Former Alburg businessman aims to boost local economy with restaurant, laundry and lounge | Local News
ALBURGH – When Aaron Vincelette returned to Alburgh eight years ago after his stint in the service, he remembers asking: “What happened to my town?”
“It has just been destroyed,” he told the Messenger.
It broke his heart, he said, to see the town in such disrepair, especially since his family still lives and works there. Her brother and nephew work for the Alburgh Fire and Rescue teams, and her mother worked at the Alburgh Visitor Centre.
“Right now, there’s no place to eat there, there’s no place to go, there’s nothing,” Vincelette said. “You can’t just keep living in the 70s where this town is stuck right now.”
Owner of the Eco Carwash chain in Williston, Vincelette decided to bring her business and marketing skills to Alburgh. Over the past few years, he has acquired several properties, revitalized them and sold them to locals looking to start their own businesses.
“I bring here what I’ve done and what other cities expect,” he said.
Close to Canada and adjacent to Lake Champlain, Alburgh has opportunities to market itself as both a place to live and a tourist destination.
Vermonters and non-residents alike already travel to the area to see St. Anne’s Shrine, a Catholic holy site on Isle la Motte. Nearby campsites and AirBnb locations are often full, but Vincelette said those visitors have nothing else to do when they come.
With updated infrastructure and new businesses in town, Vincelette said he believes Alburgh could transform.
“It should be like a Shelburne or a Brandon or a Vergennes,” he said.
Last year, Vincelette bought the Alburgh Coin-Op laundry. The youngest machine in the place was 30 years old, so Vincelette brought in new washers and dryers, updated the place, and installed new card machines.
“This refurbished laundromat in Alburgh is clean, offers a variety of sizes of washing machines, washers and dryers that take coins or credit cards, places to sit, tables to fold the linen, wheeled trolleys, changers and an automatic dispenser for detergent, fabric softener, etc. said Katie Butler in an online review.
As many towns in the region focus on creating more housing in order to combat the state’s shortage, Vincelette said he felt pressured to create business in Alburgh.
“I don’t want people there to survive,” Vincelette said. I want them to live… And that’s not what people are doing there now. They just survive.
His most recent project is to turn the former US Route 2 gas station into a gas station, which will serve coffee, donuts and wood-fired pizza.
He also equips the station with electric vehicle charging stations, which he says will attract Montreal commuters passing through the city.
Vincelette plans to hire at least eight employees for this new venture and said he would eventually like to pass the business on to professionals who want to take them over. He will remain the owner of the building.
The service station is currently being gutted and stripped in anticipation of the new business. Vincelette collects unique and classic display cases and stocks restaurant gadgets for when the floor, walls and ceiling are redone.
Once the gas station is complete, Vincelette said he hopes to find a place to set up a barbershop and beauty salon in town, still hoping to hire professionals to run the business and remain the owner. .
“At the end of the day, business is business,” Vincelette said. “If you put the right people in the right places, it will be a success. If you follow the natural rules of time, quality and price, business is not difficult. You just have to be fair and make sure you charge correctly.