By Pax Logiodice | Community News Service
The Shelburne Country Store has a new owner.
Previous owners Steve and Deb Mayfield sold the store in June to South Burlington resident Carmone Austin after 15 years running the shop. The store has been open and operating since 1850, and the recent sale is one of many times in its life that the store has shifted ownership.
Austin chose to take on the store largely because of her prior experiences with local, community-oriented small businesses.
“I grew up in a general store,” she said. “So this is a very familiar environment to me … This is like coming home.”
More than a decade ago, Austin founded the Village Scoop, an ice cream shop in Colchester, and she has also run an antique center and a coffee shop. She’s only owned the country store for about a month, but she already has a strong sense of the store’s character.
“It’s a nostalgic business,” she said. “It brings people back in time, to a time when they were a kid.”
Deb Mayfield, who with her husband Steve still owns the Country Christmas Loft just down the road in Shelburne, said the couple decided to sell so they could put their full attention on the holiday-themed store.
“We’re hoping that if we focus on one thing, we can do it really well,” she said.
She added, “It’s been a real privilege to have the time that I’ve had here and for the people in the area to have welcomed us into their lives.”
Going forward, Austin wants to maintain what many see as the country store’s role as a hub in the town.
“It’s maintaining the integrity of the store, and to carry on what has been built here, because I think it’s really important that we carry on the Shelburne Country Store and the way it has served the community,” Austin said, “because we are an important business to the community at large.”
The Community News Service is part of the Reporting and Documentary Storytelling Program at the University of Vermont.