Southern Vermont Summer Profiles 2024

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A special publication of the Brattleboro Reformer and Bennington Banner, Saturday, June 8, 2024 and the Manchester Journal, Friday, June 14, 2024
2 Saturday, June 8, 2024 | Vermont Summer Profiles | | SummerProfiles Table of Contents Better Bennington Corporation ................................ 3 Froling Energy ............................................................ 4 The Reluctant Panther Inn ........................................ 5 Brattleboro Area Realty ............................................. 6 VNA & Hospice of the Southwest Region ................. 7 The Newfane Store .................................................... 8 MJG Interiors .............................................................. 9 Kurn Hattin Homes for Children ............................. 10 Lil’ Britain .................................................................. 11 The Heart Rose Club ................................................ 12 Cota & Cota, Inc. ...................................................... 13 Valley Village ............................................................ 14 Comprehensive Computing .................................... 15 Cultivating Aesthetics ............................................. 16 Manchester Community Library ............................. 17 New England Youth Theater .................................... 18 The Dollhouse and Toy Museum ............................. 19 Valley Craft Ales ...................................................... 20 Pastime Pinball ........................................................ 21 Cedarcrest ................................................................ 22 Bennington Community Market.............................. 23 New England Center for Circus Arts ....................... 24 The Wilburton ........................................................... 25 Pine Heights at Brattleboro Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation ........................... 26 Taconic Music ........................................................... 27 The Marina Restaurant ............................................28 Manchester Community Library .............................29 Health Care & Rehabilitation Services .................. 30 Southwestern Vermont Chamber of Commerce .... 31

Better Bennington Corporation (BBC): Enhancing the Heart of Bennington

It’s not just downtown, it’s YOUR town!

BENNINGTON — The Better Bennington Corporation (BBC) is a nonprofit organization revitalizing and promoting downtown Bennington, Vermont. As the official downtown visitors center, BBC plays a crucial role in providing information, directions, and brochures to travelers and community members alike. Their mission is to lead and support public and private efforts that enhance downtown, ensuring it remains the community’s vibrant and essential commercial and cultural heart.

Under the leadership of Executive Director Jeanne Mintrone, BBC has not only evolved but also adapted to the changing needs of the community. As a 501(c)(3) organization, the BBC is dedicated to the community it serves, focusing on the betterment of downtown Bennington. This is a testament to its community-driven approach.

BBC’s calendar is filled with signature events designed to bring life to the downtown area, stimulate the local economy, and foster a sense of community. These events, including Mayfest, Harvest Fest, the Hemmings Cruisein/Thursday Night Live series, Midnight Madness, Small Business Saturday, and a festive holiday gathering, are not just about

fun and celebration. They are strategic initiatives to increase visitor traffic, support local businesses, and create a vibrant downtown atmosphere. Additionally, the bimonthly Beans & Bagels with the BBC provides downtown business owners a valuable opportunity to network and share ideas, further strengthening the local business community.

BBC distinguishes itself through its unwavering commitment to the community. The organization remains open to new ideas, suggestions, and collaborations, striving to do more for the district’s community and down-

town business owners. This dedication ensures that downtown Bennington remains a vibrant and thriving part of the area.

For more information, visit BBC’s website or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.


Jeanne Mintrone, Executive Director (802) 442-5758

Monday to Friday, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM 215 Main Street, Bennington, VT 05201, United States

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Froling Energy: Leading the Way in Renewable Heating Solutions


Founded in 2002 by Mark Froling, Froling LLC began as a mechanical contractor. Early on, the firm’s work at the New England Wood Pellet production plant in Jaffrey, New Hampshire, led to the building of two new wood pellet production facilities in New York. These experiences inspired Mark to shift focus towards renewable energy, specifically wood pellet boiler systems, which led to the creation of Froling Energy in 2009.

Froling Energy installed many automatic wood pellet boilers in small commercial operations, town buildings, and residences. Mark soon recognized the need for additional costeffective renewable fuels for larger heating fuel users. Inspired by European innovations in biomass energy, Froling Energy introduced precision dry wood chips (PDCs) in 2014, becoming the first U.S. company to produce and deliver this new fuel. The raw material for the PDC fuel is derived from the waste stream of logging operations and sawmills. This approach diverts waste from landfills and promotes the efficient use of a renewable resource, minimizing the carbon footprint.


• 2013: A deal was struck with Whelen Engineering in Charlestown, NH, to install a 2 million BTU/ hour dried wood chip boiler sys-

tem to heat their newest factory building–so long as Froling Energy agreed to begin making screened dried wood chips within a year.

• 2014: Start-up of Froling Energy’s first dry chip processing plant in Peterborough.

• Expertise: Over the past 15 years, Froling Energy has installed and serviced over 350 automatic, clean-burning dry chip and wood pellet boilers.

• 2020: Expansion to a larger PDC production plant in Keene to meet growing demand.

• 2023/24 Heating season: Over 10,000 tons of PDCs were delivered to 30 Vermont and New Hampshire customer sites, offsetting nearly 1 million gallons of fuel oil.


Froling Energy specializes in installing and servicing commercialscale dried wood chip and wood pellet boiler systems and producing and delivering their PDC-dried wood chips. They focus on ensuring reliable, renewable heating solutions for schools, nursing homes, factories, and institutions. Clean-burning modern wood heating systems use locally sourced fuel, which supports our region’s rural economies and offers stable pricing when compared to oil or propane.


• Renewable Fuel: Our PDCs are sourced from regional forests, supporting sustainable forestry and rural economies.

• Comprehensive Service: From high-quality equipment to expert installation and maintenance, we provide complete solutions for large heating fuel users.

• Green Retrofits: Our high-efficiency boiler systems easily adapt to older buildings with existing hightemperature forced hot water or steam heating systems.

• Stable Pricing: PDCs offer significant cost savings, with 30-50% lower fuel prices than wood pellets.

• Support: Froling Energy is part of EEN, Efficiency Vermont’s Efficiency Excellence Network, which offers Vermont consumers several benefits, including Rebates.


With a proven track record and unparalleled expertise in renewable heating solutions, Froling Energy stands out in the industry. Our commitment to quality, sustainability, and customer satisfaction ensures we deliver the best equipment, fuel, and support. Whether you are a commercial enterprise or a large institution, Froling Energy provides reliable, economical, and environmentally friendly heating solutions.

