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Tuesday April 22, 2008 Edition
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The Vermont Energy Company - An Alternative Convenience Store

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Tuesday April 22, 2008

By Rebecca F. Kay

   In October of 2007, the Hartley brothers Kevin and Brad started to renovate the Little Otter General Store on Route 7 in Ferrisburg Vermont.  The renovation was not only to the property, but also to what people have come to expect from a convenience store.

    The brothers designed the store to provide an “alternative to everything.” Brad explained that the idea behind the store is to buy locally, provide a homey place for patrons to stop, and to “go greener and [find] a healthier way to do it.”  Brad also states, “If you want Fritos and Pepsi, [patrons] can still get it.”

    In addition to supporting the local businesses, the Vermont Energy Company plans on donating 1/3 of its profit to non-profit organizations. Their mission statement explains: “Every year, [the Vermont Energy Company] divides [it's profits] into thirds and distributes the first third back to its employee/partners, the second third to non-profit organizations and the remaining third toward the national growth of the brand.”

    The Vermont Energy Company is family owned.  Brad Hartley is the part owner and manager of the convenience store.  His brother Kevin Hartley is the general partner.  Both brothers were born in Charlotte and have returned to Vermont to pursue this business opportunity.

    It is not just the brothers who are involved in this business.  Brad's wife, Cathy B. Hartley is the cook and the baker.  She makes homemade chicken potpies, baked donuts fresh every morning, buttermilk biscuits with Cabot Cheddar Cheese and Ham, and an assortment of baked goods called “Cathy's Creations.”  Kevin's wife Kristin Hartley helps with the accounting, and their sister Kate Hartley will be displaying her artwork.

    So if you are traveling on Route 7 and are looking for a place to fill up your tank, meet some friendly people, order a fresh sandwich or homemade goods, while still being able to get the traditional convenience store food, I encourage to stop by and try the Vermont Energy Company.


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