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.
By Kathy Bennett for the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce
While the ground is brown south of here, the snow base is still deep and white at the ski areas in and around North Conway. The end of March usually sees some ski areas call it quits – due to a lack of skiers, not a lack of snow.
But there is still plenty of skiing left here into April.
Yesterday I skied the popular Ellis River Trail Loop at Jackson Ski Touring. As you can see from the photos, the snow is still deep. The rivers and streams were flowing but the trail was groomed with coverage edge to edge. JSTF former Executive Director Thom Perkins confirmed that their mid-November open date is among their earliest and manager Deb Deschenes said it was a great season right up until the end, which takes place on March 31.
Those wishing to continue xc skiing can continue fun on skinny skis at Bear Notch Ski Touring. They have not published a closing date yet, but the Garlands usually keep the groomers going as long as they can. Last year on Easter Sunday I enjoyed skiing there, taking advantage of their higher elevations and shaded trails which keep their snow longer than most.
Sunday brought me to Wildcat. The fog and forecast of rain scared off most folks, which left the deep, soft-turning snow for those of us who were more intrepid. The warm air was a treat and I skied without googles. The fog was not an impediment as visibility was reasonable and the fog was off and on skiing down through the elevations. What was consistent was the snow quality, with only a few areas showing more variable/spring conditions. They will easily make it to Easter, when they have fun events scheduled on April 21.
Cranmore ends daily operations today but will reopen April 6-7. Wildcat has not published an estimated close date on their website. Bretton Woods has posted an April 15 close date.
The Conway Area Humane Society (CAHS) recently held a ribbon cutting to celebrate the opening of their new ReTails Resale Shop located at the far end of the Conway Area Humane Society Shelter building in Conway. The shop is open Monday – Saturday with many items for sale including furniture, clothing, sporting goods, bedding, collectibles and more!
Volunteer opportunities are available. For more information email Katy at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit conwayshelter.org.
The Employer of the Year Award is given each year to a business that demonstrates respect for employees and other business partners and excellence in creating a safe and inviting workplace. The Employer of the Year is also a business offering solid pay/benefits and the opportunity for training and advancement.
This year the Employer of the Year Award goes to Badger Realty. Since 1965, Badger Realty has been a staple of the Mount Washington Valley and a leader of community projects, volunteerism, and advancement. Dick Badger & Brenda Leavitt have created a family-oriented culture within an industry that had not historically been recognized through teamwork. They believe in the power of continuing education and encourage their employees to continue their professional development through education and training whenever possible.
Since 1995, Badger Realty has hosted an annual holiday party that included travel, lodging and meals for their employees and significant others. These annual trips have rewarded and brought happy employees (and spouses) to such destinations as Bermuda (5 times), Aruba, Captiva, the Bahamas, Walt Disney World, and Quebec.
A sign of a healthy company is their dedication to the community, which is why local non-profit organizations are crowded with Badger Realty’s agents and support staff. Some of the organizations served by Badger employees include Jen’s Friends, End 68 Hours of Hunger, Habitat for Humanity, Starting Point, Arts Jubilee, the Miranda Leavitt Diabetes Fund and the Mt. Washington Valley Trails Association.
Since longevity is an indication of a positive workplace, it’s notable that 18 employees with 10 or more years of service at Badger Realty, and eleven of those have more than 20 years.
Entrepreneur of the Year is awarded each year to a business in existence for seven or more years which fills a need within the community and demonstrates creativity, innovation and community involvement. Additionally, the business must be people-and-principle oriented as well as profitable.
This year the Entrepreneur of the Year Award goes to the team at Coldwell Banker Wright Realty. Owners Antonella Bliss, Lindsey Maihos and Rose Robinson took over leadership at Coldwell Banker Wright Realty during the same year as the economic crisis, and though the company has experienced ups and downs, 11 years later it has more than doubled its sales volume. In addition, they now have 19 agents and 4 support staff with future plans to expand their office space in Conway.
Lindsey Maihos, Antonella Bliss, and Rose Robinson, Owners, Coldwell Banker Wright Realty.The company has been recognized as the Premier Bronze Office by Coldwell Banker.
