When Wesco Oil Company was established in the 1970s, it was the culmination of Walter Simendinger’s vision to have his own business. A graduate of Syracuse University School of Business, Walter worked and traveled in the New York and New England region and other various states with Mobil Oil for fifteen years. He owned his first service station in Plymouth, Connecticut, but after seven years away from the Green Mountains, Walter returned to Burlington, Vermont with his wife, Jo Ann, and their four children, in the fall of 1971 and operated a small accounting franchise providing financial advice to local service stations.
With the purchase of North Avenue Gulf, Wesco Oil Company began to expand into the retail industry and by 1981, Wesco owned five stations. In 1982, after graduating from the University of Vermont, Walter and Jo Ann’s eldest son, David, joined the company, converting stations into convenience stores and expanding Wesco Oil beyond the gasoline business. Walter and Jo Ann’s son, Bill served as chief legal counsel for the company, after graduating from Syracuse University College of Law in 1987.
By 1990, the company operated twenty-five stations and today, there are thirty-nine locations throughout Vermont and New Hampshire. The Champlain Farms name reflects the family’s close connection to the State of Vermont and beautiful Lake Champlain that graces its shores. Over the years, Wesco has been proudly affiliated with Exxon, Gulf, Texaco, Sunoco and Shell oil companies. David is now the President of the company, and several of Walter and Jo Ann’s eleven grandchildren currently work in the company, at the store level, on construction and landscaping crews, and in the corporate office. Wesco Inc. and Champlain Farms have been, and continue to be a true Vermont family business.