Champlain Farms, based in South Burlington, Vt., is mourning the passing of our general manager, Paul Trinanes, who served our c-store chain faithfully for 27 years.
After serving as a cook and foodservice manager in the Coast Guard, Paul began his career in the retail industry, working for Honey Farms and Cumberland Farms prior to joining the Champlain Farms team in 1995.
Over the course of his employment with us, he worked as a store manager, auditor, loss prevention officer, district manager, state supervisor and director of operations. From the beginning, it was clear that he knew how to take charge of people and problems. With a kind heart, calm personality and gifted speech, he could turn around any difficult situation.
His vast knowledge of foodservice, and his congenial nature allowed him to foster connections throughout the industry. He was hard to keep up with at NACS conventions and seemed to know everyone there. He enjoyed meeting with vendors, engaging in the negotiation process and securing great deals for products he knew our customers would want.
He knew every side of this business from the bottom up and possessed a deep insight for the market forces and social influences that drive it. He nurtured long-term relationships with suppliers and was a stabilizing voice of reason in an unpredictable, high-turnover industry.
In addition to those skills, Paul was a people person. He knew how to bring out the best in our employees, how to meet their needs and help refocus their energy in a positive direction. He didn’t get angry, ever. He was a steady voice of reason in a chaotic world and always saw the human side of every dilemma.
Paul truly enjoyed interviews and selecting the best candidates for store managers. He had an innate instinct for the qualities that make a great manager and didn’t hesitate to select candidates that might have been overlooked by others due to their young age or lack of experience. He was rarely wrong on those selections. His own experience as a store manager gave him insight and understanding to the unique challenges of that critical position. It was Paul that selected so many quality people that contributed to the success of Champlain Farms.
In addition to his extensive corporate family, Paul leaves behind his wife Victoria, his high school sweetheart whom he married when they were both 18 years old; as well their daughter Amy; and his two granddaughters, Isabelle and Amelia, whom he adored. He was an ardent Patriots and Red Sox fan and never missed an opportunity to let you know it.
At the end of the day, it’s not about the money. It’s about the relationships, the friendships. And Paul had those by the hundreds. We believe God has a plan, and we are grateful that it included Paul being with us for those 27 years. He left us so unexpectedly that we never had the chance to say goodbye. We will miss you greatly, Paul, and we will never forget you. Thank you for the decades of loyal service and deep commitment. God Bless You.