Blower truck filling the silos with PDCs at Whelen Engineering's new boiler building. The boilers have 5 Million BTU/hour of heating capacity.

For more information and to discuss your heating needs, contact Jim Van Valkenburgh at (603) 924-1001 or Experience the difference with New England's top wood chip and pellet boiler installation and service company.

Contact Person: Jim Van Valkenburgh

Title: VP of Sales & Marketing


Phone Number: (603) 924-1001

Best Contact Method: Phone

Best Contact Time: AM

Company Name (Legal): Froling LLC

Company Name (Branding): Froling Energy

Tag Line: New England's top wood chip and pellet boiler installation and service company

Company Phone Number: (603) 924-1001




20 Manchester Street Keene, NH 03431

United States

Business Hours: Mon-Fri 8-5

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Jennifer Brandt Vermont News & Media Froling's new PDC dried wood chip processing plant in Keene, NH where 10,000 tons of PDC dried wood chips were produced last winter.

Discover the Summer Magic at The Reluctant Panther

MANCHESTER — Nestled in the heart of Vermont’s picturesque landscape inside the Reluctant Panther Inn at 39 W Rd, Manchester, VT, The Reluctant Panther is a charming testament to history and culinary innovation. This establishment has evolved from its British-owned origins to become a culinary haven, thanks to the exceptional talents of Chef Sigal Rocklin.

Chef Rocklin’s culinary journey has taken her across the United States, and she brings a wealth of experience and inspiration to her kitchen. She believes that her success is rooted in the harmonious teamwork of her staff, which until recently was an all-women team. “My job is to make sure that all the employees are happy,” says Rocklin. “If they’re happy, they produce the best food.”

For Chef Rocklin, dining is more than just eating; it’s an experience that involves the entire team, from hosts and waiters to bartenders. “I think dining is an experience, not necessarily just the food, service, or wine,” she explains. It’s a symphony of moments that transform a meal into a magical encounter.

Her surroundings deeply influ ence Rocklin’s culinary artistry. Her journey has led her from the Grand Canyon to Colorado and California, but it is in Vermont that she has found a true appreciation for local farmers and high-quality produce. Vermont’s spring and summer harvests continually surprise and inspire her with their bounty.

She sources vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, and eggplant from Mighty Food Farm and Yoder Farm. Maplebrook Farm’s burrata pairs perfectly with these fresh tomatoes and even the lessthan-perfect tomatoes are transformed into delightful tomato jam. Basil from local farms becomes a

fragrant pesto, complementing the fresh, seasonal dishes she creates.

One of the highlights of the summer menu is Chef Rocklin’s sorbets, which are made with herbs and berries from local farms. Delight in the flavors of strawberry basil sorbet, raspberry lemon thyme sorbet, and blueberry mint sorbet. Using herbs in both sweet and savory dishes, Rocklin showcases the versatility and freshness of Vermont’s produce.

Vermont’s landscape and community remind Rocklin of her childhood in Israel, fostering a deep sense of sustainability and connection. She recently crafted a lemon

verbena sorbet from Mighty Food Farm’s fragrant herbs, a creation that has become one of her favorites.

At The Reluctant Panther, Chef Rocklin’s culinary magic celebrates the essence of Vermont, where the farm-to-table movement is a way of life. Her dishes are infused with local ingredients and inspired by the community she cherishes.

Join us at The Reluctant Panther this summer and embark on a culinary journey where history and innovation blend seamlessly, and every bite is an extraordinary experience.

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Christine Lewis servicing Vermont & New Hampshire real estate needs for 35 years!

Raising the BAR in real estate

BRATTLEBORO —Since 1973, Brattleboro Area Realty at 402 Canal St, Brattleboro, has been leading in the matchmaking game in real estate. Christine “Chris” Lewis jumped into the market 15 years later with no experience and was the only woman in her office. Now, she’s one of a dozen agents with a career in real estate and is professionally serving Vermont and New Hampshire.

“We really try very hard to be a full-service agency and work extra hard to serve the clients and give them what they need,” Lewis said. Buying or selling a home is no easy feat, especially when a lot of money is on the table. Chris has the knowledge and patience to help clients get the best offer and the ideal dream home. Erich Hoyer co-founded the agency for 38 years before passing in 2020. Lewis said that he always stressed the value of education and ethics. Real estate agents are not trained inspectors; great agents know what details to pay attention to and help clients make their decisions.

“We can make them aware of the items that we need them to look at and be conscious of,” Lewis said. “I was happy when our new motto became ‘Raising the Bar,’ because real estate has been referred to as an easy job, but it’s very complicated when handling personalities and intense emotions.”

First-time home buyers can have countless questions, and the process isn’t seamless. Brattleboro Area Realty is recognized for its efficiency, support, and hands-on care. Some hiccups can arise during the buying or selling process, and Lewis can speak on sticking with the client every step of the way.

“We have to open their eyes so they can see the bigger picture and know what’s in their best interest,” she said. Chris has received many testimonials referring to efficient and frequent communication, sharing resources for lenders and lawyers, and working with

buyers and sellers out of state or during a pandemic.

While Brattleboro doesn’t have the attraction of a vacation lake or immediate access to mountains for skiing, it’s a beautiful area for empty nesters or first-time home buyers and local residents. That’s what Brattleboro Area Realty has excelled at. The agents are committed to the close, the search for a dream home, and getting clients what they want.

It’s the reason Lewis chose to work at Brattleboro Area Realty over other agencies just 35 years ago.

Brattleboro Area Realty has built a reputation for excellence in Vermont and New Hampshire with a strong focus on client care, ethical practices, and comprehensive service. Whether guiding firsttime home buyers or assisting seasoned homeowners, Brattleboro Area Realty ensures a smooth and informed real estate experience. This commitment to client satisfaction and community values is why Brattleboro Area Realty remains a leader in the market, helping clients achieve their real estate goals with confidence and ease.

