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Blog: Support Our Local Businesses Nominated for a Daysie Award

Posted May 23, 2024 by Mark Rosalbo

Over twenty years ago, Seven Days initiated the 'best-of' Vermont highlights awards. Today, with over 230 categories and two rounds of voting, the Daysies’ mission continues to illuminate the greatness of our state. It’s evident that Randolph, with its vibrant entrepreneurial spirit, is a significant part of this greatness.

To make it easier for those looking to support our local businesses, below is a list of all the categories in which a Randolph business is up for a Daysie. The finalist with the most votes in each category wins the award. 

A quick look at the demographics: Burlington, being the most populous city in Vermont, naturally sees its businesses garner more votes in this contest. However, this doesn’t mean that the rest of the state is lacking in noteworthy enterprises. In fact, Randolph-based businesses are making their mark, vying for recognition against stiff competition from Burlington in ten of our nominated categories. 

To ensure a fair spotlight for all, Seven Days categorizes finalists into two groups: those “within Chittenden County” (where Burlington is located) and those “outside Chittenden County [OCC].” This division is crucial when there are a significant number of top contenders both within and outside the Burlington area. There are eight Randolph businesses nominated in OCC categories, bringing the total nominations to eighteen. 

Let’s rally behind our Randolph businesses! While our entrepreneurs may be outside Chittenden County, they’re certainly not outside our appreciation and support. Remember, it’s a numbers game! The more people that vote, the better the chances of winning. So, spread the word and help our excellent nominees bring home the Daysies! 

Randolph's Finalists

Bowling Alley: Valley Bowl

Two female employees of Valley Bowl and their greem circle logo(pictured from left: Tina Lafayette, Manager, and Melissa Wright, Breakfast Cook)

Randolph's Valley Bowl is also home to Prince St. Cafe and Karen's Pro Shop. Valley Bowl offers excellent bowling and birthday celebrations. Oh, and let's not forget that Randolph Union High School's varsity bowling team regularly plays here and just took home the Vermont State Champs trophy after an undefeated season! That's a partnership worthy of a Daysie in my book. Other nominees: Spare Time Entertainment, Stowebowl, and Twin City Family Fun Center. Go vote! Category direct voting link. 

Bank/Credit Union: Northfield Savings Bank (all in-state)

NSB Yellow logo and three female employees outside the Randolph office(Pictured from left: Kaitlyn Sargent, Community Banker, Michele D. Crochiere, Community Banking Officer, and Kirstin Rogers, Sr. Community Banker)

Randolph's Northfield Savings Bank branch is one of two banks serving our community. They provide full-service banking to individuals, families, and businesses. Other nominees are Mascoma Bank, NEFCU+VSECU, North Country Federal Credit Union, and Vermont Federal Credit Union. Go vote! Category direct voting link.

Locally Owned Craft Store: Brainstorm Art Supply

umbrella in blue and owner smiling outsdie gallery(Pictured: Jeannie Catmull, Owner)

Randolph's Brainstorm Art Supply has a rapidly growing following within our arts community. They offer classes and various instruction and partner with other galleries, like Chandler Center for the Arts, to showcase the work of hundreds of artists. Jeannie's craft store is full of everything the artist needs to create! They are a true collaborator worthy of a Daysie! Other nominees: Notion Fabric & Craft, Studio Store, and Yankee Pride Quilts. Go vote! Category direct voting link.

Cannabis Dispensary - OCC: Polestar

green logo w yellow center, three employees sitting on a couch smiling(Pictured from left: James Van Leir, Jonathan Erdman, and Tony Balukonis)

Randolph's Polestar Cannabis carefully crafts and curates the finest selection of flowers, edibles, tinctures, and tonics to share with our community and visitors. Other nominees: Capital Cannabis Co., MothaPlant, Mountain Girl Cannabis, and Zenbarn Farms. Go vote! Category direct voting link.

Bike Shop - OCC: Gear House

gear logo in black with the two owners standing with arms around each other(Pictured from left: Robin Crandall and Rob Leeson, Owners)

Randolph's The Gear House is central Vermont's newest full-service bike shop and outdoor gear store and the epicenter of active, healthy living in our town. Their picturesque, hemlock-lined, rebuilt VT-style building is also home to Ridgeline Outdoor Collective's trail hub. A partnership that merits a Daysie! Other nominees: Bicycle Express, Bootlegger Bikes, and Onion River Outdoors. Go vote! Category direct voting link.

