mother Pat and occasionally father, Claude. On the very top is “Grandma” as she’s known around the shop. This is none other than Michael’s 98-year-old (as of 2017) grandmother, Harriett Brown. While she doesn’t come to work regularly anymore, she did well into 2016 and still makes appearances every now and then.

Michael serves as president and CEO, running day-to-day operations. Jill is Office Manager, overseeing the paperwork. Barbara is the Marketing Manager, attending trade shows, working on public relations and helping in the finish room. Adam is a Project Manager, developing new products and improving old processes. Andrew heads up Communications, working on advertising, social media, and email blasts and attending trade shows. Pat is the Supervisor of our finish room and is responsible for the application of all paints and finishes in addition to hand-painted items. Claude helps in his free time, shredding paper for packing and mowing the lawn.

Sustainable Materials

The wood Maple Landmark uses is from native species. They use rock maple primarily, as well as some pine and cherry. These are some of the best materials for wooden toys and gifts and we are fortunate to have them locally available.

There are virtually no old-growth forests left in Vermont, the region was heavily logged in the 1800s. Damaging floods in the late 1800s and early 1900’s not only knocked out the water-powered mills that processed the timber but they also taught a lesson in not laying entire mountainsides bare to runoff and erosion. Vermonters have a reputation for being stubborn but we also use our experiences to learn better ways.

In the early 1900s, Vermont was 20% forested, now it is 80% forested. The forests are growing back, even more rapidly than the rate of harvest. As dairy farms consolidate and abandon marginal hillside property, the wilderness once again begins to take over.

The majority of wood that grows tends to be lower grade material. Since Maple Landmark makes small items, they are able to use downgraded lumber by simply cutting around the defects. This strategy saves on the demand for the rarer, more premium grades. They also make use of small dimension material that is cast off from other plants.

Just as they are careful to fully utilize the wood they buy, their suppliers are careful about how it is harvested. For the entire history of their company, they have purchased the majority of their lumber from one local source, Lathrop’s Maple Supply of Bristol, Vermont. Tom Lathrop is located just nine miles up the road and supplies not just maple, but pine, cherry, and other species as well.

Click here to learn more about the use of lumber for Maple Landmark products.

Eliminating Waste

The sawdust generated at Maple Landmark goes to a couple of local farmers for use as cattle bedding. Their wood scraps are put out for locals to use for kindling. They use very minimal packaging for their products and ship their products in reused upcycled packing materials. Click here to read more about their recycling and conservation practices.

Holiday Happenings

Looking for a unique and personalized holiday ornament? Don’t dump your stump!


Bring your Christmas tree stump into the Maple Landmark showroom and they’ll make an ornament out of it for you!  Click HERE for more information.  

No Stump? No Problem! They will have blanks available in their store so that you can get in on the fun anyway. Just bring the order form with you into the showroom.

A Visit from Santa!

On December 14th, Santa will be paying a visit to Maple Landmark! He’s even bringing a few early Christmas presents… Drop in between 10 am and noon, no ticket necessary.

How It’s Made

 

Business of the Month – Stone Leaf Teahouse

A whistling tea kettle, the spicy aroma of simmering chai, a quiet space to sit, relax, and enjoy the moment…these are all part of the experience when you visit our featured Co-op Connection Business, Stone Leaf Teahouse, and it seems to beckon us this time of year when the air turns cool and crisp. Located in the heart of Middlebury’s Marbleworks, the Teahouse offers an oasis of calm in the center of an otherwise bustling little town. The staff has an intimate knowledge of the impressive list of teas offered and owner, John Wetzel, has traveled to the farms from which their teas are sourced, gaining an even deeper understanding of the tea’s journey from farm to cup. Even the greenest tea novice will feel right at home as John and his crew help you pick out the perfect tea to sip during your visit. Remind them that you’re a Co-op member-owner and you’ll receive 10% off! You can also find their premium loose leaf teas in our Bulk tea department. It’s a unique treat to have teas this fresh available in our store. Read on to learn more about the teahouse and its offerings.

