BENNINGTON -- A new store on Main Street is open for business - carrying a full line of products made entirely in Vermont.
Welcoming locals, and tourists, Bringing You Vermont is owned and operated by Bennington resident Ryan Hassett.
What began as an online business from his home in 2010, has expanded to the 514 Main St. location adjacent to Nova Mae Cafe.
"My focus is on local people," said Hassett, noting he also functions as a welcome center in the community. "We have a variety of maps here and when visitors ask me I'm happy to show them how to get to the monument, places around town and good places to eat."
The spicy, delicious smell coming from the storefront is not from the food next door, but from the full line of products carried in the shop.
Jellies and jams, hot sauces, herbal teas and organic herbal supplements mingle with the scent of candles, maplewood carvings and pumpkin and apple crisp mixes.
Standing behind the counter, before the colorful wall painted a welcoming deep-red, Hassett explained the work that went into the building after his summer-long search for the perfect location.
With help from his wife and four children, the decor and renovations were done by hand - in keeping with his tradition of only selling products made in Vermont. Displays are made of Vermont Pinewood and feature locally sourced apple crates.
"A lot of times you'll find products being sold here in town that say "Vermont," but they're not made in Vermont," said Hassett, who has organized his line of products to provide gifts for most occasions.
"If you need something for a baby shower, an anniversary or a wedding gift, this is where you'll find something local and authentic to Vermont," said Hassett, noting that many items, including soaps, holiday ornaments and candles are available for under $5.
Bringing You Vermont is also the only store in the Bennington area to carry the full line of products made by Halladay's Harvest Barn, located in Bellows Falls. A display along the wall lines up their all-natural seasoning blends, herb dips and cheesecake mixes.
Hand-bossed items from Sharon Herrmann's Only Silver Jewelry line is featured at the front counter, where sterling silver and semi-precious stone earrings, pendants, bracelets and rings are available.
Based in Manchester, Herrmann is a regular to Bennington craft shows including Mayfest and the Garlic and Herb Festival.
"I liked Ryan's idea of selling only Vermont products," said Herrmann, who has 29 years of experience as a jeweler and silversmith.
"The store is very cute and nicely laid out, I hope he does very well," Herrmann said. "He's got a really good mix of products and pricing."
Items also include handcrafted wooden games, cutting and cheese boards, children's toys, Vermont marble and organic dog-treats.
For those not in the area, items can still be purchased online and will ship out within 3 days of ordering, according to Hassett, who previously hand-delivered items within Bennington, to save shoppers the cost of shipping.
"Now people can come right in and see what we have for themselves," said Hassett.
Store hours are Mon. to Sat., 9 a. m. to 7 p. m.; Sun. 11 a.m. to 5 p. m.
For more information visit www.BringingYouVermont.com or call the store at 802-753-7639.
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