Small Live Music Hotspot - OCC: The Underground

Green logo with a mic and the owener standing in front of bright art(Pictured: Vincent Freeman, Owner)

Randolph's The Underground is a listening-room-style venue where the performers really do come first. Located next to The Underground Recording Studio, it hosts live concerts and other performance arts almost every weekend. Musicians from around the state and beyond come to Randolph to collaborate with Vincent because he's that good! I see a Daysie in his future. Other nominees: Bent Nails Bistro, South Mountain Tavern, and Zenbarn. Go vote! Category direct voting link

Trivia Night: wit & grit

blue logo with owner holding a cup of coffee and smiling(Pictured: Hannah Arias, Owner) 

Randolph's wit & grit serves breakfast and lunch classics with unique style. They are deeply committed to giving back to the community, and TRIVIA is their game! Here's one: How many nominations did they get this year? More than any other Randolph business! Three Daysie Awards would be the coolest. Other nominees: Alfie's Wild Ride and Vermont Country Club. Go vote! Category direct voting link.

Performing Arts Venue: Chandler Center for the Arts 

blue building logo and picture of their executive director
(Pictured: Chloe Powell, Executive Director)

Randolph's Chandler Center for the Arts' mission is to strengthen and energize our community, and they do a great job bringing us together. Let's not take central Vermont's important cultural center for granted. Let's get them a Daysie! Other nominees: The Flynn, Higher Ground, Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center, and Vermont Country Club. Go vote! Category direct voting link.

Art Gallery: ART, etc.

owner sitting on desk, smiling next to light green logo(Pictured: Andrea Melville, Owner)

Randolph's Art, etc., is a friend to every emerging artist in our community. The gallery curations are thoughtful and always a breath of fresh air. You'll need to wait in a long line to secure a spot in her shop to show your work, but it's worth it! Andrea welcomes everyone and makes us all feel special. She's definitely Daysie-worthy! Other nominees: ArtHound, GalleryBCA Center, Soapbox Arts, The S.P.A.C.E. Gallery. Go vote! Category direct voting link.

Gluten-Free Bakery Options: Pembroke Bakery

female holding a cookie and smiling

Randolph’s Pembroke Bakery has been serving up treats that are not just gluten-free but also incredibly delicious. The dynamic duo behind Pembroke, Courtney and Tyler, have poured their heart and soul into every bake. From the head baker to the delivery driver, from the marketing officer to the cheerleader, they’ve worn many hats, all with one goal—to ensure you can have your cookie and eat it too!

 That’s why she’s spent countless hours perfecting her recipes so you won’t miss the gluten. Vote for Pembroke Bakery for the Seven Daysies Award! They truly deserve it. Vote here! Category direct voting link.

Community Newspaper: The Herald 

Tim Calibro and the herald staff standing outside(Pictured from left: Janet Roberts, Circulation and Business, Tim Calibro, Editor and Publisher, and Brandi Comette, Manager)

Our Herald has been a locally and independently owned community newspaper since 1874. It covers towns in Orange, Windsor, Rutland, and Addison counties—the heart of Vermont. The Herald’s editor and publisher, Tim Calabro, has reached out for help to keep the lights on while he restructures the paper. For ways to support The Herald, click here. Let's shower them with the support they deserve and get them a Daysie! Other nominees: Addison County Independent, The Bridge, The Other Paper, Waterbury Roundabout, and Williston Observer. Go vote! Category direct  voting link.

Breakfast/Brunch - OCC: wit & grit

Breakfast burrito and owner holding a cup of coffee smiling(Pictured: Hannah Arias, Owner) 

Randolph's wit & grit serves breakfast and lunch classics with unique style. They are deeply committed to giving back to the community. Try their ruth bader gins-burger - it's a Daysie winner! Other nominees: 158 Main, Blue Paddle Bistro, Maxi's, and Wayside Restaurant. Go vote! Category direct voting link.