About Us:

Based in Vermont, our teas reflect our ideals; grown with skill and heart to cultivate a healthy ecosystem and global community. Each year we visit the tea gardens that produce the finest teas in the world. We connect you to the families that have grown and processed tea for generations.

Established in 2009, Stone Leaf Teahouse was built, well from the stone. Upon returning from travels in India and Taiwan, we searched for the perfect space for storing and serving quality tea. We found that space in the Marbleworks in Middlebury, Vermont…our little “tea cave”. Surrounded by stone, our fresh teas keep fresh, and our aging teas age gracefully.

 

Our Focus:

We travel to all the regions that we source tea to forge a connection between the grower and drinker, directly importing from China, Taiwan, India, Nepal, and Japan (with more to come as we grow!).

We source teas fresh, buying the best harvests, often multiple times a year.

We connect the tea drinker to the tea garden.

We are students of tea, here to share the connection through a cup of tea.

Workshops:

Would you like to delve deeper into the world of tea? Check out the workshop calendar for some exciting opportunities to learn more! You can also visit the Tea House blog to read more about John’s tea travels and tips on brewing the perfect cup of tea!

 

Co-op Connection Featured Business – Main Street Stationery

Next time you find yourself in need of a new stash of your favorite stationery or office supplies, we invite you to keep it local with Main Street Stationery! This anchor of Middlebury’s Main Street offers a complete line of office supplies, greeting cards, gifts, art supplies, full-color copy services and fax services. As an authorized FedEx agent, they can also assist you with your shipping needs. They’re our featured Co-op Connection Business this month, so we’re reminding member-owners to flash their Co-op Card next time they visit Main Street Stationery in exchange for a 10% discount!

To get the scoop on the rich history of this Middlebury landmark, I reached out to owner Greg Tomb for a little Q & A:

Co-op: Hi Greg! How long have you been in the stationery and office supply business?

Greg:  I purchased Main Street Stationery from the previous owner, Chris Sheldon, in 1986. However, the store had been around for more than a decade at that point under various owners and in various locations. My associate, Paula, can tell you more about the history of the store, as she has been a part of the business since May of 1974.

Paula: The business was founded in 1972 by Rachel & Greg Cotting under the name “Middlebury Office Supply”. It was located on Merchant’s Row in one of the shop locations under the Town Hall Theater. The ownership of the store changed hands a few times – first to Bob Whittamore, then to Chal Schley, next to Chris Sheldon, and finally to Greg Tomb. The store has always lived in the heart of Middlebury’s downtown but in various locations. It moved from Merchant’s Row to Main Street sometime in the early 1970s into the space currently occupied by Middlebury Mountaineer. It was much more recently that Main Street Stationery found it’s current home at 40 Main Street.  

Co-op: What is your favorite thing about being in this line of work?

Greg:  I enjoy dealing with people. We have a lot of loyal local customers and I enjoy getting to know them and learning how best to meet their needs. Being in this business since the mid-’80s, I feel like I’ve been able to experience a slice of Middlebury culture pass before my eyes. I also enjoy meeting out of town visitors to our community and find that they are often overwhelmed with nostalgia when they visit our store. There aren’t many stores like ours that have survived the test of time and visitors often comment on how much they miss visiting their neighborhood stationery store. I like being able to provide a trip down memory lane for these folks.

Co-op:  What are the biggest changes have you experienced over the years of owning and operating Main Street Stationery?

Greg:  So much has changed! When I first purchased the business, there were no big box stores like Staples or online retailers like Amazon. When people needed office supplies, they visited their neighborhood stationery store. There have also been tremendous changes in technology since I first acquired the business. Adapting and remaining relevant in the face of these changes has been a great challenge. We’re grateful to have such steadfast support from our local community and would like to say thank you to the folks who choose to support a small local business like ours!

