Vermont Business Magazine The Burke Area Chamber of Commerce began a new tradition at their Annual Meeting of Members held at Burke Mountain Hotel on November 6th. Burke Chamber President, John Kascenska presented the first ever Business of the Year award to Mike’s Gas & Redemption of West Burke. Store owners Mike and Dianna Cole along with several of their staff and family members attended the event. Mike Cole gave a proud smile as he accepted the award and thanked the Chamber, later proclaiming, “We love Burke!”
The brief acceptance speech was met with a round of applause from fellow chamber members and business owners, as well as Vermont State Senator Russ Ingalls (Essex District) and Representative Terri Williams (Essex-Caledonia). Guest speaker, Tayt Brooks, Deputy Secretary of the VT Agency of Commerce and Community Development, congratulated Mike and Dianna on the award noting the importance of stores like Mike’s Gas in adding to the vitality of Vermont communities and contributing to the local economy.
Mike’s Gas was chosen from among several local businesses nominated by Burke Chamber members. Criteria for nominations included that the business must be a Burke Chamber member in good standing for at least three years and have demonstrated some or all of the following: Provides a healthy, supportive and inclusive work environment; Provides exemplary customer service; Supports sustainable economic development; Supports community events; Practices responsible business growth that is in keeping with the character of their community.
Said Kascenska, “Mike’s Gas & Redemption is a family-owned business that serves as a hub of service primarily for the local West Burke community, as well as visitors travelling through the area. Their primary service to customers consists of groceries, fuel, home supply goods, as well as great home-baked goods and well-prepared food for breakfasts and lunches every day of the week. They are always well stocked with the essentials for their customers and are known locally and by visitors alike for their exemplary service. Examples of formal reviews online include phrases such as: ‘great prepared food’, ‘a friendly place to stop for anything you need,’ and note the ‘great small-town feel.’ It is with great pleasure that we present this year’s award to Mike’s Gas and Redemption.”
Beyond the store, Mike and Dianna exemplify quiet dedication to the community by being actively involved with the Town of Burke, One Burke and other local groups on projects meant to better the area for both residents and visitors. They are also very supportive of the Burke Senior Meal Site and the Burke Drift Skippers snowmobile club among other local organizations. They also sponsor and/or assist the Burke Chamber with events such as the Strawberry Festival and the Annual Santa Visit to West Burke.
Following the award presentation, Mike and Dianna were all smiles as they posed for photos with their staff, family and friends. “We are very thankful for all our loyal customers and our wonderful staff,” said Dianna Cole.
Source: 11.9.2023. East Burke, VT - The Burke Area Chamber of Commerce burkevermont.com