We’re a bit sad to learn that Troy Kingsbury is putting his Waitsfield Village community store, the Village Grocery, on the market.
We don’t begrudge him an easier path going forward as he seeks to spend more time with his family and helping his kids navigate their futures. But we’re still saddened and a little scared of the void that this might create for all of us and our sense of community.
In the 17 years that he has owned the store he has consistently been a positive, creative, and pro-active community member who used his position in the middle of our village as a way to advocate, cheerlead, help others and work for the greater good of The Valley. Regardless of the problem or issue, his reaction has always been to turn towards positivity, creating solutions rather than complaining.
People frequent the VG for a lot of reasons -- staff who greet you by name, familiar faces, the fact that the gas station is a Giving Gas Station that donates to local charities, Wheels for Warmth, the annual October lobster fundraiser, Troy’s affiliation with the Central Vermont Pioneers sled hockey, Race to Read, the post and beam Vermont state game weighing station, free coffee or water with a fill up and Curtis James, a fixture at the VG for eight years, reminding people to take their free drinks and often washing a windshield.
It might be the great beer and wine selection or the creemees or the free flipflops or the fact that the gas pumps have names that draws people in and keeps them coming back. It might be the local products or the Pacman game or the very miniature golf course in the beer cooler.
It might be Troy’s willingness to help when help is needed, going on the simple supply and demand aspect of running a market. Recall during the earlier part of the COVID-19 pandemic before the federal government made tests available and they were very scare -- Troy repeatedly found, transported and stocked those tests because we needed them.
They don’t call him the Mayor of The Valley for nothing. Good luck and enjoy what’s next Troy and we look forward to meeting and supporting your successor.