Vermont Business Magazine:
Marc Sherman and Trudy Trombley of Stowe Mercantile have been honored as co-recipients of the 2016 Vermont Retail & Grocers Association Person of the Year award. The two business and community leaders received the award and were honored at the VRGA 2016 Convention & Expo Chairman’s Dinner on Saturday, April 30th at the Hilton Burlington.
Marc Sherman and Trudy Trombley of Stowe Mercantile. VRGA photo.
“Marc and Trudy are the perfect example of model leaders and association members. They’re a true representation of the business leaders in Vermont,” said Jim Harrison, president of VRGA. “Whether sharing their voice in the legislature or providing support and mentorship within the association, Marc and Trudy’s unwavering dedication has helped VRGA tell the stories of businesses across the state.”
Stowe Mercantile was born out of Sherman’s passion for photography. The store has evolved into a general store of sorts featuring specialty foods, clothing, gifts, and more. He launched the business in 1987 and began renting space to fellow crafters. His entrepreneurial spirit led him to launch a furniture company that included both manufacturing and retail sales, as well as Stowe Clock and Lamp, Straw Corner Mercantile and a bakery and deli, all under the auspices of Sherman Enterprises, Inc.. In total, he was managing 50 employees across all of the stores.
When Trombley, joined Sherman Enterprises in 2001 she was a quick study in the retail industry and swiftly became an integral and irreplaceable partner to Sherman in both life and business. Trombley added her touch to the Mercantile with Truly Trudy’s Boutique, a fashion-forward women’s shop within the store. The idea was to provide moderately priced shopping opportunities for women without having to drive to Burlington.
In their spare time, the couple has fostered a sense of community as they’ve built the business. A bring-your-own-bag program they established has helped to raise money for a local non-profit group while reducing the use of bags at the store. Each July 4th Sherman kicks off Stowe’s parade by handing out 1,000 American flags to attendees, and Trudy has brought some excitement to the festivities by introducing a pie eating contest. One-hundred fifty people participated in the contest last year.
As active members of the Vermont Retail & Grocers Association, Sherman serves as the board’s vice president of legislative affairs, often visiting the statehouse multiple times a week, monitoring legislation, testifying, and educating legislators within and outside the building. Trombley as well has begun to make her mark in legislative affairs as she begins to increase her role is testifying on business-related issues.
Trombley serves on the Stowe Vibrancy Board of Directors, and is active on the Stowe Area Association’s Retail Committee. Sherman is a past board member of the Stowe Area Association and a past member of the Lamoille Economic Development Corp. He also serves on the National Retail Federation’s Small Business Retail Council steering committee. He has been previously honored as the Lamoille County Chamber Business Person of the year. In 2015 Sherman was a finalist for NRF’s America’s Retail Champion of the Year honor.
The Vermont Retail & Grocers Association represents approximately 800 Vermont retail stores and 250 suppliers to the industry, including members of the Vermont Specialty Food Association. VRGA is an association of merchants and trade partners united to promote the sustainable growth of the industry through the Educational, Economic and Public Policy needs of members.