Major hotel project to begin

ST. ALBANS CITY — Old photos of downtown St. Albans show an area rich in a hotel economy, with accommodations on Main Street and many corners of the city. A major hotel project is scheduled to start in April, when Winooski development company PeakCM, in conjunction with the City of St. Albans, will break ground on a new Hampton Inn that project stakeholders say fits well into the new downtown streetscape.

Franklin County gallery gets new life

ST. ALBANS CITY — An old Franklin County art gallery is getting new life in downtown St. Albans. In late February, contractors were busy inside the 1,200 square feet of commercial space at 10 S. Main St., where the Artist In Residence co-operative gallery will reopen on the cusp of spring. For several years, the Artist In Residence gallery operated on a different Franklin County Main Street, in Enosburg Falls, but a “lack of membership” forced the gallery to close its doors in late 2015, according to Nancy Patch, the gallery’s executive director.

“How to Think Like Einstein” by Scott Thorpe

c.2015, Sourcebooks $16.99 / $22.99 Canada 272 pages

Right in front of your nose. That’s where you usually find the solution to sticky problems: always right there, where you weren’t necessarily looking. This time, though, there’s no easy answer, no matter how much you ponder and pick but if you read the new book “How to Think Like Einstein” by Scott Thorpe, you could become a genius at things like this. Ever since revealing his Theory of Relativity in 1905, Albert Einstein’s held a special place in science, history, and culture. E = mc2 and Einstein = genius.

Financial Focus: What to look for from a financial advisor

There’s a lot to know about investing, so it’s a good idea to get some professional help. But with so many financial advisors out there, how can you choose one that’s right for you? You may have to interview several prospective financial advisors before deciding on one. When you talk to them, see if you can get a sense of how they might work with you. Specifically, try to answer the following questions:

Does this financial advisor …

… Understand you?

Energy Solutions: Ways to save on lighting

Improving the efficiency of your lighting is one of the best ways you can save on energy costs. Energy-efficient LEDs last up to 50,000 hours, generate less heat, and give better-quality light than older technologies. Switch frequently used lights first. The biggest return on LEDs comes from lighting that’s always (or frequently) on—for example, your exterior lights. Look at cooler and display lighting.

Community Capital of Vt. starts new program

Community Capital of Vermont, or CCVT, has established a business advisory services program to support its borrowers. The program was funded in 2015 by a $120,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration, or SBA. CCVT, a nonprofit organization located in Barre, has a mission “to help small businesses and lower-income entrepreneurs prosper through the provision of flexible business financing.”
Executive Director Martin Hahn said the new program grew out of CCVT’s existing support for its borrowers. It provides free, targeted, short- or long-term assistance to borrowers and also pays for services such as marketing assistance, legal advice or Quickbooks training. CCVT’s grant grew from $50,000 three years ago to $120,000 in 2015; Hahn said the grant amount is based on the amount of capital they loaned the previous year.

New dental practice opens in Manchester

Equinox Dental, the new practice of Dr. Xandra Velenchik, opened its doors this past November in the heart of Manchester. Velenchik is currently accepting new patients of all ages, and is keen on creating a practice that serves the whole family. The space, which was previously occupied by colleague Dr. Andrew Schmid, has undergone renovations and offers patients a tranquil place to have their dental needs met. Gray paint coats the walls and white wainscoting lends a homey New England touch to the rooms, where state-of-the-art equipment has been installed. Creating a calming environment was important to Velenchik, who wants to change the notion that going to the dentist has to be an unpleasant nuisance.

‘Still small,’ Vt. Flannel marks 25th year

SOUTH BURLINGTON — The pre-Christmas rush hit 22-year-old Luke Baker hard on a midweek afternoon in December of last year. At the Vermont Flannel Company’s kiosk in the University Mall, Baker, youngest son of Vermont Flannel co-owners Linda and Mark Baker, was more than willing to chat about the family business, substituting for his father, who was called to their Woodstock store. Luke, however, was busy answering question after question from holiday shoppers about sizes, colors and washing instructions. After all, Vermont Flannel Company lounge pants are a popular holiday item and, well, ‘twas the season. “We’re the company that invented flannel lounge pants,” Mark Baker declared a few days later, during a phone interview.

Claremont store settles into new location

Claremont Spice & Dry Goods has moved next door into a newly renovated and larger space on Tremont Street. The co-owners are husband and wife David and Ingrid Lucier, and they have been in business for four years. Claremont Spice & Dry Goods specializes in spices from around the world. It also sells coffees, teas, honeys, maple syrup, relishes, pickles, sauces and kitchen sundries. Many of the products come from local, small producers.

Greenleaf Café debuts in Chester

The Greenleaf Café is a new business located on Pineview Drive in Chester. The owner is Elise Junker and the chef is Jessica Holmes, a longtime resident of the Okemo Valley. The café specializes in soups, salads, sandwiches, desserts, stews, chilies, quiches and lasagnas, for brunch and lunch Thursday through Sunday. This is a small café, and Holmes makes everything on the premises. She comes from a large Italian family, uses old family recipes, and also experiments with new dishes.