ELLSWORTH — In recognition of over two decades of stellar service to the local community, the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce will honor Stanley Subaru with its prestigious Top Drawer Award for 2021.
“Stanley Subaru is the epitome of what the Top Drawer Award stands for,” Chamber Board President Tom Wheeler said in announcing the honor. “There is no doubt that they are connected to their community at the highest level.”
Dick and Karen Stanley opened Stanley Subaru on Route 3 in Trenton in 1999 in the former Seacoast Subaru location, which “was in less than desirable shape, and sales were not hardy,” according to a chamber press release. The family counted the number of passing Subarus from lawn chairs set up in the parking lot before closing the deal. In 2005, their daughter, Samantha Politte, and son-in-law Mark Politte assumed ownership, with Dick Stanley staying on as general manager.
Since that time, the dealership has grown exponentially, from seven to 45 employees, a 30,000-square-foot showroom and expanded service space on both sides of Route 3. And, as the business grew, so did its service to the community.
“Stanley Subaru’s connection to the Ellsworth area is pretty amazing,” Chamber Director Gretchen Wilson said. “They see a need and they carefully assess what they can do as a company to assist.”
Acadia National Park, Woodlawn Museum, Hospice of Hancock County, local food pantries, health care, education, the arts and humanitarian organizations have all been recipients of Stanley Subaru’s donations and volunteerism, in addition to Subaru’s corporate program of giving.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Stanley Subaru reached many area residents in meaningful ways, including working with Ellsworth’s The Bud Connection to deliver a bouquet of flowers to each teacher returning to school and sponsoring the Floral Heart Project in early March at Knowlton Park and outside the Blue Hill Town Hall. The dealership also provided support to The Grand during its COVID-19 closure.
Since 2014, The Grand’s stage has been known as the Stanley Subaru Stage in recognition of a gift from the dealership.
“They continue to find new and unique ways to get involved, which makes our area a better place to live and work,” Wheeler said.
Stanley Subaru sells more than just new Subarus. Since the Polittes assumed ownership, they have added used cars, scooters, express service and a fleet of new loaner cars. Last year, they purchased Dutch Chevrolet in Belfast, after the owner reached out, wanting to ensure his family dealership “would be led by someone who understood and respected their 94-year legacy,” Wilson stated.
As a former 12-year member of the Chamber Board of Directors, Mark Politte is more than familiar with the Top Drawer Award. While Stanley Subaru has been nominated in the past, “I felt pretty strongly it was not a good choice for the chamber to recognize board members,” he said.
Now, as a member of the business community receiving the Top Drawer Award, he is more than appreciative, he said.
“It’s humbling, for sure. The award means a lot. When you look at the list of businesses recognized in the past, it’s very much a who’s who of organizations who made a commitment to the area and carried that through.”
Stanley Subaru will be presented with a custom-designed and crafted chest of drawers when the chamber hosts its 65th annual awards later this year. The event is projected to be held in late spring or early summer.