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PHOTO PROVIDED Christine “Chris” Lewis,, 802-380-208

VNA & Hospice of the Southwest Region: Compassionate Care Since 1946

Our family caring for your family since 1946


For over 70 years, the Visiting Nurses Association & Hospice of the Southwest Region (VNAHSR) has been a cornerstone of community health, providing compassionate, dependable, and expert care to vulnerable populations. Established in Rutland, Vermont, VNAHSR is a non-profit, Medicare-certified home health and hospice agency that caters to the needs of at-risk children, the elderly, those with chronic illnesses, and individuals facing end-of-life challenges.

Today, VNAHSR is one of Vermont’s largest not-for-profit community health providers, with offices in Bennington, Dorset, Manchester, Rutland, and St. Albans. We are committed to helping anyone in need of our services, delivering advanced medical care to patients in the comfort of their homes.


VNAHSR offers a wide range of specialized home health care services, ensuring patients receive the best care where they are most comfortable and can heal the fastest—in their homes. Our services include:

• Skilled Nursing

• Chronic Illness and Disease Management

• Physical, Occupational, and Speech


• Medical Social Work Services

• Case Management

• Home Health Aide Services

• Parenteral and Enteral Nutritional Therapy

• Infusion Therapy

• Behavioral and Mental Health


• Hospice and Palliative Care

• Telemedicine

• Vaccinations

• Home Medical Equipment

• Educational Advice

• Wound Care

• Pain Management

• Home Safety Instructions


Beyond medical care, VNAHSR offers various support programs to assist patients and their families, including:

• Death, Dying, and Danishes Events

• Grief Support Groups

• Foot Clinics

• Hospice Volunteer Trainings

• Dinners With Love

• Hospice Singers

These programs provide emotional and practical support, helping families navigate challenging times with dignity and compassion.


With a team of over 350 certified home health aides, rehabilitation therapists, social workers, and visit-

ing nurses, VNAHSR is dedicated to providing skilled care and compassion to those who need it most. Our commitment to quality is reflected in our national reputation for excellence. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services highly rate VNAHSR for quality of patient care and patient satisfaction and recognize it as one of the nation’s top 100 performing home health agencies by HomeCare Elite.

At VNA & Hospice of the Southwest Region, our mission is to bridge the gaps in healthcare, ensuring that everyone in our community receives

the care they need. For more information about our services and how we can help you or your loved ones, visit

Experience the difference of a dedicated, compassionate team that truly cares—our family caring for your family, since 1946.

(800) 244-0568 335 Main Street, Office C Bennington, Vermont 05201 United States

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The Newfane Store: A Vermont Tradition

Newfane, VT (May 21, 2024) — Steeped in history and community spirit, the Newfane Store has been a cornerstone of Vermont life since its founding in 1822. Originally located on Newfane Hill before moving to the flats in 1836, this storied establishment is one of the state's oldest continuously operating general stores.

Though it doesn’t hold the title of the oldest—an honor belonging to Putney General Store—the Newfane Store has a rich history, including rebuilding after a devastating fire in 1896. This resilience is a testament to the store's importance to the local community, serving as a social and economic activity hub.

Today, the Newfane Store stands out as a vibrant part of Newfane, offering a distinctive blend of traditional and modern products. The store caters to diverse tastes, from a classic ham and cheese sandwich to a banh mi with five-spice pork belly and daikon slaw. Its commitment to inclusivity is evident in its efforts to welcome both locals and tourists, ensuring that everyone who steps inside feels at home.

In addition to its diverse food offerings, the Newfane Store is notable for its game weighing station, where hunters can bring their deer, turkey, or bear for official weighing. While sometimes surprising to out-of-town visitors, this service is a cherished local tradition.

Owners David Hull and Apple Gifford moved to Newfane about 20 years ago, and their connection to

the town is apparent. Hull seems to know every other person who steps through the door, and his friendly staff remembers regulars' favorite orders, shouting out names over the bustling lunch crowd. Their connection to the community is what sets the Newfane Store apart.

One of the store’s distinctive features is its selection of Vermont beers, all available by the single. This allows customers to mix and match, trying a variety of local brews without committing to a full 4-pack. “People enjoy being able to buy singles and try new beers,” says Hull. “I hate getting stuck with an expensive 4-pack that I really don’t like.”

The store also supports local artisans by offering a range of handmade products, from earrings to books. This initiative provides a platform for local talent and enriches the store’s offerings, making it a true community hub.

Looking ahead, the Newfane Store is not resting on its laurels. It remains committed to its roots while continuously evolving to meet the needs of its customers. Whether you're a local resident or a visitor passing through, the store invites you to enjoy a meal, browse the unique selection, and become a regular.

The store's future is bright, and it's a journey you don't want to miss.

For more information, please visit the Newfane Store on Route 30, right on the common in Newfane, or call (802) 365-7775.

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Jennifer Brandt Vermont News & Media

MJG Interiors: Transforming Homes Since 2013

Mary Jo Gourd started her career in design almost by accident. When a couple sought architectural plans for a home her husband designed, she commented about decorating choices. The couple liked the idea so much that they asked if they could hire her. Of course, she was up for the challenge! When the project was complete, a writer from New England Home came to look at the architecture. She was so taken with the interior design and Mary Jo’s use of red throughout the home that she published an article entitled “True Color: A Hillside Vermont Home Shows That Red is the Spice of Life.”

Her entry into design is fitting. She blends a keen eye for colors, textures, and materials with a willingness to serve each client’s needs. In addition, Mary Jo has fostered relationships with local contractors and vendors so she and the team at MJG Interiors can bring designs to fruition. This collaborative spirit and dedication to quality have earned MJG a stellar reputation and a loyal client base.

MJG Interiors’ unwavering commitment to client satisfaction sets them apart in the industry. They are dedicated listeners who respect their clients’ time and trust. By delivering on promises and striving to exceed expectations, MJG Interiors ensures that every design project represents a better collaboration than the client could have dreamed.

Founded in 2013, MJG Interiors has rapidly become a beacon of excellence in residential interior design in Manchester, Vermont, and beyond.

While MJG Interiors is rooted in southern Vermont, they have designed homes in Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Maryland. Second-homeowner clients, thrilled with the results in Vermont, often enlist MJG Interiors to transform their primary residences as well.

Mary Jo Gourd’s brainchild builds on her extensive experience of over 20 years creating beautiful, functional spaces. Before starting her own business, Mary Jo spent a decade perfecting her craft in the interior design industry, gaining invaluable insights and experience that now benefit her clients.

