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One question that we often get is, “why Sutton?” With distribution all over the world, there are a lot of reasons why a big city would be more efficient, but there are many more reasons why Sutton is perfect for us.
Sutton is a quintessential New England town in Central Massachusetts’ Blackstone valley. The town common is right out of a Norman Rockwell painting and the town itself is rich in history. Many of the original 18th century structures are still standing today which include the Labarron Tavern, which entertained people like Marquis de La Fayette, Benjamin Franklin and John Paul Jones. In 19th century New England, oxen were a major necessity for farming and moving product, as a farm town, Sutton’s oxen university was one of the finest in the country with Daniel Webster making positive comments about it in his trip to England.
It is no coincidence that Vaillancourt Folk Art set-up shop in this rural town. Judi Vaillancourt grew up in Sutton, with her lineage tracing back nearly to the town’s incorporation in 1714. It was only natural that, once Judi began creating her nationally available Christmas chalkware from home, she and Gary stay in town to begin the formal business.
In 2007, after moving from the 1820s farm house that acted as their store and studio since 1987, Gary and Judi, tempted with offers from neighboring towns, decided to keep the Vaillancourt studios in Sutton, moving to the town’s village of Manchaug.
Even though we might not be easy to find, thousands of tourists visit the town of Sutton throughout the year because of the golf courses, campgrounds, and its beautiful state parks (Purgatory Chasm). However, the holiday season is when the town is most picturesque. The annual Chain of Lights, where trolleys transport visitors to all of the town’s stores, churches, and organizations, is one of many events that bring the town together to celebrate the season.
Vaillancourt Folk Art is about traditions. It is only fitting that Sutton remains the roots of Vaillancourt Folk Art’s tradition. We hope that when you visit our studios, museum, and gallery, you take a step back from the hustle and bustle of every day life and find some time to travel through the town that means so much to us.