• Vt. Convenience Stores Go Healthy
  • Soon, convenience stores across the state could look more like Lauri Connolly's store in Colchester, where shelves full of fresh produce greet customers.

    The state is launching a "Fit and Healthy" campaign aimed at small stores. If stores volunteer for the program, they get free signs and materials as well as help promoting healthier options.

    "What we want to do is help them highlight healthy options, (including) some that might already be in their stores," health department official Yvonne Zietlow said.

    Connolly, who owns the Colchester Variety Store on Roosevelt Highway, said she hoped offering healthier options would help her small store diversify in the down economy.

    "They know that they can come to rely on us to pick those products up rather than having to travel all the way, sometimes into another town, to get the items they want," Connolly said.

    Connolly still offers her old products and admitted that many, particularly cigarettes products, are still expected at convenience stores.

    State officials suggested smaller changes, like moving tobacco products behind curtains or glass cases, to help deter consumption by groups like teens.