October 2018 Newsletter
The autumn colors are alive. The air is crisper. The apples and pumpkins are out. And Halloween and Thanksgiving are just around the bend!

Autumn is a season of transformation and our region is also experiencing changes. We have seen some beloved businesses depart such as the North of the Falls gift shop in Bradford and the untimely passing of some beloved community members. However, new and exciting businesses have also blossomed such as The Space on Main in Bradford, the Gather Together Cafe in Woodsville and the Margaret Pratt Community in Bradford. We have also seen the excitement and promise of young community members as they start new business ventures, run for office and spearhead new and exciting community efforts. We welcome the birth of new children in our community and welcome new residents who have decided to make our region their new home. Our existing businesses are also growing, expanding and transforming to meet the changing needs of their customers and the reality of a changing world. Just as the beautiful colors transform our landscape, so too do the efforts of those who invest their time, money and effort in our region.

Wishing you the most positive transformations in your lives and businesses during this colorful, festive and reflective season!


Erik Volk
Executive Director
In This Issue

  • Upcoming Events Listing
  • Member Moment - Upper Valley Coffee Roasters
  • Recent Chamber Events (Film Slam, Paddle the Border, Cohase Cash, Rubber Ball River Race)
  • VT Businesses Able To Purchase Health Insurance Through Chamber Again
  • Recovery-Friendly New Hampshire Workplaces
  • Small Business Advisor Program
Upcoming Events
Don't let anyone tell you there is nothing going on in our region! So many events and activities! Only some are listed below!

Please visit our WEB page at www.cohase.org for more details on any of these events and a listing of other events in our area.

October 19 - Movie Night, Fairlee Public Library, Fairlee, VT
October 19-20 - Fall Rummage Sale, Haverhill Congregational Church Parish Hall, Haverhill, NH
October 19-28. With This Ring, Old Church Theater, Bradford, VT
October 20 - Friends of Bath Craft Fair, Bath Village School, Bath, NH
October 20 - Rock & Roll Baked Potato Bar Supper, Fairlee Community Church, Fairlee, VT
October 20 - Harvest Dinner, United Congregational Church of Orford, Orford, NH
October 21 - Tomten Tour, Tomten Farm & Sanctuary, Haverhill, NH
October 26 - Bradford Bulldogs Banquet, Oxbow High School, Bradford, VT
October 26 - Halloween Dance, Samuel Morey Elementary School, Fairlee, VT
October 26 - Haverhill Haunted Trail, Haverhill, NH
October 27 - Pee Wee Haunted Happenings, Clifford Memorial Building, Woodsville, NH
October 31 - Haunted House at Shilohs, Shiloh's Restaurant, Woodsville, NH
November 2 - Midnight Madness 2018, Bradford, VT
November 3 - HMSC Fall Craft Sale, Horse Meadow Senior Center, Haverhill, NH
November 3, The Rough & Tumble, Court Street Arts, Haverhill, NH
November 10 - Guys & Pies, Court Street Arts, Haverhill, NH
November 10 - Creative Harvest, Old Church Theater, Bradford, VT
November 11 - Acoustic Music Jam, Clifford Building, Woodsville, NH
November 16 - Little Apple Circus, Court Street Arts, Haverhill, NH
November 17 - 63rd Annual Wild Game Supper, United Church of Christ, Bradford, VT
November 17 - 40th Annual Holiday Craft Fair, Haverhill Coop Middle School, Haverhill, NH
November 29 - The Social Black Bear, Fairlee Town Hall, Fairlee, VT
Member Moment - Upper Valley Coffee Roasters
This month we were pleased to speak with Andrea Franklin, co-owner (along with spouse Chelsea Lynes) of Upper Valley Coffee Roasters in Newbury, VT. Upper Valley Coffee Roasters is a small batch roastery offering single origin, specialty grade coffees from around the world. You can contact them at 802-449-2759, by email at andrea@uppervalleycoffeeroasters.com or visit them online at www.uppervalleycoffeeroasters.com .

