Julie and Paul Burns, Warren, have sold Three Mountain Café in Waitsfield to their general manager Maggie Carr, Fayston.
The sale closed this week.
The business was originally started in 1982 by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. In 1998, GMCR sold all their retail stores. Three Mountain Cafe was started in 1998 by the late Pam Kluckner. Julie Burns bought the business in 2002 and was later joined by her husband Paul in the business.
“It was time. We wanted to try a new adventure and try new things,” Julie Burns said.
“We took it as far as we dreamed we would and Maggie was a great fit,” Paul Burns added.
They said they would miss being part of everyone’s day and making new friends but are looking forward to the next chapter, which for Paul means continuing his antique business and for Julie, continuing and doing more garden and landscaping work.
As manager for over a year, Carr is stepping in with full knowledge of the café’s customers and workings. She had been working in residential life at Green Mountain College in Poultney where she and her husband Ryan Carr both graduated. Her degree is in outdoor education. Her husband works in hospitality management for Downstream Enterprises.
“I wanted a change, something less hectic than residential life,” she said.
It was Carr who approached the Burns about purchasing the business.
“This summer, due to COVID, I was thrust into some unique situations and had the responsibility to trouble shoot COVID requirements in Julie’s absence. I had to figure things out and I really enjoyed the opportunity to be the problem solver which got me thinking tangibly about being the owner,” she said, noting that her mother was very encouraging and will likely relocate to The Valley to work with her.
At 26, Carr is young to be a business owner. In part, her ability to purchase the business was made possible through Community Capital of Vermont which issues small business loans and lines of credits for nontraditional entrepreneurs.
“A shout out to them and the work that they do,” she said.
She’s currently working on updating the website and other technical and digital details. She’s keeping the menu the same for now, but is looking forward to experimenting with new things over time. The carpeting is coming up. The antiques are gone and the café will be repainted and feature artwork.
Right now, she’s sticking with no indoor dining and when things change and indoor dining is okay, there will be plenty of space for social distancing.