Category Archives: Mt. Washington Valley Business

Don’t miss a chance to dine at Margarita Grill in Glen, NH

Audible gasp! THIS BURRITO IS THE SIZE OF A CINDERBLOCK!

That’s one of many reasons we like Margarita Grill. After a long day, after our plans had fallen apart, it was a good choice just sit, relax, and try to puzzle out just how you’ll eat all this delicious Mexican food.

The staff are super nice (and they didn’t even mind how late we came in) and the food was as good as it looked. Thanks, Margarita Grill! We’ll be back soon…

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Jackson Art Studio & Gallery

We love Jackson Art Studio and Gallery!

Not only do they offer great art classes for the curious, (just don’t step on a deer like our writer did) but they showcase some of the best artists of the valley.

Just recently, we attended an art opening for local artists like Melanie Leavitt and June McLeavey, who showed off their best work at this beautiful gallery. Not only was it truly amazing to see such a breadth of work… but it’s a great way to meet up with our artist friends and get in touch with the Valley’s artist community.

Check them out online for a calendar of upcoming shows, classes or demonstrations!

Shop the White Mountain Independents

So, recently we stopped into Fields of Ambrosia to ask owner Deb Jasien, “What, exactly, does the White Mountain Independents organization do?”

Turns out, it’s a lot! In 2016, businesses all over valley banded together to create a network of local businesses that’d support local craftsmen, makers, and creators. Some of the most unique businesses of the valley are counted among their ranks – Bavarian Chocolate Haus, the Penguin, Soyfire Candle, Four Your Paws Only, White Mountain Olive Oil Co, and White Birch Books.

All these businesses work to support each other – and the valley itself. Four Your Paws Only buys some of its products from Fields of Ambrosia, and the other independents have also pooled their money together to support schools like Kennett or Fryeburg.

By supporting them, you’re not just supporting local businesses – you’re supporting the valley itself. For more information contact White Mountain Independents.

Things are cooking at the Bernerhof Inn

By Isaac Rader
for the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce

Cooking can seem remote and inaccessible when you’re young. Which is why we’re grateful to the Bernerhof Inn for the pasta cooking class  we recently participated in. We learned just how easy it is to make pasta! If you’re like us and you just pick up pasta at the store to boil it later, this would’ve been like a revelation. First, we made the dough with eggs, semolina, and flour, (did you know that semolina is so important to pasta? I didn’t!) then we got to shaping it into raviolis, which we’d filled with mushroom and mozzarella.

Best of all, the whole time we talked with the chefs like old friends, making it feel like a lovely afternoon cooking together. They even served us cheesecake! This class was fun and full of camaraderie, and most importantly, it’s a good way to see that cooking isn’t as “impastable” as you might think.

The Taste of the Mountains Cooking School at Bernerhof Inn has new spring classes coming soon. For more information visit Bernerhof Inn.

It’s worth a visit to Veno’s Specialty Foods & Meats

By Isaac Rader
for the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce

We just stopped by Veno’s out of curiosity, and we’ve come to one conclusion: if there’s 𝘢𝘯𝘺𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 we’d like to go to pick up some quality meat for dinner, Veno’s is near the top of the list! They have a wide variety of specially prepared meats, prime ribeyes, prime strips, prime tenderloin, marinated steak tips as well as a variety of housemade sausage, and other mouth-watering things like burger patties with applewood bacon and cheddar, or bleu cheese.

And, as much of it as possible, it is locally sourced! They use beer from both the Moat and Tuckermans for marinades, they buy locally sourced cheeses, they sell a selection from White Mountain Winery, and source their desserts from a local bakery.

They make a point of having a business model that is as  healthy and farm-focused as possible, sourcing food from the common (chicken, pork, lamb) to the wild game (boar, bison) from farms from Maine to upstate New York, all with absolutely no hormones, no antibiotic, free to roam and humanely harvested. They keep their carbon footprint low by using environmentally conscious packing and participating in a local recycling program. And – thanks to the local focus – it can be made to your specifications. If you want ingredients removed for any reason or special order, you 𝘤𝘢𝘯!

If you have an event coming up soon or you’re just interested in getting something unique, give Veno’s a try!

Shouts out to local owners Jason and Kendra Veno and their employees who were nice enough to answer our questions and let us hang back and take photos.

There’s nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with chocolate!

