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  • November 14, 2020 10:28 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    From Orchard Hill Breadworks

    Many of you contributed to last year’s community funded stone mill project here at the bakery, and it has been our pleasure to work with the Mill Hollow heritage association to put together a presentation about the bakery, the mill and our role in the wider community. Please join us on December 1st at 8 to see this presentation for yourself and participate in the live Q & A!

    Wishing you all a good day.


    Breaking Bread: Orchard Hill Breadworks Stone Mill

    Tuesday, December 1, 2020
    8:00 - 9:00 p.m. EDT
    (via Zoom)

    A Sense of Place continues to explore the stories, history, and qualities that make Chase's Mill and Mill Hollow unique. Join us for a filmed tour of Alstead's Orchard Hill Breadworks and interview with its founder, Noah Elbers. It will be followed by a live Q & A.

    Noah’s presentation will feature the bakery’s new stone mill and highlight the growing nationwide movement of artisan bakers who’ve chosen to work directly with the farmers who grow their grain.

    The event is free and is open to all, but you need to register to receive the link to the webinar.

    Register here!

    Noah Elbers believes that good food and happy, healthy communities go hand in hand. Bread was first baked for sale at Orchard Hill in 1997, but the story of this place begins in 1972. Noah’s grandparents purchased the land and buildings that are now Orchard Hill Farm and Breadworks. In the early years, it was merely a late 1700s farm house and a dusty barn which sat at the center of thirty some acres of fields and forest. Since that time, three generations have planted orchards, tended gardens, built homes, launched a school and community center, and helped a bakery grow and flourish.

  • November 14, 2020 7:55 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Artist Sunday is November 29, the Sunday after Thanksgiving

    The Local Crowd (TLC) Monadnock will join with the Artists Sunday alliance to promote local artisans and craftspeople on Artists Sunday, a new celebration on November 29, 2020, the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

    Shop Art at TLC Monadnock Mercantile

    Shop Arts at Small Works Big Impact Show

    Discover Artists & Creative Businesses at Monadnock Arts Alive

    Artist Sunday, falling between Plaid Friday, Small Business Saturday® and Cider Monday, is a day dedicated to encouraging individuals to shop with artists and give something special, unique, and hand-crafted this holiday season. TLC Monadnock appreciates the culture artists create and the impact they have on their local community and economy.

    "Spending your dollars with artists, makers, and other creatives supports our local economy," shared Jen Risley, TLC Monadnock Program Manager. "Give more this holiday season by making sure your purchases support artists and other locally owned business owners."

    Artists and creative economy organizations from across the country are participating in Artists Sunday, representing a full range of art, hand-crafted items, and performances. The diversity of artisans allows consumers to ‘shop art’ this Artists Sunday and give something personal and meaningful this holiday season.

    TLC Monadnock will celebrate Artists Sunday as part of the Shop Indie Local movement growing throughout North America. From November 1 to December 31, Shop Indie Local encourages residents to choose local and independent businesses for more of their holiday purchases.

    Are you an artist interested in participating? Contact us today!

    About Artists Sunday

    Artists Sunday is the nationwide movement dedicated to supporting artists and recognizing the impact they have in enriching our lives, communities and the economy. The powerful new effort is designed to make the Sunday after Thanksgiving the most profitable day of the year for artists. Supporters include individual artists, economic development agencies and non-profit organizations across the country. To learn more about Artists Sunday artists, partners, sponsors or involvement in promoting commerce with artists, please visit artistssunday.com.

  • November 07, 2020 5:29 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    New Hampshire Businesses, Farmers, Entrepreneurs, Nonprofits, Community Initiatives:

    • Do you have an incredible project just waiting to happen?
    • Want to grow your organization, our community, and the local economy, but don’t have access to capital?

    The Local Crowd is a rewards-based crowdfunding program that helps communities invest in local businesses, entrepreneurs, nonprofits, and initiatives that are mission-driven social enterprises.

    If your organization contributes to the community and could use a lift, apply to be part of a Route 11 Corridor cohort of campaigns.

    Vital Communities is partnering with The Local Crowd Monadnock to bring local investment and capital access to the Route 11 Corridor of New Hampshire thanks to funding from USDA Rural Development.