 

 

Featured Co-op Connection Business: Danforth Pewter

Danforth logo with lion

With graduation, Mother’s Day, and wedding season on the horizon, it’s likely that you’re in search of some special, locally made, handcrafted gifts. Look no further than Middlebury’s own Danforth Pewter! They’re our featured Co-op Connection Business and we’re reminding you that Danforth offers 10% off to card-carrying Co-op member-owners! Visit their workshop and store at 52 Seymour Street where you might catch a glimpse of their pewter crafters in action, thanks to the workshop viewing windows. They also have a beautiful retail store on Main Street in the heart of downtown Middlebury, or you can visit them online.

Danforth-Middlebury-Storefront-cropped-for-Web

The Danforth family has a rich history of working with pewter, dating all the way back to 1755 when Thomas Danforth II opened a pewter workshop in colonial Connecticut. Several generations of the Danforth family followed him into the pewter trade. The last of the colonial-era Danforths stopped working in pewter in 1873. There is colonial Danforth pewter in the Smithsonian, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Museum Collection at Colonial Williamsburg, and many other American museums.

One hundred years later, Thomas Danforth II’s great-great-great-great-great grandson Fred Danforth, and Fred’s wife Judi Danforth, revived the family tradition when they opened Danforth Pewter in Vermont in 1975. Over the next 33 years, the company grew to include four retail stores, a web store, a wholesale business providing products to several hundred independent gift stores around the country, a custom design business, and a corporate gift and recognition business.

Today, every piece of Danforth, Shirley and Pewter Port pewter is crafted by hand from 100% lead-free fine pewter in our Middlebury, Vermont workshop. Our line includes everything from miniature pocket charms to one-of-a-kind oil lamps signed by the artist, and our more popular categories are jewelry, holiday ornaments and key rings.

Here’s what Fred & Judi have to say about their pewter:

Judi&Fred Ferns

We are passionate about our craft and proud of our family’s longtime involvement in the rich history of pewter making in America. We strive to keep artisan pewter alive and well in the 21st century by offering a wide range of items, with both original contemporary designs and classic pieces.

Our pewter is 100% lead-free and meets or exceeds all FDA food-safety standards. Our designs and products are all hand crafted right here in Middlebury, Vermont.

We strive to make your entire experience special. From learning about pewter to receiving your final purchase, we want your every interaction with our company to be a reflection of our passion for beautiful pewter gifts. Our goal is your complete satisfaction, and to ensure that your ordering experience is timely, convenient, and enjoyable.

 

Click here for a full listing of Co-op Connection businesses and discounts.

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Business of the Month: Vermont Sun Fitness Centers

Could your wellness routine use a Spring makeover? Check out Vermont Sun! They’re ourfeatured Co-op Connection Business this month and they offer 10% off to Co-op member-owners!

Vermont Sun has been keeping our community fit since 1985. Whether you’re visiting their facilities in Middlebury or Vergennes, you’ll find their clubs geared up with the essential elements of a great workout. Their fitness equipment vendors are the best in the industry, and their club owners stay current with the latest technology! They offer a wide variety of cardio, strength, and free weight equipment to ensure that you get the best possible workout.

If you’re looking for great group fitness classes, you’ll find over 250 each month, including Yoga, Spinning, Zumba, Body Pump, Arthritis Aqua Aerobics, Senior Fitness classes, Self-defense classes, and more! There’s something for every age group from kids to seniors.

Their facilities also offer racquetball courts, saunas, and indoor pools for lap swimming, rehab, or recreation.

Need help to ease safely back into a workout routine? Or maybe you’re just looking to set some new fitness and nutrition goals and could use a professional guide? Vermont Sun offers Personal Training services and Nutritional Counseling from a knowledgeable staff of certified, credentialed specialists.

In short, Vermont Sun has everything you need to help make your New Year’s Resolution a reality! Stop in and find out for yourself why they are voted the #1 Fitness Center in the region year after year! And don’t forget to tell them you’re a Co-op member-owner!