MJG Interiors distinguishes itself through its personalized service and honest communication. Mary Jo and her team are both designers and partners in their clients’ projects. They listen intently to understand what clients want from their space and work tirelessly to achieve it. They are

also not afraid to provide professional advice when a client’s concept may need refinement, always aiming to deliver results that clients never thought possible.


MJG Interiors offers a full suite of residential interior design services tailored to meet the unique needs of each client:


• Space planning and layout

• Furniture and fixture procurement, including custom furniture and upholstery

• Paint color, materials, and finish selection

• Bespoke window treatments

• Art and accessory selection

• Kitchen and bathroom design, including tiling and fixtures

• Complete remodel and project management

• Client-Centric Approach


Mary Jo Gourd, the owner and chief interior designer, has a unique background that enhances her design approach. After a successful career in medical sales, she moved to southern Vermont in the early 90s to open a bed and breakfast. This venture allowed her to indulge her passion for interior design while gaining hands-on business experience.

With MJG Interiors, Mary Jo has turned her passion into a thriving business, delivering beautiful, personalized interior spaces that clients love. Whether redesigning a single room or managing a complete home remodel, Mary Jo and her team are dedicated to bringing your vision to life.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, visit www., email hello@, or call 802-768-8285. Let MJG Interiors transform your home into a space you’ll truly love.

Address: 98 Bonnet Street, Manchester, VT

Hours of Operation:

Monday to Friday: 9 AM - 5 PM Weekends: By Appointment

Contact Information:



Phone: 802-768-8285

Social Media:

Instagram: @mjginteriors

Facebook: MJG Interiors

Pinterest: MJG Interiors

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Kurn Hattin Homes for Children: Transforming Lives for Over a Century


Since its founding in 1894, Kurn Hattin Homes for Children, located at 708 Kurn Hattin Road, Westminster, VT, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that has been dedicated to transforming the lives of children and their families. For 130 years, our mission has been to provide a safe, nurturing, and transformative environment for children aged 5-15, empowering them to dream big and build brighter futures through individualized care, education, and support.


Kurn Hattin Homes stands out for its comprehensive, year-round residential program and NEASCaccredited school. Serving children and families across the Northeast, we ensure accessibility through a sliding scale fee. Our facilities and programs are designed to foster personal growth and academic success, including:

• SmartLab STEAM Instruction: The only one of its kind in New England, promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics education.

• Award-Winning Music Program: Providing exceptional musical education and performance opportunities.

• Career Awareness Program: Preparing children for future career success through exposure and training.

• Licensed Nursing and Counseling Staff: Ensuring the health and well-being of all our children.

• Professionally Trained Staff: Dedicated and highly trained residential, teaching, and administrative professionals.

• State-of-the-Art Auditorium: Hosting a variety of cultural and educational programs.

• Annual Safety Training: Implementing the best practices and protocols for the safety of our children.


Kurn Hattin Homes offers various amenities to support our children's development and well-being, including:

• Outdoor Swimming Pool, Ball Fields, Hiking Path, and Adventure Course: Promoting physical activity and outdoor education.

• Comfortable and Nurturing Cottage Residences: Featuring small houseparent-to-resident ratios for individualized attention and care.

• Well-Equipped School: Small class sizes for personalized education.

• Off-Campus Excursions: Expanding learning beyond the classroom.

• Great Food: Providing nutritious and delicious meals for our children.

At Kurn Hattin Homes for Children, we pride ourselves on our long-standing commitment to transforming children's lives through comprehensive support and education. Our unique programs and stateof-the-art facilities offer children a nurturing environment where they can thrive academically, socially, and emotionally. Our dedicated staff creates a supportive community that values each child's potential, ensuring they have the tools and opportunities to succeed.



Stephen Harrison, Executive Director, emphasizes that today's Kurn Hattin Homes is a transformed and innovative institution. The organization has significantly reduced class and cottage sizes to provide better adult interaction with children, enhanced supervision, and more personalized attention to academic and personal needs. Kurn Hattin Homes is committed to continuous improvement and best practices training for staff, focusing on trauma-informed care, positive behavioral interventions, and restorative community practices.


Kurn Hattin Homes is always looking for dedicated individuals to join our team or volunteer. We offer extensive training and support to ensure our staff and volunteers are well-pre-

pared to contribute positively to our children's lives. For those interested in supporting our mission financially, we rely almost exclusively on charitable contributions to continue providing our essential services.


If you are passionate about helping transform children's lives, consider donating to Kurn Hattin Homes or volunteering your time and skills. Every contribution, big or small, helps us maintain a safe, nurturing, and enriching environment for the children in our care.

For more information on how to support or get involved with Kurn Hattin Homes for Children, please visit our website or contact us directly. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of children and their families.


For more information about Kurn Hattin Homes for Children and how we can support your family, please contact Kim Fine at or (802) 721-6914. Our website can be found at We look forward to helping you and your child build a brighter future.

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Savor the Flavors of England at Lil’ Britain Fish and Chip Shop

When it comes to the United Kingdom’s culinary exports, no dish is more famous or beloved than battered fried fish with a hearty side of piping hot golden chips. Lil’ Britain Fish and Chip Shop, nestled in the heart of downtown Bennington, is the only authentic English fish and chip shop in the state and has been serving up the traditional English fare since 2008.

Current owner and chef, Nathan Johnson, took over from the original owners Kevin and Sarah Wright in 2012. Nathan was a frequent patron at Lil’ Britain and became friends with Kevin, often going on runs together. It was during one of these runs that Kevin suggested the idea of Nathan buying the shop. Intrigued by the prospect, Nathan spent the next six months working closely with Kevin and Sarah, learning the intricacies of the business. On July 19th, 2012, Nathan and his wife, Elizabeth, officially became the new owners of Lil’ Britain.

Stepping inside Lil’ Britain is like being transported across the Atlantic to the streets of London. Walls adorned with British memorabilia, an old fashioned London phone booth, and the smell of fried fish and malt vinegar will have you looking over

your shoulder to see if Tottenham Court Road has replaced North Street.

