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“I feel like a weight was taken off my shoulders."

That is how Tena Meckstroth of Midwest Refreshment described her reaction to selling the business. After 52 years, with the help of VBB Advisors, she and her husband Bill are enjoying a sense of security as they explore their next chapter.

At VBB Advisors, we get enormous satisfaction out of helping veteran operators like Bill and Tena, supporting them as their sell side intermediary. Bill and Tena owned Midwest Refreshment in Dayton, Ohio and closed their deal on December 3rd.


Timing was right

As Tena explained, the timing was right. “I can't tell you how many times my husband and I both said, "If we were only 20 years younger."

“You have to have an exit plan, because if you don't have an exit plan, then you're going to shortchange yourself, your family and everybody else who is associated with your business. The opportunity to sell came along, we felt we needed to do it and Mike helped us through the process,” she said.

Kids are doing their own thing


As with many operators today, passing the business to the next generation was not a viable option for Bill and Tena. “All of the kids are doing just fine on their own, but they had no desire to get into the business,” said Tena.


“For example, my daughter is a deputy sheriff and she doesn't want anything to do with this business. She worked in it when she was little and then she worked in it when she was in her 20's, 30's and she said, "Mom, I'm not going to work that hard!”

Second time around


Bill and Tena actually sold their business once before, about 15 years ago, and things did not go as planned. “We didn't have anybody representing us, and we lost everything and had to start over again. We were blessed to get back in this business and build it back up where it is today, but we knew that we wanted to be represented by an expert this time,” said Tena.

“We really appreciated the work that Mike did for us and he knows that,” she said. “He was there every step of the way, answered our questions, addressed our concerns and made sure that our buyer would respect and keep our employees, which was very important to us.”

Strong representation


“When we wanted something from the buyer, Mike would go to bat for us and then come back immediately with an answer. It was just nice that we did not have to deal directly with the buyer, because when you're communicating with people who want to buy your company, that can get tough,” said Tena.

“Selling your business is one of the most important decisions of your life. When you have made the big decision to sell your business, that’s when you need Mike Kelner,” she added.


“We could have done this on our own, we aren’t naïve and we know how to run a business. It makes sense to bring in help from someone who understands how to sell a business. Mike had our back from start to finish. He is so easy to work with.”

What is the next chapter for Bill and Tena?

Is it Palm Beach, Palm Desert, Scottsdale?

“Absolutely not. No, that is not our dream,” explained Tena. The couple plans to stay on board to run the business. “We've signed a contract for a year, and we've talked about two years. Bill's 74 and I am 72, so it'll just depend. We are healthy right now and if we keep our health, we'll hang on because we like working,” she said.

Since their deal was structured to reward Bill and Tena as revenue improves and the economy returns to something that resembles pre-pandemic conditions, staying on to run the business will have added benefits for the couple.

For Bill and Tena, running the business is a labor of love. But as Tena happily points out, “It is nice to have a choice, to have some options.” 

Our Philosophy

“No matter what is going on with the economy or the world, it is time to sell your business if you are ready and we can make the right deal, a deal that makes sense for you, your family and your company.”

My philosophy is driven by the fact that I do not represent buyers. I represent sellers. Please consider what that means for you. I am not interested in just making a deal. I will not be jockeying from one side of the table to the other. I do not subscribe to the idea that a deal requires both sides to feel a little pain. As the seller – you know what you need to receive to move on, to retire, to go in a different direction – comfortably. 

I never lose sight of the fact that there is more than one buyer out there for your business. This is a defining characteristic of a “sell side broker.”

That is why I offer free resources like the 2021 Exit Strategy Planner. I want you to have your eyes wide open when you consider whether it is time to sell your business.

Buyers come to me because they know that I serve sellers who have thoroughly and thoughtfully considered their exit strategy with my help. That is the type of seller that you want to be – a seller who has their ducks in order, has taken steps to make their business as attractive as possible and a seller who values their employees enough to make a deal that everyone will feel good about.

Take that critical first step. That is often the toughest one to take.

Order my free 2021 Exit Strategy Planner. At the very least, it will provoke some thought, and this is a good time to think about your future.

Why make VBB Advisors a part of your team?  

There are at least three very good reasons to talk to me about being a part of your team for this important chapter of your business journey.

  1. Experience – I have done more significant deals than any other business broker in our industry.

  2. Access to buyers – Throughout the pandemic, I have been in ongoing discussions with potential buyers, from both inside and outside the industry.

  3. We are a sell side broker – We only represent the seller. Everything we do is on behalf of the seller.

Whatever your reasons are to sell your company - the timing, the current frustration, the desire to enjoy life or an interest in rewarding yourself for years of hard work – VBB Advisors can help you realize your goals.

I am Mike Kelner, the leading sell side intermediary in the convenience services industry. Contact me for a confidential conversation and to explore the possibilities.

Find out what buyers will pay for your business today.

We specialize in sell-side advisory services and mergers & acquisitions.  Our focus is on maximizing the realized value on behalf of our clients.  ​VBB manages the entire process from valuing your business, assembling 

information, to qualifying prospective buyers, through due diligence, legal documents and closing.  Our process is entirely confidential in order to protect the interests of our clients.  


Mike Kelner was a Godsend to us, we have been thinking about selling our company for a few years but dreading the process, we procrastinated.  We got Mike's number and called it.  I cannot believe how fast, professional and kind he was.  He found a buyer within a few weeks and we closed in a month.  He was with us every step; he always returned calls and emails within minutes.  I am so thankful for Mike, he was fantastic!  Thank you Mike for everything!  You are THE BEST! 

—  Greg and Connie Durheim, Fort Worth, TX


Business Valuations. VBB business valuations are based on financial analysis and actual market comparables producing extremely accurate estimates of value.

Financing Assistance.  VBB will provide assistance to businesses in the acquisition of various types of financing.  Services include preparation of loan packages and presentation to various funding sources.  

Strategic Consulting.  With over 30 years of experience in the industry, VBB brings to bear a wealth of knowledge in all aspects of the business.  

Buy-Side Services.  On a contract basis, VBB will assist qualified, well-financed buyers seeking acquisitions in the vending, office coffee and bottled water industries.  

Preparing Your Business for Sale.  VBB offers a two year strategic plan designed to prepare a business for a successful sale and maximize value on exit.

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