BURLINGTON — Rich Cassidy’s passion for the law was first sparked in 1970, when he was volunteering for former Vermont Governor Phil Hoff’s run for the U.S. Senate as an anti-war candidate. Amid all the controversy surrounding the Vietnam War, Cassidy said he learned about the wide impact the law could have, and that it could be “a tool for making the world a better place.”
PROCTORSVILLE — Owner and General Manager Joe Evans and Executive Chef Kathryn Evans have introduced their eclectic TexAsian eatery, Table 19 Restaurant & Bar, on Sept. 1, and they report the concept has been a great success.
NORTHFIELD — “Vermont is the best state for beer in the union,” Scott Kerner said. “The amount of tourists that pour into our state each year is one barometer for the strength of this industry. The brand is strong, and the community is stronger.” Kerner should know. After he moved to Vermont from Oregon — where he worked for that state’s oldest microbrewery, Bridgeport Brewing Co. — he helped open three beer-focused restaurants: Three Penny Taproom, The Mad Taco and Mule Bar.
RUTLAND — A local family recently opened Rutland Toy and Hobby at 158 North Main Street, filling the niche that the former store Mike’s Hobbies filled for many years. In fact, 158 North Main now has two businesses selling treasures from decades past, with the recent opening of the vinyl record shop Rick and Kat’s Howlin’ Mouse in the former Mike’s Hobbies space next door to the city’s newest toy store. Rutland Toy and Hobby is owned by the father-and-son team of Wayne Thornton Sr. and Jr., and Thornton Jr.’s mother Denise handles the bookkeeping and also helps in the store. Thornton Jr., who is 25 years old, said he has expertise in toys and comics from the 1990s and early 2000s, and all manner of video games, and his dad’s specialties are toys from the 1970s and 1980s, along with cars, trains and remote-control toys. Together, that’s a wide range of expertise that makes the key attribute of the new business possible: diversity.
WINDSOR — “You love veggies — you just don’t know it yet.” That’s one of the slogans Oh! Veggies uses to let consumers know that a healthy diet can also be a delicious one. The 2,000-square-foot retail store located in Artisans Park in Windsor features sauces, seasonings and spices created specifically to flavor vegetables. Oh! Veggies also sells a line of reasonably priced products such as chopping and slicing tools and steamers that make prepping vegetables faster and easier.
WATERBURY — Hiata DeFeo has a right to be happy. After seven years of offering Waterbury residents a welcoming, community-focused space at her Stowe Street store, Bridgeside Books, DeFeo has turned another one of her passions into a retail business.
RUTLAND – After working with fitness clients throughout the U.S., Bomoseen native Sean Manovill has returned to Rutland County to open Club Fitness, a health and wellness center set to open in October. Manovill, 35, said his new business, to be located at 275 North Main St. in Rutland, will be focused on helping people live better lives by improving their fitness. “We want to focus on real results,” he said. “We’re not a gimmick gym.”
Manovill said his two top-priorities for his gym are cleanliness and customer service.
Director and actor Jarvis Antonio Green recently began a new theater company, JAG Productions, in a partnership with ArtisTree Community Arts Center in Pomfret, which he hopes will foster more cultural awareness in the region through the uniquely deep and moving perspectives that theater brings into our lives.
ST. ALBANS — A good buzz is growing here over the recent announcement that another local beer and brewpub will emerge from Franklin County later this year. Mill River Brewing, a veteran- and woman-owned establishment, is on track to open in December at the former Hands On Car Wash site, on the corner of Lake Road and Beauregard Drive in St. Albans Town. Brothers and co-owners George “Dan” and David Fitzgerald, along with third owner Joyce Fitzgerald, David’s wife, hope to close on the 3,200-square-foot building at the end of July.
ST. ALBANS — When Merrill Hersey needed a logo for his new home brew supply store in downtown St. Albans, his girlfriend’s coworker drew one freehand, in 30 minutes. Now, the image of the “Bearded Expert,” which bears a striking resemblance to Hersey — especially the “bearded” part — is featured on the Web site and other marketing materials for his business, Open Barrel, located at 118 North Main St. Hersey, 33, of Richford, launched Open Barrel to rave reviews in April, during Vermont Maple Festival in St.