    Submit a proposal for 2021 crowdfunding campaigns if your business/organization:

    • Is based in Claremont, Newport or the Kearsarge Region
    • Has a project with a budget under $10,000
    • Has a simple, achievable project that will generate excitement in your community (Your proposal can be part of a bigger project, but it should have stand-alone value)
    • Has a project that will create an economic and/or social benefit to your business and the community
    • Is able to invest time to build a successful fundraising campaign

    Sample project ideas: Farm infrastructure, renewable energy installation, community garden or art project, vehicle to expand nonprofit service, capital to launch a new rural enterprise, food business equipment

    Submit your project proposal by December 1, 2020

    The Local Crowd Upper Valley will select up to eight projects to participate in this crowdfunding cohort, based on the potential of each project to positively impact their local economy and community. Selected proposals will launch their campaigns in 2021, with support and guidance from The Local Crowd Advisors.

    View Campaign Guidelines

    Submit Your Proposal

    The Local Crowd Details:
    You (project/campaign creator) will need to:

    • Form a Campaign Team to actively promote your fundraising project
    • Work closely with the The Local Crowd team to leverage training, marketing, and community outreach tools
    • Adhere to the keys of success promoted by The Local Crowd platform:  YOU share with your personal network. YOU make it happen.

    You will receive:

    • Support from the The Local Crowd team to run a successful funding campaign
    • Access to business development support from project partners including NH SBDC and SBA
    • Marketing and outreach support to spread the word about your project
    • Free Crowdfunding Readiness Assessment ($85 value)
    • Funds raised via the crowdfunding campaign for the designated project (less platform and credit card fees)
    • Opportunity to reduce platform fees if you meet campaign milestones

    Learn more at vitalcommunities.org/tlc or contact nancy@vitalcommunities.org.

  • November 05, 2020 7:36 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    The Local Crowd (TLC) Monadnock is partnering with Vital Communities’ Local First initiative on Route 11 Corridor Businesses project.  We're looking for proposals from experienced digital marketing firms/professionals.  Please view the full RFP here.

    Proposals are due by 5:00 pm on Monday, November 16, 2020.


    Vital Communities’ Local First initiative is seeking proposals from experienced digital marketing firms/professionals to assist Local First members in the Route 11 corridor of New Hampshire. Small businesses suffering from the impacts of the pandemic require assistance with website, digital marketing, e-commerce, and/or social media services which will be accomplished through this program with one-on-one consulting and a virtual workshop.


    Many small businesses have had to shift business practices, sales channels, customer base, and marketing efforts in response to COVID-19. Our goal is to support small businesses with assistance to create, improve, or enhance their digital presence and build marketing skills so they can adapt to the changing economic landscape and increase business stability. This program is funded by a USDA Rural Development Rural Business Development Grant.


    Each small business is unique and requires marketing technical assistance that meets them where they are and provides help with their specific needs and challenges. The following represents the types of assistance businesses may require through this technical assistance program:

    • Marketing plan development
    • Website platforms, SEO, content strategy, etc.
    • E-commerce platform creation, integration, best practices
    • Social media training: best practices, content strategy, and digital marketing/advertising
    • E-Communications

    This program will increase the digital marketing skills and capacity of six businesses through targeted technical assistance. Business owners and/or staff will gain marketing skills and capacity and report increased engagement and/or sales within three months according to their self-determined goals leading to business stability (jobs saved) or growth (jobs created).

    This program will launch with a digital marketing workshop featuring the chosen firm/marketing specialist, open to any Route 11 corridor businesses. Workshop attendees can apply for 10 hours of cost-share one-on-one consulting time with the chosen marketing firm. Business will pay for 2 hours and Vital Communities will pay for 8 hours). Businesses may choose to procure additional services directly from the firm at its sole cost and discretion. Firms that respond to this RFP should demonstrate their ability to offer the marketing services listed above and their experience working with a variety of businesses and marketing competency levels.

    Technical assistance must be completed by May 1, 2021.


    Proposals must include the following items by the proposal due date. Please keep proposals as short as possible to allow for a quick evaluation process.

    • One page cover letter stating the proposer’s understanding of the work to be performed and why they believe they are well suited
    • Qualifications and related experience of staff assigned to project
    • Demonstrated experience and expertise in SEO, website platforms, developing marketing plans, working one-on-one with a variety of small businesses, understanding of available e-commerce platforms and e-commerce website integration, digital marketing and social media, including Instagram, Facebook, and Google Ads
    • A representative listing of current clients that we may use as references


    The available funds for this contract is $4200. The scope of work that these funds cover: a single virtual digital marketing workshop open to an unlimited number of participants, 8 hours of one-on-one digital marketing technical assistance for 6 businesses.


