For the past year, farmers in the Upper Valley region have been considering the benefits of a shared food facility. This shared space might include an array of options, such as dry, cold and frozen storage; food processing; an all-season retail sales room; a commercial kitchen; and a community and education space. On Sept. 26, King Arthur Flour and Café in Norwich hosted the first Upper Valley food hub meeting, which was led by Vital Communities of White River Junction, in addition to six farmers leading a push to organize: Danielle Allen of Root-5 Farm, Geo Honigford of Hurricane Flats, Peggy Allen of Savage Hart Farm, Suzanne Long of Luna Bleu Farm, Niko Horster of Northshire Beef, and Andrea Rhodes of Sunset Rock Farm.
BURLINGTON — The Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity offers new Americans the tools to overcome obstacles when assimilating into a new culture, a new language, a new financial system. Through its Financial Empowerment for New Americans Project, more than 350 individuals will not just be given useful tools to navigate through their new and unfamiliar world, but given the tools for a new life. The initiative has been designed over the course of two years, and is now helping increase the organization’s capacity to host financial-education house parties for Somali women, provide training for community ambassadors, host interpreted classes, develop interpretation and translated material for financial coaching services, and present an annual Financial Wellness Day for New Americans, the second of which took place in September.
BARRE — Cashing in on climate change? About 60 people gathered at the Old Labor Hall in Barre on Tuesday for a presentation, “Everyone’s Economic Opportunity in Climate Action, ” to discuss strategies for slowing down climate change and making money in the process. Sponsored by Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility and Vermont Natural Resources Council, the proceedings were moderated by Daniel Barlow, public policy manager for VBSR. Panelists included Rep. Mary Hooper, D-Montpelier; Dan Hoxworth, executive director of Capstone Community Action; Rep. Tommy Walz, D-Barre; and Tim Shea, vice president for facilities and purchasing with the National Life Group.
RANDOLPH — The Brunswick School in Connecticut will purchase more than 600 acres at Green Mountain Stock Farm in Randolph that will serve as a “mountain campus” for students interested in sustainable living. The sale, announced in September, includes the Three Stallion Inn, a popular bed-and-breakfast retreat owned and operated by Jesse F. “Sam” Sammis III and his wife since 1971. “After nearly a year of study and careful consideration,” the school, located in Greenwich, purchased 650 acres and buildings for $2.1 million for use as a satellite campus, said Brunswick School Headmaster Thomas Philip.
The Associated Press NEW YORK — The Equifax breach is reminding small business owners that they may be vulnerable to cybercriminals. Companies that provide security and other technology services to small businesses say they’ve had an increase in calls from customers since Equifax revealed that the personal information of 143 million Americans had been exposed. The hack galvanized some owners into dealing with long-delayed issues. “A customer called me today wanting to replace their one remaining XP computer,” says Bob Herman, owner of IT Tropolis, a tech service company in Fountain Valley, California. Microsoft stopped providing security updates for XP models three and a half years ago.
The Associated Press TIJUANA, Mexico — Jose Luis Millan found a new crop of star employees at an upscale Tijuana car wash where customers cross the border from the United States to pay up to $950 to have their prized possessions steamed and scrubbed for hours. They’re never late, always hustle and come in on days off to learn new skills, traits that he says make them a model for their Mexican counterparts. They are among several thousand Haitians who came to Mexico’s northwest corner hoping to cross the border before the U.S. abruptly closed its doors last year. The Mexican government has welcomed them with visas that help them fill the need for labor in Tijuana’s growing economy. In a country whose population is 1 percent black, Tijuana’s Haitians stand out.
WARREN — Mad River Distillers is calling the release of its latest whiskey, Burnt Rock Bourbon, “super limited.” That means if you don’t live in Vermont or parts of Massachusetts, you probably won’t have much of an opportunity to try it. At least not yet. If this whiskey, which producers describe as having a smokey flavor due to its mash profile of corn, rye wheat and maplewood-smoked barley, proves popular, they’ll make more. Then they can distribute it throughout New England and parts of New York and California with their other spirits — bourbon and rye whiskeys, brandy and several aged rums. For now, they’ve produced 400 cases, and brought it to market in the past week. That flexibility comes from being a small producer in a hot market.
“You Get What You Pitch For” by Anthony Sullivan with Tim Vandehey, 2017, Da Capo Press, $26, 232 pages
Throw it out. That’s what always seems to happen to your best ideas, your finest interviews, the proud moments that fall flat as pavement. Ugh. When it comes to The Big Ask, “what are you doing wrong?” Read “You Get What You Pitch For” by Anthony Sullivan with Tim Vandehey; the answer is no throwaway. Back when he was 24 years old and selling mops, Sullivan lived in a van and slept atop the product, but he was on a learning curve.
BURLINGTON — Wireless products inventor and engineer James Clark was looking to start a new hobby, so he designed and built a Koi pond to beautify his backyard. Things went wrong almost from the start. “As soon as I put in the Koi pond I had a lot of my fish die, and a lot of frustration. I couldn’t figure out what was going on,” Clark said. The problem was in the water chemistry of the pond.
STOWE — Mark Frier has a full plate these days. He and business partner Chad Fry own the Reservoir Restaurant & Taproom in Waterbury, and Stowe restaurant The Bench. And they recently added a third spot to their repertoire, revamping the iconic Stowe music venue Rusty Nail into a Mexican restaurant and live music space called Tres Amigos & Rusty Nail Stage. The restaurant opened to the public on Sept. 8, serving authentic Mexican fare along with a sizable list of tequilas, mezcals and margaritas in addition to 24 draft-beer selections with an emphasis on Vermont brews.
Columbus Day is observed on Oct. 9. And while it may be true that Leif Erikson and the Vikings beat Columbus to the New World, Columbus Day nonetheless remains important in the public eye, signifying themes such as exploration and discovery. As an investor, you don’t have to cross the ocean blue, as Columbus did, to find opportunities. But it may be a good idea to put some of your money to work outside the United States.
“How Do I Get There from Here?” by George H. Schofield, 2017, Amacom, $16.95, 237 pages. White sandy beaches. Waves that gently kiss your toes with warm water. In your minds’ eye, they stretch for miles and they’re yours to explore. That will be your retirement — or so you hope.
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — The 2017 Nissan Leaf Todd Kowalczyk purchased in June to replaced his trusted Subaru Outback is about as eco-friendly as 21st-century automotive technology can get. Silver, futuristic, curvy in all the right places, and mechanically reliable, the Leaf is a sleek-looking ride for its class and generation. Best of all, the Leaf is great on gas. That’s because it doesn’t need any: the Leaf is powered by a rechargeable battery that guarantees driving distances of up to 107 miles on a single charge. The “sweet spot” for Kowalczyk is that the Leaf is a great commuter vehicle that gives him peak performance at cruising speeds of 40 to 50 miles per hour.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS FEMA estimates that nearly 40 percent of small businesses never reopen after a disaster. HOUSTON — Bobby Jucker has had it with hurricanes. In 2008, Hurricane Ike tore the roof off his business, Three Brothers Bakery. Now, he estimates, he’s facing $1 million in damage and lost revenue from Harvey — the fifth time a storm has put his bakery out of commission. He’s always recovered before.