By Isaac Rader
for the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce

The Bavarian Chocolate Haus is impossible to ignore when you first see it. There’s the jaunty European music it pipes out, the almost fairytale look of the building they have occupied for 20 years, and the wall-to-wall chocolate inside.

We talked with their staff, and they greeted us like old friends and this friendliness is reflected in all the chocolates they sell.

Owners Scott Ferrari and David Hallett make the majority of chocolates they sell right in their shop. They consider themselves a traditional chocolate shop and use the freshest ingredients and avoid adding anything unnecessary to their chocolate.

Their vast selection of dark, milk and white chocolate treats includes fudge, hot fudge, specialty food items, holiday items and gift boxes. We had to try something, of course! Our personal pick on this visit was a truffle with dark chocolate and blueberry, and something with dark chocolate, sea salt, and caramel!

Bavarian Chocolate Haus has an online store and offers a newsletter to keep you notified of specials. They’ll even offer some bits of chocolate or German trivia. They also have a second location in Bridgton. Make sure to stop in and say hello when you are in town.

Spring is a great time for a trim

By Isaac Rader
for the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce

With the arrival of spring, I thought it might be a good time to trim the hair that’s gone wild over winter. Our first choice for this was the Village Barbershop, located in downtown North Conway just next to the Ben and Jerry’s (and the steam locomotive).

Village Barbershop

They immediately accepted me a walk-in, and got to trimming my overgrown mane of hair. They were incredibly nice to me the whole time, and even explained how so much of the decor comes from the 1950s – the cash register and chairs, for example, are originals from that era.

Thanks for being so nice, Village Barbershop, and thanks for a great haircut. Visit them online or call 603-356-7480.

Men like to Soak, Sip, and Relax, too, at The Soaking Pot

By Isaac Rader
for the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce

Stress relievers come in all forms but a  spa day is one of my favorites. It is always a great way to allow myself an hour of peace and serenity, to just float away from the world and completely relax.

I have been to many spas but they are not often considered male territory. I think that is changing. Men suffer plenty of stress and worse, they can bottle it up, or not see it as being worth revealing. There can be countless little anxieties that they keep hidden as they perseverate on them.

When I first heard of The Soaking Pot I was a bit skeptical. What, I asked, is this? Just foot soaking?

I was surprised. The Soaking Pot was a wonderful experience.

SOAK
Their philosophy is to relax the whole body from the inside out using botanical infusions of the finest salts, herbs, florals and essential oils to relax sore muscles and calm a busy mind,
SIP
Nothing gives you permission to relax like a soothing cup of tea and The Soaking Pot has partnered with some of the finest tea artisans to offer deliciously satisfying teas.
RELAX
To infuse deeper relaxation The Soaking Pot offers a menu of add-on treatments. You can add a head-neck-shoulder massage, lower leg-foot or lower arm-hand to enjoy while you soak.

My visit to The Soaking Pot was heavenly. I chose a calming soak, the Cedarwood Hops. It is meant to alleviate anxiety, insomnia, and an overactive mind. They also offer Invigorating, Balancing, and Soothing Soaks.

It was so relaxing to just sit back and turn off any worries. At first, it may seem silly or even intimidating for a man to open up to something that seems so soft, but that feeling will pass. After all, it’s just taking off your shoes and socks.

For more information visit The Soaking Pot for their menu of services.

Northway Bank Promotes Channele Wingrove to Branch Manager

Campton, N.H. – Northway Bank is proud to announce the promotion of Channele Wingrove to Branch Manager of the bank’s Campton location.

In her role, Channele will be responsible for cultivating and strengthening relationships in the greater Campton area and offering outstanding customer service and solutions to Northway Bank customers.

Channele’s valuable experience will be a tremendous asset as she leads her new team. She joined the bank with more than 10 years of customer service experience and most recently served as Assistant Branch Manager of Northway Bank’s Plymouth branch. Prior to that, Channele served as a Senior Financial Specialist and Employee Mentor at UW Credit Union.

NorthWay Bank promotes Channele Wingrove

A California native, Channele holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from California State University, Stanislaus. She currently resides in Campton and enjoys experiencing cultures around the globe with her husband, whom she met on a trip overseas. Channele can be reached by email at cwingrove@northwaybank.com or by phone at 603-342-1420.

