SCORE Stories: Small businesses can adapt to survive and thrive during the pandemic with the right plan
Jul23

SCORE Stories: Small businesses can adapt to survive and thrive during the pandemic with the right plan

Our present-day situation, as they say, is fluid. If being an Upper Valley entrepreneur pre-COVID was akin to floating on a placid lake, awaiting quiet inspiration before paddling forward in a charted, safe, almost predictable direction, then our current situation can feel like navigating Colorado Class VI rapids without a paddle in the dark of night. How is the pandemic affecting small businesses in the Upper Valley? We are...

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Exit Interview: Susan Sorensen, owner of AboutFace, helps customers put best
Jul23

Exit Interview: Susan Sorensen, owner of AboutFace, helps customers put best

Susan Sorensen has been helping clients in the Upper Valley put their best face forward since 2014, when she opened AboutFace Skin Therapy in Lebanon. Enterprise caught up with Sorensen, a licensed aesthetician, to discuss skin care as part of an overall health regimen, and the challenges of marketing skin care services in the era of multi-level marketing promising miracle cures. (Responses have been lightly edited for length and...

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Made In The Upper Valley: Quechee’s F.H. Clothing pivots to mask making to keep some cash flow happening
Jul23

Made In The Upper Valley: Quechee’s F.H. Clothing pivots to mask making to keep some cash flow happening

More than 40 years ago, Joan Ecker started Fat Hat Clothing during a tough situation. She was a single mom, launching her business largely from the back of her Volvo and sewing hats beneath a tarp while her friend helped her build a home. Still, she pushed through. In the decades since, Fat Hat — now known as F.H. Clothing — grew into a big business, producing comfortable women’s clothing from its headquarters in Quechee. Yet, in 2020...

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Lessons from the pandemic: Upper Valley businesses have bolstered their web presences and strengthened relationships
Jul23

Lessons from the pandemic: Upper Valley businesses have bolstered their web presences and strengthened relationships

Dan & Whit’s general store in Norwich has been owned by the same family for 65 years, but no one had seen anything that could prepare them for managing the local grocery through a global pandemic. “We didn’t know what we were doing. Customers didn’t know what they were doing. We told them, ‘whatever happens, we’ll make it right,’ ” said Dan Fraser, owner of Dan & Whit’s. “It was just a work in progress, and we went into it...

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Business of Agriculture: Farm-to-table dining takes on new meaning amid pandemic
Jul23

Business of Agriculture: Farm-to-table dining takes on new meaning amid pandemic

Eric Pray is used to shipping seafood all over the country. But since the coronavirus took hold, he has shifted his focus closer to home — selling lobsters from a homemade tank in his garage. Pray, of Portland, Maine, is one of hundreds of fishermen, farmers and food producers who have shifted to a direct-to-consumer model amid the virus outbreak. The pandemic has stressed and sometimes disrupted supply chains, shuttered restaurants...

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Made in the Upper Valley: Norton’s Vermont Toboggans brings back the joy in sledding
Jan16

Made in the Upper Valley: Norton’s Vermont Toboggans brings back the joy in sledding

No matter how long it’s been since you last went sledding, the memory of swooshing down the hill, filled with equal parts terror and exhilaration, likely still brings a smile to your face. It’s no wonder that winter landscapes filled with sledding children are a beloved sight throughout New England. Glen Norton wants to make sure that the next generation has those same memories. “I’d like to bring back sledding,” said Norton, the...

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Business of Agriculture: Winter growing is possible but hindered by lack of profits
Jan16

Business of Agriculture: Winter growing is possible but hindered by lack of profits

Nearly 30 years ago, Chelsea Green books in White River Junction published Four-Season Harvest by Eliot Coleman, a well-known farmer who (continuing the Upper Valley theme) had started his career at The Mountain School in Vershire. Coleman pointed out something that is obvious in hindsight: You can harvest vegetables around here all winter long. Experimenting home gardeners and green-thumbed homesteaders had been doing so for years,...

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Upper Valley businesses expect the unexpected during winter
Jan16

Upper Valley businesses expect the unexpected during winter

When people call Kathy Bennett to book a sled dog ride behind her Siberian huskies, they have an image of their perfect afternoon. They want snow-dusted trees, bright blue skies and the swish of the dog sled against fresh snow.   Sometimes, that fantasy comes to fruition. Other times, sled rides involve a wheeled wagon pulled over muddy trails, with little snow in sight.   Bennett, who co-owns Braeburn Siberians in Windsor, works hard...

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Exit Interview: Jessica Giordani and Karen Zook of Scratch Supply Co.
Jan16

Exit Interview: Jessica Giordani and Karen Zook of Scratch Supply Co.

Winter in the Upper Valley is full of outdoor activities, but sometimes you want to escape the cold and cozy up inside with good friends and good conversation. That’s exactly what happens at Scratch Supply Co., a fiber, fabric and supply shop in Lebanon. On a given day in the shop, you’ll see patrons coming in and out, troubleshooting their projects, perusing through the carefully-curated inventory of yarns, or just catching up with...

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