    When evaluating the proposals, we will use the following factors (in no particular order):

    • Qualifications and experience of proposer working with small businesses
    • Demonstrated current capability and capacity to perform this assistance
    • References for the individuals who will be assigned to this project
    • Locally owned New Hampshire business

    During the short evaluation process, Vital Communities may request additional information or clarifications from proposers. The most qualified proposer(s) may be interviewed by video conference. There is no expressed or implied obligation for Vital Communities to reimburse responding firms and individuals for any expenses incurred in preparing proposals in response to this request. Vital Communities, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to select one, several, or none, of the firms that respond to this RFP.


    Proposals are due by 5:00 pm on Monday, November 16, 2020. Proposals should be submitted via email to nancy@vitalcommunities.org with the subject line “Local First RFP.”

    Questions about this RFP should be directed to Nancy LaRowe, Local First/Food & Farm Coordinator, nancy@vitalcommunities.org.

  • October 31, 2020 6:37 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    November 1-21

    Supporting local, supports you! 

    Local businesses were hurt by the COVID-19 shutdown. Food Connects is working to strengthen our local economy and bolster economic and community resiliency. Shop locally this November!

    Make a $10 purchase at any participating business and receive a sticker. Limit one sticker per business per passport. Once you have three (3) stickers, submit your card for a chance to win. Multiple passport entries are welcome!


    • Grand Prize (1): $1,000 Cash

    • 1st Place (1): $250 Cash

    • 2nd Place (3): $100 Cash

    • 3rd Place (4): Local Gift cards

  • October 28, 2020 5:40 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Online Marketplace for Locally Owned Businesses

    On November 1, TLC Monadnock Mercantile will launch -- a regional online marketplace featuring products and services from locally owned businesses. Our virtual store will compile gift ideas, gift cards and restaurant take-out options. It is free for locally owned businesses to participate! Please review our details for participating here.

    Why now?

    According to a survey run by Google this July, close to 75% of U.S. shoppers said they plan to shop and browse for gift ideas online this holiday season -- more than they did in previous years. Many also plan to shop more at locally owned businesses (66%), but finding those businesses online may prove difficult. An online marketplace that brings together multiple locally owned businesses in one place will meet shoppers' desires to shop safe, shop online and shop local.

    Check out TLC Monadnock Mercantile!

    Ready to Get Started?

    TLC Monadnock Mercantile is made possible by Savings Bank of Walpole and Monadnock Food Co-op.

  • October 25, 2020 5:18 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Even with a smaller budget, you can give more this holiday season. How? By joining the Shop Indie Local movement!  We’re purchasing more of our holiday gifts and celebration needs from our friends and neighbors -- locally owned business owners.  Please join us!

    Why Shop Indie Local?

    When you spend your dollars at locally owned retail businesses in the Monadnock Region, four times more money returns to our local economy than if you spend that same dollar at a chain store.  Spend a dollar at an independent business and 62 cents return to our local economy. (Spend it at a chain store and only 13 cents return; spend it at an online giant and only a couple pennies return.)

    Those 62 cents recirculate through our economy, generating ripple effects that strengthen jobs, charitable contributions and community prosperity.  If everyone shifted just 10% of their purchases from national chains to locally owned retailers, we would return $27 million to our regional economy annually. 

    Shop Indie Local and Give More (Fill in the Blank)

    Think about the people you love. Instead of stuff, what do you truly want to give them?  Perhaps it’s more hope, inspiration or connection.  Now, consider each person, place and thing that plays a part in growing, making and getting that gift to your loved one.  When you Shop Indie Local, you give more to everyone.

    For example, I want to give more hope to a dear friend.  I find a one-of-a-kind handmade lamp, one that I know will make my friend’s day a bit brighter.  The artist who made the lamp, closed out from their regular holiday events, feels a bit more hope that they’ll make it through 2020 and my friend feels more hope every time she clicks the lamp’s switch on.  What do you want to give more of this year? For ideas, please check out our new online marketplace, called TLC Monadnock Mercantile, officially launching on November 1.

    Give More Support: Monadnock United Way

    The Local Crowd Monadnock and Monadnock United Way are teaming up to strengthen our community.  Support Monadnock United Way’s Better Together: Building Equitable Communities in the Monadnock Region crowdfunding campaign on TLC Monadnock through November 13.

