member deals

Spotlight on Tom’s of Maine

Tom’s of Maine is basking in the glow of the Co-op Spotlight this week and all of their wonderful body care products are 20% off for member-owners from February 20th – 26th! This discount is in addition to the everyday low price on many Toms of Maine products offered through our Co-op Basics program, so it’s a great time to stock up and save! Read on to learn more about the philosophy of care for people and planet that the Tom’s of Maine community holds dear and learn about some new recyclable packaging options for 2020:

 

At Tom’s of Maine, they believe in living for today—and tomorrow! They recognize that decisions have a lasting impact, and they make them thoughtfully. Since 1970, their mission has been to help people live a more natural life. Here are just some of the ways they translate their mission into positive actions:

  • They’re guided by a Stewardship Model and over 45 years of expertise. Their passion is finding and combining naturally sourced and naturally derived ingredients to create personal care products that really work. And their products come with a product guarantee because your satisfaction is important.
  • They’re transparent about the ingredients they use. They explain where they come from, what they do, and how they are made so that you can make the right choice for your family and yourself. Click here to explore their ingredients.
  • They share their profits and time. Tom’s of Maine donates 10% of product sales to nonprofit organizations working to support health, education, and nature. And they encourage employees to use 5% of their paid time to volunteer for their favorite causes. Click here to learn more about how Tom’s of Maine gives back.
  • They strive to implement and follow sustainable business practices. This is the only planet we call home, so they work to protect it for future generations. Click here to learn more about their sustainability initiatives. They also publish their sustainability progress and goals in their annual Goodness Report.

The Backstory

Tom and Kate Chappell moved to Maine from Philadelphia in 1968, looking for a healthier, simpler life for their growing family. They discovered the benefits of natural and unprocessed food, and started looking for the same qualities in personal care products. But all they found were labels listing artificial flavors, fragrances, sweeteners, colors and preservatives. So they decided to create their own.

In 1970, with the help of a $5000 loan from a friend, Tom’s of Maine was born. Right from the start, their company was shaped by the Chappell’s entrepreneurial spirit and values. By 1975, they’d introduced the first natural toothpaste on the U.S. market. And because Tom and Kate felt that businesses should give back, they soon found meaningful ways to care for the planet and their communities.

Tom’s of Maine became a part of the Colgate-Palmolive company in 2006. And they’re proud to say that as they’ve grown through the years, their simple, direct approach has never changed. They continue to put their hearts into providing their customers with natural personal care products that work as well as they’d expect.

Tom & Kate Chappell

 

New for 2020 – Recyclable Toothpaste Tubes!

Over 1 billion toothpaste tubes are thrown away into landfills each year in the U.S. – so Tom’s is proud to debut this first-of-its-kind recyclable toothpaste tube. In fact, this is the first toothpaste tube recognized by the Association of Plastic Recyclers for its breakthrough technology.

First, check to be sure that your tube has this flag on it:

Their transition to the recyclable tube is happening throughout 2019 and 2020, so not all tubes will immediately be recyclable. It’s important that if your tube does not have this flag on it that you don’t put it into your recycling bin.

Does your tube have the flag above on it? Great! Getting your tube ready for recycling is easy: simply squeeze out as much of the toothpaste from the tube as you can, replace the cap, and place the tube in your recycling bin. The Tom’s of Maine toothpaste tube can be put into your household recycling bin for curbside recycling if your community accepts #2 HDPE plastic. #2 plastic is a commonly recycled plastic and is what many laundry detergent bottles and milk jugs are made from.

Please don’t cut open the toothpaste tube to try and remove excess toothpaste! During the processing of the tube at the recycling facility, the tube is ground up and goes through a “rinsing” process, where all the residual toothpaste is washed off of the plastic. So there’s no need for you to do any rinsing at home. 

 

 

Solutions for the Non-Recyclable Items:

While they’re proud of their recyclable toothpaste tube, not all toothpaste tubes are recyclable just yet and unfortunately, many other types of personal care packaging aren’t accepted through curbside recycling. Through Tom’s partnership with TerraCycle, you can send in your hard-to-recycle personal care packaging waste so it can be made into new and useful objects. Their Natural Care Brigades accept mouthwash bottles and caps, deodorant containers and caps, toothpaste tubes and caps, soap packaging, floss containers, and toothbrushes from any brand!

