In 2010, Rudd Davis helped start a business that developed a technology platform to let hotels deliver personalized content to guest phones. At the same time this was happening, Davis and his parents bought a century-old country store in their small Vermont town. "I helped my parents buy the store and realized there were many of the same issues and customer dynamics at play in their little store as there were in the largest hotels," he said. "I wanted to understand how many people came into the store, where they went when they were there, what they bought."

Brands these days want their customers to know that there are real aficionados behind their product doors, dreaming, creating and delivering unique and carefully curated goods they hope will be spot on for their customers. Brands tout this as "By and For," as in created "by teachers for teachers," "by chefs for chefs" or "designed by fashionistas for fashionistas." These merchants and brand builders are full-time users of the products they bring to market. A brand's By and For strategy cannot be faked.

HARTFORD, Vt. The Vermont Economic Development Authority has approved $3.775 million in revenue bond financing to help The King Arthur Flour Company, Inc. move ahead on the second phase of a...

Dick’s Sporting Goods isn’t the only rapidly growing sporting goods chain based in the Northeast. Lesser know Olympia Sports based in Westbrook, Maine, recently surpassed its 200th location and has begun a march south and west from its home state. The company plans to open 25 stores during its current fiscal year, including its first store in West Virginia and others in states south of New York. A similar pace of expansion is expected for the following fiscal year beginning in October. Most of Olympia’s 207 stores are located in the far Northeastern markets of Maine (29 stores), Massachusetts

In an open letter and ad campaign, Equal Exchange, an importer of coffee and other commodities, is asking Green Mountain Coffee Roasters to leave Fair Trade USA, a certification organization. Equal Exchange, a Massachusetts-based importer of "fair trade" coffee, cocoa and other commodities, has taken out two full-page ads in Vermont's largest daily newspaper, the Burlington Free Press, taking local hero Green Mountain Coffee Roasters to the woodshed. At issue is what constitutes "fair trade."

After a seven-year run as head of The Vermont Country Store, Bill Shouldice will step down at the end of the year as president and CEO and turn the reins over to the Orton family. Shouldice announced his plans Thursday to resign as head of the family-owned catalog and retail store business that was founded by Vrest and Ellen Orton in 1946. “I was brought in … to really help the family to take the business to the next level,” Shouldice said during an interview Thursday. “That included building a management team, making strategic investments in the business and

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