What is VAICS?

The Vermont Alliance of Independent Country Stores (VAICS) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote and enhance country stores, while preserving their unique heritage and contributions to their communities.

VAICS is part of the Vermont Retail & Grocers Association (VRGA), an association of merchants and trade partners united to promote the sustainable growth of our industry through the educational, economic, and public policy needs of our members.

This site can help you plan your trip through Vermont, as you stop at our Independent Country Stores for food and fuel and souvenirs and conversation and new friendships. Our individual store pages tell you what products and services you can find, offer pictures of the stores along with local history background, and give links to local sites and other information.

If you are an independent country store, and would like to become a member of VRGA and VAICS, click here.


After 30 Years, Teago General Store Changes Hands

A week after signing the store away, Chuck Gundersen sat in his blue apron at the butcher block near the dry goods shelves, describing how others viewed him during his 30-year tenure as proprietor of the Teago General Store.

 

“It always sounds to me like I’m the antithesis of what a general store owner should be,” Gundersen said, his freckled skin and white hair a testament to his 73 years. “People will say, ‘The guy never talks. He doesn’t smile very much. He’s very reserved.’ ”