Celebrate Co-op Month with the Co-op Food Stores!

Celebrate October as Co-op Month, Fair-Trade Month and
Co-op Food Stores as the Business of the Month!

Visit the Co-op Food Stores during the month of October and save 10% off purchase of Co-op Brand Coffee from the bulk department when you congratulate them for being the BOM and learn about the many ways the Co-op Food Stores support our community.

As economic engine, employer, buyer of local foods from our farmers, promoter of healthy food for all, or through philanthropy, the Co-op Food Stores is an invaluable partner and participant in our community.



Co-op Month is an opportunity to celebrate the many ways cooperatives are using innovation to create shared prosperity for their members and communities. The Co-op Food Stores is a shining example of the cooperative principles, especially concern for community. The Co-op Food Store’s mission says it all in six words:

A well-nourished community cultivated through cooperation.

With more than 40,000 cooperatives creating stable jobs and a more sustainable economy across the U.S., co-ops represent a proven way to do business and build communities. Co-op’s see a future where cooperatives leverage their influence and impact through the shared resources of the movement to engage, partner with, and empower people from all walks of life.


Fair Trade Month

Fair Trade is a global movement made up of a diverse network of producers, companies, shoppers, advocates, and organizations putting people and planet first.

Fair Trade USA believes that everyone wants to do what’s right – for their families, fellow global citizens, and the planet. That’s why they’re committed to making the right choices the most obvious ones. Based on the simple idea that the products they buy and sell are connected to the livelihoods of others, Fair Trade is a way to make a conscious choice for a better world. A choice for Fair Trade Certified™ goods is a choice to support responsible companies, empower farmers, workers, and fishermen, and protect the environment. In other words, it’s a world-changing way of doing business.







The Norwich Bookstore is the BOM!

Celebrate The Norwich Bookstore as the September Business of the Month!

And as a founding Local First Alliance member, The Norwich Bookstore has been and an anchor business in downtown Norwich providing the community with expert service, diverse products, and keeping the local economy moving for 24 years! The Norwich Bookstore has been on a mission to deliver newly released titles or your favorite classics in whatever format you like: printed, ebooks, and now digital audiobooks.

For the month of September enjoy listening to books and get 30% off by using the code BOM2018. These audiobooks are available through our indie partner, Libro.fm, and all sales support our store. Choose from over 100,000 titles!

Audiobooks are easy to download through the store website: norwichbookstore.com. You can listen on your iPhone, Android device, or personal computer.

It has been said that Liza Bernard is a force of nature; at the very least, she’s certainly a force of the local economy.

Along with business partner Penny McConnel, Bernard opened the Norwich Bookstore in 1994 and has been a key player in the “Local First” movement in Vermont and the Upper Valley ever since. Read more about the bookstore that bucked the trend of online book buying in this Valley News Enterprise business magazine article.

As a locally-owned, independent business, we participate in many aspects of our community. We create jobs and pay local taxes. We support schools, libraries and a number of other not-for-profit organizations. We encourage you to help keep the Upper Valley a great place to live, work, and play: Think Local First when dining out, banking, hiring professional services, or shopping for anything — including audiobooks.  Liza Bernard


Mascoma Bank is the BOM!

Celebrate Mascoma Bank as Business of the Month August 6-17 and support three nonprofits while you’re at it!

Mascoma Bank has put community first since 1899 and as their way of celebrating being the BOM, Mascoma Bank will donate $1 each to COVER Home Repair (another Local First Alliance member!), Monadnock Humane Society, and AHEAD (Affordable Housing, Education & Development when you comment why you love local on the Mascoma Bank Facebook page. Share your favorite locally owned stores, restaurants, markets, banks, nonprofits, businesses, and services. Let them know how local businesses support your community through donations, sponsorships, volunteering, and other good deeds. Love the quality products and service at the businesses owned by your friends and neighbors – share it and Masoma Bank will support three valuable nonprofits that strengthen the fabric of our community!

Congratulations to Mascoma Bank becoming a B Corp this year! Read more about what that means to the bank and our community below.


Mascoma_Logo_Horizontal_Tagline_CMYK (1)  unnamed

For Mascoma Bank it was never a question of if, but more so, when would we become a Certified B Corporation. Joining the ranks of more than 2,500 businesses worldwide focused on doing business for the right reasons was a natural progression for us. Mutuality has always been the cornerstone of our culture. By joining forces with like-minded businesses, we can make an impact greater than we ever imagined. The vision and values of B Corp is the next chapter for a bank steeped in the tradition of neighbors helping neighbors, doing what we can to participate in making our communities an enjoyable, happy, healthy, safe places to live.

Certified B Corporations sign a Declaration of Interdependence identifying that together we can make a tremendous impact by expanding the traditions of giving back, sustainability, environmental protection, transparent business practices, and well-being for our employees and communities. It is not an agreement that is taken lightly. This global movement is dedicated to making positive change in a big way. We are not alone in our vision. Together with companies like King Arthur Flour, Boloco, Ben and Jerry’s and Cabot Creamery our impact will be felt right here in the communities we serve.