The shop has become a community staple in Bennington, thanks in no small part to Nathan’s commitment to quality. “I tell new employees the foundation of Lil’ Britain is serving really good, quality food at a reasonable price, maintaining high standards of cleanliness and food safety, and providing great customer service. I think we do a really good job of meeting those expectations,”

Nathan said.

Lil’ Britain’s menu features a variety of classic British casual fare.

Shrimp, scallops, clam strips, and haddock are coated in house-made batter and fried until golden brown and crispy, then served alongside a heaping helping of thick cut fries. Beyond the seafood options, Lil’ Britain serves bangers and mash, burgers, and savory meat pies in a flaky shortcrust. Sides are not to be missed out on either; they include coleslaw, gravy, pickled beets, rolls, and mushy peas.

The open kitchen at Lil’ Britain allows customers to see their food being prepared, adding to the communal atmosphere that has contributed

to the shop’s loyal following. Behind the counter, Nathan is always present, cooking meals, chatting with customers, and ensuring that every dish meets his high standards.

Lil’ Britain Fish and Chip Shop is located at 116 North Street, Bennington, Vermont. They are open Tuesday through Saturday, from 11:30 AM to 8:00 PM. For updates, menus, and specials visit their Facebook (Lil’ Britain Fish and Chip Shop) and Instagram (@lilbritainfishandchips).

Any questions can be directed to or by calling 802-442-2447.

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The Heart Rose Club: A Center for Wellness and the Arts in Brattleboro

The Heart Rose Club, a Center for Wellness and the Arts, is located at 11 Green Street, Brattleboro, VT. This unique establishment, founded by Tara and Fred Cheney, opened its doors on June 7, 2023. Housed in a majestic, historic building originally constructed by The Odd Fellows in 1910 and completed in 1915, the building has a rich history, having been occupied by the Shriners organization for many years. The Heart Rose Club is dedicated to preserving the history and decorum of this remarkable structure.

The Heart Rose Club offers a variety of wellness services and community activities aimed at bringing people together. The wellness center features Hot Yoga and Spa Yoga, massage and holistic health treatments, an infrared sauna, BEMER Therapy (PEMF), tarot readings, psychic medium sessions, Zumba classes, Kirtan, and New Moon Group Shakes. Additionally, the club hosts Trivia with Open Tab Trivia every Tuesday, always adding events, classes, and programs.

The Heart Rose Club serves homemade food and desserts during lunch hours from 11 AM to 3 PM, Tuesday through Friday. A bar menu is available from 3 PM to 7 PM and until 9 PM on Fridays. The club is also preparing to launch an online menu with to-go ordering options for lunch and opening a deli on June 4th, 2024, from 11 AM to 7 PM, Tuesday through Friday. The space is available on weekends for private events such as birthdays, memorial services and celebrations of life, weddings, and retirements. They host monthly dinner dances and support the local music scene with pop-up bands and album launches. Meditation classes and retreats are coming soon. July 20th, The Heart Rose Club will collaborate with Gallery Walk and the Downtown Brattleboro Alliance to host a rummage sale and craft fair for Bargain Days and town-wide tag sale. Details and sign-up are online, with food and drink and a special $6 blood orange margarita available all day.

The Heart Rose Club's commitment to the Brattleboro community sets it apart. The center is designed to be a welcoming space where people can connect, work quietly, and enjoy the picturesque view of Mt. Wantastiquet from the porch. The Heart Rose Club takes pride in its exceptional food, offering daily vegan lentil soup and chili that have received rave reviews. The club's welcoming atmosphere and awe-inspiring space leave a lasting impression on visitors, making it a cherished part of the community.

The Heart Rose Club supports local businesses and colleagues, promoting a healthy and diverse marketplace. As a one-stop shop, it offers various services, from yoga to takehome dinners, business meetings over lunch, card readings, and sauna sessions to massages. The gold bar, with its beautiful decor and affordable food and drinks, includes a great mocktail menu and one of the best views in Brattleboro.

Tara Cheney, the CEO, LPN, CMT, and BA of The Heart Rose Club, has worked towards this dream for over 35 years. She is an entrepreneur, nurse, healer, chef, and changemaker passionate about natural and holistic health, spirituality, cooking, art, and writing. Alongside running The Heart Rose Club, Tara and Fred also manage a successful asphalt paving company, Vermont Roadworks, LLC, which has won several awards, including the Woman-Owned Business of the Year in VT and the best local paving company in 2023.

The Heart Rose Club aims to create a space where everyone feels welcome and leaves feeling better than when they arrived. With a focus on community, wellness, and authentic connection, Tara and Fred Cheney are committed to making Brattleboro a brighter place.




Phone: 802-5769-1911

(Cell and text: 802-380-0333)

Social handles Facebook, Instagram


Monday: Open for Classes, closed for lunch and bar

Tuesday - Friday: 11 AM - 3 PM (Lunch), 11 AM - 7 PM (Bar, bar menu 3-7 PM)

Friday: Bar menu until 3 PM - 9 PM

Saturday and Sunday: Available for private and pop-up events

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Cota & Cota, Inc.: Celebrating 83 Years of Service and Community Commitment

With a rich history dating back to 1941, Cota & Cota, Inc. was founded by Ken and Helen Cota. Guided by the ‘Old Yankee Way, ‘ our mission is to treat customers with respect, show compassion and concern, conduct business courteously and professionally, and always remember to say thank you. We believe in the power of community and the importance of looking out for our neighbors.

As Chris Cota, Ken Cota’s son, explains, “The adage my dad impressed upon me: do two things…be honest with people and answer the phone.” This principle is a cornerstone of their service approach.

As they celebrate their 83rd year in May, Cota & Cota remains a thirdgeneration Vermont family business committed to providing exceptional customer service and care. Their team of master plumbers and certified service technicians are ready to install and service all brands of plumbing, heating, and cooling equipment. They offer a comprehensive line of quality Bio-Blend Heating Oil, Clean Propane Gas, Kerosene, and motor fuel, along with 24-hour remote home comfort monitoring.

Cota & Cota values the relationships it has with its customers and their families. It is proud to receive notes of appreciation from customers who have been with it for over 20

years. Its commitment to community support is unwavering, with Cota & Cota continually donating time, talents, and contributions to local organizations.

