Think Spring with Local First!

 

A picture is worth 1000 words and this Local First Alliance ad that recently ran in the Valley News shows the power of our local economy. With close to 100 members, Local First Alliance works to add resilience to our economy by encouraging shoppers to think local first when in the market for groceries, banking services, a gift, a restaurant, clothing, landscaping services, or building supplies.

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LaValley Building Supply and Chippers are examples two long time LFA members that support our communities while providing unique and quality products and services. Both businesses are a great place to start when considering yard and home projects this spring.

With ten stores from Rutland, Vermont to Hampton, New Hampshire, LaValley – Middleton Building Supply is the largest independent building materials supplier in Vermont and New Hampshire. In an effort to provide quality and affordability for their customers, LaValley’s expanded into manufacturing trusses, panelized homes, garages, sheds, and energy efficient modular homes through Preferred Building Solutions.

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Over the past 30 years Chippers has grown to provide more services, too. Today Chippers is proud to be a client-oriented and environmentally-centered green care company that specializes in exceptional tree, landscaping, land enhancement, woodlands, garden, turf care and maple sugaring services. The Chippers mission is to exceed client expectations through personalized service, professionalism and quality workmanship and with a staff of professional arborists, turf and soil care specialists, land enhancement experts, and garden enthusiasts this is the season to contact Chippers for all your landscaping needs.

This spring think local first and support the locally owned businesses that are integral to our communities and have a focus on quality and customer service.

 

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Professional Business Service Members Quietly Strengthen Our Local Economy

Think local first when shopping! A common call to action because when consumers spend their money at locally owned businesses there is a multiplier effect as your hard earned dollars circulate throughout our Upper Valley economy. But, many people only consider shopping at locally owned retail shores when supporting the local economy, but many Local First Allianc members are in professional business services. Remember to think local first when you are shopping for insurance, opening a bank account, consulting an accountant or attorney.

Local First Alliance Business Services Members:

AB Gile
Chase Brook Software
EC Fiber
Erika Gavin Design
Key Communications
Law Office of Eric W. Janson, PLLC
Ledyard National Bank
Mascoma Savings Bank
Nomad Communications
Twin State Inspections
UK Architects, PC
Woodstock Insurance

Great Eastern Radio

Great Eastern Radio

Congratulations to Local First Alliance member Great Eastern Radio for receiving  several top awards at the New Hampshire Association of Broadcasters annual Granite Mike awards for excellence in broadcasting.

  • Brett Franklin of West Lebanon took first place in the radio Play-by-Play category for his broadcast on WTSL/WTSV of the New Hampshire D-2 Boys Basketball Semifinal featuring Lebanon v. Manchester
  • Jane Eno of Springfield, Vermont and Stevens Blanchard of West Lebanon received a Radio Merit award on WHDQ FM for their collaboration on a radio commercial for Halladay’s in Bellows Falls entitled ‘Julia Child’
  • Lori Richardson, Great Eastern Traffic Director from Plainfield, took the Above and Beyond Radio Award in radio

Bob Sherman, Great Eastern Senior Account Executive, also was recently honored with a Distinguished Service Award from the Vermont Association of Broadcasters at their 22nd Annual Hall of Fame Banquet in Burlington.

Great Easter Radio supports Local First Alliance and Vital Communities in many ways beyond their Green Circle Sponsorship. Bob Sherman produces and/or records all of the LFA radio PSAs and member spotlights. Nichole Romano, National Sales Manager at Great Eastern, is a valuable member of the LFA Steering Committee. Both Bob and Nichole are active participants in the LFA High School Communications Contest as mentors to the senior Media Arts students at Hartford Area Career & Technical Center. And, look for the Great Eastern table at Flavors of the Valley this year as they live stream from the premier local food & farm expo.

Upper Valley businesses choose to be members of Local First Alliance because they want to strengthen our region’s economy, and they believe that a strong economy starts with ensuring a vibrant, engaged community.

 

Great Eastern Radio, based in West Lebanon, owns 16 stations spanning Central Vermont, New Hampshire’s Lakes Region, and the Upper Valley. Whether you’re looking for oldies, talk radio, sports, or the best hits of today, Great Eastern has it all. Q 106, KIXX 100.5, Kool 93.9/96.3, GXL 92.3, ESPN Radio 94.5 (1230AM-1400AM),  and The River 106.7.

