Company News: October 2016

Company News: October 2016

Entrepreneur Topher Lyons plans to open Trail Break Taps & Tacos, a nuevo-style craft beer and taco eatery, soon in the ground floor retail space at Matt Bucy’s new apartment complex at 129 S. Main St. in White River Junction. Lyons, a graduate of the hospitality industry program at the University of New Hampshire’s Whittemore School of Business and Economics who has managed restaurants around the country, was approved in September to receive a $40,000 loan from the Hartford Business Revolving Loan Fund Committee to help him get his business started. Developer Bucy opened the 22-unit apartment complex in January by renovating the former American Legion Hall. The restaurant will occupy one-third of the available ground floor space with the other two-thirds still uncommitted, Bucy said.

Pulley systems manufacturer New Hampshire Industries expects to complete its move from Etna Road in Lebanon to a 138,000-square-foot building off River Road in Claremont by the end of the year, company CFO John Seaver said. The company eventually will bring all 70 of its Lebanon jobs to Claremont, and that number is expected to increase next summer when the company closes its Wisconsin plant and moves that operation to Claremont, Seaver said.

Lake Sunapee Bank, which is being acquired by Bar Harbor Bankshares, has notified an unspecified number of employees that they will be losing their jobs beginning in January when the deal is scheduled to close. Most of the positions that will be eliminated are at the executive level and among the staffs that support them, such as the human resources, compliance and credit departments, Lake Sunapee Chief Executive Stephen Theroux said. Theroux, who will be leaving in January, declined to say how many people will be losing jobs, explaining the final figure will depend on attrition and retirement. Lake Sunapee agreed in May to be acquired by Maine-based Bar Harbor Bankshares in a deal valued at $143 million. The bank acknowledged at the time of the announcement that layoffs would be in the offing and said a portion of the $16.9 million in “one-time” costs associated with the sale would be to cover employee severance payments.

Brad Pirkey’s popular Hartland food truck and accompanying diner school bus are setting up at a new permanent location — the Fat Hat Clothing Co. in Quechee — where Pirkey will open a restaurant on the clothing designer and retailer’s property. Pirkey, former owner-chef of Corners Inn in Bridgewater who for the past two years has operated the popular Chef Brad’s Crazy Side food truck and dining bus on Route 12 in Hartland, has struck a deal with Fat Hat owner Joan Ecker to move his eatery into the building adjacent to Fat Hat that most recently was occupied by Pierogi Me. Pirkey is fixing up the building and expects to open his new dining location, which will seat 20 people, for breakfast and lunch early this month. And next spring, when the weather warms, he will switch to dinners served in the old school bus, which is fitted with tables for 16 diners, in addition to serving inside the restaurant.

Sanctuary Farm in Sunapee was named the 2016 New England Green Pastures Dairy Farm award winner for the state of New Hampshire at The Eastern States Exhibition in West Springfield, Mass. The New England Green Pastures award is given every year to an exceptional dairy farm from each of the New England states. The dairy is owned and managed by Jolyon Johnson, a veterinarian, and assisted by his older son, Jared, 26, who recently graduated from the UNH Dairy Program. Jolyon Johnson’s wife, Susan, helps run the veterinary clinic and operates an ice cream parlor on the farm with their youngest son, Beck. The farm was founded on land granted to the family in the mid-1700s in recognition of its participation in the French and Indian War, according to the farm’s website.

Real Steel Fitness has opened at 66 Pleasant St. in Claremont, after several months of interior renovations in the building that most recently housed Esersky’s Hardware. Owner Tim Chapin said the center will operate on the main floor and basement with elliptical machines, treadmills, free weights and other equipment, some of it new and some of it purchased from Twisted Fitness, which closed its doors on Pleasant Street a few years ago. The center will be staffed during the day and early evening Monday through Saturday, but members will have a 24-hour access card.

Reed Optical has relocated its Newbury operation to 6 Post Office Road in Sunapee. Optometric physician Jeff Smrkovski will continue offering eye care in the company’s Claremont location at 63 Pleasant St., while optometric physician Tina Smrkovski will see patients at the Sunapee location.

Manchester-based commercial real estate and consulting firms Harrington & Reeves and Norton Asset Management, represented in the Upper Valley by Chip Brown, of Etna, have announced plans to merge. The combined company, Harrington & Reeves/Norton Asset Management, will offer commercial real estate brokerage, transactional services and consulting services from northern Massachusetts to the Upper Valley. The two firms began an affiliation and co-office arrangement in 2015. Brown, an associate with the firm, will be responsible for commercial real estate buyers and sellers, as well as lessees and lessors, in the Upper Valley and northern New England. His Upper Valley clients include Dartmouth College, Hypertherm, EverGreen Capital Partners, BaySon Co., Purcell Properties, Ibex and Creare/Edare.