Northway Bank is one of the largest independent commercial banks in New Hampshire, operating 16 branches and employing more than 200 associates throughout the state. It’s New Hampshire roots date back more than a century, establishing a long heritage of local commitment. Northway Bank serves individuals and businesses, combining the neighborly approach of a community bank with the extensive products and services you might expect to find only in a big national bank. At Northway Bank, community still counts. Call 800-442-6666 or visit northwaybank.com to learn how the right bank makes a real difference.

Protect Your Key Assets with Key-person Life Insurance

Part of the series provided by Chalmers Insurance Group

Most organizations employ at least one individual who is essential to the company’s success. This person may be a partner, majority stockholder or an individual with expertise that’s unmatched throughout the rest of the company. If this person’s exit from the company is planned, such as through retirement or voluntary termination, then you can prepare for the loss and take the necessary precautions to minimize the impact.

However, if the departure is unplanned due to a death, disabling accident or sudden resignation, then the company is exposed to financial risks. If your organization employs individuals who are vital to its success, consider key-person life insurance to offset your risk. This coverage can protect your organization’s solvency in the event that you lose the key person or people without warning, and also the investments made by lenders and investors to the company.

How Does Key-person Life Insurance Work?

It’s important to know how key-person life insurance works while you consider if it’s the right fit for your company:

  • The employer purchases key-person life insurance on the key individual(s).
  • The employer is the beneficiary of the policy and applies for and owns the coverage. If the key employee dies prematurely, the policy pays out to the employer.
  • In some cases, IRS guidelines allow for tax-free dollars from the policy to be put towards finding, hiring and training a replacement employee, compensation for lost business during the transition, and financing timely business transactions.
  • Depending on the specific language in the policy, it can sometimes be transferred to a departing key employee as a retirement benefit.
  • The policy can be used to buy out the key employee’s shares or interest in the company.
  • Premiums are based on several factors, including the key employee’s age, physical conditions and health history. The amount of coverage also affects the premium.

Advantages of Key-person Life Insurance

Key-person life insurance has a number of advantages that can help mitigate your company’s risks:

  • Policies can be easily implemented and don’t require IRS approval. Your business only needs to prepare an annual report for the IRS.
  • If all IRS guidelines are followed, the policy’s benefits may be paid to the company tax-free.
  • Customers, creditors, lenders and stockholders have the assurance that the business has a continuation plan and coverage in place.
  • There’s flexibility when using funds paid by the policy.

Considerations before Purchasing Key-person Life Insurance

The following points should be considered before purchasing key-person life insurance:

  • Estimate the value of your key employees. Think about the projects that would be lost without these people, the amount of sales generated by these people and costs associated with replacing them.
  • Determine if this coverage is necessary, as credit insurance will cover outstanding loans and debts.
  • Create a business continuity plan that outlines how your business will function if you lose key employees.

Chalmers Insurance Group understands that your key assets need protection and we’re here to assist you. Please contact us today at 800-360-3000 to learn more about our key-person life insurance solutions and other ways to mitigate your risks.

Save Money Insuring Your Teen Driver

Part of the series provided by Chalmers Insurance Group

Insuring a new driver can be expensive. Learn what you can do to keep your premiums as low as possible and your teen accident-free.

Tips to Keep Costs Down

If you’re the parent of a teenager who is getting ready to climb behind the steering wheel, insuring your new driver can be an expensive endeavor. This is because the risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among 16 to 19-year-olds than among any other age group. We’ve gathered some helpful tips to help you keep your premiums as low as possible, and keep your teen safe and accident-free.


Add Your Teen to Your Auto Policy

Rather than setting up an independent policy for your teen driver, consider adding him or her as an additional driver on your auto insurance policy. Also, if you have more than one vehicle, keep costs down by designating which vehicle your child will be driving.

Deductible Considerations

Auto deductibles typically range from $250 to $1,000. By upping your deductible and using your insurance for big repairs, you can significantly reduce your premium.

Ask for the Student Discount

If your teenager maintains at least a 3.0 grade point average (GPA), he or she typically qualifies for a rate discount.

Weigh Your Buying Decision

Wanting to get your teenager a new car to drive with the latest safety equipment is understandable, but you may be better off purchasing a safe, used vehicle in terms of premium prices.

Set Your Expectations for Safety and Minimize Distracted Driving

Teens can get distracted easily. To help reduce potential accidents:

  • Restrict your teen’s nighttime driving
  • Do not allow them to drive with more than one other person in the car
  • Ban cell phone use while driving
  • Ride with your son or daughter occasionally to make sure they are keeping up with the safety habits that they learned in driver’s education

We’re Here to Help

Call our office today at 800-360-3000 to learn more about all of our automobile insurance and personal risk management solutions.

