2018 marks Vermont’s Wayside Restaurant’s 100th anniversary

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2018 marks Vermont’s Wayside Restaurant’s 100th anniversary

Sat, 06/02/2018 - 4:57am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine In 1918, the Allies declared victory in World War 1, Babe Ruth pitched 29 1/3 scoreless innings for the Red Sox in the World Series, Woodrow Wilson was president, color movies were invented, and Effie Ballou opened the Wayside on the Barre-Montpelier Road. Originally just a roadside eatery, the Wayside Restaurant has withstood the test of time and is ready to celebrate its 100th Anniversary this year.  In an industry where 70 percent of all restaurants fail after 10 years, the Wayside has defied the odds.

Throughout the year, there will be meal and dessert specials. In July, the actual month the Wayside opened; there will be a Customer Appreciation Party on July 29th from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm. The Wayside Creamery will host a free Ice Cream Social and at sundown all guests will be treated to a special fireworks display!  Be sure to save the date.

For those who want to learn more about the Wayside and its long history go to www.WaysideRestaurant.com . There is also a new book on sale at the restaurant commemorating their 100th Anniversary titled;  It's Worth The Ride To The Wayside: Celebrating 100 Years with Anniversary Ale, Yankee Cooking and Ice Cream.  And yes, the book includes several of the Wayside's delicious comfort food recipes!


Continuously Operating as a Family-Owned Restaurant Since 1918

-The Wayside Restaurant in Montpelier, Vermont, was opened by Effie Ballou as a roadside lunchtime eatery just months before the end of WWI in 1918. During a time when color movies were invented, Woodrow Wilson was president, and the Spanish Flu epidemic hit the US and Central VT, Babe Ruth pitched 29 1/3 scoreless innings for the Red Sox in the World Series, and first-class stamps cost just 3 cents.

The Ballou family ran the Wayside until 1945.

-Followed by the Fish family who ran it from 1945 to 1966.

-The third and current family to run the restaurant for more than 50 years—the Galfettis (Eugene and Harriet from 1966-1998), and now the Galfetti-Zecchinelli family (Karen Galfetti Zecchinelli and Brian Zecchinelli, 1998-present).

Full Service Restaurant, Bakery & Creamery

-Open year round from 6:30am-9:30pm, with the exception of 7 holidays.

-Serving approximately 1000 meals per day, upwards of 1 million meals every 3 years.

-Yankee Cooking at its Best since 1918. A gluten-free menu is also offered.

-Full scale bakery and bakery-to-go. The Wayside is well-known for its homemade pies.

-The Creamery was established in 2014 to produce Wayside-made ice cream.  

Green RestaurantLocal Commitment

  • Over fifty “Green” initiatives have been implemented over the past 20 years.

  • The Wayside became Montpelier’s first Green Restaurant in 2011, the fifth in Vermont.

  • Member of the Vermont Business Environmental Partnership.

  • Composting program for more than 10 years. Recipient of Grow Compost of Vermont’s Certificate of Environmental Stewardship for diverting 102,600 pounds of food scraps from disposal in 2017.

  • Installed solar tube panels over 5 years ago to preheat water for the dish machine.

  • Purchasing of locally grown and foraged produce, meats and fish since the late 1960s when the Galfetti family took over the business.

  • Installed 24 square feet of windows to create a “fresh air” kitchen for healthier working conditions.

According to A Century of Restaurants by Rick Brown written in 2013, “There were 240 century- old restaurants across America”. With over one million restaurants in the US, only one fraction of 1% makes it to the 100-year mark!

The Wayside’s 100th Anniversary Initiatives

  • A large Barre granite plaque is on display in the foyer recognizing this milestone anniversary. Next year the plaque will become a cornerstone on the restaurant’s exterior.

  • A commemorative book, It’s Worth the Ride to the Wayside: Celebrating 100 Years with Anniversary Ale, Yankee Cooking and Ice Cream (with comfort food recipes), was published in January, 2018.

  • Promotion of a custom Long Trail 100th Anniversary Ale.

  • Starting in July, all of the Wayside’s top-shelf distilled spirits, with the exception of Scotch, will be sourced from Vermont distilleries, stretching from Brattleboro to Jeffersonville and many towns in between.

  • “One Hundred Gifts to the Community” employee program. The Wayside’s over 60 employees are encouraged to give a $100 gift, or the equivalent as a volunteer, to an organization of their choice by July 1.  A commemorative plaque will be displayed in the Wayside foyer recognizing the gifts and the recipients. The Wayside will donate the remaining number of gifts necessary to meet the 100 gift mark.

  • A season-long homerun derby for the Vermont Mountaineers, a collegiate baseball team based in Montpelier. $100 will be donated by the Wayside to the team for each home game, home team home run during the 2018 summer season.

  • A recognition bonus of $100 for each year worked will be awarded to every employee in November. There are over 60 employees with more than 600 years of combined service at the Wayside:  1 with 40 years, 6 in the 25-Year Club, and 19 with 10 or more years of service.

  • A 100th Anniversary Pledge to continue to operate the Wayside as “the safest workplace in Vermont”, and to serve as a role model for other businesses.

  • Promotional items include Wayside #1 foam fingers, commemorative 100th Anniversary t-shirts (only $5 each!), and collectible “Shut up and Deal” playing cards.

  • Customer Appreciation Celebration with free ice cream social and fireworks on

 July 29, 6:30-9:30pm

  • Private Employee Appreciation Party with a live band later in the year.

  • And to conclude its 100th Anniversary Celebration, the Wayside will offer a

$20.18 prime rib dinner for two for New Year’s Eve…while it lasts!