MiVT: Jamaica Cottage Shop

Published: Jul. 20, 2020 at 3:09 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 20, 2020 at 3:13 PM EDT
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SOUTH LONDONDERRY, Vt. (WCAX) - If you need a place to store your stuff, or even a small structure to sleep in, a Windham County man has you covered. His Made in Vermont cottages and sheds have been shipped across the U.S. and Canada. Now he’s celebrating a landmark at his new South Londonderry location.

“I call this the doll house design,” explained Domenic Mangano, owner of the Jamaica Cottage Shop. He recently shipped its 10,000th building. “It is quite the milestone.”

Mangano started the company in Jamaica, Vermont, in 1995. After graduating with a degree in business management from Green Mountain College, he took four years off to see the country, working carpentry jobs along the way. "I call it my grad school," Mangano said.

When he returned home, he started making dog houses, until one day someone asked him if he could build a shed. "A shed? I had a Subaru and a skill saw," he said. But for Mangano, it was all about fulfilling the needs of the customer. The same holds true today.

"What's the shed going to be used for?" Mangano asks a customer. "Essentially, we sell roofs and you want to put something under it. Is it your stuff? Is it your critters? Or, is it your family?"

No matter the size or style, all of the materials used at The Jamaica Cottage Shop are local, including the hemlock and pine lumber. They’re assembled by Vermont tradesmen, each working in individual spaces on site.

"We have very clever designs, like this one behind us. It's called the Gibraltar. It's got that barrel arch," Mangano said. "This is the Florida room design. This is a screened in room, a three-season extension of living outdoors."

"I can only tell you what people tell me. It's priced correctly and it's very rugged. Much heavier than the competition," Mangano said.

The success of the fully-assembled structures enabled the Jamaica Cottage shop to move to their new location in South Londonderry, but now 80% of the company's business actually comes from pre-cut kits, so you can DIY it at home.

Once the piece is made, we color code it and put a label on the ends of the lumber. Once that's done, then it gets carefully stacked onto a palette, and that's when the product is completed and out the door it goes," Mangano said. "It's taken on a form of itself. It's almost like a growing organism now and I always build on what is my primary principles of business."

With professional standards as strong as those post and beam structures he builds, it’s no wonder the Jamaica Cottage Shop has reached a grand level -- actually it’s more like a $10,000 grand level.

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