Photo by Noella May PickettDave Morello and Laura Courtemanche in front of their bakery in Mount Holly. Right

Ten years of baking with A Dozen Eggs

By Noella May Pickett
MOUNT HOLLY — Iced sugar cookies aren’t just for the holidays. At A Dozen Eggs Bake Shoppe, located in Mount Holly, owners Laura Courtemanche and Dave Morello are still whipping up holiday-themed sugar cookies and much more. There was no after-holiday break for these bakers. Out from the cold and into a piping hot bakery, Courtemanche, Morello, and their two assistants were working hard on fulfilling an order of meticulously hand-iced snow globe cookies for a client in Los Angeles. With each intricate detail, cookies were quickly transformed from blank slates into little sweet works of art.

Photo by Karen D. LorentzA Killington instructor explains the heel maneuver at lip of a mini halfpipe during a recent snowboarding lesson.

State leads industry in learn-to-ski programs

By Karen D. Lorentz
There’s never been a better time to introduce someone to skiing or snowboarding. January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month, and there are special packages — $49 for lift ticket, lesson, equipment rental — available at 12 Vermont mountains that make learning a steal. It’s not just the good price. Instructors have been trained with new ideas about how to teach first-timers in a friendly and helpful way that focuses on them having a good experience. There is better equipment and specially groomed beginner slopes that make learning easier and more fun.

Julie Payne

Payne to lead justice network

MONTPELIER — The Community Justice Network of Vermont has promoted Julie Elena Payne to be its new executive director. Payne has served the justice network as project manager since February 2015. “The CJNVT is very pleased that Julie has accepted the position of executive director. As E.D., Julie will promote the expansion and adoption of restorative practices throughout Vermont as well as create and manage projects and grants. We are fortunate to have someone with Julie’s administrative experience and restorative justice knowledge as we continue to make the CJNVT the voice of restorative justice practice in Vermont,” said Carol Plante, chairperson of the board of directors.

provided photoFrom left

Wood & Wood marks 45th anniversary

WAITSFIELD — Ask Sparky Potter about his 45-year business philosophy, and he directs you to the “mission statement sign” that hangs in the lobby of his Waitsfield studio and shop.

“Designing is like dreaming,” the sign says. “When you are awake, designing is the most delightful thing that the human minds can do together. From the first spark of a concept to the evolution of something unique, the process is the reward. Enjoy.”

On Nov. 19, 2016, The Sparky Potter Design Group and Wood & Wood Sign Systems kicked off its 45th anniversary. Potter began the operation as a one-man, home-occupied business in the winter of 1971-1972. Since then, Wood & Wood has moved to “The Mad River Barn” at 98 Carroll Rd.

Wood & Wood is a nationally recognized design studio and custom sign manufacturing company with more than 50 national sign awards. Wood & Wood’s national client base includes: Vail Resorts, the 1980 Winter Olympics (in Lake Placid, New York), Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, Bruegger’s Bagels, Busch Gardens and Universal Studios Theme Parks.

One strong example of Potter’s legacy is the exterior of the American Flatbread Burlington Hearth storefront, with a handcrafted wood- and copper-roofed canopy sign, wood blade sign and hand-carved front door.

Mike Reilly PhotoEmployees cut the ribbon for the reimagined Sonesta ES Suites Burlington.

Sonesta ES Suites ‘re-imagined’ in Williston

WILLISTON — Sonesta ES Suites Burlington recently completed a project that brand representatives call as much a “re-imagination and re-invigoration” as a renovation to the property. The multimillion-dollar upgrade includes 96 newly designed studio and two-bedroom suites that emphasize comfort and space for both work and relaxation. The ES Suites brand is Sonesta’s extended-stay hotel offering.

Provided PhotoMelissa Bartlett and Nick Strom-Olsen run Vermont Retirement Planners

Vermont Retirement Planners now in Rutland, Bennington counties

Launched in late 2015 in Vergennes, Vermont Retirement Planners has moved southward and is now working out of offices in Rutland and Manchester.
In its new locations, the company continues “to walk clients through the complex and challenging process of planning for and transitioning into retirement,” as stated on its website.

Businesses key to Middlebury food hub’s success

MIDDLEBURY — A food hub run by a group of local students has received steady support from Vermont businesses since its founding in 2013.
Middlebury Foods, a nonprofit organization run by Middlebury College students, delivers produce, meat, eggs, cheese and other staples once a month to six sites across Addison County.

VCRD unveils ‘Model Communities’ program

MONTPELIER — The Vermont Council on Rural Development is set to begin a program seeking to harness climate change as an economic opportunity for local communities. The group’s Climate Economy Model Communities Program kicks off in early 2017, with an RFP process scheduled to start in February. VCRD Executive Director Paul Costello said the organization, with support from Vermont partners, will select “two towns to provide concentrated services to in the next year.”

Through these services, the goal is to work with the local community to advance economic opportunities while reducing the community’s carbon footprint. For some, Costello said, this offers a different way to think about climate impact. “You can think of the climate change issue as apocalyptic, or you can think of it as a problem that we need to rally to for solutions, essentially an economic problem, which will challenge the creativity of leaders in the business community to come up with answers,” Costello said.

Hilary McCoy poses for a photo at Blush Salon & Beauty Lounge in Rutland.

Hair stylist brings career home

RUTLAND – Hilary McCoy brings lots of skill to her job as a hair stylist, but for her it’s more about the people. “It’s all about consultation,” she said, and that’s been key for the Rutland native who just moved back home. Over the years, McCoy said, “I listened, I knew my clients and I knew what they were looking for.”

After 16 years of building her career as a hair stylist in the Boston area, McCoy recently brought her talents back to her hometown of Rutland and is part of the team at Blush Salon & Beauty Lounge on Center Street. It’s a people business, and that’s what she loves most about her work. “I love interacting with different people every day,” McCoy said.

Sue Brisson teaches her granddaugher Makenna Dooley on Mitey Mite learning area at Bolton Valley.

Bolton Valley hits 50-year milestone

Most ski areas begin to wind down at 3:30 p.m. Not Bolton Valley Resort — it literally lights up and livens up. That’s because the area, which is open daily, offers extensive night skiing Tuesdays through Saturdays from 4 to 10 p.m. With Bolton’s location near Burlington and Montpelier, night skiing attracts all ages: adults for league racing, kids for the after-school program, college students after classes, and others for recreation with family or friends. With its iconic Alpine Village and amenities, Bolton also entices families from out of state with convenient and affordable slopeside lodging. Sue Brisson, who first skied at Bolton Valley 45 years ago, has seen many changes, but she’s most impressed “by what hasn’t changed. It’s kept its old-Vermont flavor and friendliness.