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Efficiency helps one family restaurant focus on the future

3 min read
Readsboro, VT

Casey Scott didn’t expect to spend most of her first year co-owning and managing the Readsboro Inn to be in a pandemic and resulting economic shutdown. The beloved family restaurant is a fixture in Readsboro, but restaurants have struggled as Vermonters continue to stay home and socially distance during the pandemic. Casey chalks the Inn’s stability up to their community.

“Readsboro never let the Readsboro Inn go under. The restaurant is full of family – both actual family and our customers and community members who have grown to be family.”

Casey Scott, Co-owner, Readsboro Inn

Casey would know: she’s been a part of the Readsboro Inn community for much of her life. She worked as a waitress at the restaurant for ten years before going to get her degree at the University of New England in Maine. When she came back to Vermont to teach middle school math and science, she continued working part time at the Inn.

One day after work in June 2019, her boss shared that he was ready to retire and pass on the restaurant. Casey and her boyfriend Brian, who’d also grown up in the area, decided they were ready to take on the opportunity. The deal was official in January 2020, just a couple months before COVID-19 would shut down the state.

But she and Brian were committed to not just keeping the Inn open, but bringing it back to its former glory and even expanding the restaurant. A frequent complaint she’d heard as a waitress was about long wait times for food. Casey knew that by adding a second fryer to the kitchen, they could speed up the turnaround time and keep customers fed and happy.

Casey and Brian had recently built a house in neighboring Halifax, VT, and they took steps to make their new home as efficient as possible. Through that process, they learned how Efficiency Vermont can help Vermonters save money and energy through efficiency.

Casey had heard that Efficiency Vermont had support for restaurants and commercial kitchens to save on energy bills when buying new equipment. She reached out to see if a new, efficient fryer might be eligible for a rebate. Efficiency Vermont staff helped her get in touch with one of our distribution partners, B&G Restaurant Supply, to take advantage of the available offer.

“It was all so simple. We picked out the fryer we wanted, filled out the paperwork, and that was it. A lot of things are complicated right now, but Efficiency Vermont and B&G made this piece simple.”

Casey Scott, Co-owner, Readsboro Inn

The new fryer is ENERGY STAR® certified, meaning it’s been independently verified to meet a high level of energy efficiency. That translates directly to cost savings for the Inn. In fact, buying this more efficient model will save the Inn around $400 on propane costs each year. Those are funds that can be reinvested in the couple’s plans for the Inn’s growth.

For those same reasons, the fryer is just the beginning of energy efficient upgrades Casey and Brian hope to make at the Readsboro Inn. They know heating bills are a major cost for the Inn throughout the winter. Insulating and air sealing the building would help them spend less on heating and enable them to invest more back into the Inn. Eventually, they hope to replace their aging and inefficient furnace with a more sustainable heating option. Each of these investments will help them focus on their core mission: feeding and providing space for the community in Readsboro that has kept them strong through 2020.