Eric Friedman, left, and Troy Kingsbury receiving the Be Better Award. Photo by Kintz

Troy Kingsbury, current and soon-to-be former owner of the Village Grocery in Waitsfield, was awarded the Mad River Valley Chamber of Commerce’s annual Win Smith Be Better award at the chamber annual meeting last week.





The September 20 annual meeting, mixer and dinner got underway in the former Sage Restaurant space in the Valley Meade building with libations and live blues on the deck. The action moved to the chamber’s visitor center across the street in the Localfolk Smokehouse building where chamber members were updated on the chamber’s work, board, and budgets by executive director Eric Friedman. 

Friedman told those gathered that the Win Smith award was created four years ago to honor longtime Sugarbush owner and president Win Smith for his deep engagement in the community and his generosity. 

“This year, the award goes to someone who’s worked really hard to make this community a better place for a very long time in many ways. Whether it was a paper airplane contest, bringing a cow to downtown for no reason, a sidewalk art contest, the annual lobster day, Wheels for Warmth, sled hockey, free flipflops, weighing deer or just generally offering up one of the most unique and special experiences we have here, it’s really an honor to say that the recipient of this year’s award is without question the best small business marketer that I’ve ever met. This guy gets it, he’s the best I’ve ever seen. For his lifelong commitment to the Mad River Valley and his hard work to make this a better place, I’m honored to present this award to Troy Kingsbury,” Friedman said.  




Kingsbury thanked Friedman and acknowledged that his wife had done all the heavy lifting when their two kids were young and that he was selling the Village Grocery to Talmage Jestice because it was time for him to step in and do more at home.  

But he pointed out that free of the constraints of running the business he’d be able to be even more engaged in the community. Kingsbury was raised in Warren and ran his parents’ convenience store, Kingsbury’s Market, (now Jiffy Mart) for seven years (and worked there since he was old enough to work) until 1999.

“In 1999 when I left as manager of Kingsbury’s Market, I got the Vermont Grocer’s Association award for manager of the year. And now I get this award. I can’t wait to quit my next job and see what happens!” Kingsbury said.

The meeting moved back across the street upstairs for dinner in the former Sage space at Valley Meade.