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Spotlight on Champlain Valley Apiaries

We’re shining this week’s Member Deals Spotlight on a local business that’s been providing local honey to the Co-op since the very beginning – over 40 years ago. In fact, Champlain Valley Apiaries was founded long before the Co-op existed, way back in 1931, and they’ve been producing pristine, delicious Vermont honey ever since! From February 13th – 19th, member-owners can enjoy 20% off their full line of gooey golden goodness. Read on to learn more about this wonderful local business and their commitment to environmental stewardship:

Champlain Valley Apiaries is a 3rd generation Vermont family-owned business. Founded in 1931 by innovative beekeeper Charles Mraz, they have been producing delicious Vermont honey for over 85 years. Their mission, along with producing the highest quality honey, is to foster sustainable agriculture and bring awareness to the essential role of honeybees in our food system. They are committed to protecting all pollinators, the environment, the well being of their employees, and the local community where they live and work.

They also continually assess and modify business operations so as to lessen their impact on the environment by increasing operational efficiency, conserving energy, water, and other natural resources, reducing waste generation, and eliminating the use of harmful materials. Champlain Valley Apiaries is committed to a triple bottom line, not only valuing profit but seeking environmental excellence and social awareness within their company culture.

The folks at Champlain Valley Apiaries describe their honey as a floral snapshot of a particular area at a given time. Bees gather nectar from a variety of floral sources, depending on the time of year. Sources include things like clover, alfalfa, birdsfoot trefoil, various trees, dandelions, and goldenrod, to name a few. For this reason, the exact makeup of their honey will vary from year to year and even from bee yard to bee yard. In order to keep a consistent product, they blend their Vermont honey with other premium honey produced in the U.S. and Canada.

They treat their bees organically and, during the winter, hives are left with enough of their own honey to survive and thrive. Throughout the company’s history, they have earned a reputation among beekeepers for producing a hardy strain of honeybee that is disease-resistant and able to thrive in the harsh Vermont winter. Owner Chas reflected on their 2019 season in a recent Champlain Valley Apiaries blog post. In his post, he references the flurry of media attention given to the large quantities of adulterated honey on grocery store shelves and reminds consumers of the importance of purchasing honey from local producers whose practices you can verify and trust. Chas assures that, “you will never get anything but the best and 100% pure honey from us at Champlain Valley Apiaries. Our commitment to our product goes back three generations and 88 years and will never be compromised.”

 

 

Spotlight on Grafton Village Cheese

Our Member Deals Spotlight shines brightly this week on Grafton Village Cheese. All of their local, award-winning cheeses are 20% off for member-owners from February 6th – 12th, so it’s a perfect time to stock up on your favorites. Read on to learn more about this unique mission-driven creamery with a rich local history:

 

History

The Grafton Cooperative Cheese Company was originally founded in 1892 by dairy farmers who gathered together in a cooperative to make their surplus raw milk into cheese. In the days before refrigeration, there were many such cooperatives in the rural agricultural communities of Vermont and an abundance of fresh, creamy milk was turned into a food that could be stored for a longer period of time. A devastating fire destroyed the original factory in 1912, pressing a decades-long pause on the cheesemaking operation. Thankfully, in the mid-1960s the nonprofit Windham Foundation restored the company in an effort to breathe new life into Grafton’s agricultural economy. Their traditions have endured over the years and they remain committed to making their cheese by hand using premium raw milk from small, local family farms.

Cheese on a Mission

Grafton Village Cheese remains a mission-driven Windham Foundation-owned enterprise, supporting Vermont’s rural communities through grants, programs, and social enterprises. When you purchase Grafton Village Cheese, you’re not only supporting the local family farms that produce the milk and the 60 plus employees at Grafton cheese, but you’re also supporting educational initiatives like the Kindle Farm School, dedicated to serving students with a variety of emotional, behavioral, neurological and learning needs; you’re supporting grants that fuel farm to school efforts by Food Connects; and you’re supporting the preservation of a historic homestead owned by Alec Turner, who was an escaped slave who settled in Grafton in 1872, as part of Vermont’s African Ameican Heritage Trail. Now that’s cheese on a mission!

Visit

In addition to their production facility in Grafton, the Foundation operates a manufacturing plant and cheese store in Brattleboro, Vermont, where visitors can watch the cheddar being made and sample a wide variety of Vermont cheeses. If you’re traveling through the Brattleboro area, this is a must-see! 

