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Home » PEOPLE AND PLACES in VT » VERMONT (all topics) » Pompanoosuc Mills
A Pompanoosuc Mills Showroom
Pompanoosuc Mills

Maintaining Craftsmanship while Building a Business

By Peter F. Demers | June 08, 2012

Vermont is one of those truly unique states that represent traditional New England values as much as any of the other five.

Tuscan Prep Table in solid birch shown with optional stone top

Largely maintaining its rural character of quaint, small towns, family owned farms and small cities – Burlington, the capital, is by far the largest with only about 40,000 people. This is a state where craftsmanship flourishes in all forms from clay to fine arts to glass, to metal, to wood. It’s estimated that more that 2,800 people make their living as craftspeople. With forests covering 4.6 million acres or 78.2% of the state, it’s not surprising that the craft of making fine furniture would become a major industry.

That is precisely what motivated Massachusetts’s native Dwight Sargent to go into the furniture building business. Having grown up in a neighboring state from a prominent New England family whose lineage goes back generations, Sargent’s time at Dartmouth College and the Amos Tuck School of Business in Hanover, New Hampshire, where he was the fourth generation of Sargents to graduate, caused him to develop a real love for the more rural parts of New England.

As a graduate student, he was on the lookout for an opportunity to start a business that would combine his love of more rural New England with the abundance of natural resources available. So in 1973, a year before completing his graduate degree, he founded Pompanoosuc Mills, a furniture retailer and builder of quality hardwood furniture, with main offices and manufacturing in East Thetford, Vermont.

Brookfield armchair and loveseat in solid cherry

When Dwight Sargent started Pompanoosuc Mills more than thirty-eight years ago, his goal was to build a full service quality furniture company for people who wanted beautifully handcrafted furniture that was practical for everyday living. He believed then, as he believes now, that in order to realize this vision, Pompanoosuc Mills would have to maintain control of the entire process from beginning to end.

Pompanoosuc Mills specializes in contemporary and transitional solid hardwood furniture for all rooms of the home, office or institution. The company manufactures more than 2,300 standard items and offers its customers the choice of wood from several North American hardwoods including cherry, oak, maple, walnut, birch and bird’s eye maple and literally thousands of fabrics or dozens of leathers.

Additionally, if a customer wants to modify a standard design or to design something custom from the ground, Pompanoosuc Mills is happy to oblige. The company prides itself on designing and manufacturing their furniture based upon the expressed desire of each customer. All furniture is delivered with their own fleet of delivery trucks staffed by Pompanoosuc Mills’s employees.

Mission armchairs in solid cherry

As their market share of the home décor market has expanded, so has the company’s product line which now includes lamps, rugs, wall art, bedding and more all chosen to complement their fine furniture.

The company has grown to eleven retail stores with 130 employees. It is the largest “build-to-order” furniture company in the northeast with its stores located between Burlington, Vermont and Philadelphia. The company sells only through their own showrooms and each sales person is a factory-trained sales specialist.

Pompanoosuc Mills is committed to manufacturing in Vermont and to the sustainable growth of the company, its employees and a protection of the environment. Dwight Sargent is still very much involved in all the operations of the company he began. He lives in Norwich, Vermont and raises 100 head of Black Angus beef cattle on his own Northstar Farm. He also has served on the New England Advisory Council of the Boston Fed from 2005 to 2009.

If you want to take a tour of the Pompanoosuc Mills manufacturing plant East Thetford, Vermont, don’t hesitate to give them a call at (800) 757-4061.


Pompanoosuc Mills

East Thetford, Vermont


(800) 757-4061

All photos kindly appear courtesy of, and are copyright, Pompanoosuc Mills.

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