CHAD cropped

Building a relationship with Mascoma Bank is more than opening accounts and securing services, it is active engagement in the many ways we give back. You become something much greater than just an account holder. We support countless organizations and non-profits, not just by monetary donation through internal committees and Mascoma Bank Foundation, but we roll up our sleeves and get to work with hands-on giving as well. By doing business with Mascoma Bank you choose to be a part of something that will make an impact for good, today and years to come.

group work

High School Communication Contest Winners!

Local First Alliance hosted the 5th annual Upper Valley High School Communications Competition with the Hartford Area Career and Technology Center’s (HAC&TC) Media Arts class this spring. As part of the student’s culminating project, the class designed a marketing campaign promoting Local First Alliance, and specifically the value locally owned businesses bring to our community.

group pic

The campaign includes print, radio, and video pieces. The project is a good exercise that could prepare the students for a career in media arts while the quality finished pieces are a wonderful addition to their portfolios. This year’s class included: Elise Boyle, Will Higgins, Austin Lemere, Odin Mattern, Jack Beaty, Ali Davis, Madison Hunt, and Savannah Meeker.

Congratulations to the winners!

Elise recording 2

Radio: Elise Boyle, listen to radio ad here.

Ali Davis certificate

Video: Ali Davis, view video here.


The winning ads will be used in Local First Alliance’s ongoing outreach campaign.

Many thanks to Nichole Romano (Great Eastern Radio), Allison Rogers Furbish (Vital Communities), Bob Sherman (Great Eastern Radio), and Lauren Griswold (Vital Communities).  Special thanks to Mascoma Bank for supporting this project.

May BOM: LaValley Building Supply

Celebrate as we recognize LaValley Building Supply as the May Local First Alliance Business of the Month

For more than 50 years, LaValley Building Supply has been serving our region with professional building supplies and services, creating stable jobs, and giving back to their community.

Visit the West Lebanon LaValley Building Supply May 14-28, congratulate them for being the BOM, and enter for a chance to win a Makita 18V LXT Litium-Ion Cordless Impact Driver Kit.


LaValley Building Supply—Economic Engine

Contributing to a thriving local economy by creating good jobs and providing value for customers is the hallmark of a Local First Alliance business. When Harold LaValley, a life-long Claremont resident, opened his first store in Newport in 1962, he knew he wanted to create a business that was neighbor helping neighbor, offering affordable and efficient goods and services while supporting a thriving local economy.

Today LaValley Building Supply is the largest independently owned building materials supplier in Vermont and New Hampshire, with 10 LaValley and Middleton Building Supply stores and three manufacturing facilities.

Capture- LaValley logo

LaValley’s is an important employer for the Newport-Claremont region: It employs more than 180 people in Sullivan County at its manufacturing business Preferred Building Systems, which builds energy efficient modular homes, and a facility manufacturing trusses, doors, and panels. The family-owned business has created more than 400 stable jobs; most employees have been with the business for more than 10 years, and many are second-generation employees.

Member Spotlight: Lyme Green Heat

When Lyme native Morton Bailey started his business, Lyme Green Heat he was just a guy in a truck delivering bagged wood heating pellets to residential customers around the Upper Valley heating their homes with pellet stoves.

Today this Local First Alliance business has grown to become the only bulk distributor of wood pellets in New Hampshire, serving commercial and residential customers with wood pellet boilers—central heating—throughout New Hampshire, Vermont, and even into Massachusetts.

The shift to bulk pellet delivery for central heating systems has been a big change over the last few years, Morton said, and he couldn’t be more excited to bring what he sees as an easy, renewable, local fuel source to the region. Lyme Green Heat has recently installed boilers at the Montshire in Norwich and St. Thomas Episcopal in Hanover, so the appeal and convenience of modern wood heat has made the systems more popular.

Lyme Green Heat LogoWithTag+Web_Small

Vital Communities Energy program has been working with Bailey to promote renewable modern wood heat as an attractive option when it’s time to replace old fossil fuel boilers.

Read more about this Local First Alliance Sustaining member in this Valley News Enterprize business magazine article.

Want to learn more about today’s self-stoking automated wood heat and opt out of oil with delivery of local wood pellets and whole home wood heating systems controlled by your thermostat?

Join Morton Bailey and Vital Communities Energy Program manager on Tuesday, April 10th from 7:00-8:30pm at the Chelsea Town Hall for a presentation, learn about $7000 in available rebates, meet local installers, and enjoy light refreshments.
 For questions, please contact Sarah Brock, Energy Program Manager at Vital Communities, 802.291.9100 x109 or sarah@vitalcommunities.org.
photo credit: Efficiency Vermont

Copeland is the BOM!