Where did the idea to start a coffee roasting company in rural Vermont come from?
It stems from living in San Francisco and have some great cafes and roasteries nearby with fresh roasted coffee. When we moved here, we explored the cafes and restaurants but no one locally was roasting coffee. We later found out there were some roasters in the Norwich area, but without commuting to that area regularly it was impractical for us to get there often. After some research we learned that to brew the best coffee you really need to start with high quality beans, attentive roasting and to enjoy the beans fresh from the roaster. We hatched the idea that maybe we should roast coffee, and ensure that we were sourcing green coffees from reputable farms and growers. We started thinking we would buy a used roaster but then decided under the guidance of our family of metal fabricators we would design and build our own. We felt like the individual components were pretty simple and the challenge really was just syncing everything together. We started building the components for our drum roaster in 2015 and by the following year we had finished building the roaster and were roasting our coffee. The Bliss Village Store and My Farmers Market were our first accounts.

What precipitated the move from San Francisco?   
San Francisco was booming and we didn’t work in the tech field so we were kind of priced out of the housing market because of it. We were living “full-house” style by the beach with a bunch of friends. It was fun but everyone was getting ready to make their move outside the city.  We ended up moving to the Upper Valley to be closer to my family, and take a break from city life. 

Can you tell us a little about what types of coffee you offer and what your favorites are?
All of our coffees are specialty grade, 100% arabica. Our current offerings are always changing, but we try to keep a couple options from each growing region; Central America, South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. Coffees are often compared to wine, in that soil type, annual rainfall and other environmental factors play a role in the development of the fruit, or in this case the coffee cherry. We source from small family farms and cooperatives and try to choose Fair Trade and Organic when we can, but it’s not always an option due to seasonal availability and price points. 
As for my favorite, I would have to say the Peru medium roast combined with one of our dark roasts. Personally, I am having fun experimenting with blending coffees, and we have some recipes in the works for cold brew and drip that we’ll be packaging for retail in the near future. 

Can people buy coffee directly at your facility and/or where can they find your coffee?
We are open by appointment only, but this is primarily reserved for vendors to learn more about the roasting process, our coffees and brewing techniques. Our roastery operates as a home based business, so we try to minimize sales onsite, and encourage coffee lovers to purchase at a local retailer or from our website. Seasonally, it can be found in farm stands such as Pierson Farm, 4 Corners Farm and Crossmolina Farm, who featured our coffee as part of their CSA. Year round, you can find it at Bliss Village Store in Bradford, Newbury Village Store in Newbury, My Farmers Market in Groton, Hatchland Farm in North Haverhill and the new Gather Together Café in Woodsville. We have also begun popping up to brew at our local community events and many may have had the chance to grab a cup from AK Chix Coffee in Fairlee before closing for the season.

Do you have any employees and is this a full-time venture for you?
Right now, I commit a couple days a week to roasting, packaging and filling orders and fill the rest of my time working for my parents at Vermont Country Iron in Bradford. This isn’t full time for us yet but we’ve seen an increase in time spent roasting, enough to set dedicated work hours! We are in the process of scaling up our business and upgrading our roaster and retiring our current roaster to serve as a backup. Over the next year, we will be working to dress up our packaging a bit and will be outfitting a 1961 Hostess Delivery van as a deluxe espresso bar and roving coffee stop. 

Recent Chamber Events
9th Annual 48 Hour Film Slam
Eight teams competed this year for cash and prizes in our Annual 48 Hour Film Slam which was held from Friday, September 14, 2018 through Sunday, September 16, 2018 with a public showing of the completed films on September 16, 2018.