Their commitment toward the industry pushed them to host a real estate course in Conway. In the past young professionals interested in a real estate career had to travel outside the area to take the course and obtain a real estate license. Now, they can do that right here in the Valley. This program was instrumental in helping THRIVE recipient Theo Charles successfully become a licensed REALTOR®.
As a business team, they give back to the community through time and donations, encouraging others within the company to also give back to the community.
If you thought American manufacturing had all gone to Mexico or China, then a pleasant surprise awaits you right here in the Mt Washington Valley. Ragged Mountain Equipment on Route 16 in Intervale has been quietly producing specialized outdoor clothing and gear since Ronald Reagan was in the White House. Starting this month, they are offering factory tours almost daily so you can see the entire fascinating process from start to finish. If you’ve been a regular at local farmers’ markets because you want to know where your food comes from, doesn’t it make sense to apply that same standard to the clothing you wear, and the gear you use?
You’ve driven by the Ragged Mountain Equipment factory countless times and probably stopped to grab a few items from their shop. But you may never have realized that skilled local designers and stitchers are hard at work right out back, producing those jackets, vests, gaiters and dog packs you see everywhere around you. And this isn’t one of those high-tech start-ups where robots follow a computer program to produce some mysterious widget; this is actual people handling actual fabrics and hardware, producing items you actually use. And, they’ve been doing it non-stop since 1985.
The Ragged Mountain Equipment factory tours run every Monday through Thursday, beginning at 10:00am. The guided tours only take about twenty to thirty minutes, and you’ll be able to witness the entire manufacturing process. Tours begin with fabric cutting, then progress through the kitting process and right on to the actual stitching. You’ll see products being inspected and prepared for stocking in the retail department or boxed up to ship to other vendors or special order customers. Those customers include local non-profits, international retailers, and the US military. And finally, you’ll visit the design room and pattern library to see new products in the midst of the design process, with prototypes being tested and features being refined.
You’ll recognize a lot of the Ragged Mountain products–from Powerstretch Tights to TuckerMitts to Tuff Duffels–and wonder why you always assumed they were made somewhere abroad. There are ample opportunities to ask questions and chat with the craftspeople as they go about their work, and you’ll leave the tour with discount coupons for the products, some free samples, and the knowledge that American manufacturing is alive and well in Mt Washington Valley.
For more information on these new factory tours, call Ragged Mountain Equipment at 603-356-3042, visit their website at www.raggedmountain.com, or swing by their business at 279 NH-16 in Intervale.
The T. Murray Wellness Center, Inc. was founded by Dr. Trish Murray over 12 years ago and has been the place to go in Mt. Washington Valley to alleviate pain. Over the past 6 years, Dr. Murray has trained and become certified in another specialty, functional medicine which is root cause medicine, focusing on finding the underlying cause of chronic diseases or conditions. “This is a multi-systems approach to medicine”, said Dr. Murray. “We look at all systems to find the reason for the condition and help people learn what changes they can make to help improve their health.”
Now known as Discover Health Functional Medicine Center the practice and clinic has grown to include a new provider and expanded clinic and services.
On Friday, June 22 they celebrated with a ribbon cutting and open house at their clinic at 24 Pleasant Street, Conway. Guests toured the facility, received information on services and learned how Discover Health Functional Medicine Center can help restore and optimize your health. For more information visit them online or call the office at 603-447-3112.
We’d like to thank everyone who participated in the 18th Annual Valley Pride day! We live in a beautiful place, and it’s a shame when it’s defaced with litter so we especially appreciate the many volunteers who helped clean up our roadways and make the Valley even more beautiful. They absolutely deserved the party afterward. Kudos to the organizers for keeping this fantastic event going for 18 years. The Valley thanks you!
What a treat to see Mountainfilm on Tour at the Fryeburg PAC. Films almost too fantastical to be real – but too gripping to be anything but. We viewed striking visions of Alaska, a skier rushes through icy crevices and tunnels and a crippled man climbing a rock formation.
Mountainfilm on Tour travels year-round and worldwide with a selection of short documentary films from the most recent, annual festival in Telluride. See this tour, if you can.
It was an exciting day for ski enthusiasts who attended the Ribbon Cutting of the new New England Ski Museum, located in the former North Conway Community Center building in North Conway Village. Over 200 people attended the event.