    Give today!

    Monadnock United Way and its partner agencies fight for children, education, and financial stability throughout our region.  With your support, we will lift up our region and make it vibrant in the face of hardship.

    Plaid Friday

    Wear plaid on Plaid Friday to show your support for our local economy and commitment to buying local this holiday season.  The day to wear plaid this year is Friday, November 27.

    Some independent businesses will serve as Plaid Friday Hubs.  Hubs photograph customers decked out in plaid and answer questions about Plaid Friday and Monadnock Buy Local.  In addition to hubs, some members will offer special events to thank you for stopping in.  Stay tuned for more specials.

    We will add all the photos taken to our annual collage, celebrating everyone who wore plaid to honor the day.  Check out our gallery of over 400 pictures from past Plaid Fridays.

    Meet Chuck the Chinook

    Here’s a gift that we received shortly after last year’s Plaid Friday.  Chuck the Chinook and his owner, Dan Brown, volunteered to inspire more participation in this year’s Plaid Friday event.

    Chuck’s interest in Plaid Friday peaked after seeing last year’s poster highlighting another Keene-based dog named Chloe, owned by Cheryl Belair from The Insurance Source. Chloe was stoically sitting outside of Prime Roast Coffee Roasters on Main Street, sporting a plaid coat complete with plaid ear coverings. Chuck was smitten.

    So, he and Dan dreamed up an annual pet photo contest, a fun way to educate people about Plaid Friday. We made Chuck the inaugural winner to get things started. “He now thinks of himself as an Economic Stimulus Chuck,” joked Dan. “As a sort of an Ambassa-dog, Chuck hopes everyone will join the Monadnock Plaid Friday gala, with the tag line: Wearing plaid gets a discount, ties optional.” Stay tuned for more Plaid Friday pet photo contest details!

    Chinooks, the official state dog of New Hampshire, were bred as sled dogs in Tamworth, NH, by Arthur Treadwell Walden in 1917. Walden was an arctic explorer and sled dog driver. As an official state dog, Chuck takes none of our New Hampshire businesses for granite.  As big Buy Local fans, Chuck and Dan love Plaid Friday.

    Why did Dan pick the name Chuck? “So, a person can enjoy chucking the chin of Chuck the Chinook,” answered Dan. “Chuck’s official AKC name is Forever Greene Moses Fisk. He was born to a mom from Vermont and a dad from here in Cheshire County.”

    Plaid Friday Sponsors

    A big THANK YOU to this year's Plaid Friday sponsors: Aloha Keene, Cheshire Horse, Deep Roots Massage, Food Connects, Monadnock Balloon Store, Monadnock Food Co-op, Ted's Shoe & Sport, The Toadstool Bookshops and The Works Café. Own an independent business?  It’s not too late to jump in and participate.  Contact us today at jen@thelocalcrowd.com.  Also, please stay tuned for updates in our next Shopper News article.

  • October 17, 2020 8:38 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Shop Indie Local Kick-Off Event on November 27

    For the eleventh year, independent businesses and community members in the Monadnock Region will celebrate Plaid Friday the day after Thanksgiving. This year's event falls on Friday, November 27, 2020.

    Learn More: Plaid Friday 2020

    Individuals will wear plaid on Plaid Friday to show support for the local economy and their commitment to spending more of their dollars at locally owned businesses this holiday season. Last year, nearly 500 community members pledged to participate in Plaid Friday.

    "After a decade of urging people to get out on Plaid Friday and visit their favorite locally owned businesses, we need to proactively plan for whatever COVID-19 throws at our community next month," said Jen Risley, TLC Monadnock Program Manager. "We're planning for all our usual activities -- while adding new virtual ways to participate. (Stay tuned for details!) We want to keep our movement strong and our community safe."

    About Plaid Friday

    Plaid Friday celebrates the diversity and creativity of local and independent businesses. It's a fun and festive alternative to the "Black Friday" consumer frenzy perpetuated by big box stores. This event originated in Oakland, CA to bring back the times when shopping for friends and family was a pleasurable and leisurely activity.

    Many locally owned businesses will serve as Plaid Friday Hubs, photographing customers decked out in plaid and answering questions about this event.

    View Plaid Friday Hubs

    Some participating businesses will offer specials to honor the day and thank community members for their support. Specials will be posted at tlcmonadnock.com/specials.