 

 

Spotlight on Late July

Are chips and dip part of your game day spread? Then you’ll be thrilled to hear that our Member Deals Spotlight shines brightly on Late July this week! All of their products are 20% off for member-owners from January 30th – February 5th. Read on to learn more about them:

 

 

Late July is named for that sweet spot of summer when life feels simple, pure & good and it’s also their philosophy on snack-making. They believe that the best parties need a few simple things — great friends, good stories and delicious food! At Late July, these three things always come together around a big bowl of delicious tortilla chips. That is why they take so much care in using the highest quality ingredients without sacrificing on taste. They care deeply about using organic and non-GMO ingredients and making chips for everyone at the party. 

Their snacks stand out in a crowded snack aisle, not just because of their delicious taste, but also because of their commitment to sourcing the highest quality organic and non-GMO ingredients that are free of toxic persistent pesticides, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. You’ll find a variety of gluten-free, vegan, Kosher and nut-free offerings to please every palate.

They hope that you enjoy eating their snacks as much as they enjoy making them!

 

Spotlight on Field Day

We’re shining our Member Deals Spotlight on Field Day this week! Member-owners can enjoy 20% off all Field Day products from January 23rd – 29th. You may recognize these products as part of our Co-op Basics lineup, so you’ll be thrilled to hear that the discounts run even deeper this week! Read on to learn more about this company with a goal to fill consumers’ homes with a wide selection of value-priced items that they can use and feel good about every day.

Field Day believes in understanding where our food comes from. At every step of the way, they ensure that their products meet the highest quality standards. All of their ingredients and products undergo third-party certifications such as USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project, Whole Grains Council, Gluten Free and Fair Trade. You will never find preservatives, artificial colors or artificial flavors in any of their products. What you will find is delicious, good-for-you and genuinely simple products.

Values

  • Real food: Promoting organic and natural products with a commitment to Non-GMO.
  • Real flavor: Producing genuinely simple products that are not only good-for-you but taste good.
  • Real people: Field Day works as a team, from their valued employees to their inspiring retailers to their treasured consumers, every step of the way.
  • Real fun: Creating memories one family meal at a time.

 

Mission

Their goal is to fill your home with a wide selection of value-priced items that you can use and feel good about every day. Their harvest of Non-GMO, organic, and quality products are delicious and genuinely simple. They take a less-is-more approach with ingredients and packaging. No confusion, just what you need. That’s Field Day.

 

Promise

  • To sell only the highest quality of products. Field Day ensures that offerings adhere to the most rigorous of standards through third-party certifications.
  • To provide great taste. What they leave out in artificial flavors, colors, and unnecessary preservatives, they make up for in pure deliciousness.
  • To remain value priced. With the cost of living and organic food on the rise, Field Day believes that healthy eating should be an achievable lifestyle for every family.
  • To have you and your family’s best interest in mind. From the growth of an idea to the moment it hits your dinner table, Field Day acknowledges what their products mean to your family.

 

 

Organic

What does it mean? This means knowing exactly where our food comes from, how it was made, and that it meets the highest quality standards along the way. Bearing the USDA Organic seal ensures that products are grown and processed according to federal guidelines addressing soil qualities, animal raising practices, the use of additives and more. 

How does it affect your family? Organic foods are cleaner for your family and the environment because they do not allow toxic persistent pesticides, GMOs and antibiotics and growth hormones. They prohibit the use of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. 

What are is Field Day doing about it? Whenever possible they source organic ingredients to produce USDA Certified products that you can use and feel good about every day.

 
 

Non-GMO

What does it mean? The Non-GMO Project defines GMOs as genetically modified organisms that have been “artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering, creating unstable combinations of genes that do not occur in nature.” 

How does it affect your family? Many of the foods that are popular among families and children contain GMOs. In North America, over 80% of our food contains GMOs, meaning that these unwelcome additions are likely present at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their use and consumption could lead to harmful effects on both the environment and human health. 

What is Field Day doing about it? All of Field Day’s products are currently verified by or enrolled in the Non-GMO Project, a third-party organization that tests and certifies a product does not contain GMOs. The seal indicates that any at-risk ingredients are continually monitored and tested through a rigorous verification process. Field Day works to source organic products, support sustainable farming practices, and give you the right to make an informed choice. Therefore, by choosing Field Day, you are committing to live Non-GMO.