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Member Spotlight: Farm-Way

When I visited Farm-Way last week to chat with owner Carol Metayer, the small office where all the “business” happens that keeps the store rolling along was full of family. Carol’s father, Paul Gallerani was fielding phone calls, Carol’s daughter squeezed past me to get to her desk, and there are family photos dotting the walls and desks.

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Shelby Metayer, 3rd generation working in the family business.

Carol and her husband Skip started Farm-Way in 1983 when they bought (with some seed capital from Carol’s father) the small farm supply store that was part of Oakes Brothers. Realizing that the store couldn’t support the family on just grain sales alone, the Metayer’s responded to customer suggestions and started adding things like rubber boots, outerwear, etc. Thirty-four years later the store is now a destination location with the apt motto, “Complete Outfitters for Man and Beast”. Metayer credit’s the store’s success to a focus on  knowledgable customer service and quality products.

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The story of Farm-Way’s slow and steady growth is a lesson in hard-work, persistence, vision, and community commitment. The original store purchase didn’t include any land, but today the Farm-Way complex sits on 18 acres, some of which included a brown-field. Carol relayed some of the hurdles and regulations that the family had to maneuver over the years, and it was not for the faint of heart. But, today the store is an anchor for the community by bringing tourists, creating jobs, and supporting area nonprofits, like Vital Communities.

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In addition to running an amazing 51,000 square foot store with more than $4 million in inventory, the value this locally owned business brings to our community is truly impressive. Consider these few amazing facts about Farm-Way when you are deciding where to buy new boots or a bird-feeder, and support the locally owned businesses that strengthen our communities:

  • Employs 42, mostly full-time, year-round staff.
  • Emphasis on work-life balance – Closed Sundays (unheard of in the retail world since Sunday is the second busiest shopping day), and strong benefits including health insurance and 401K.
  • 100% solar-powered
  • Customers enjoy free home-made donuts and coffee on Saturday mornings and afternoon cookies and lemonade in the summer
  • Donates proceeds from Father’s Day tent sale to support local nonprofit, Safeline
  • Local First Alliance Sustaining member

And, look for a brand new Farm-Way Valley Quest in 2017, that will be one more reason to make a trip to Bradford and visit Farm-Way.

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Carol Metayer loves riding her Morgan horses in her free time.

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Skip Metayer with grandson.

Member Spotlight – Jake’s Market & Deli and Jake’s Coffee Company

Member Spotlight- Jake’s Market & Deli and Jake’s Coffee Company

As you travel around the Upper Valley it is likely that you have filled your belly or fueled your vehicle at one of the many Jake’s locations around the region. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the opening of the first Jake’s Market & Deli in Lebanon and the business has grown to include eight stores on both sides of the river including Georges Mills, Walpole, and Springfield, Vermont. In addition to convenience stores, the business has grown to include Jake’s Coffee Company, Jake’s Quechee Market & Café, and a catering menu for corporate and social events.

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Local First Alliance members strengthen our communities in multiple ways including creating jobs, purchasing supplies and services from other local businesses, and supporting local charities.  Jake’s is a family run business that strongly believes in giving back by supporting dozens of Upper Valley organizations including West Central Services, Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Montshire Museum, Kilton Library, Lebanon Opera House, Good Neighbor Health Clinic, David’s House, WISE, AVA Gallery, Skip’s Run, New London Hospital, SPARK Community Center, Zac’s Place, Lebanon CCBA, Upper Valley Trails Alliance, area schools, and many more.

On average, 48 percent of each purchase at local independent businesses stays in our community, compared to less than 14 percent of purchases at national chain stores. So, when you are looking for a convenience store, a grab-and-go meal, a quick made-to-order sandwich, or a great cup of coffee, look for the Local First Alliance logo and stop at a Jake’s Deli & Market & Deli and  Jake’s Coffee Company.

 

Local Businesses Give Back to Our Communities All Year!

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The holidays are a time of joy and giving, but for our Local First Alliance members being charitable is a year-round endeavor. Local businesses owners live in our towns and support our communities year-round with their time and financial support.

Please support the businesses that invest in our children, towns, and communities by patronizing Local First Alliance members this holiday season. When you go out to eat, shop for that perfect present, buy for your holiday table, or search your Connecticut River Valley Yellow Pages (also an LFA member), that you ‘think local first’. Our members are taking your money and putting it right back where it belongs – HERE, in our home towns.

Read how our members contribute all year to make the Upper Valley a better place to live, work, and play. Support them and help strengthen our communities and our local economy by shopping local this holiday season.

