Ways to act: Upper Valley business owners make lasting commitment to racial, social justice
Oct15

Ways to act: Upper Valley business owners make lasting commitment to racial, social justice

Valley News Staff Writer After the death of George Floyd, a Black man who was killed in June by police in Minneapolis, Sarah Yetter and her co-owners of Abracadabra Coffee Co., wanted to find ways to promote racial justice. For a time, the company donated 15% of its online sales to nonprofits working for racial justice, but then a better and more durable avenue appeared in the form of a proposal by Jarvis Antonio Green, founder of JAG...

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Spreading their wings: Babes Bar owners take concept of centering marginalized people beyond their business walls
Oct15

Spreading their wings: Babes Bar owners take concept of centering marginalized people beyond their business walls

When Owen Daniel-McCarter and Jesse Plotsky, owners of Babes Bar, arrived to Bethel from Chicago in 2018 to open the only stand-alone bar in town, they were met with one question more than any other, “Why the hell did you move to Bethel?” Aside from being closer to family — Plotsky’s brother and sister-in-law live in Bethel — the couple sought a change of pace from the Windy City. Neither had owned or run a bar before, but the one...

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Exit Interview: David Phair, Owner and Manager of Hustle and Loyalty Records, centers local hip-hop in rural Vermont
Oct15

Exit Interview: David Phair, Owner and Manager of Hustle and Loyalty Records, centers local hip-hop in rural Vermont

When David Phair is not working at New England Precision, Inc. in Randolph, the Bethel entrepreneur has been establishing a quietly-thriving hip-hop scene in central Vermont with his company Hustle and Loyalty Records, which promotes hip-hop is peace — a means of expression and a tool for educating. After George Floyd and Breonna Taylor were killed by police officers, Hustle and Loyalty partnered with Babes Bar in Bethel to hold a...

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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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