An Arizona couple who were convinced 32 years ago to take a chance on a family restaurant in Beverly were honored Thursday for their success during the 25th annual Beverly-Waterford Chamber dinner.
Roger and Mary Lou Gartrell, owners of Roger's Family Restaurant, of 415 Fifth St., Beverly, reflected on how different their lives might have been had a relative not convinced them to move to the area.
"My brother-in-law, who was a doctor in the area, really convinced us to buy the restaurant and move here," Roger Gartrell said. "When we bought it in 1979, it was known as The Plaza."
BRAD BAUER The Marietta Times
Roger and Mary Lou Gartrell, longtime owners of Roger’s Family Restaurant.
Gartrell, 71, said the restaurant's focus was turned to the local people, having staple homemade dishes on the menu and always having good help. He announced the couple expect to sell the business this year.
"We have a couple of interested parties and I think they'll probably keep the same name, the same old pies, the same old cake, the same old ham and eggs," he said. "We have a couple of good choices. We'll miss everyone, but it's time to let it go."
Mary Lou Gartrell said she appreciated the recognition by the chamber as the business of the year.
Beverly-Waterford Chamber awards:
Business of the year: Roger's Family Restaurant.
Outstanding citizen of the year: Louis "Whitey" Myers.
College scholarships: Payden Surey, of Waterford High School; and Lacey Huck, of Fort Frye High School.
"Thirty-two years is a long time in food service," she said. "We've had a lot of good times and some bad times, this past year has been hard on us both, but we got through it and I just feel blessed to have a loving family, community, church and friends who were there to support us, take me to treatments, mow our grass or take on the extra work."
Roger Gartrell said he is continuing to recover from a stroke a year ago and that his wife underwent treatment for cancer, both of which helped lead to the decision to sell the business.
Also honored by the chamber on Thursday was Louis "Whitey" Meyers, 82, who was named the Outstanding Citizen of the Year.
Meyers said he moved to the Beverly area in 1962 after being called to perform some work for the Globe plant there. Chamber member Ron Combs said that over the years, Meyers became an important part of the community by volunteering his time with the fire department, coaching baseball teams, performing work at area churches and more.
"He did it all with no praise or fanfare," Combs said.
Chamber President Missy Huck said the chamber continues to grow, with over 80 members. The group focuses on business development in the Beverly, Waterford and Lowell areas.