Passport Video was started in October of 1989 when former owner Mike Bergin purchased Williston Video at Taft Corners Shopping Center. Located in what is now Men At Wok, Passport began to grow and soon moved to the backside locations of the shopping center.
Passport prospered alongside the Better Bagel and Brooks Drugs. It was in 1991 that Rick, the current owner, joined the team and took over as the face of Passport Video. In 1994, the store underwent a major renovation and redesign to work in a new layout and Video Transfer Center.
In 1999 the store once again had outgrown it’s location and was moved to Taft Farms Village Center. The original Cornerstone Drive location was 2800 square feet and filled with VHS and eventually, DVD’s and games.
In 2001 the DVD collection began to replace the VHS collection as far as New releases were concerned and the switch was on. In 2007, Rick (who had left shortly after 2001 began) returned to the store and took over as Manager once again.
In November 2008 the store was once again moved and like it’s renovations and moves previous, it was done to change with the times. VHS had seen it’s last days of rentals and with DVD being much easier to store and display, the store downsized and moved to it’s current location at 400 Cornerstone Drive.
In July of 2009 Rick bought out the rental store portion of the video store but still works closely with Mike and the Video Transfer Center services.
“On the face of it, it’s like nothing has really changed.” A long time customer, Stephanie, was quoted as saying. She, as well as others who have noted the changes, would be right. The only thing that has changed is the behind the scenes stuff, but the customer service remains the same or improved.
Of course, the history of Passport Video would not be complete if there was no mention of the Store Dogs. Alyeska and Sasha had been store staples since the early days of Passport Video. Two well behaved and gentle dogs provided years of entertainment and companionship to both customer and employee’s alike.
Passport Video has produced three police officers in it’s time of being a business in Williston. David Azur, one of the first employee’s that worked for Mike, went on to become a police officer in Baltimore, MD.
Josh Catella, a long time family friend and employee a a detective in the City of Winooski and now works for the Secret Service.
Will Drinkwine, a two year employee since Rick returned was most recently hired by the Burlington Police Department. He attended Police Academy and was hired as a full time patrolman where he continues to excel.