Profile of an Adamant Storekeeper: Susan DeForge

by Carla Occaso

Occaso: How long have you lived in Adamant?

Storekeeper Susan DeForge

Storekeeper Susan DeForge

DeForge: Thirty years.

Occaso: How did it come to be that you worked at the Adamant Cooperative store?

DeForge: I had been raising my children and having a registered day care. When my children were all in school I wanted to get out and see people and do something in the community.

I started working at the post office on Saturdays, which was in the store. Then I started working in the store and the post office on Saturdays. From there I started working during the week. That led into co-managing the store and post office, then managing it by myself.

Occaso: From when to when did you work there?

DeForge: From around 1996 to 2001.

Occaso: What changes/innovations did you make while you were there?

DeForge: I worked on making the co-op a place for everyone. I tried to have a variety so everybody would want to shop there.

Occaso: What were the biggest challenges? Why?

DeForge: Knowing what to order that people would buy so we would make enough money to pay the bills, having enough volunteers, and keeping up with the frequent rule changes of the U.S. Postal Service.

Occaso: What was the most fun? Why?

DeForge: It was fun to get to know my neighbors and what was going on around Adamant. It made me feel like a real part of our little village.

Occaso: Any kooky/funny/interesting stories from your time there?

DeForge: It was always kooky to use the outhouse in the barn, fun to build a fire in the wood stove on freezing cold days to heat the store, and interesting to meet new customers.

Occaso: Why is the Adamant Co-op important to the community?

DeForge: It is the place where we all see our neighbors and catch up with each other, it is a great place to shop and not have to deal with crowds, and we have the post office, which makes it easy to get your mail and mail things out.

Occaso: What other leadership positions have you held in the community?

DeForge: I have been the vice president of the community club and various other positions. I had the honor of learning how to make the famous “bean hole beans” and being on (the television show) “Across the Fence.” I am a member of the Adamant church, taught Sunday school there, and have been an auditor for the church. I work for the Adamant Music School in the summer. I also worked in the kitchen and was a substitute teacher at the elementary school.

Occaso: What do you do now?

DeForge: I work at the East Montpelier Elementary School and at the Adamant Music School in the summer.

Occaso: Anything you’d like to add?

DeForge: Adamant is a unique little village with a lot to offer, from the co-op/post office to the music school/theater, the church, and the community club. It has beautiful scenic views of ponds, waterfalls, and wildlife. And, of course, the people.

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