Vermont Business Persons of the Year

Vermont Business Magazine:

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Marc Sherman & Trudy Trombley

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.

And the Survey Says…

Twenty-one percent of mothers who were recently surveyed said that all they want for Mother’s Day is food that they did not cook.  Twenty-one percent!  That’s one out of every five moms which means there’s a real chance that that’s your mom.

But don’t despair.  My Mini Fruit Pies recipe is a super simple, kid friendly recipe that is perfect for Mother’s Day.  These fruit pies take very little time to make, require only a beginner’s skill level, is a great way for kids to get involved, and uses only a few ingredients.  And let’s face it, nothing says “I love you, Mom” like homemade pastries!  And you can make them with any one of our delicious Stowe Mercantile Kitchen Jams.  So go ahead, and give it a try.  Click here for the recipe.  And by the way, the other moms in the survey said they’d like chocolate, silence, to sleep in, and to pee uninterrupted.  Happy Mother’s Day!

 

Water: A Big Part of Vermont

This weekend my wife Megan and I spent a short part of the afternoon checking out yet another waterfall in our hometown of Stowe. Having visited both Bingham and Mos Glen Falls, we decided to see what was going on at Sterling Falls Gorge. You can view a video of our visit on our Facebook page. In short, Sterling Falls is worth the trip, but if you’ve visited Bingham and Mos Glen you could be in for a minor disappointment. It’s kind of hard to beat Mos Glen, considering it’s the largest waterfall in Vermont. On the other hand, the hiking is much easier at Sterling which might be better for children and there’s a recreation area for your pets to roam as they please. One unexpected viewing bonus at Sterling is the French, chateau-like, all stone estate to the North of the falls, just off the access road. It’s a private residence so you’ll want to keep some distance, but the view from the road is all you’ll need to revel in its beauty. The best thing about all of these waterfalls is that they’re easily accessed and take only 15 minutes or so to complete…did I mention they’re free? Pack a lunch and some tasty beverages (Lost Nation Vermont Pilsner accompanied us) and you’re set for a nice stroll in the Vermont outdoors. Surrounded by ranges to the East and West of the town, Stowe sits in somewhat of a bowl,  which lends itself to dramatic, geological appeal. As the buyer of craft beer and other beverages at Stowe Mercantile, it’s nice to get out and see, in action, the component that makes up anywhere from 85-98% of these products-water! However beautiful and pristine Vermont’s waterways may seem, the protection of our state’s most valuable resource has recently come under scrutiny in regards to the Lake Champlain water quality. Year after year of unregulated, agricultural runoff by the hundreds of farms that line Lake Champlain have lead to toxic, summer algae blooms. Anyone who lives in Vermont or the thousands that visit know that summer time is not the time for water quality complications. In 2015 the state responded by putting up $16 million dollars in order to improve the lake’s health and overall impact on the economy. Brewers, tourists, and locals alike can find some solace in the fact we’re finally doing something about this unfortunate reality.Until then, our recommendation for the cleanest bodies of water is to seek out those in constant circulation-waterfalls! We can’t wait until it’s actually warm enough to jump in.

 

Stowe Mercantile Donates $2,100 to LCFS

We are excited to announce that we were able to make a large donation again this year from our Santa Fundraiser!Food Shelf Santa don Jan 2016 #2

Owner, Marc Sherman, of Stowe Mercantile, presents Deb Krempke, Director of Lamoille Community Food Share, with a $2,100 check representing the 210 children that visited Santa this past Christmas. This year marked our 15th annual Santa event at Stowe Mercantile. Hosting Santa and donating $10.00 for every child that visits has become an essential part of Stowe Mercantile’s community involvement.

Sherman comments, “With a strong turnout of anxious and excited kids, we had 210 children visit Santa. And with Lamoille Community Food Share being such a vital part of many families’ lives here in Lamoille County, we’re glad to do what we can to support both LCFS and the families that rely on these services.”

Farrell Distributing 2015 Retail Portfolio Show

Yesterday, Denise and I ventured to the Essex Resort & Spa to Farrell Distributing’s 2015 Retail Portfolio Show. As the new beer buyer here at Stowe Mercantile I’m really excited as to what 2015 and the future of beer distributing in Vermont has to offer. These expos are great opportunities to cultivate long-lasting business relationships with individual breweries, wineries, and cider makers. Stowe Mercantile is committed to establishing an alcohol beverage market where an overwhelming amount of the product is sourced locally. With this in mind and our strict time budget, Denise and I figured our time would be best spent at the beer tables and we’re glad we did. The sun was out, a slight breeze was blowing, and the beer exhibitors had prime outdoor real estate. Before the event we decided there to be two things we really needed to pursue; find out who could hold Summer tastings and who had plans to bottle/can in the very near future. (besides the obvious of tasting great beer) We’re happy to report that within the next year, most of the beer that you enjoy at your favorite pub will be available in bottles or cans. My favorite brew pub in Burlington, Zero Gravity, has plans to open their new location on Pine St. next month and are planning to have canning capabilities before the end of the Summer! Matty O from Fiddlehead Brewing in Shelburne, VT. informed us that they are hoping to increase production, but for now we’ll have to join the waiting list…we’ll wait. Their Second Fiddle IPA is one of the better new offerings out there. Another company we’re happy to have run in to is Champlain Orchards out of Shoreham, VT. Dave Bridges, their brand ambassador, stopped by the store last week for a short chat about their new products and when we showed up to their booth he actually remembered my name. These guys are my new favorite cider maker in Vermont. For now, they are the only cider maker in Vermont sourcing all of their apples from the Green Mountain State. Be on the lookout for next month’s release of Champlain Orchard’s Macintosh and Maple. They’re even canning, and you can find it their VT Hard Cider in cans here at Stowe Mercantile. To wrap this up, as beer, wine, cider, and mead enthusiasts, you should be pumped about what we’ll have to offer you in the coming months. A big thanks to Farrell Distributing for inviting us. We hope to see you at our Summer tastings at Stowe Mercantile.

Here is a list of some recent beverage acquisitions we thought you should know about:

Champlain Orchards: VT Hard Cider (16 oz. cans), Cranberry (750ml), and Heirloom (750ml)

14th Star Brewing: A-Dog Ale Brown Ale (16 oz. Cans), Maple Breakfast Stout (16 oz. Cans)

Long Trail Brewing : Triple Bag (aged in oak barrels)

Harpoon Brewing: 100 Barrel Series Braggot Rights (American IPA w/ Wildflower Honey)

Farrells Ronny

Beer Tent

Art on Park

Art in The Park

Stowe, Vermont has grown to be the place that even visitors love to call home for a while, and Art on Park is a favorite place to visit during the summer months.

Thursday evenings, beginning on June 26, from 5:30 to 8:30 PM, visitors and locals can enjoy streets lined with handcrafted products, from birch bark art to soy candles to specialty foods and teas, and much, much more!

Look for the white tents right off Main Street and get ready to enjoy live music too!