Customers are never greeted by an answering machine when they call Cota & Cota. The company ensures personal interaction and prioritizes keeping families safe and warm. Their recent community partnerships include the Manchester Business Association, Hildene, Dorset Equine Rescue, Manchester Elemen-

tary School, and the Flood Brook Athletic Association.

Owner Casey Cota attributes the company’s longevity to the highest quality service. “Our highly trained service techs, delivery drivers, and customer service reps are the lifeblood of our company. We promise to give you the best possible service you deserve.”

Cota & Cota, Inc. operates at 2332 Depot Street, Manchester, VT 05255. They can be reached at 802362-1941 or through their website at

Their hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed on weekends, and they offer 24/7 emergency service, 365 days a year!

13 | Saturday, June 8, 2024 Vermont Summer Profiles | |
PHOTOS BY DANIELLE M. CROSIER Left to right: Casey Cota, Owner; Tony DeLorenzo, Manchester Area Manager; Sherry Davidson, Customer Service Representative Cota Technician Liam Tully, nephew of Cota VP of Operations, Kelley Tully. Left to right: Casey Cota, Owner; Andy Bedi, Driver; Eric Barratt, Driver Cota & Cota’s new Manchester location at 2332 Depot St.

Valley Village: Nurturing Seniors with Care, Compassion, and Community

In the heart of Townshend, Vermont, Valley Village, formerly known as Valley Cares, Inc., stands as a testament to the community's dedication to its seniors. Under the leadership of Executive Director JoAnne Blanchard, Valley Village continues to honor its mission of providing affordable community housing, care, and compassion to residents who wish to age gracefully and comfortably among friends.


The story of Valley Village began in response to the closing of Stratton House nursing home in 2002. This closure sparked concern for the future welfare of older adults in the West River Valley communities. Spearheaded by a local hospital, an eldercare needs assessment was conducted, revealing a significant demand for senior housing in the area. This led to the formation of a dedicated committee of community members and hospital board members, who developed the initial business plan for what would become Valley Cares, Inc., officially incorporated in December 2004.

In support of the mission, a local couple, Warren Kronemeyer and Leon Ingall, donated the land on which our community would stand. The inaugural director, Bob Crego, and founding board president, John

Nopper, played pivotal roles in establishing West River Valley Senior Housing. Their efforts, along with those of countless community members, culminated in the opening of a 24-unit independent living building and a 28-unit assisted living building on November 1, 2007. Recognizing ongoing needs, the facility expanded in 2013, adding the "Bob and Ginna Barrett Wing," named in honor of two supportive former residents, to include 12 additional assisted living apartments.


In early 2024, Valley Cares embarked on a strategic planning process that led to a significant rebranding decision. To better reflect its mission and eliminate confusion with similarly named organizations, the board of directors voted in April 2024 to adopt the new name, Valley Village, with the tagline "care. compassion. community." This name change underscores its commitment to providing housing, exceptional care, and a strong sense of community


Valley Village distinguishes itself through a combination of unique amenities and dedicated services. The senior housing complex includes a 24-unit independent living building that offers the privacy of individual apartments coupled with the support of a close-knit community. These apartments are designed for seniors aged 62 and older who desire a maintenance-free lifestyle. Each floor features laundry facilities and common spaces, and the building hosts the SASH (Support And Services at Home) program, which connects residents with local social services and health providers.

The 40-unit assisted living facility at Valley Village provides a nurturing environment where residents receive round-the-clock support. The facility offers up to Enhanced Residential Care Tier III through the Vermont Medicaid Waiver Choices for Care program. A registered nurse oversees all care planning and medication management, while a dedicated staff member assists with daily activities, housekeeping, laundry, recreational activities, and transportation to medical appointments. The in-house commercial kitchen ensures residents enjoy nutritious and delicious meals.

In addition, Valley Village offers 6 supportive housing apartments that blend the independence of apartment living with access to supportive services. These apartments

within the assisted living provide a flexible solution for residents who want to live independently but benefit from the availability of in-house services such as meal plans, cleaning, laundry, and emergency care from professional staff.


What truly sets Valley Village apart is its culture of care and the dedication of its friendly staff. Employees at Valley Village are passionate about their work, creating a warm and welcoming environment that residents and their families deeply appreciate. The peaceful, rural setting of Valley Village eases the transition to senior housing, especially for those accustomed to the tranquility of Vermont's countryside. Additionally, the proximity to a hospital and doctors' offices offers residents and their families peace of mind.


For more information about Valley Village, please contact Danielle St. Lawrence, Administrative Assistant & Tenant Specialist, at She is available via email in the mornings and can also be reached at (802) 365-7190. Follow Valley Village on Facebook for updates and community news:

Located at 461 Grafton Rd, PO Box 341, Townshend, VT 05353, Valley Village provides a caring and compassionate community where seniors can thrive.

14 Saturday, June 8, 2024 | Vermont Summer Profiles | |
Jennifer Brandt Vermont News & Media

Comprehensive Computing: Your Local IT Solution

Byrom Jomaa founded Comprehensive Computing in June 2023 with a vision to provide top-notch IT services in Southern Vermont. This familyowned business, located in Bennington, is driven by Byrom’s expertise and the invaluable support of his parents, Tony and Renee Jomaa, and his siblings, Olyvia, Leena, and Callam.


Byrom Jomaa, a Mount Anthony Union High School and Vassar College graduate, holds a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science and Correlate Sequences in Earth Science and Mathematics. His passion for continual learning fuels his role as both an IT professional and a business owner. Byrom’s dedication is evident in his eagerness to attend seminars and watch how-to videos, ensuring he stays updated with the latest technology.

Tony and Renee, bring decades of experience from their computer business in Colorado, providing a solid foundation for Comprehensive Computing. Byrom’s siblings, Leena and Callam, currently students at MAUHS, possess strong organizational and computer skills and are active members of the First Robotics Cookie Clickers team. With an Associate Degree in Business from the Community College of Vermont, Olyvia excels in graphic design and accounting, contributing significantly to the business.


