The Piscataquis Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce this year’s recipient of the Business of the Year award, Rowell’s Garage of Dover-Foxcroft.
Amos and Gladys E. Rowell started the dealership in June of 1946, and kept it in the family for three generations until 2018 when their granddaughter, Karen Pomeroy, sold the business after operating it for 10 years following the passing of her husband. Over many decades, Rowell’s developed a reputation for outstanding service and exceptional community support. Karen did not want to sell the business to just anyone. It was important to her to find someone who shared the same family values; someone who would be passionate about the business, employees, and community her family served for so long. Scott Moulton of Abbot, who had served as her general manager for seven years, fit the bill perfectly, and in August of 2018, the transfer of ownership occurred. Moulton explained, “Without Karen’s kindness and trust, I would not have become the owner of Rowell’s Garage.”
Annually, the chamber reaches out to all communities within the county via social media, email campaigns and other media sources, asking for nominations for Business of the Year. Though any business within the county can be nominated, only chamber members are considered for the final vote. “There are specific criteria we consider when making the final decision,” said Denise Buzzelli, Director of the chamber, “we look for a Piscataquis-based business in good standing with the Chamber that shows a commitment to growth as a company, one that supports its employees and cares deeply about the communities it serves”.
Close to twenty nominations came in from across the county for Rowell’s Garage, from previous and current customers, and even other business owners. Nearly all of them talked about the service they receive at Rowell’s, from the service department to the sales department; mentioning great prices and using words such as ‘friendly’, ‘trustworthy’, ‘helpful’, ‘reliable’, and ‘honest’. Many specifically focused on Moulton, calling him a “stand-up guy’, and a ‘man of integrity’, explaining that he genuinely and sincerely cares about doing business right, he ‘stands behind his product’ and ‘makes it right’ when something goes wrong. Other comments boasted Moulton’s abilities to find that specific vehicle – one customer said “he found exactly what I was looking for – and gave me a great price to boot!’
When Karen Pomeroy was informed that Rowell’s was named 2020 Business of the year, she said, “Oh! That’s wonderful, Scott is so deserving! I knew that Scott would take full ownership of the same traditions we carried for nearly three-quarters of a century, to run a family-oriented business that puts community first.” And that is exactly what Moulton did. His employees will attest that they ‘feel like a big family’, which is the culture at Rowell’s – but those who do business there may also recognize Scott’s older son, Brian, working as a mechanic, and Ethan working on the sales floor. “I love the fact that my sons want to be a part of this with me, that we get to do this together every day”, Moulton said.
As soon as Covid-19 became news, Scott made a nearly immediate decision to shut down for two weeks, in spite of being considered an essential business. “I had some employees who were anxious about being at work, and it was still so new; we were not sure of the threat, so it was the right choice”, Moulton said, “employee safety and well-being is extremely important to me; my employees make us who we are, they are the backbone of this company”.
Scott’s priority to carry on the Rowell’s legacy is not confined to the building’s property line. “Every day, Scott looks for ways Rowell’s can be a blessing to the community”, said Buzzelli, “He does this by supporting causes, projects, events, and non-profit organizations financially, but also with his personal time, serving on several local non-profit boards”, she said. “Sometimes it’s easy for well-established businesses to write a check – but rolling up your sleeves and showing up to see how you can make a difference - that is admirable.”
Moulton continues to make investments into the company, with his most recent project beginning in October, when he will add solar power to the building. “I believe in being socially and environmentally responsible”, he said.
The Business of the Year Award was presented to Rowell’s Garage on Tuesday, October 13th on site, with employees, friends, and news reporters present.