Staff writer MONTPELIER — The iconic Bohemian Bakery is back after a relocation and transformation, much to the delight of its devoted followers. The bakery reopened Feb. 8 on Barre Street in the Capital City after closing last fall because it had outgrown its former home. Owners Robert Hunt and Annie Bakst wanted to reorganize and find a new site.
When Ken Blaisdell opened his business, Lampscapes, 20 years ago in White River Junction, the neighborhood and the business climate looked very different from today. It’s an unlikely success story but a model for entrepreneurs who want to make a business of selling their own handmade goods. First rule of thumb?
By Karen D. Lorentz Correspondent Vermont ranks as the No. 1 ski state in the East, and most years third in the nation — behind Colorado and California but ahead of Utah — in annual skier visits. That successful track record, based on data compiled by the National Ski Areas Association’s annual Kottke Report, springs from a combination of terrain, diversity, history and innovation, industry executives agree.
Correspondent MONTPELIER — The Vermont Commission on Women, an organization committed to pay equality, celebrated the 100th signer to the Vermont Equal Pay Compact last month. VCW and former Gov. Peter Shumlin launched the Equal Pay Compact in 2015 to address the gender pay gap that continues to plague the U.S. and several other countries around the world. “This project launched on Equal Pay Day 2015 to inform employers about practical steps they can take to eliminate the wage gap in their business and across Vermont,” said Cary Brown, executive director of the Vermont Commission on Women.
If you’re just starting out in your career, you will need to be prepared to face some financial challenges along the way. But here’s one that’s not unpleasant: choosing what to do with some extra disposable income. When this happens, what should you do with the money? Your decisions could make a real difference in your ability to achieve your important financial goals. Under what circumstances might you receive some “found” money?
By Bruce Edwards Correspondent BURLINGTON — A half-dozen years ago, the Episcopal Church in Vermont adopted a strategy to ensure that its historic Rock Point property in Burlington would be a model of environmental stewardship and sustainability. As part of that commitment, the church contracted with All Earth Renewables in Williston to install a 147-kilowatt, 35-tracker solar array on the 130-acre property that serves as the diocese headquarters. Bishop Thomas Ely said after leasing the solar array for five years, the diocese last month was able to purchase the system. “At this point after five years, we were able to purchase the solar array back from All Earth Renewables at a fraction of the cost. Originally it was about a $1 million installation,” Ely said.
By Karen D. Lorentz Correspondent WILMINGTON — Southern Vermont’s Hermitage Club at Haystack is kind of in a class by itself. The sole private ski-and-golf community in the Northeast, it is one of just two major U.S. luxury clubs that offer skiing and riding to members. It also offers one of just two six-passenger bubble chairlifts with heated seats in the U.S., the Doppelmayr-manufactured Barnstormer lift, which debuted December 2015 and takes you to the summit in six minutes. (The other heated bubble “six-pack” is a Leitner-Poma built at Okemo in 2014.) The Hermitage Club offers a winter experience with uncrowded slopes, no lift lines, numerous amenities and VIP treatment. With a history steeped in struggles since the Haystack Ski Area opened in 1964 — bankruptcies and closings included — the growing membership (more members than Montana’s Yellowstone Club) attests to a vision and model that are working.
Staff writer MONTPELIER — Jonathan Herz is a master music maker with one foot in the past and one in the present. His musical boxes are a testament to the genius of Swiss timepieces that evolved into tuneful snuff boxes and chiming pocket watches with melody mechanisms in the 17th and 18th centuries. Their refinement led to precision cylinder musical boxes (different from a more conventional “music” box, which might be adorned with a dancing figure, or intended as a jewelry or storage box) made from 1860-’90, capable of playing orchestral scores of popular operetta and classical composers — a lost art that Herz has used 21st-century technology to revive. Cylinder musical boxes were some of the earliest examples of “recorded” music that would lead to the player piano and barrel organ. Then came the cylindrical disk polyphone, the precursor to Thomas Edison’s 1870 phonograph that allowed live music to be recorded and reproduced for the first time.
Correspondent BRATTLEBORO — Some may have heard of Ronald Read, a stock market-savvy janitor from Brattleboro who passed away in June 2014. After Read’s death, his story quickly made the news. He was well known within his community, a simple man with a simple way of life. Unbeknownst to family and friends, by the time of his death at age 92 he had amassed approximately $8 million in stock holdings and property. Upon his passing he left most of his secret success to facilities he favored in his community.
Correspondent ST. ALBANS — On Jan. 12, there were still signs of transition at the new Franklin County Animal Rescue clinic: full boxes that needed emptying, empty cabinets for filing and Moe, an “awww”-inspiring rescue dog, healing from a neutering procedure. “Moe is a lover,” said Rusty Posner, Franklin County Animal Rescue shelter director, as she pet Moe. Posner, along with her 10 coworkers and the shelter’s board of directors, are busy heading into 2017 as they complete the move to an additional facility in St.
By Mike Reilly Correspondent BURLINGTON — Fulcrum Massage and Bodywork recently opened in the historic Richardson Building on Church Street, offering a wide range of services. Owner Jessie Owens, a certified massage therapist, practices Swedish, Thai, deep tissue, and prenatal massage, Shiatsu, cupping, myofascial release and kinesiology taping. She is also a student of Bowenwork. Owens called massage an essential component — or fulcrum — of her own overall well-being. She brings a personal, movement-based perspective to her work and said each massage and bodywork treatment is customized for an individual client’s unique needs.
BURLINGTON — Vermont’s largest winter brewers’ festival premieres on Saturday, Feb. 11 at the Sheraton-Burlington, offering festival-goers samples from more than 75 varieties of Vermont craft beer, ciders, wine and spirits. The state’s first major indoor winter brewers’ festival also offers music, food sampling, workshops and games. “This is a celebration of Vermont-made brews and ciders, as well as wine and spirits, and we have a terrific lineup for the event,” said Paul Apfelbaum, festival co-organizer. “We want to help people shake off the winter blues.
By Noella May Pickett Correspondent 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.
By Karen D. Lorentz Correspondent 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.