The film requirements this year were as follows:

  • Submitted by 6:30 PM on 9/16/18
  • No longer than 8 minutes in length
  • Must include a sponsor title slide
  • Must adhere to selected genre
  • Line of dialogue "Why do you always ask me to do that?"
  • Location: Woodsville caboose
  • Prop: A colorful fly swatter
  • Product placement: Woodsville Guaranty Savings Bank coin purse.

Team Malone! won first place as well as the People's Choice award for their Action film "The Friendliest Game." Team Film Flam won 2nd place and the Best Screenwriting award for their Action film "Fists of Steel: Swatters of Plastic." Team Fairy House Films won 3rd place for their Science Fiction film "Buttons, Beans & Izzy." The 1st Place winners won $500 cash, $100 LensProToGo equipment credit, a 12 month subscription to MZed online creative course library and a Save the Cat! screenwriting library. 2nd Place winners won $250 cash, a 12 month MZed subscription and a Save The Cat! screenwriting library. 3rd Place winners won $100 cash and a 12 month MZed subscription. The Peoples Choice winners received $100 cash, a 12 month MZed subscription and a Save the Cat! library. The Best Screenwriting Award team received a copy of Final Draft screenwriting software. Additional copies of Final Draft were raffled off to team members who submitted their name into a raffle.

Thanks to our volunteers and sponsors including Woodsville Guaranty Savings Bank, WYKR, Final Draft, Save the Cat!, MZed, LensProToGo, MJNArt, Wells River Chevrolet, Wells River Savings Bank, Cygnus Pictures, Trendy Times, Bliss Village Store and White River Indie Films and Anne & Tony Dall.

To view all film submissions from this year's competition, visit us on YouTube by clicking here .
Rubber Ball River Race
The Chamber once again held its annual Rubber Ball River Race fundraising contest at the Wells River So Long Summer Hello Fall Festival this year on September 1, 2018. 100 tickets were sold for $10 each for the chance to win cash prizes. Congratulations to this year's winners! Barbara Swantak of North Haverhill had the ball that crossed the finish line first and won $300. Patty Hammond also of North Haverhill, NH won 2nd place and $200. Stacie Wright won 3rd place and $100.
Fall Paddle the Border

On Sunday, October 7, 2018, over 50 boats were launched at the Fall Paddle The Border event. The event welcomed paddlers from all over to paddle from Newbury Crossing in Newbury, VT to Bugbee Landing in Bradford, VT. The threat of rain did not deter these dedicated kayak and canoe enthusiasts from making the trek which takes most participants about 3.5 to 4 hours to complete. A free shuttle bus was provided by Butler's Bus Service to transport paddlers from the parking area in Bradford to the launch site.

Upon arrival, participants were greeted by music from the Strawberry Farm Band and delicious food including pulled pork, burgers, hot dogs and veggie burgers prepared by members of the Cohase Rotary Club. This event occurs twice a year in the Fall and the Spring. The Spring Paddle is scheduled for Sunday, May 19, 2018.

In addition to the Chamber, the event is also sponsored and supported by Haverhill Recreation Commission, Newbury Conservation Commission, Woodsville/Wells River Rotary Club, Butler's Bus Service, Bradford Conservation Commission, Upper Valley Land Trust and the Upper Valley Trails Alliance.

Congratulations to Shawn Stetson of Groton, Vermont! Shawn was the winner of our most recent COHASE CASH contest! The winning entry was drawn on Saturday, October 6, 2018. The contest encourages residents and visitors to utilize local goods and services and submit their receipt for the chance to win $100 in Cohase Cash. Winnings are awarded in the form of gift cards, gift certificates or account credits at Chamber member businesses selected by the winner. Past winners have included Angela Cottrill of Bradford, Vermont and Laura Tucker of Fairlee, Vermont

The Chamber plans to offer the contest again starting on Black Friday, November 23, 2018. The contest will continue through Monday, December 24, 2018. Entrants can submit receipts or proofs of purchase from any member business. Entrants can enter multiple times as long as each receipt is from a different business. Receipts can be mailed to Cohase Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 35, Wells River, VT 05081, emailed to cohasechamber@gmail.com, texted to (802) 518-0030 or uploaded at the Chamber website.
Vermont Chambers Again Offering Health Insurance Plans
The Vermont Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives announced on Oct. 12 that its organization will once again be offering a variety of health insurance plans to its 29 chambers and many members throughout the state for the first time since 2013. This group of chambers includes the Cohase Chamber of Commerce.