Comprehensive Computing offers managed IT services tailored for solo professionals, micro-businesses, SMB firms, and nonprofits. Some of their services include:

• Technical consulting

• Computer networking

• Backup guidance

• Computer repair

• System design

• Wi-Fi upgrades

• Programming

Comprehensive Computing manages workstations, mobile devices, servers, and networks, and provides security and IT assessments, advice, and complete IT management. Their comprehensive support plans ensure regular maintenance and proactive IT management, effectively becoming your IT department.


“At Comprehensive Computing, we don’t just address issues as they arise; we proactively strategize and plan for your IT needs. Our goal is to integrate seamlessly into your operations, providing a level of service that makes us your IT department, regardless of your business size. This proactive approach and dedication to client satisfaction set us apart from the competition.”


Comprehensive Computing’s commitment to Bennington extends beyond business. By offering highquality, local technology support, they aim to make business easier and

more efficient, attracting valuable professionals to the area. By investing in local IT support, they help contribute to the growth and vibrancy of the Bennington area.


Byrom chose to open Comprehensive Computing in Bennington to address the significant need for IT professionals in the area. With family support and a strong sense of community, the decision was clear. High-quality local technology support not only aids local businesses but also encourages talented youth to stay and contribute to the region’s growth.

“At Comprehensive Computing, we are dedicated to enhancing your business’s technological capabilities, ensuring you can focus on your core mission without worrying about IT. Partner with us and experience the difference a proactive, dedicated IT team can make.”


For more information, visit their website,, fill out their contact form, or stop by 425 Main St. Bennington, VT.

15 | Saturday, June 8, 2024 Vermont Summer Profiles | |

Cultivating Aesthetics: Brattleboro’s Premier

Boutique Medspa

Cultivating Aesthetics, located at 70 Landmark Hill Drive, Suite 103, Brattleboro, was founded in May 2021 by Katie LaCoy, who has extensive experience in the medical and aesthetic industries. Katie, a Registered Nurse with eight years of experience, transitioned into the world of cosmetic injectables in 2018, obtaining certifications in Cosmetic Nursing. She continues to pursue ongoing education and training to stay abreast of the latest advancements in the field.

Cultivating Aesthetics provides a wide array of services designed to enhance natural beauty and help clients achieve their skincare goals. Services include:

• Hydrafacials

• Lymphatic drainage (face & body)

• Dermaplaning

• Chemical peels

• IV therapy

• Laser treatments

• Hair restoration

• Microneedling

• PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma)

• Botox

• Fillers

• Skinvive

• Sculptra

• Lash and brow services

• Comprehensive skincare solutions

At Cultivating Aesthetics, clients can expect a personalized experience characterized by a commitment to natural, effortless beauty. Katie LaCoy’s expertise as a Cosmetic Injector ensures precise, naturallooking results. The Medspa is distinguished by its use of top-ofthe-line products and a serene, comfortable environment featuring comfy seating, soothing music, and complimentary refreshments.

Cultivating Aesthetics is dedicated to helping clients nurture healthy, youthful skin. The medspa emphasizes the importance of addressing skin concerns promptly to prevent further cosmetic issues and provides customized skincare plans tailored to individual needs. Katie LaCoy and her team are passionate about boosting clients' confidence through subtle, beauty-enhancing treatments.

Cultivating Aesthetics stands out as Brattleboro's premier boutique medical spa, offering a comprehensive range of services and a commitment to client satisfaction. Under the leadership of Katie LaCoy, the medspa continues to refine the balance between health and beauty, ensuring that every client leaves feeling confident in their skin.

Check them out on Instagram. For more information or to book an appointment, visit Cultivating Aesthetics or call (978) 846-9093.

16 Saturday, June 8, 2024 | Vermont Summer Profiles | |
Jennifer Brandt Vermont News & Media

Manchester Community Library: A Community Hub for Knowledge and Connection

The Manchester Community Library (MCL) opened in 2014, marking a new chapter for Manchester’s literary and community services. A generous bequest from Lynn Hoyt laid the foundation for this modern library, which was bolstered by a successful capital campaign. This effort ensured the establishment of Manchester’s public library without relying on town funding. Celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2024, MCL continues the legacy of its predecessor, the Mark Skinner Library.

The Mark Skinner Library was founded in 1897 by Frances Skinner Willing in memory of her father, Mark Skinner, a Chicago judge and philanthropist who cherished Manchester. Originally a private institution, the library transitioned to a public facility in 2003, supported by taxpayers and its endowment.

At MCL, patrons can access nearly 28,500 physical items in the collection, alongside millions of electronic resources such as e-books, audiobooks, learning platforms, language apps, research databases, and a video streaming service. As a member of the Catamount Library Network, patrons can access collections from 22 other Vermont libraries through a shared catalog system.

They offer printing, faxing, free public WiFi, and computer access. MCL is equipped with the latest

technology to meet patrons' needs including e-books, audiobooks, and even charging devices. The library space is also designed for comfort and community, featuring private workspaces, cozy reading areas, and a beautiful children’s library.

MCL is proud to host almost 1,000 events and programs annually, drawing over 50,000 visitors. Their offerings cater to all ages and interests, from the Creativity Cave art projects for children to adult language classes and board games. Special events include our summer concert series, community fairs, and Super Saturdays featuring live music and food trucks.

Their tenth-anniversary celebration includes special events, such as a lecture on Frances Skinner Willing, a benefit concert by blues musicians, and the “For the Love of Vermont” summer gallery exhibit. They also host a Summer Music Series of free outdoor concerts, including two dates of the Manchester Music Festival, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

The library’s design fosters a sense of community with open-concept areas, vaulted ceilings, and inviting spaces. The exterior features a beautiful marble patio donated during construction, with outdoor tables and umbrellas for a comfortable work environment. Their back lawn hosts events under a large tent in summer, enhancing our outdoor programming capabilities.

The Manchester Community Library is not just a place for books; it’s a dynamic space for technology, community engagement, and lifelong learning. Patrons can utilize various technological resources, like computers, printing services, and digital library apps.

MCL actively collaborates with local organizations to offer museum passes and event tickets, enhancing the community's cultural experiences. The library's outdoor spaces provide beautiful community gathering settings, including a marble patio with tables and a summer concert tent.

Communications & Patron Experience Specialist Emily Bellows encapsulates the library's spirit: “This is the best place to be all day, every day.” With a dedicated staff, a rich history, and a forward-thinking approach, the Manchester Community

Library invites everyone to explore, learn, and connect.

