Business Notes: Nov. 22, 2015
White River Junction — After being vacant for eight years, the former Hartford Motors car dealership lot across the road from Hartford Town Hall is finally on its way to getting a new occupant — another automotive sales business.
Midstate Auto Group, which operates automobile dealerships in Barre, Vt., is putting the finishing touches on a renovation to the former Hartford Motors building and lot at the corner of Maple Street and Pine Street in anticipation of opening a pre-owned automotive sales business and light service facility in the spring.
The new dealer, to be called Upper Valley Auto Mart, will stock about “30 quality, used, low-mileage cars” for sale, said Jessica Campbell, general sales manager at Midstate Auto whose family owns the Barre-based Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, Ram and Hyundai dealerships. The Campbell family is originally from Bradford, Vt., Campbell said, adding, “we’re excited to have a business back in the Upper Valley.”
The strategically located half-acre property is owned by Jim Flanagan, whose family operated the former Hartford Motors’ Chrysler franchise for 52 years before selling it in 2007 to Miller Auto Group in Lebanon. Flanagan, now a salesman at Gateway Motors on Sykes Mountain Avenue, said the tiny building and lot had served as a “display area” for his family’s dealership, which was located on Pine Street.
Campbell said her family had initially hoped the business would have opened earlier this year, but cited a lengthy permitting process for the delay.
All Kitchens of New Hampshire, a commercial kitchen supply company, has relocated from Dartmouth College Highway in Lebanon to 18 Mascoma St., the former home of The Ceramic Cellar.
Owners Tom and Shawna Buckwold, of Plainfield, purchased the building, which they referred to as “a concrete bunker in the heart of Lebanon,” earlier this year and made extensive repairs, including fixing the roof, replacing the windows, remodeling the interior and upgrading the exterior from its previous mint green stucco. The new location opened on Oct. 19. “It’s so nice to have our new neighbors coming in to introduce themselves and just see the building,” Shawna Buckwold said in a news release. “People are happy to see the space used and busy again.”
“We put a lot of time into making the space ours,” Tom Buckwold said in the release. “We love having the visibility. So many people talk about us now and are glad to see us thriving. It makes you proud to be the talk of the town, for good reasons, when you’re a small-business owner.”
All Kitchens of New Hampshire can be reached at 603-448-4887.
Domino’s Pizza marked the opening of its new location in Claremont over the weekend. The restaurant is at 216 Washington St., in the Big Lots shopping plaza, in a storefront behind the shuttered B.J. Bricker’s. In a news release last week, Domino’s said the restaurant features the “pizza theater store design,” which includes open viewing of the food preparation process and the ability to track carryout orders on a lobby screen. “We are dedicated to the Claremont area and are excited about the opportunity to serve its residents,” said Keith Bell, Claremont Domino’s franchise owner. Founded in 1960, Domino’s Pizza has more than 12,100 stores in more than 80 international markets with retail sales of more than $8.9 billion in 2014
Lake Sunapee Bank has closed its Centerra Marketplace location in Lebanon and merged the branch’s operation with its Heater Road location, about one mile away. Stephen Theroux, chief executive of Lake Sunapee Bank, said the closing enabled the bank to “consolidate expertise and functions under one roof.” The Centerra branch’s three employees have transferred to other nearby branches, including Heater Road. Lake Sunapee Bank has 22 locations in New Hampshire and 14 in Vermont.
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