Discovering Discovery Map

The Evolution of a Discovery Map

I hope you’ve had a chance to read my story Touring Country Stores in Stowe, Vermont with Mom. I think the photos are pretty nice, too. I give most of the credit to the subject matter–everywhere you turn there’s another photogenic scene in this endearing New England state.

Actually my main reason for heading up to northern Vermont was to meet the folks at Discovery Map. You can tell from my Touring Country Stores story, however, that mom and I were a bit sidetracked. Oops! Shopping and touring can do that to you, especially when it involves mothers and daughters in Vermont country stores.

Discovery Map

But just about forty minutes south of Stowe, on our drive home, we pulled into Waitsfield, Vermont, a charming town in the heart of the Green Mountains that serves as home to Discovery Map International. Whether the name is familiar to you or not, I’m sure you would recognize the cheery, hand-drawn maps that you pick up in travel destinations all over the U.S. You know–the colorful ones full of whimsy that highlight restaurants, shops, places of lodging, cultural sites and a flourish of other attractions?

A Veritable Library of Discovery Maps

Checking Out a Map

Looking in the Map Drawers

People might never imagine that most aspects of the production of these maps take place in a sleepy little town in rural Vermont. Yay! Their origins are as heartfelt and homespun as the maps themselves. With well more than a hundred maps throughout the country and beyond, it’s hard to believe that they are all born here. But it’s true and I hope you will enjoy meeting the team behind them through the photos in this post.

Since I started to write content for Discovery Map’s website, I’ve had a lot of email contact with Susan Klein, the oh-so efficient Operations Administrator who is clearly a multitasker extraordinaire. So, of course, I wanted to put a face to a name, even if it was just a brief encounter.

Pete and Monica, Director of Operations

Sue Hans: Discovery Map First Lady and Map Owner

Susan: My Chief Contact

I also enjoyed touring the offices and being debriefed on the creation of a Discovery Map from start to finish. Hearing about and seeing much of the process gave me an even greater appreciation for these handy maps that often end up well-used and crumpled up in the bottom of a travel bag. There’s so much personalization involved with each and every map! It’s all about detail, detail, detail and I suppose location, location, location. I guess that’s what’s at the heart of all mapmaking.

I also enjoyed catching up with my old friend, Peter Hans, owner and operator of Discovery Map International. We’ve known each other for years and we were way overdue for a visit, especially now that I’m trying–through my writing–to embody the fun, quirky spirit of his company while accurately reporting on the various destinations. (Read Top Reasons to Go to Lake George, New York for more on how Peter and I know each other and how I ended up writing for Discovery Map.) Pete’s wife, Sue, has a few maps of her own (all in Vermont, including Stowe, the destination I was giving star billing), so it was good to touch base with her on a professional and personal level as well.

Old-Fashioned To-Do List

Keeping a World Vision

I’m a totally behind-the-scenes person. I’ve always loved knowing where and how things are made. The by whom part is pretty darn important, too. That’s what my shopping and touring guides on Paris and the French provinces are all about. So now I’m satisfied. I feel even more connected to Discovery Map and I hope this post will help you to feel that way, too.

Laura: Production Manager

Chris: Production and Social Media

Abi: Production

Barb: Bookkeeping

Chris and Sue Figuring It Out

Morgan: IT

Note that Discovery Map is a franchise-based company with map owners of destinations all over the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada. Check your area to see if there’s a Discovery Map in your quaint little town or in your nearby big city. If not, you might want to consider joining in on the fun with these folks. Ranked in the top five “Best Franchises to Buy” by Forbes, Discovery Map certainly seems like a good investment.

Pete and Me

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    This blog is a personal blog written and edited by Maribeth Clemente. This blog sometimes accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content. The owner of this blog is sometimes compensated to provide opinion on products, services, Web sites and various other topics. Even though the owner of this blog receives compensation for certain posts or advertisements, she always gives her honest opinions, findings, beliefs or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blogger's own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question. This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.
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