Top Ways to Save on Your Auto Premium:

  • Raise your deductible.
  • Ask about a good student discount
  • Have your teen keep up their good driving record
  • Ask about Chalmers Advantage personal lines discounts through your Chamber Membership

10 Cyber Security Resolutions to Reduce Your Data Exposures

Part of the series provided by Chalmers Insurance Group

Cybersecurity threats and trends can change year over year as technology continues to advance. As such, it’s critical for organizations to reassess their data protection practices at the start of each new year and make achievable cybersecurity resolutions to help protect themselves from costly breaches.

The following are resolutions your company can implement to avoid becoming the victim of a cybercrime:

  1. Provide security training—Employees are your first line of defense when it comes to cyber threats. Even the most robust and expensive data protection solutions can be compromised should an employee click a malicious link or download fraudulent software. As such, it’s critical for organizations to thoroughly train personnel on common cyber threats and how to respond. Employees should understand the dangers of visiting harmful websites, leaving their devices unattended and oversharing personal information on social media. Your employees should also know your cybersecurity policies and know how to report suspicious activity.
  2. Install strong anti-virus software and keep it updated—Outside of training your employees on the dangers of poor cybersecurity practices, strong anti-virus software is one of the best ways to protect your data. Organizations should conduct thorough research to choose software that’s best for their needs. Once installed, anti-virus programs should be kept up to date.
  3. Instill safe web browsing practices—Deceptive and malicious websites can easily infect your network, often leading to more serious cyber-attacks. To protect your organization, employees should be trained on proper web usage and instructed to only interact with secured websites. For further protection, companies should consider blocking known threats and potentially malicious web pages outright.
  4. Create strong password policies—Ongoing password management can help prevent unauthorized attackers from compromising your organization’s password-protected information. Effective password management protects the integrity, availability, and confidentiality of an organization’s passwords. Above all, you’ll want to create a password policy that specifies all of the organization’s requirements related to password management. This policy should require employees to change their password on a regular basis, avoid using the same password for multiple accounts and use special characters in their password.
  5. Use multi-factor authentication—While complex passwords can help deter cybercriminals, they can still be cracked. To further prevent cybercriminals from gaining access to employee accounts, multi-factor authentication is key. Multi-factor authentication adds a layer of security that allows companies to protect against compromised credentials. Through this method, users must confirm their identity by providing extra information (e.g., a phone number, unique security code) when attempting to access corporate applications, networks, and servers.
  6. Get vulnerability assessments—The best way to evaluate your company’s data exposures is through a vulnerability assessment. Using a system of simulated attacks and stress tests, vulnerability assessments can help you uncover entry points into your system. Following these tests, security experts compile their findings and provide recommendations for improving network and data safety.
  7. Patch systems regularly and keep them updated—A common way cybercriminals gain entry into your system is by exploiting software vulnerabilities. To prevent this, it’s critical that you update applications, operating systems, security software, and firmware on a regular basis.
  8. Back up your data—In the event that your system is compromised, it’s important to keep backup files. Failing to do so can result in the loss of critical business or proprietary data.
  9. Understand phishing threats and how to respond—In broad terms, phishing is a method cybercriminals use to gather personal information. In these scams, phishers send an email or direct users to fraudulent websites, asking victims to provide sensitive information. These emails and websites are designed to look legitimate and trick individuals into providing credit card numbers, account numbers, passwords, usernames or other sensitive information. Phishing is becoming more sophisticated by the day, and it’s more important than ever to understand the different types of attacks, how to identify them and preventive measures you can implement to keep your organization safe. As such, it’s critical to train employees on common phishing scams and other cybersecurity concerns. Provide real-world examples during training to help them better understand what to look for.
  10. Create an incident response plan—Most organizations have some form of data protection in place. While these protections are critical for minimizing the damages caused by a breach, they don’t provide clear action steps following an attack. That’s where cyber incident response plans can help. While cybersecurity programs help secure an organization’s digital assets, cyber incident response plans provide clear steps for companies to follow when a cyber event occurs. Response plans allow organizations to notify impacted customers and partners quickly and efficiently, limiting financial and reputational damages. This can be costly but cyber insurance can help.

Talk to your Chalmers account manager for more information about cyber 800-360-3000.