The Springfield (Vt.) Prevention Coalition board recently presented Retailer Recognition certificates to a collection of local retailers that passed alcohol compliance checks for not selling alcohol to minors. Black Rock Steakhouse, 56 Main Street Restaurant, 371 Restaurant and Shaw’s Supermarket in Springfield received the certificates from coalition board members Alice Emmons, Charles Gregory, Tara Chase, Gerry Piper and coalition Executive Director Stephanie Thompson. Other Windsor County retailers that recently passed these checks include the Brownsville General Store, the Sandri store in Ascutney and Windsor Wine & Spirits.

One of the Upper Valley’s last locally owned group of radio stations is being sold to an out-of state buyer, but the new owners say they intend to continue each station as a locally run operation. Robert Vinikoor, owner of six radio stations spanning the talk/news, country, variety and classical formats, is selling the group to brothers Rob Landry and John Landry, broadcast engineers who live near Boston and New York City, respectively. The deal is pending approval by the FCC and is expected to close around Jan. 1. The $1.95 million sales price covers all six stations: WNTK-FM in New London; WCNL-AM-FM in Newport; WCFR-AM-FM in Springfield, Vt.; WUVR-AM-FM in Lebanon; WCVR-AM in Randolph and noncommercial WSCS-FM in New London, the last owned by the Vinikoor Family Foundation.

The Burlington-based law firm Sheehey Furlong & Behm P.C. has merged with the Woodstock firm Melendy Moritz. The merger allows the firm to expand its estate planning, trusts and probate practice group, according to a news release. Mark Melendy’s practice focuses largely on estate planning, business succession planning, estate administration and tax planning. Daphne Moritz’s practice focuses on estate planning, elder law, special needs planning, estate administration, and small business startup and succession. The combined firm will maintain its Woodstock office at 18 Elm St.

DoseOptics, the Dartmouth College-affiliated startup that has pioneered imaging technology to provide a live image of radiation therapy while it is being administered to a patient, has secured $2 million more in funding from the National Institutes of Health. The funding, which will go toward further refining the company’s imaging system in its clinical trails, will be disbursed to the company over the next two years. Together with two earlier grants, the most recent award brings to $3.4 million the total funding DoseOptics has received from NIH. Founded by Thayer School of Engineering professors Brian Pogue and Scott Davis and Thayer alumnus William Ware, the company was set up to translate discoveries in cancer imaging and therapy into commercial applications. DoseOptics’ technology captures low-intensity emissions known as “Cherenkov light” that is emitted when a radiation beam interacts with the targeted tissue. The resulting images make it possible to “visualize” the radiation in real time, making it easier to adjust the dose and aim of the beam in order to reduce damage to healthy cells.

The U.S. Department of Labor has recognized Hypertherm for the company’s safety and health practices at its Heater Road manufacturing facility in Lebanon. The “Star” recognition, by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Voluntary Protection Program, means all seven of Hypertherm’s New Hampshire manufacturing locations now are designated VPP Star worksites, the manufacturer of plasma, laser, and waterjet cutting systems said in a news release. To earn the recognition, Hypertherm had to demonstrate a comprehensive safety and health management system involving employees from all levels of the organization. In addition, the company had to submit detailed records and undergo five-day evaluations by teams of OSHA professionals. The program also required Hypertherm to maintain injury and illness rates significantly below U.S. government averages for its industry. For 2015, Hypertherm’s rate was less than two incidents per 100 full-time workers, compared with an industry average of more than four incidents per 100.

UniFirst Corp.’s industrial laundry facility in Lebanon has been awarded Hygienically Clean Food Safety certification status from the Textile Rental Services Association for its cleaning and servicing of work apparel for food-related industries. The certification recognizes commercial laundries that achieve and verify hygienic cleanliness of work garments through best management practices, quality assurance, and third-party, quantified biological testing, the company said in a news release. The association inspects and evaluates practices relevant to handling and processing textile products used in food manufacturing and processing establishments for consistency with U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention directives. UniFirst provides workplace uniforms and protective clothing to businesses throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Ashley Bennett, of Wilder, has opened Fascination Woodland Spa at 2 W. Park St. in Lebanon. Bennett graduated from The New England School of Hair Design and has worked on commercials, films, runway shows and in the theater. The business offers haircuts, styling, waxing, manicures and pedicures, massage and other salon services. It is open seven days a week and appointments may be scheduled via its Facebook web-page,, or by calling 603-9651797.

Executive furniture maker WallGoldfinger, of Randolph, has named John Gleason, of Northfield, Vt., to the position of project manager. Gleason earned his bachelor’s degree in resource development from the University of Rhode Island. He worked in project management roles before a contract administration position brought him to Vermont. He worked for 15 years as a field project manager at E.F. Wall and Associates Inc. in Barre, Vt., and has spent the last year working with WallGoldfinger’s woodworking team in its Randolph factory. He succeeds project manager Richard Harrington, who retired.

Items of interest to the local business community are published in the Business & Money section of the Sunday Valley News and also are collected in Enterprise. Submissions may be sent by email to

Author: Enterprise staff

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