Locally Owned Grocery- OCC: Chef’s Market

two owners standing outside under a bright sign and an image of the depot brick building with a clock(Pictured from left: Tammy & Scott Aronson, Owners)

Randolph's Chef's Market offers fresh produce and provisions, most of which are organic, local, and ethically sourced. They also serve breakfast and lunch, takeout, or dining upstairs or outside. Their Eggs Romanoff is perfect! Let's help them best the huge competition and bring home a Daysie!  Other nominees: Georgia Market, Hunger Mountain Co-op, Mehuron's Supermarket, and Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op. Go vote! Category direct voting link.

Sweets Bakery - OCC: Windy Lane

Owner baking in the kitchen smiling(Pictured: Kelsey Wolfe, Owner)

Randolph's Windy Lane Bakehouse is the hit of our town on Saturday mornings. You can smell their brioche cinnamon rolls from Main Street! Rich dough, spiced brown sugar filling, and cream cheese glaze—they literally melt in your mouth. Their sweet & savory hand pies are amazing, and, oh, the cakes! Other nominees: Birchgrove Baking, Bohemian Bakery, Red Hen Baking Co., and Red House Sweets. Go vote! Category direct voting link.

Vegetarian: Bent Hill

four people hugging and smiling and a 'bent Hill' logo w a blue ski(Pictured from left: Ethan Bernier, Chef, Erin Czok, Prep Cook, Nathan Bacon, Bartender, Jordan Taylor, Brewer, and Michael Czok, Owner)

Bent Hill Brewery serves the best vegetarian food in Central Vermont, in my humble opinion. The Pulled “Pork” Sliders made with 1000 Stone Farm lion's mane mushrooms are out of this world, and their Kale Caesar Salad with shredded parm and croutons is scrumptious. As a matter of fact, everything on their menu is chock-full of flavor, and there's no shortage of craft beer to pair with. Other nominees: Honey Road, Namaste Garden, Pingala Cafe, and Zabby & Elf's Stone Soup. Go vote! Category direct voting link.

Breakfast Sandwich: wit & grit

W&G breakfast sandwich w bacon and their blue logo with white lettering

Randolph's wit & grit serves breakfast and lunch classics with unique style. They are deeply committed to giving back to the community and make the best breakfast sandwich ever, known as 'the breakwich!' The breakwich comes with an egg, Vermont cheddar, taters, choice of bacon or sausage, and choice of spicy or garlic aioli, served on a rustic roll. It's spicy for me! Other nominees: August First, The Cafe HOT, Henry Street Deli, and Kountry Kart Deli. Go vote! Category direct link.

Best Bagel - OCC: Wee Bird Bagel Cafe

six Wee Bird staff members outside in the sun smiling

(Pictured from left: Delia Bender, Cook, Halle Giles, Barista, Erin Kelly, Barista, Felix Jaborek, Cook/Assistant Baker, Chelsea Brown, Owner/Baker, Dana Winters, Cook)

Randolph's Wee Bird Cafe has perfected its house-made bagels. Hand-rolled, boiled, and baked fresh daily, they are absolutely out of this world. Most days, they sell them all, so you better get there before noon, or you might miss their most popular ones. Their cheddar jalapeno bagel with veggie shmear is one of many combinations worthy of a Daysie! Other nominees: K.C. Bagel Cafe, Maria's Bagels, Middlebury Bagel & Deli, and Wally's Place.  Go vote! Category direct voting link.

Craft Brewing - OCC: Bent Hill

four people hugging and smiling and a 'bent Hill' logo w a blue ski(Pictured from left: Ethan Bernier, Chef, Erin Czok, Prep Cook, Nathan Bacon, Bartender, Jordan Taylor, Brewer, and Michael Czok, Owner)

Our friends at Bent Hill Brewery know beer! They're the smallest craft brewer in the running against a few seasoned behemoths.  Everybody loves an underdog! My favorites are their farmhouse saison 'Pummeled by Peaches,' their lager 'Dialed in by Daylight,' or their intense stout 'Chili Coconut Cinnamon with Jalapenos.' My wife loves their sour ale 'Ethereal,' aged on black currants, vanilla, and thyme. Good luck - you deserve the Daysie! Other nominees: 14th Star Brewing Co., The Alchemist, Hill Farmstead Brewery, and Lawson's Finest Liquids. Go vote! Category direct voting link.

You can only vote once, but forward the link to your family and friends to boost everyone’s chances! Voting begins May 27 and runs through June 9. 

Making Randolph a better place to live, work, and play.