Co-op Food Stores – 2 tons of food donated each week to Willing Hands as well as support to organizations like Vital Communities, The Upper Valley Haven, LISTEN, and many more.

Mascoma Savings Bank – the bank gives to hundreds of organizations throughout the year through the Mascoma Savings Bank Foundation and Bank Sponsorships. Read More

Chippers – Vital Communities, David’s House Golf Tournament, Friends of Morrill Homestead, Howe Library, Lake Sunapee Region VNA, Marion Cross School PTO, Montshire Museum , New London Barn Playhouse, New Hampshire Humane Society, Northern Stage, Norwich Historical Society, Opera North, Our Lady of the Snows, Pomfret/Teago Volunteer Fire Department, Prosper Valley School, Thompson Senior Center, Woodstock Union High School teams, Upper Valley Haven, Upper Valley Land Trust, VINS, Woodstock Historical Society, Woodstock Recreation Center, Woodstock’s Spectrum Teen Center, Zack’s Place Turkey Trot, Quechee Public Library, Woodstock Chamber of Commerce, Hanover Rotary Club, Health Connection of the Upper Valley, Thompson Senior Center, Change the World Kids, Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Greeley House, Hanover High School Project Graduation, Make a Wish Vermont, Thetford Elementary, Woodstock High School Project Graduation, Woodstock Food Shelf.

Great Eastern Radio – Central Vermont Salvation Army, Vital Communities, New Hampshire Food Bank, David’s House and Upper Valley Haven, and Lakes Region Children’s Charities.

King Arthur Flour – Hunger Free Vermont, Vital Communities, Upper Valley Haven, and their Bake For Good: Kids program, Vermont WARMTH (Home fuel heating assistance), Vermont Foodbank, Family Place, David’s House, Helping Hands.

Lake Sunapee Bank – Supporting a wide array of community organizations and initiatives through volunteerism, contributions, and donations, including Operation Backpack, Good Neighbor Health Clinic, Newport Opera House, the Upper Valley Humane Society, and CHaD.

LaValley Building Supply – Northern Stage, David’s House, Upper Valley Haven, Vital Communities

A.B. Gile – Lebanon Opera House, Northern Stage, Colonial Theater. Staff members serve on the board of Visiting Nurse Hospice VNH, Second Growth, and Cedarcrest of Keene. Staff members volunteer for Lebanon High School Hockey, Special Olympics, and Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl

Jake’s Market & Deli and Jake’s Coffee Co. – West Central Services, Special Olympics, Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Toys for Tots, Montshire Museum, Kilton Library, Lebanon Opera House, Good Neighbor Health Clinic, David’s House, WISE, AVA Gallery, Skip’s Run, New London Hospital, SPARK Community Center, Zac’s Place, Lebanon CCBA, Karp’s Classic, Visiting Nurse & Hospice for NH & VT, Dartmouth Athletics, Lebanon/Hanover/Hartford/Walpole/Springfield/Andover/New London Schools, Enfield Village Assoc., Upper Valley Haven, Lebanon/Hanover/New London/White River/Bellows Falls Rotary, Friends of Veterans NH & VT, Greeny Golf Tournament, DARE, New England Handicapped Sportsman’s Assoc., Norwich Lyons Club, Local Fire and Police Depts., Upper Valley Trails Alliance

Systems Plus Computers – The CEO volunteers for the Norwich Volunteer Fire Department and supports over 100 local organizations each year. Read more.

Ledyard National Bank – The Family Place, The Good Neighbor Health Clinics, The Haven, Lake Sunapee Region VNA & Hospice, and WISE of the Upper Valley

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Ledyard Bank supports many Upper Valley organizations including the Family Place.

Chase Brook Software – Hanover Conservancy, Hanover Trails Committee, Howe Library, Willing Hands, Hanover Conservancy, Hanover High Field Hockey, Hanover Community Gardens, Hanover Improvement Society, Storrs Pond Recreation Area, Campion Rink, Ford Sayre Memorial Ski Council, Hanover Rotary, Hanover High School Soccer Program

Copeland Furniture Company Store – Montshire Museum, AVA Gallery, Bradford Conservation Commission, Mentoring Project

Dan & Whit’s General Store – ​The Norwich Lions Club, Hartford/Norwich Basket Helpers, Upper Valley Trails Alliance, Norwich Women’s Club, Upper Valley Trails Alliance, Upper Valley Hostel, Upper Valley Reptile Group, COVER Home Repair, Norwich Child Care Center, WISE, AVA Gallery, Bayada Nurses for Veterans, Hartford Historical Society, Special Needs Support Group, Upper Valley Humane Society, Norwich Library, High Horses, The Upper Valley Haven​, White River Junction Rotary, VT Prevent Child Abuse, Alice Peck Day Senior Center, Grass Roots Soccer, Upper Valley Aquatic Center, High Horses, Windsor County Partners, Beaver Meadow & Root Dist. Schoolhouses.

