A Little Wayside History…

 Statement Of Sen. Patrick Leahy
Tribute To Wayside Restaurant
Senate Floor
July 31, 2008

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I would like to pay tribute to one of central Vermont’s finest community gathering spaces, the Wayside Restaurant. Over the past 90 years, the Wayside has built its reputation around the State of Vermont as a quality establishment where neighbors enjoy a country style breakfast, a quick business lunch, or a well-rounded family dinner. The Wayside represents the needs of the community with affordable and diversely pleasant fare. 

In 1918, when Effie Ballou opened the small soup and sandwich restaurant, she never expected it would become what it is today. The Wayside serves around 1,000 customers a day, and with 160 seats, is always filled with loyal customers. Vermonters from all walks of life frequent the Wayside for authentic Vermont cooking. Politicians, professionals, farmers, elderly people, and families all gather here to eat, mingle and enjoy where they can choose a booth or saddle up to the horse shoe diner top. 

The Wayside’s menu offers more than 200 items, plus an additional list of specials, all new every day. These daily specials are memorized by the true blue patrons who line up at the doors before 6:30 a.m. Unique delights such as fresh native perch, only served in season, is breaded and fried. Traditional Yankee entrees are always accompanied by freshly baked pies, breads and donuts. 

One of Vermont’s landmark eateries, the Wayside Restaurant sparks community admiration through its history of public service. A major part of the Wayside’s success is its history of family ownership. Karen Galfetti and Brian Zecchinelli are second-generation owners and operators. The couple’s dedication and hands on approach are what sets the tone of the establishment, aided by their home’s location right next to the restaurant. Working together as a family, the Zecchinellis strive to create a comfortable atmosphere and affordable service for the community; as such they represent the heart of working America. Providing excellent benefits for employees, most of whom have been there for decades, the philosophy behind the Wayside reflects the kind of values that strengthen our country. The Zecchinellis’ dedication was recognized in 2005, when the U.S. Small Business Administration named them best Family-Owned Small Business of the Year. 

Without the Wayside, to invite folks into Vermont, we would be missing not only the chance to connect with our next door neighbors, but the opportunity to support a long-time establishment that has always kept the interests of its customers at the heart of its expansion. 

Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that an article from the Times Argus detailing their 90 years of success be printed in the Record. 

There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows: Read the Times Argus Article

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