 

 

 

 

Business of the Month: Middlebury Fitness

Are you looking to give your workout routine a spring makeover? We invite you to check out our Co-op Connection Business of the Month — Middlebury Fitness! Flash your Co-op member-owner card and you’ll receive 50% off the enrollment fee, 10% off a short-term membership, and your first class or workout is FREE! Better yet – during the month of March they’re completely waiving the enrollment fee for Co-op member-owners! Read on to learn more about what this community wellness center has to offer:

 

 

Middlebury Fitness is a community health and wellness center founded in 1997 that puts its members needs first. Their facility features a wide variety of the most current strength and cardio equipment by the leading brands in the industry. Is group fitness your thing? They offer a variety of programs and group fitness classes to meet the diverse and ever-changing needs of their member base, ranging from ages 13-93. Click here for their class calendar and descriptions. Other services and amenities include personal trainingfree equipment orientationsathletic performance trainingDietician consultationssaunasmassage therapy, and more!

The crew at Middlebury Fitness is incredibly proud to be so active in this great community and annually receive recognition and awards for various initiatives. For the past four consecutive years, they have received the United Way of Addison County’s “Partner Award” for an annual event that has raised $47,500 for our local friends and families in need. Wow!! They were the 2018 recipients of the prestigious BOB (Best of Business) award in the Health Club category by Vermont Business Magazine. 

At Middlebury Fitness they understand that you have options when it comes to your health and fitness needs. They aim to meet and exceed their members’ expectations every day and believe they have some of the most attentive, caring, professional and knowledgeable instructors, personal trainers and staff you will find. Their ultimate goal at Midd Fit is to ensure that each of their members achieves their personal fitness goals while experiencing exceptional customer service in a supportive atmosphere of fun and camaraderie.

If you are a current member, they’d like to extend a sincere THANK YOU for being a part of the Midd Fit family! If you are not yet a member, please visit and let Middlebury Fitness guide you through your fitness journey today! And don’t forget to mention that you’re a Co-op member-owner!

Featured Co-op Connection Business – Otter Creek Yoga

Do you long to be calmer and more centered? Do you carry the strain of the world in your neck, shoulders, and back?  Could you use a generous helping of self-care? Consider checking out our February Co-op Connection Business of the Month – Otter Creek Yoga! Let them know that you’re a Co-op member-owner and your first class is free! Wouldn’t that be a lovely Valentine gift to give yourself? 

For 10 years, Otter Creek Yoga has offered our community an oasis of calm and healing – a place to come home to your true self. Their beautiful, peaceful, sunny studio is located in Middlebury’s historic Marbleworks and offers daytime, evening, and weekend classes for all ages and all levels of experience. Click here for the schedule and click here for detailed descriptions of the classes offered.

The Otter Creek Yoga faculty includes a total of nine experienced, certified, skilled instructors practicing a variety of yoga disciplines, including two certified Iyengar teachers. Click here to read more about the instructors and the various types of yoga they offer. Director Joanna Colwell founded Otter Creek Yoga in 2006 and it was Addison County’s first yoga studio! Joanna loves being a full-time yoga teacher and sharing this practice with students of all ages and abilities. She’s especially interested in exploring the ways in which yoga practice can be a method of self-care and believes that our ability to care for ourselves positively influences how we care for our families, our community, and the world around us. She invites us all to “come take a deep, cleansing breath, and then another. Let go of what you no longer need. Breathe in compassion – for yourself, your family, and your world. Breathe out peace and calm.”

Co-op Connection Featured Business – Juice Amour

We’re excited to shine a little light on a local favorite – Juice Amour! They’re our featured Co-op Connection Business this month and they have a sweet deal for Co-op member-owners. Show your member card when you visit Juice Amour’s Middlebury location and you’ll receive 10% off their full line of organic, raw, fresh-pressed juices, smoothies, chia pudding bowls, sprouted nut milks, and other healthy, seasonal lunch and dinner offerings! Read on to learn more about one of Middlebury’s best stops for fresh, healthy foods on the go!

 

Juice Amour is owned and operated by Sheri Bedard and her father David Bedard. It was the love and strong belief in the many health benefits of drinking fresh juice that started Juice Amour on it’s path to your backyard.