 

 

Made in the USA

What does it mean? The majority of Field Day’s products are produced in the USA with some containing domestic and imported ingredients.

How does it affect your family? By taking pride in our country and the work that our farmers put in every day, sourcing Made in the USA and local growers we work in supporting your communities and bringing the fruits of their labor directly to you!

Spotlight on New Chapter

Looking to step up your wellness game in 2019? We’re shining our Member Deals Spotlight on New Chapter this week and all of their supplements are 20% off for member-owners from January 9th – 15th. Read on to learn more about this Brattleboro-based B Corp that has been honoring natural well-being by nurturing body, soul, and Earth for nearly 40 years:

 

New Chapter was originally founded in 1982 by Paul and Barbi Schulick out of a passion to promote health through innovative botanical formulations made with 100% real foods and herbs. The company has grown and evolved over the past 38 years, but it still remains firmly rooted in Brattleboro, VT where they proudly employ more than 150 area residents.

 

Mission

  • To deliver the wisdom of Nature, thus relieving suffering and promoting optimal health.
  • To advance the organic mission, nourishing body and soul with the healing intelligence of pure whole foods and herbal supplements.
  • To nurture and sustain Mother Earth, the source of natural healing.
  • To honor and reward personal growth, for enlightened teamwork depends on the vitality of every member of the New Chapter® family.

 

Commitment to Sustainability

At New Chapter, concern for the planet is expressed not only through careful sourcing and formulation principles but also with every action they take as a company. New Chapter is proud to be a Certified B Corporation, which means they define success in holistic terms that encompass not just profit but people and Earth too. 

  • Sustainable Sourcing – They travel the globe to identify and build relationships with supplier partners who share their commitment to sustainable sourcing. Knowing their suppliers and the origins of their crops helps to uphold a supply chain that is both socially responsible and environmentally conscious.
  • Welfare of People – Throughout the supply chain, from Vermont to India, New Chapter aims to engage partners whose workers are treated with respect and provided with working conditions that are safe, healthy, and balanced.
  • Climate Friendly Farming – New Chapter is proud to be a part of the growing regenerative agricultural movement. Replacing industrial practices with regenerative ones can reboot plants’ natural cycle of removing carbon from the air by sequestering it in the ground. Along with adherence to organic standards, soil regeneration practices include rotating crops, composting, using cover crops, and avoiding deep tilling. These techniques create healthy, carbon-rich soil that is full of organic matter and holds water like a sponge.
  • Waste Reduction – New Chapter is able to compost, recycle, or reuse more than 80% of the waste they produce – everything from lunch leftovers and office paper to pallets and shrink-wrap. And they’re now certified Zero Waste to Landfill, which reduces their carbon footprint and uses energy recovery to convert their waste into clean energy.

 

Giving Back

As environmental stewards focused on human health, New Chapter works to increase accessibility to organic food, farming, and traditional herbal medicine. And as a Certified B Corp, they endeavor to use their business resources to help solve social and environmental problems—in communities around the world where our ingredients come from as well as locally right here in Vermont. Partners include Kindle Farm and the Vermont Food Bank.

 

 

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!

Spotlight on Trois Petits Cochons

We’re shining our Co-op Spotlight this week on one of the most awarded specialty food companies in North America-  Trois Petits Cochons!  Les Trois Petits Cochons has produced award-winning, all-natural pâté and charcuterie since 1975 by crafting small, handmade batches using only the finest high-quality ingredients. Their full product line is 20% off for member-owners from December 19th – 24th – just in time for creating beautiful, crowd-pleasing holiday platters! Read on to learn more about this company that has been producing high-quality, hand-crafted products for over 40 years!

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Heritage:

Les Trois Petits Cochons first opened its doors as a small charcuterie in New York City’s Greenwich Village in 1975. It has since grown to become the leader in the pâté and charcuterie industry, offering a complete line of artisanal pâtés, mousses, terrines, sausages, saucissons, smoked meats and other French specialties. Their products have garnered a long list of SOFI awards, earning great respect in the culinary world.