Join us as we celebrate Copeland Furniture as the March Business of the Month (BOM)!

Visit The Copeland Company Store in Bradford, VT March 9-24, congratulate them for being an anchor business that strengthens the Bradford community, and enter for a chance to win a $250 gift certificate to the store!



Copeland Furniture has been in Bradford since 1975 when Tim Copeland opened his small woodworking business and is the largest employer in the town. He initially built products for homesteaders including a popular cider press. Today only 5% of the companies sales are domestic, but his employees are the heart of the business.

“This business is the people who work it. I’m absolutely convinced of that,” Copeland said. “It would be hard to pick up and move to another state. It would be something altogether different.”

Today they produce high quality natural hardwood furniture and Copeland remains a family owned and operated business committed to manufacturing high quality products in America.


Read more about this Local First Alliance business in a 2017 Valley News Enterprise magazine article.


Neighbor Helping Neighbor

Locally owned businesses strengthen our community in many ways including  job creation, tax dollars, charitable giving, economic vitality, responsive customer service, and community character. Local First Alliance business owners live in our communities and are our friends and neighbors that are invested in making our community better and helping neighbors in need.

Simple Energy proved this community commitment during the cold snap that hit the Upper Valley this winter. The Simple Energy team worked day and night helping it’s customers and neighbors with all of the crises that can happen when temperatures stay below zero (way below zero) for weeks.  Frozen pipes and emergency fuel deliveries were not uncommon during the cold snap which meant that the Simple Energy crew was answering calls and sending out trucks 24 hours a day to help their customers in need. Communities pull together in times of stress and Simple Energy answered the call.

Best photo of Tom and Pat McNamara

Tom & Pat McNamara, McNamara Dairy

In December, another business in need called on Simple Energy to help them out of a bind and replace a failed boiler in less than 36 hours just a few days before Christmas. Watch a great testimonial from McNamara Dairy about how neighbor helping neighbor is an important aspect of our community and makes the Upper Valley an amazing place!

This is why we are excited to celebrate Simple Energy as February Business of the Month!

Congratulate them for being the BOM by visit Simple Energy on Facebook and share a comment about your Simple Energy experience.

For a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to January BOM Trail Break taps+tacos or a fashionable Simple Energy hat,  snap a photo of Simple Energy in your community (truck, delivery hero, etc), post it to their Facebook page. Most popular photos win!!

Simple Energy

January BOM: Trail Break taps + tacos

We are excited to be celebrating the hot, new eatery in White River Junction

full logo -
as Local First Alliance 
Business of the Month in January!

Visit Trail Break taps + tacos January 11-25, give them a high five for being the BOM, and get a free chips & salsa or a free upgrade to a large “FLiPs” (aka churros- the most amazingly light, fluffy, and sweet dessert)!

And, wait, there is more!!!

Plus a chance to win one of two $25 Trail Break gift cards AND a chance to choose a beer that will go on tap in March!!




You can read more about the excellent food and experience at Trail Break in this  DailyUV feature.



Member Spotlight: John Ring CPA, A.B. Gile & Ledyard Bank

Local First Alliance is proud to represent so many members that make our economy strong. Retail stores are the businesses that many people think of when “shopping locally first”, but the professional services-including accounting, insurance, and banking are critical to making our local economy hum. John Ring CPA, A.B. Gile, and Ledyard National Bank provide expert professional and banking services while supporting our communities.

John Ring, CPA

John Ring, Certified Public Accountant (CPA), is the definition of a vested Local First Alliance member. What sets John apart from others in his field are his devotion to the Upper Valley and his connection to its heritage. He has lived in the Upper Valley for more than 40 years and is proud to be an 11th generation Northern New Englander. Born and raised in Claremont, N.H., John has been a CPA since 1971 with an office in Hanover.

“Local First Alliance matches my personal beliefs as a local”, says John. “I only represent local clients and I’m happy when they’re successful. I’ve experienced first-hand what happens when we lose our local businesses and only focus on price and convenience.”

Aside from calling this area home, John makes a concerted effort to shop at, and do business with, other Local First Alliance members and locally based businesses. John@JohnRingCPA.com


Based in West Lebanon, NH, A.B. Gile provides insurance coverage to both private individuals and business clients throughout the Upper Valley and greater New England area. This Local First business offers a commitment to its customers that stems from a deep understanding of our specific region. Living and working alongside their clients and employees for generations has fostered a deep sense of dedication to their community. Founded in 1871, A.B. Gile has been meeting the insurance needs of area residents for over 140 years, now supporting and insuring over 75 locally based non-profits!


In addition to providing banking services across the Upper Valley, Ledyard National Bank supports our community in numerous ways including generous contribution to charities, arts & culture, and community development.

Ledyard charitavble giving

Remember these backbone local economy partners when searching for these professional services. Keep it local and look for the logo!

1 2 3 7