King Arthur Flour Gives Back With Third Annual Bakers’ Harvest Festival

Local First Alliance not only loves to promote shopping locally, but we jump at the chance to showcase members who give back to the community. When you support our locally owned and operated businesses, you ensure your hard-earned money is reinvested into the region we call home.

On Saturday, September 12, from 10 am–4 pm, Local First Alliance member King Arthur Flour invites the public to attend the third annual Bakers’ Harvest Festival at the company’s flagship headquarters in Norwich, Vermont. Attendees will celebrate the start of the baking season by enjoying live entertainment, raffles, samples from food vendors, and hands-on baking education activities for adults and kids. Attendance is free.

Leading up to the public festival is a conference and tasting supper that will connect fellow foodies and baking enthusiasts. The conference, which requires pre-registration, takes place September 10 & 11 and features hands-on classes and seminars from renowned pastry, pie, and bread bakers including James MacGuire, Gesine Bullock-Prado, Joanne Chang, and King Arthur Flour’s own Bakery Director Jeffrey Hamelman. There will also be a chance to visit local bakeries and get behind-the-scenes tours.

The reservations-only tasting supper on Friday, September 11, from 5:30–7:30 pm allows attendees to taste the area’s finest food and spirits, with more than 15 restaurants and farms participating.  King Arthur Flour will match all proceeds from the supper, benefiting Hunger Free Vermont.

King Arthur Flour is situated only five minutes away from Hanover, New Hampshire, and the Dartmouth College campus. Located off exit 13 on I-91, Norwich is easily accessible from major cities – a two hour drive from Boston, Mass., or 90 minutes from Burlington, Vermont. There is ample free parking.

More information, including registering for the conference, visit


A Nod to Local First Alliance in the Valley News

Saturday, July 18, 2015 

(Published in print: Saturday, July 18, 2015)

Local Boost in the Upper Valley

To the Editor:

John McClaughry’s review of local shopping promotional campaigns and the work of economist Michael Shuman (“The Local Economy Solution,” July 12) provided an important overview of the impact locally owned businesses deliver to their communities. His appraisal, however, missed the Local First efforts underway here in the Upper Valley for the past seven years — efforts that had their beginnings with the Hanover Co-op Food Stores and a visit by Mr. Shuman.

In the spring of 2008, the board and management of the Hanover Co-op Food Stores invited Shuman to address members at the Co-op’s annual meeting. Confident that Shuman’s message would also resonate with the owners of small businesses around our region, the Co-op made arrangements for him to be the featured speaker at a free community business breakfast our cooperative hosted and sponsored for more than 100 business and civic leaders. Within days of that large gathering, leaders of businesses and organizations large and small came forth to help found Local First Alliance — our region’s booster of locally owned businesses.
Today, Local First Alliance includes business members across nearly all sectors of the local economy, and has become a program of Vital Communities, one of the “pollinators” McClaughry refers to. The Vital Communities website ( is a dynamic local resource worth frequenting.

As a former chair and long-time member of the Local First Alliance Steering Committee, I have witnessed how Local First Alliance engages businesses, organizations and citizens to strengthen our local economy. I’ve seen countless examples of how Mascoma Bank, Lake Sunapee Bank, Systems Plus Computers, Chippers and Great Eastern Radio have joined us in dedicating resources and thousands of dollars to this cause. And I have firsthand awareness of how this cause has been strengthened by so many small businesses and organizations like the Norwich Bookstores and COVERs of our region. Each and every one is vital to the communities we all share.

So, attention, shoppers and business owners alike: Local First Alliance is a prime example of how a better local economy starts with a local solution.

Allan Reetz

Hanover Co-op Communications Director