They wake up early to produce local, raw, organic juice and products on site every day. According to Sheri, “Everyday we wake up passionate in our belief that healthful food should be accessible, taste delicious, look beautiful, help you feel amazing and have as little negative impact on the environment as possible. Every decision we make here is with those philosophies in mind but (lucky for you) all YOU have to do is enjoy the deliciousness that comes from those efforts.”

 

Keeping it Local

Getting as much produce from our local organic farmers is a core principle of the companies mission to make a minimal impact on the earth while supporting local farmers. They view their support of local organic farmers as an essential step toward minimizing the global impact of their business as well as providing support and income for their neighbors. As often as possible all juice ingredients will be sourced locally.

Glass and the “Milk Bottle” Concept

To maximize health benefits for you and minimize the impact on our planet they avoid the use of plastic and recycle and reuse the glass jars their juice is delivered in. They ask customers to return their jars and lids to the location they picked up their juices where they are commercially washed and reused again and again. This reduces the cost to their clients while minimizing any negative impact of drinking out of plastic as well as maximizing benefits to community and planet.

Commitment to Organic

Juice Amour is also committed to supporting organic. Organic farming employs methods that minimize the use of toxins while building soil quality and protecting water quality. Additionally, buying organic supports chemical and pesticide-free practices that are healthier for our farmers and for our planet. Lastly, they also feel that organic foods have more intense and delicious flavors – no wonder their juice is so delicious!

Abundant Offerings

In addition to a bounty of fresh organic, raw fruit and veggies juice options, Juice Amour also offers raw, sprouted nut milks; guilt-free raw smoothies; gluten and dairy-free soups; chia pudding; acai, dragon fruit & cashew cream bowls & jars; and other seasonal, organic and raw lunch and dinner options. Click HERE to browse their menu.

Their juice cleanses are extremely popular and are a great way to introduce people to juicing while enjoying incredible benefits, ranging from weight loss to improved health. Read all about it here. They also know that the true benefit to juicing is accomplished when it is done regularly so they are constantly adding new juices and products to keep things new and fresh.

Sheri and the Juice Amour crew are proud to be based in Middlebury, Vermont, with an additional location in Rutland and — coming in 2019 — a Burlington location! 

 

Business of the Month – Kiss the Cook

Looking for the perfect gift for the chef in your family? We invite you to keep it local and check out our Co-op Connection Business of the Month – Kiss the Cook! They’re one of the newest businesses to join our Co-op Connection lineup and one of the newest businesses to join Middlebury’s downtown scene. If you haven’t yet dropped by their store and checked out their incredible variety of kitchenware, December is a perfect time to do so! You’ll find gifts for everyone on your list and don’t forget to show your Co-op card for a 10% discount!  Read on to learn more about this family-owned business:

 

 

The folks at Kiss the Cook have a deep love of food. According to their web page, they love “to eat it, cook it, talk about it, look at it, dream about it, and then eat it again.” They recognize that food can be a powerful force that unites us all and brings us together across cultures and generations. They draw on this passion and understanding of the power of food and strive to provide you with the right tools regardless of the food journey you’re on. They’re committed to bringing you the best products, knowledge, and service whether you’re just learning to cook, a professional chef, or anything in between. 

Kiss The Cook has been a family-owned business from the very beginning. You may have seen their flagship location while strolling the Church Street Marketplace in Burlington. The original store was opened in the early 1990’s by Marie Bouffard & Mike Soulia, who operated the store for over 20 years. In 2014, the store was purchased by current owners Luke & Ashley Wight and, lucky for us, they expanded to Middlebury in 2017, taking over the operations of the former Otter Creek Kitchen & Electronics right in the heart of downtown. 

In addition to their dazzling lineup of the latest and greatest culinary wares, they offer a fun schedule of events and demos. A quick peek at their What’s Cooking blog for November showed an exciting new cookbook launch by legendary local Author Andrea Chesman, a tasty turkey slider tasting and cooking demonstration, and a book signing with Chef and Author Gesine Bullock-Prado, star of the Food Network’s “Baked in Vermont”.   If you’re looking for a little culinary inspiration, their blog also features a regular “New Meal Monday” segment with tasty recipes to try.  

 

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