PAUL VARIBAULT (Auburn, Maine) There is a free lunch, America, and it’s cooked each week by the marketing manager at Agren Appliance Stores, Paul Varibault. Each Wednesday, Varibault turns the Viking display kitchen at Agren’s Auburn store into a working diner, offering customers a plate of his own specials, from mini-meatball subs to rueben chicken casserole complete with sauerkraut and swiss cheese. “Our customers are delighted,” says Varibault. “Often, they are trying to squeeze in an appliance purchase during their lunch hour, so this is nice for them.” The “customers lunch with us” tradition started close to three years ago, when a one-time cooking
“We’ve had rain for two months. We’re selling some dehumidifiers because of damp basements, but our high-end appliance sales have slowed a bit, partly because it’s just hard to build a house when it’s pouring out. The soil’s saturated. If I were a sump pump dealer, I’d probably be rich!” -Douglas Agren, Owner of Agren Appliance Stores, a 5-store chain in Maine, on high-end appliances sales this spring in the Northeast.