    About Shop Indie Local

    Plaid Friday is part of the Shop Indie Local movement growing throughout North America. From November 1 to December 31, Shop Indie Local encourages residents to choose local and independent businesses for more of their holiday purchases.

  • October 13, 2020 5:10 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Join the fun and support our local restaurants by playing Peterborough Restaurant BINGO!  Starting this weekend (10/9), pick up your BINGO cards at participating restaurants and play to win some cool Peterborough swag. Every $10 purchase per visit earns a stamp on your card. Every completed card wins a prize and is entered for larger prizes. 

    Participating restaurants: Aesop's Tables & Events, Beepa and Lulu's Restaurant, Thai Cafe, De Olla Burritos, Harlow's Pub, Kogetsu at boiler house, Nature's Green Grocer, Nonie's Restaurant & Bakery, Pancho's Pizza, Post and Beam Brewing and Waterhouse Restaurant. Dine-in, take-out, gift cards and merchandise all qualify. Restaurant BINGO runs through the end of the year.

    For more, email community@peterboroughnh.gov.

  • October 12, 2020 5:54 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Originally published in Four Legs & A Tail

    This article highlights a different kind of four-legged friend, a wonderful one-year-old Chinook dog from Keene, NH named Chuck. Chuck and his owner, Dan Brown, volunteered to promote this year’s Plaid Friday event in the Monadnock Region and throughout the state. Photo to right: Chuck shown in comic relief wearing an Official State Tartan of NH (a.k.a. Plaid) tie. Please keep reading to learn more about Chuck and Plaid Friday.

    Chinooks, the official state dog of New Hampshire, were bred as sled dogs in Tamworth, NH, by Arthur Treadwell Walden in 1917. Walden was an arctic explorer and sled dog driver. “Chinooks are smart, gentle, strong, and love New England winters,” Dan shared. To learn more about Chinooks, see the Winter 2018 Four Legs and a Tail issue.

    “He and I routinely take a walk through the downtown and on most Saturdays through the Farmers’ Market.” Dan continued. “Chuck can also be found on the rail trail, at the Surry Dam, Stonewall Farm and sometimes chasing trout in the Ashuelot River. His favorite things are meeting people, educating them about his officialdom, and belly rubs. His least favorite thing, like most dogs, is being told to ‘leave it.’”

    Chuck takes none of our New Hampshire businesses for granite. His LupinePet Eco collar and leash, made from recycled plastic bottles in Conway, NH, is the color granite, of course. As big buy local fans, Chuck and Dan love Plaid Friday.

    Plaid Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, celebrates the diversity and creativity of local and independent businesses. It’s a fun and enjoyable alternative to the big box store “Black Friday” consumer frenzy. Also, it’s a way to show your support for our local economy. Please plan to wear PLAID all day on November 27.

    Last year, Chuck’s interest in Plaid Friday sparked after seeing a poster highlighting another Keene-based dog named Chloe. She was sitting outside of Prime Roast Coffee Roasters on Main Street, sporting a plaid coat complete with plaid ear coverings. Chuck was smitten.

    So, he and Dan dreamed up an annual pet photo contest, a fun way to educate people about Plaid Friday. We made Chuck the inaugural winner to get things started. “He now thinks of himself as an Economic Stimulus Chuck,” joked Dan. “As a sort of an Ambassa-dog, Chuck hopes everyone will join the Monadnock Plaid Friday gala, with the tag line: Wearing plaid gets a discount, ties optional.” Stay tuned for more Plaid Friday details!

    Why did Dan pick the name, Chuck? “So, a person can enjoy Chucking the chin of Chuck the Chinook,” answered Dan. “Chuck’s official AKC name is Forever Greene Moses Fisk. He was born to a mom from Vermont and a dad from here in Cheshire County. Chuck is a nephew by kennel to Charger the Chinook, a Vietnam veteran.”

    Following in his Uncle’s paw prints, Chuck befriended members of the 238th Medevac Helicopter Co, NHANG. “He wants to give further howldies to Operational Support Airlift Detachment 18, The National Guard members helping with the COVID crisis, and all New Hampshire Servicemen and women away from home,” said Dan. “He thanks you for your dedication and awaits your safe return.”

    We look forward to seeing you and your pets in plaid on Plaid Friday! Know of a working dog, cat, or another animal I should highlight in a future article? I’d love to hear from you! Please email me at marketing@monadnockfood.coop.

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