A Success Story, Maggie Carr, Three Mountain Cafe, Waitsfield
Maggie Carr was an employee of Three Mountain Café when the business came up for sale during the Covid pandemic. A legacy community gathering spot in the Mad River Valley, the Café has existed for decades under a variety of owners. As Maggie thought about the possibilities, she developed a vision of what the Waitsfield business could contribute to the region: “A coffee shop can be a beautiful snapshot into a community. I wanted it to be a place where people can celebrate the good, try tasty food or coffee, and do daily life together, even if daily life is not so good sometimes.”
As she researched business loans, Maggie appreciated the steps that Community Capital laid out for her on the path to secure a line of credit for business expenses. “Community Capital wants to be sure your business is viable, so there is a process built in to explore what will happen in your first year. The process helped me articulate useful guiding posts that I wouldn’t have had to create with a traditional big lender.” After she secured her business loan, Maggie found Community Capital to continue to be helpful with post-loan support. “Community Capital helped me sit down, make choices, and weed through the noise,” she noted.
Three Mountain Café’s tagline is “Coffee, Eats & Good Cheer.” Maggie says that good cheer is the standard that she has made sure is present in each element of the Café. “We’re playing with fun colors, fun staff, and a fun social media presence. We’re having fun. There’s a lot of good cheer going on.”
With the backing of Community Capital, Maggie has been able to focus on other priorities as a woman in business. She notes, “Vermonters want to take care of each other, and the Café’s sense of community further encourages responsibility.” For example, almost half the Three Mountain Café staff is living with special needs. “Community Capital’s support lets me focus on being an inclusive workplace.” As she actualizes the impact that a business can have on a community, Maggie says she is “reflecting a lot lately about what it means to be in business in Vermont. There’s a lot of support for trying new things.”
Having navigated ongoing challenges like purchasing the Café during the Covid pandemic, Maggie continues to grow into her business. “Because of Community Capital, I have the confidence to move forward. Community Capital believes in me, and their wraparound support feels like yes, they really care about me. I am certain that I can excel at my work and be a rockstar business owner.”