ECFiber – Free upgrades to all schools, public institutions, and libraries in its coverage area. Read more.

Energy Emporium – Shaker Bridge Theater, Shaker Museum, Whaleback, The Mascoma Music Performing Arts,  Upper Valley Robotics Team #95, the Grasshoppers, Lebanon Opera House.

Got Weeds? – Rural Vermont, NOFA VT, VT Food Atlas, 350 VT, VT Food Bank, Royalton Community Radio, Farm to Ballet, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, Upper Valley Haven, Vermont Food Bank

Henderson’s Tree Service – Vital Communities

Janson Law Office – Lebanon Opera House, Lebanon Rail Trail, Shaker Bridge Theater, City Center Ballet, Second Growth,  NH Charitable Fund, Vital Communities

Long River Gallery – The 19 Days of Lyme – 1% for The Upper Valley Haven

Longacres’ Nursery Center – Wounded Warrior Projects

Molly’s Restaurant & Jesse’s Steak House – The Upper Valley Haven, Upper Valley veterans

Norwich Bookstore – Donates gift certificates and books and cash to numerous organizations and schools throughout the year including Project Graduation in Hanover and Lebanon, Norwich Women’s Club Gala fundraiser, and 1% to the Haven as part of the 19 Days of Norwich, Latham Library, Norwich Public Library, Abbott Memorial Library.

Red Kite Candy – Many schools (Thetford Elementary, Thetford Academy, Oxbow, Bradford Elementary, Open Fields) for raffles, silent auctions, project grad donations, TA’s 7th grade DC Fundraising), Thetford Elementary PTO, area libraries (Strafford Library, Latham Library (Thetford), Peabody Library (Thetford), Bradford Library, and the Howe Library in Hanover.

South Royalton Market – Donates about $4,000, including fresh summer produce, to community meals and local organizations in the White River Valley.

Three Tomatoes Trattoria – CHaD, Vital Communities, Montshire Museum, LISTEN, AVA Gallery, Upper Valley Haven, Change the World Kids, Vermont Center for Ecostudies, Lebanon Opera House, Opera North, VINS, Lebanon Farmers’ Market, West Central Behavioral Health Lebanon, Northern Stage

U.K. Architects – Owner is a board member of Plan New Hampshire (a statewide advocate of good planning, design, and responsible developement) and member of the West Wheelock Gateway Committee. Staff member is starting a nonprofit trails advocacy group in Woodstock

Upper Valley Ride Child and Family Service of the Upper Valley

Von Bargen’s Jewelry – Norwich Women’s Club, Special Needs Support Center, American Heart Go Red for Women, Special Olympics, Northern Stage, Howe Library, AVA Gallery, Upper Valley Haven, Opera North, Montshire Museum, Norris Cotton Cancer Center, March of Dimes, Upper Valley Humane Society, The Family Place

West Lebanon Feed & Supply – Upper Valley Humane Society, VINS, Lacey’s Fund & the VT Police Canine Assoc., Lebanon Varsity Sports, Willing Hands & Share the Harvest, Lucy Mackenzie Humane Society, Watson Upper Valley Dog Park, Shaker Field Dog Park, Local 4-H & GMHA programs, Local Police k-9 training, Local Boy & Girl Scout Troops, Vital Communities

Woodstock Insurance – The Woodstock Sr. Center, The History Center, The Union Arena, The Job Bank, Zach’s Place, Project Graduation
Pentangle Council on the Arts, Billings Farm, Red Cross (promoting blood drives and unload & load the trucks), Glad Rages sale (as member of Rotary for Wassail).