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Mission:

Les Trois Petits Cochons is committed to continuing the tradition of making delicious, authentic and quality pâté and charcuterie for its customers. By combining time-honored recipes, choice ingredients, innovative cooking methods and strict quality control they are able to create consistent, handcrafted products. All of this, together with dedicated customer service and a passion for good food, have allowed Trois Petits Cochons to stay true to the small charcuterie where they began over 40 years ago.

Environmental Commitment:

The team at Les Trois Petits Cochons is committed to sourcing and producing the highest quality all-natural specialty food products in a responsible and sustainable manner.

They believe in:

  1. Transparency – Customers should be able to know where their food comes from and be able to buy from companies committed to sustainable animal husbandry. 
  2. Trust & Relationships  – They believe in partnering with those who can make the best product in the most responsible manner. They personally visit all of their major suppliers, the majority of whom are family farms, to make sure they are upholding the standards set by Les Trois Petits Cochons.
  3. Local – Les Trois Petits Cochons always begins their search locally. Many of their suppliers come from within 100 miles of their production facilities, but sometimes to find that special ingredient they need to go further afield, including to France where they source many of their ingredients like wild mushrooms or espelette pepper.

Be sure to check out the fabulous collection of recipes on their web page!

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Spotlight on Champlain Valley Creamery

We’re casting our Member Deals Spotlight on a local organic creamery that produces delicious award-winning cheeses just a few short miles from the Co-op. Champlain Valley Creamery uses traditional techniques and small-batch pasteurization to produce their cheese entirely by hand in a net-zero solar-powered facility in Middlebury. Their fantastic lineup of cheeses are all 20% off for Member-owners from December 12th – 18th — just in time for your holiday parties! Read on to learn more about this fabulous local creamery and the people who make it shine:

 

 

Champlain Valley Creamery was first established in 2003 by founder and owner Carleton Yoder. With a graduate degree in food science and a background in wine and hard cider making, Yoder was eager to run his own food business. With Vermont’s abundance of amazing local milk, small-scale cheesemaking just made sense. Yoder began his adventures in cheesemaking in a facility in Vergennes where he focused on two products: Organic Champlain Triple and Old Fashioned Organic Cream Cheese. Both have been awarded well-deserved honors from the prestigious American Cheese Society.

Carleton Yoder

Over the years, the creamery has continued to grow and expand its offerings, eventually moving into a net-zero solar-powered facility on Middlebury’s Exchange Street in 2012. Yoder and his small crew now produce an expanded lineup of cheeses including Queso Fresco (available in original, house-smoked, and pepper varieties),  Maple Cream Cheese, a pyramid-shaped triple cream with a layer of ash known as Pyramid Scheme, and, most recently, they began importing Italian truffles to produce the Champlain Truffle Triple.

 

The Creamery also made a recent switch to using 100% grass-fed organic milk from the Severy Farm in Cornwall. The milk only travels a few short miles from the farm to the creamery, where the cheesemaking begins within hours of arrival. The use of grass-fed milk results in a richer, creamier cheese that displays subtle seasonal changes reflective of the changing diet of the cows as the seasons progress. It’s truly the terroir of Addison County in each decadent bite of cheese.

salting a fresh batch of Queso Fresco

Yoder is supported by a small crew that is just as dedicated to the craft as he is. They use traditional techniques and small-batch pasteurization to produce their cheeses entirely by hand.  A recent visit to their facility found the crew in constant motion, measuring, stirring, monitoring temperatures, and generally putting every bit of the day’s fresh batch of milk to good use. The bulk of the cream and whole milk are used to produce the Organic Champlain Triple, Champlain Truffle Triple, and the two varieties of cream cheese. The part-skim milk is then transformed into each of the three varieties of Queso Fresco, and the whey is drained off to create hand-dipped, basket-strained ricotta that is only available to a few select restaurants in the area. The only remaining by-product is a small amount of whey, which is sent to feed the happy pigs at Hinesburg’s Full Moon Farm, resulting in an operation that his hyper-local with very minimal waste. 

Amanda Warren & Carleton Yoder, with Carleton’s daughter,  Lila Cook Yoder, who was helping out on a snow day

According to Yoder, “cheesemaking is hard work but we strive to let the milk, cream, culture, salt, and mold shine through with their amazing flavors.” It’s this minimalist approach and the desire to honor the high-quality local ingredients that make Champlain Valley Creamery’s cheeses shine.

Picture hanging above Yoder’s desk made by his son, Nate

 

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

 

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