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Blending Inspiration, Environmentalism And Social Responsibility In Caroline’s Dream

photo by provided
Caroline Nortenheim 1928.
photo by provided
Caroline Nortenheim 1928.

photo by provided

Tuesday June 14, 2016

By Cookie Steponaitis

Susan Shashok is like many Vermonters who were raised with a love of the environment and knowledge that handcrafted was best and as a child visited her grandmother and learned an immense amount about medicinal plants and home arts. “My grandmother Caroline was my inspiration,” explained Susan Shashok. “I remember her incredible knowledge of medicinal plants and her beauty regime that included products all from nature.”  Shashok’s concept for Caroline’s Dream was based on what her grandmother taught her and originally started because Shashok could not find any chemical-free products that worked on her own sensitive and acne prone skin. Shashok blended her love of science, herbal training from her grandmother and college degree to create an effective and delightful line of skin products.
    Caroline’s Dream is based in Middlebury and the entire line of products can be found at the Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op and Middlebury Mountaineer carries the lip balms. All of Caroline’s Dream products are Certified Paleo which means they are researched to confirm that they are free of grains, legumes, dairy, artificial preservatives and flavor enhancers by the Paleo Foundation.  “Eating and living a Paleo lifestyle is sweeping the nation,” shared Caroline’s Dream creator. “Many people know it as ‘eating like a caveman.’ I like to think of it as being thoughtful about what you eat and trying to eat as many whole foods as possible. You may notice that many of the foods restricted by the Paleo Diet are common allergen foods and people find that they feel better and have more energy with a Paleo Diet. My skin care line does not require a Paleo Diet but I wanted the customers to understand that it is certified to be completely free of all kinds of artificial junk.”
    Caroline’s Dream became the first Addison County business this May to complete funding for a Kiva Zip loan which is a 0% crowd lending platform. “I was sponsored by the Addison County Economic Development corporation and many friends, family, customers and Kiva lenders who all came together to loan $4,700.0 for my business to finish a few small but critical projects in 2016,” explained Shashok. She began her business over fifteen years ago as a hobby and is moving from part time to full time over the next five years and is focused on making Caroline’s Dream her full time vocation. “I love doing business in Vermont,” explained Shashok. “It is a place where people really appreciate small batch and hand crafted goods. I find it very satisfying to know that people look and feel better using my products. Health and wellness are key to living a joyful life and matching customers with just the right product is magical.” People wanting more information on Caroline’s Dream, the products or to order on line anytime should go to All products are made at her home in East Middlebury and Susan Shashok welcomes questions or (802) 388-5458.
    The Valley Voice salutes Susan for finding a way to blend knowledge, a passion for health and the Vermont quality of life into products that are natural, good for the people and help to support local business. It is another reason why living and working in Addison County is wonderful.

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