And don’t forget our many members participating in the 19 Days of Norwich for the Upper Valley Haven organized by LFA member, Dan & Whit’s
 
Designer Gold, King Arthur Flour, Ledyard National Bank, Fat Hat Clothing, Long River Gallery & Gifts, Lufkin Graphic Design, Mascoma Savings Bank, Norwich Times, Systems Plus Computers, Three Tomatoes Trattoria, Upper Valley Yoga
 
We also have great non-profit members you can support directly!:
AVA Gallery
Billings Farm & Museum
COVER Home Repair

 

For more great members, please visit our local business directory.
If you are a Local First Alliance member not mentioned here, please tell us how you give back – Nancy@VitalCommunities.org – We want to know.
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Holiday shopping? Think Local First!

Small Business Saturday is November 26! Support our Upper Valley economy by visiting one of our many locally owned small businesses to kick off the holiday shopping season.

Shopping at locally owned businesses is a great way to support our community! Three times the amount of money stays in the Upper Valley if you purchase from locally owned businesses instead of national chains. The economic impact of keeping it local is multiplied as the money circulates throughout the region and strengthens our communities.

Find places to do your local shopping and giving in our Local First Alliance Member Directory, which includes stores, restaurants, banks, markets, and more.

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Local First Member Mixer November 10!

Join us for a fun evening of mixing and networking with fellow Local First Alliance members November 10 from 5-7 pm at the Co-op Culinary Learning Center at 12 Centerra Parkway, Lebanon, NH. Enjoy wine samples and delicious appetizers from the Co-Op Kitchen. You’ll have a chance to meet fellow business people and hear how Local First Alliance is promoting Upper Valley owned and operated businesses.

This evening will be a great opportunity to learn more about Local First, so we welcome all Upper Valley business owners to come and mingle and learn more about the value of an LFA membership.

RSVPs are appreciated.

 

photo credit: Molly Drummond

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Good Things Happening: Village Green Publishing

Village Green Publishing (VGP) owner Jennifer MacMillen is an Upper Valley native with a passion for connecting people with the best of their communities. Her three publications in the region—The Norwich TimesTvgp-papershe Quechee Times, and The Lebanon Times—share good-news-only stories of the “good people, good places, and good things happening” in the communities they serve.

With features on “village elders,” students, community nonprofits, the arts, and engaged citizens, Village Green’s quarterly newspapers help residents get to know their neighbors and find inspiration in the stories and opportunities they present. Dedicated community members write the articles and share their photos, and sponsoring businesses in the region ensure each resident, business, and organization in town receives a copy delivered directly by mail.

This Local First Alliance member’s main objective is to provide a storytelling outlet—a kind of collective community journal. Every person, every business, every building has a story to tell, and Village Green Publishing provides the vehicle to share those stories that often go untold or only available to subgroups within a community.

More Good News

In addition to the quarterly print publications, VGP will be hosting a monthly talk show on the Upper Valley’s own community television channel, CATV. Aptly named, The Village Green will engage individuals and groups from around the Upper Valley in conversations about what’s working and what’s good in our region. The Village Green conversation show—and each of the print publications—is designed to inspire and invite community members to see and really focus on the good stuff that happens all around them every day.

Visit the Village Green Publishing website for schedule and programming information.

VGP welcomes topic suggestions, story ideas, and recommendations for individuals and organizations to feature. Please contact Jen MacMillen at publisher@villagegreenpublishing.com or call her office in downtown White River Junction at 802.698.8184 with ideas!

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Welcome Fall with Local First Members

It’s autumn in the Upper Valley once again, and Local First Alliance members King Arthur Flour and the Co-op Food Stores make it easy to welcome the season in good taste.

kingarthurflour_biggerOn Saturday, September 17, King Arthur Flour hosts its 4th Annual Fall Festival from 10 am to 4 pm in Norwich. Kick off the baking season with demonstrations and interactive activities for kids and adults, live entertainment, raffles, and of course plenty of delicious local eats to sample and buy.

Then on Thursday, September 29, the Co-op Food Stores are partnering with Vital CoopLogoFS
Communities to offer a butchering demonstration from professional butcher Jeff Withington to help consumers learn to make the most of their local meats. The demo, held at the Co-op Culinary Learning Center in Lebanon, also features delicious local food and beverage samples. Reserve your tickets today!

A common theme among Local First Alliance members is their commitment to giving back to the Upper Valley community. King Arthur Flour and the Co-op Food Stores have been leading companies in these efforts for years. Recent examples of their generosity include King Arthur Flour’s August Garden Table supper, which raised nearly $4,000 for Hunger Free Vermont, and the Co-op’s new Pennies for Change program, which raises thousands of dollars every month for local nonprofit organizations.

Whether you’re shopping, cooking, or just looking for something fun to do, remember to think Local First!

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