How The Georgia Market Changed The Success Of A Family Owned And Run Business

How The Georgia Market Changed The Success Of A Family Owned And Run Business

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I found myself sitting on a small, brown metal stool in the Kitchen of my current boss. Looking forward, I was face-to-face with Claudette, Ray sat on the stool to my left, and their little white doge, Eliot, passed the floor. Ray and Claudette Bouffard are the owners and operators of the Georgia Market in Georgia, Vermont. I have been an employee there for almost four years and often wonder about their history with the business. The story of how the Georgia Market came to be the well-known store it is today began with this simple statement, “I grew up in the corporate world and as an alternative to a corporate endeavor, this is about as good as it gets”.
Ray’s story began around the age of eight, when he spent his childhood years watching his own father own and operate his personal meat shop. “At an early age, I saw what the benefits and obviously the struggles to a family owned and run business”. From this interview, I learned that in owning your own business, it is something that you absolutely love, or hate. Ray described his passion for his business as something that is in his blood, a passion that he inherited from his father.
Ray spent about thirty years working in the corporate world, remodeling stores on the dime of the business he was employed by. Unfortunately, the corporate entity he had been working for went bankrupt, which forced the “on the road guys, which I was, off”. Another company, which was buying part of the previous company, offered Ray a position, which he gladly accepted. Shortly after, they attempted to convince Ray to move to Rochester, New York, to be a district manager. “I wasn’t overly excited, because we had a young family and all our immediate family is here. So, Claudette was willi...


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...tirement age. However, as Ray stated, “I will always have some touch on the business, now to what degree, I don’t know”. Due to his upbringing, he could never walk away from the business, he will always have some type of connection. He hopes to have more time to himself, as many of us do when we reach this age. Ray talked about the possibility of traveling, more fishing, and “do more, work less”.
After spending an hour in the kitchen of Ray and Claudette’s house, I walked away with a better understanding of who Ray and Claudette are as people. They are not just the owners of a business, they are the parents of two young adults in college, they are a son and daughter, an aunt and uncle, a brother and sister. Most importantly, they are not just the owners of a business, they are the owners and operators of a community based business, one I refer to as family.

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