One of my favorite catalogues--for The Vermont Country Store-- arrived in the mail today. The nostalgia rises thick from it, much as the scent of floor wax in a school auditorium (which never fails to make me feel six again!).
While, to some degree, the products are priced on the high side, it has been my experience that, with VCS you get what you pay for. A case in point is their wooden drying racks--currently available in the 24 inch and 27 inch sizes, for $39.95 and $59.95, but, curiously, not the 50 inch size I purchased a number of years ago (and have found most useful).
Their selection of jams, spreads, jellies, marmalades, pickles, relishes, and chutney are worth persusing, as well as other hard to find provisions such as scrapple and maple butter. VCS is also a great source for maple syrup and cheddar cheese (delicious!). There is an ample selection of candies: chocolates, mints, licorice, jellied candies, and caramels.
Their basic kitchen appliances--the 10 cup stainless steel teakettle with a bakelite handle, for instance--may, at $54.95, seem expensive at first sight, but will give years of service and far surpass fancier models.
Home furnishings are plain, practical, and designed to provide years of use. What they lack in novelty and flash they more than make up for in dependability. They carry a "dry iron" (often hard to find, as most irons, these days, seem to be "steam" irons) which is preferred by quilters and crafters, for $29.95. There is a nice selection of bedding, in pretty pastels and florals, as well as a choice of eight different types of pillow (to meet different needs) and mattress pads made of foam, Australian wool fleece, cotton, or microfiber.
The women's (and men's) clothing tends towards the widely cut and comfortable, in modest and classic styles. Accessories include women's hats and small leather goods, as well as Dr. Scholl's original exercise sandal in bone, red, white, navy, and black, for $49.95. A full selection of women's and men's foundation garments and nightwear (long on practicality and comfort) are featured, as well as a wide range of health and beauty aids--everything from cod liver oil and liquid iron supplements to lavender scented soaps and hard to find colognes (including one of my favorites, "White Shoulders").
Their customer service, in my experience, has been exemplary, unfailingly polite and helpful--a refreshing change from many mail order companies.
The Vermont Country Store
Purveyors of the Practical and Hard to Find
Mail Order Office
P.O. Box 6998
Rutland, VT 05702-6998
Order online 24 hours a day or call them at: 1-802-362-0285