Super Senior: Marilyn ‘Teenie’ Kozlowski

Published: Aug. 17, 2023 at 6:59 PM EDT
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JERICHO, Vt. (WCAX) - On Route 15 in Jericho there are two constants: an endless stream of summertime traffic and Joe’s Snack Bar, now open for the season.

Joe’s was established in 1950. Marilyn “Teenie” Kozlowski has been there for a long time.

“How many years have I been here? Fifty plus.... one or two,” she said.

Teenie’s run the place since owner Joe Rotunda died 13 years ago. The two were an item but never married.

“If it’s not broke, don’t fix it,” Teenie said.

The two were also a team in the kitchen.

“He liked things his way,” she said.

And it’s a trait the 72-year-old carries on.

“I have to carry on that tradition,” Teenie said. “I don’t want to be soft on these kids.”

College student Brenna Redmond has taken orders here for years.

Reporter Joe Carroll: Is she tough?

Brenna Redmond: Yeah, she can be tough on us. But you got to be, we run a tight ship here.

For many people, coming to Joe’s is a tradition, even when they move away. They come for a burger, fries and some nostalgia.

“I haven’t been here in 30, 35 years,” said Sarah Harper, who grew up in Underhill but now lives in Colorado. “It’s funny to see the creemee word because no one else does it. Being in Vermont, that brings back a lot of memories too.”

She visited Joe’s with her childhood friend Cara Worthley.

Joe Carroll: So every spring, what do you do?

Cara Worthley: I call my friends from out of town and tell them, Joe’s is open.

Open and busy. Joe’s serves more than 10,000 hot dogs a year, enough to fill the stomachs of everyone in Jericho and have them go back for seconds.

From the end of April to the first week in October, the grill is cooking.

“You know, I get to work with a lot of these kids and I really enjoy them. And so many of them will come back and say hi,” Teenie said.

For a self-described tough boss, Teenie serves a side of sentimentality.

“It’s kind of like a big old family, you know,” she said.