Photo by Jamie Gemmiti – Conway Daily Sun
The museum is filled with nostalgia, old equipment, maps and interactive displays and even a library. It is sure to engage all visitors from young to old. Admission is free and the museum is open 7 days a week. Don’t miss an opportunity to pay this gem a visit.
On Friday, October 27 the MWV Trails Association Rec Path Committee and Community Outreach Committee hosted the Gibson Center for Senior Services on a tour of the Mountain Division Trail in Fryeburg.
Sally McMurdo, Marianne Borowski, Doug and Candy Armstrong, Tim Scott, and Jill Reynolds, program director for the Gibson Center
discussed what rec paths are, who uses them, and why, with a special presentation and discussion of the current North Conway Rec path project and capital campaign progress.
Along the way on North South Road, Rec Path Committee members pointed out where the North Conway Path will go. At the Visitor’s Center in Fryeburg, 4 seniors and volunteers walked the trail for about 40 minutes, talking about the benefits of such a rec path and the challenges of building one.
The six contestants competing to become Miss Berlin-Gorham on Saturday, November 4th, 2017 will share more than $5,000 in scholarships available through generous sponsorships of this year’s competition.
The Twelfth Annual Miss Berlin-Gorham Scholarship Program will begin at 4 p.m. in the Medallion Opera House at the Gorham Town Hall. Tickets will be $12/Adult, $5 for Seniors over 65 and Students under 18. The program is the local preliminary for the next Miss New Hampshire Scholarship Program to be held April 26th through April 28, 2018 at Pinkerton Academy in Derry. The Miss New Hampshire Scholarship Program awarded over $70,000 in scholarships to young women in New Hampshire at the 2017 Program, making it the largest scholarship program for women in this state. The numerous volunteers and sponsors make it all possible.
The public is invited to attend the event and enjoy the evening’s entertainment. Miss NH 2017, Lauren Percy will emcee along with Max Sjostrom who will also be performing. Kenzie Goode, Miss NH’s Outstanding Teen 2017 will be performing. Reagan Murphy, Miss Berlin-Gorham 2017, will be singing and Miss Berlin-Gorham’s Outstanding Teen 2017, Olivia Halle will be dancing. Heather Vashaw of the Miss Heather’s Dance Company in Berlin has choreographed the opening number. Mallory Coulombe Vincent (Miss B-G 2013) and Jessica Dickerson, will provide the audit services for the program. Tickets will be sold at the door for $12 each, $5 for seniors (65+) and students (under 18).
The winner of the November 4th competition will receive a $5,000 scholarship, the first runner up will receive $500 and the second runner up will receive $250. The Outstanding Teen winner will receive $250. We will also be giving a People’s Choice Award. These scholarships are made possible by the generous support of the program sponsors: Mount Washington Auto Road, Royalty Inn and the Town of Gorham, AutoNorth Preowned Superstore, Town & Country Resort, Rob Bolash Custom Builders, Berlin Marketplace, North Country Dental, Clermont Trucking, Inc., Gorham House Florist, Hall of Greetings, Inc., Subway, OC Nails and J’s Corner Restaurant.
The contestants for Miss Berlin-Gorham 2018 are: Bonnie Burke of Berlin, a Senior at UNH and daughter of Elena and John Burke; Megan Cunningham of Lisbon, attending Husson University and daughter of Gregory and Susan Cunningham; Kayleigh Heard of Twin Mountain, attending Southern NH University and daughter of Felicia Heard; MacKenzie Herlihy of Tamworth, attending Southern Maine Community College, daughter of Thomas and Alexandra Herlihy; Ashley Marsh of Laconia, attending Plymouth State University and daughter of Dawn Marsh and Josie Pearce of Hanover, attending Dartmouth College and daughter of Kevin and Tracy Pearce.
The contestants for Miss Berlin Gorham’s Outstanding Teen 2014 are Brianna Goldblatt of Conway, attending Kennett High School, daughter of Eric and Terry Goldblatt; Riley Griffin of Canaan, attending Mascoma Regional High School, daughter of Eric Griffin and Rebecca Gobille; Mia Letourneau of Berlin, attending Berlin Junior High School and daughter of Steven and Lauren Letourneau.
The winner of the Miss Berlin-Gorham’s Outstanding Teen will go on to compete February 9-11, 2018.