The statewide chamber organization will partner with BlueCross BlueShield of Vermont to provide three separate plans to businesses, ranging in size from 1 to 100 employees: the VACE Advantage 100% Health Savings Account, the VACE Advantage Copay and the VACE Advantage Copay HSA.

“Our organization is extremely pleased to offer these three competitively priced insurance plans, which provide added value to businesses joining their chambers,” said Darcie McCann, whose chamber group has been working with the Vermont Chamber, The Richards Group, BlueCross Blueshield and the Vermont’s Department of Financial Regulation to get these plans reviewed and approved. “Our intent from the beginning has been to not compete with Vermont Health Connect but complement the many fine plans the state offers already.”

McCann, also the director of the Northeast Kingdom Chamber, noted these new insurance plans will be especially attractive to independent contractors, sole proprietors, young professionals, employee-based companies from 1 to 100 and those on the bubble, not receiving any financial or premium assistance from the state. 

The statewide chamber organization plans to offer the plan immediately, with open enrollment starting Nov. 1 and ending Dec. 15. The chamber association also offers two very affordably priced dental plans and a vision program that are available to chamber members in Vermont.

“We are extremely excited to offer these great plans to the businesses of our state,” she said. “At one time, our chamber health insurance plan served more than 17,000 Vermonters and was an $81-million program. We know how to run an efficient, seamless and affordable healthcare program and have an amazing team in place to handle the stream of businesses that we know will be interested in these plans.”

For more information, enrollment forms, etc, please click here.
Is Your New Hampshire Business Recovery-Friendly?
New Hampshire, like many other states (including Vermont) have been hit hard by the heroin and opioid epidemic. Drug use and abuse have affected not only our employers' abilities to find and retain talent but also affects the image and perception of our communities. We have a number of organizations in our region battling the issue including the Haverhill Area Substance Misuse Prevention Coalition, the Wells River Action Program, the North Country Health Consortium and others. New Hampshire has been at the forefront of the battle and earlier this year Governor Sununu announced the Recovery Friendly Workplace initiative. The initiative empowers businesses and workplaces to provide support for employees recovering from substance abuse by directing them to treatment and recovery facilities in their communities. Participating businesses receive official recognition form the Governor, receive a Recovery Friendly Workplace sign for display, are advertised as a Recovery Friendly Workplace and enjoy continued access to a Recovery Friendly Advisor. To participate, businesses should first submit a Letter of Interest to the Governor's office. Once received, the business will be contacted within 14 business days and will receive an official program orientation as well as be assigned a Recovery Friendly Advisor (RFA) to assist with connecting employees with resources, trainings and other educational opportunities.

For more information about this exciting program, click here.
Could You Be An Informal "Small Business Advisor?"
The Cohase Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the newly formed Haverhill Entrepreneurial Encouragement Committee (HEEC) is working to create an "Entrepreneur Welcome Packet" for aspiring entrepreneurs in our region and businesses who wish to expand in our region. Our vision is to provide a listing of local and regional resources as well as a more "localized" resource directory with a listing of local business people and/or retirees with experience in one or more industries that can act as informal resources for new entrepreneurs in our area. Can you help us create this local connection? Your participation would be strictly voluntary and not compensated, and the extent you choose to become involved with an interested party is up to you. Answering questions via phone or email would be the minimum expectation and the degree you wish to become more involved is strictly your choice.

If you would be interested, please complete our Small Business Advisor Resource form by clicking here .