Our Story : A Family Business

A Brief History of our Family Business

What do you get when you blend a love for country life, antiques and close-knit family?

In the case of Stowe Mercantile founder Marc Sherman, you get a vision for a business that becomes a passion crossing generations.

In the late 1980’s, supported by a group of friends, Marc put aside his passion for dairy farming and his career as a landscape photographer and opened his first store on Main Street – a 1,000 square foot collection of Vermont fine arts and crafts. The store’s success rapidly warranted an expansion that became Stowe Mercantile.

Within a few years, Marc had grown his company to five distinct stores in the resort village of Stowe – including one that specialized in hand-crafted reproduction Colonial-style furniture. The beginning of the family business was off and running.

Trudy Trombley joined the company in 1999, learning the business quickly and becoming the General Manager overseeing all operations. It was Trudy who recognized the opportunity for a women’s apparel store in Stowe. Truly Trudy’s Boutique – now affectionately known just as the Boutique – was born.

Through life’s transitions, Trudy and Marc became a couple and continued working together to develop new businesses, including TLT Designs and Stowe Mercantile Kitchen. As their grown daughters returned home from pursuing various interests and travel, they also became actively involved.

Trudy’s daughter Denise manages Stowe Mercantile and the Boutique, including development of the websites and overseeing marketing efforts. She’s also a talented jewelry designer, offering her line of handcrafted art under the name “Dearley Designs”.  

Erin, Trudy’s youngest, handles merchandising and purchasing for the bath & body and food selections in Stowe Mercantile.  

And Angela, Trudy’s first daughter, is instrumental in the growth of TLT Designs. She guides Trudy’s graphic art through the production process of creating garments, souvenir mugs and other memorabilia.

Marc’s youngest daughter Abby, a locally renowned musician and songwriter, has taken her passion for great food into the Stowe Mercantile Kitchen. She’s developed over 20 baking mixes, along with a popular line of ready-to-eat crackers and tortilla chips. Her partner, Sean, oversees the growth of that wholesale business.

And Marc’s oldest, Leah, has opened a store named L’s Boutique in West Yellowstone, Montana. Patterned after the family Boutique in Stowe, it’s been successful from the start.

“After more than 30 years of growing the business, I couldn’t be happier with the involvement now of all five of our daughters. And now we even have our grandchildren beginning to work here.  Each of them starts with bagging purchases for our guests at the registers and learning how we treat our customers as members of our extended family.  I think this has been the best measure of success, building a business that can include as many family members as want to participate and continuing the family business to a third generation and more.”

 

                                                Marc Sherman


Stowe Mercantile Kitchen Father and Daughter