Telegraph Business Ticker

By Renee Nied
©2018 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Country on the Common now Sharon’s

With the new year, came a new name for Country on the Common, Chester’s highly eclectic apparel shop at 80 the Common in Chester.

Country on the Common will soon get new signs reflecting its name change.

Owner and wearable art artisan Sharon Baker said she decided to follow the crowds, who call the shop “Sharon’s” more than anything.

She added that since opening almost eight years ago, the number of customers has been increasing annually while the answer to the question “where did you get that?” has varied.

“This is a good problem to have,” she noted.

While local shoppers would reply “from Sharon’s,”  visitors “from all over” would call the store by its official name and others would come in looking for a “country general store,” she said.

Citing the need for a clear business identity, Baker toyed with the idea of the name change for about a year before committing and is pleased with her decision. She anticipates updating the outdoor signage soon.

Sharon’s on the Common can be found on Facebook or Sharon’s Shawls, or by calling 802-875-3000.


Hugging Bear Inn & Shoppe seeks new owners

After 35 years under the Thomas family tutelage, management of the iconic Hugging Bear Inn & Shoppe, at 244 Main St. in Chester, is in flux.

The Hugging Bear Inn and Shoppe are for sale.

Innkeeper Laura Thomas, who took over duties following the death of her mother Georgette four years ago, has announced that on March 31 the Thomases will no longer be running the inn. The family has been seeking a buyer for the businesses and is considering hiring innkeepers or a property manager.

Georgette Thomas, whose heart and soul permeated the walls of the inn and the jam-packed full Teddy Bear Shoppe, has been greatly missed. Her personal Teddy Bear Book collection is on sale in the shop along with deeply discounted bears from Steiff, Vanderbears, Gund and more.

The inn is accepting reservations through March 31 and the shop hours are: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday-Sunday with further reduced hours in April.

For more information about the Hugging Bear click here  or call 802-875-2412 for future hours, inquiries into the sale of the property or if you are interested in an innkeeper/property management role.

You can tour the house here.

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Filed Under: Business & Personal FinanceTelegraph Ticker

About the Author: Renee Nied moved to Vermont in 2017 after working 10-plus years in the non-profit/arts sector during which time she also wrote a successful comedy blog that became a column in an Upstate New York paper. She and her family live in Chester. She can be reached at

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