Whether you're seeking a quiet study space, engaging programs, or simply a place to connect with others, MCL is here to serve you.


Manchester Community Library (MCL)

ADDRESS: 138 Cemetery Ave, Manchester Center, VT 05255


Monday & Wednesday: 10 AM - 6 PM

Tuesday & Thursday: 10 AM - 7 PM Friday & Saturday: 10 AM - 4 PM

Closed Sundays



PHONE: (802) 362-2607

SOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn

17 | Saturday, June 8, 2024 Vermont Summer Profiles | |

New England Youth Theatre: Cultivating Creativity and Confidence in Brattleboro

New England Youth Theatre (NEYT), located at 100 Flat Street, Brattleboro, VT, has been a cornerstone of the community since its founding in 1998 by Stephen Stearns. Originally starting with just 30 young actors in a rented downtown restaurant space, NEYT has grown significantly over the years. Today, it serves over 500 students and collaborates with more than 50 theater professionals to create fun, engaging, and accessible theater experiences.


In 2007, NEYT moved to its current location, which boasts a 140-seat theater, four large classrooms, a workshop, a backstage green room, and a costume loft. This facility supports a wide range of activities and programs that fulfill the theater's mission to educate the hearts, minds, bodies, and voices of youth of all abilities through the dramatic arts.


NEYT offers a combination of classroom and performance programming tailored for students aged 6 to 19, accommodating all skill levels from beginners to advanced perform-

ers. Their curriculum fosters confidence, creativity, oratory skills, and interpersonal relationships. Students receive the support and encouragement necessary to build competen-

cies in communication, teamwork, and leadership. These skills extend beyond the theater, helping young people navigate their relationships and responsibilities in other areas of their lives.


What sets NEYT apart in the industry is its responsiveness to community needs, creating safe spaces for selfexpression and creative exploration. The relationships formed at NEYT often lead to lasting friendships, skill sharing, employment opportunities, and independent creative projects.

The organization prides itself on being a vehicle for community building, offering a significant space for young people to develop their social skills and engage in positive interactions.


NEYT is dedicated to training the next generation of theater artists, technicians, and educators. Their programs not only focus on developing creative and technical skills but also emphasize the importance of positive social interaction. The staff at NEYT provides exceptional support, ensuring that each student receives personalized encouragement to thrive both on and off the stage.

New England Youth Theatre continues to be a beacon of creativity and learning in Brattleboro, offering young people the opportunity to grow both artistically and personally.

Contact Information



Phone: 802-246-6398

Facebook: New England Youth Theatre

Instagram: @n.e.y.t

Hours of Operation: 11 AM - 7 PM, Monday-Friday

18 Saturday, June 8, 2024 | Vermont Summer Profiles | |

The Dollhouse and Toy Museum of Vermont: A Nostalgic Journey Through Miniature Worlds

BENNINGTON — Nestled in a picturesque 1860s Victorian house on Union Street, the Dollhouse and Toy Museum of Vermont stands as a whimsical tribute to the art of miniatures and the joy of collections. Founded by Jacqueline Marro, this charming museum offers a unique glimpse into the past through an impressive collection of dollhouses, dolls, fairy houses, and puppets.

Jackie Marro transformed the historic 212 Union Street house into a museum more than a decade ago. Inspired by the house’s dollhouselike appearance, she envisioned a museum that would delight visitors of all ages, saying “I wanted to do something fun with the house.” Having made many visits to the Pollock’s Toy Museum in London,she recognized the potential of doing something similar in Bennington. Thus, the Dollhouse and Toy Museum of Vermont was born.

The core of the museum’s collection is her extensive assortment of toys, dolls, and dollhouses. Known for her dedication and attention to detail, Marro has curated a captivating array of exhibits that reflect various historical periods and styles. Among the highlights are Victorian and Regency-style homes, city townhouses, cottages, and even fairy houses made from tree bark. Each dollhouse is intricately furnished, featuring everything from minia-

ture gardening tools to art galleries with tiny framed paintings.

One of the museum’s standout exhibits is VT MoMA ( the Vermont Museum of Miniature Art), which showcases miniature copies of famous artworks. Visitors can marvel at tiny recreations of Johannes Vermeer’s complete collection, offering a unique perspective on the artist’s work. Another notable exhibit commemorates the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, with dolls posed to represent key figures in the women’s rights movement.

In addition to these permanent collections, the museum has introduced its newest temporary exhibit: a large collection of antique dolls dressed by the late Janet Halsted with vintage fabrics in unusual combinations. All of the dolls have unique hats and are for sale at very reasonable prices.

The Dollhouse and Toy Museum of Vermont also features collections

by local collectors that usually stay in pace for three months. In the past, these have included collections of black dolls, decorated candy tins intended to be transformed into dollhouses, electric trains and vintage milk bottles from area farms.

Visitors to the museum can explore a variety of permanent displays, including character dolls depicting American presidents like Thomas Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt; puppets, and puppet theaters; along with a large assortment of advertising dolls featuring CocaCola, Cracker Jacks, Heinz condiments and others. One of the most intriguing dollhouses was created by artist and author Esphyr Slobodkina, known for her children’s book “Caps for Sale.” This house, made entirely from recycled materials, showcases Slobodkina’s inventive spirit and artistic talent.

The museum is open from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday

afternoons, with additional visits available by appointment. Admission is modestly priced at $4 for adults, $10 for families, and $2 for children three and older. Despite being a for-profit entity, Jacqueline Marro jokes that the museum operates more as a “no-profit” venture driven by passion rather than financial gain.

With its engaging exhibits and rich historical context, the Dollhouse and Toy Museum of Vermont has become a beloved destination for both locals and tourists. “I love making dollhouses,” Marro recently told the Bennington Banner. “During the winter, I’m usually working on a couple of projects.” Her dedication is evident in every meticulously crafted display, providing inspiration and delight to all who visit.

For more information, visit the museum’s website at Dollhouse and Toy Museum of Vermont.

19 | Saturday, June 8, 2024 Vermont Summer Profiles | |
PHOTO PROVIDED Jackie Marro in front of the Doll House and Toy Museum of Vermont. PHOTO PROVIDED Amy Halsted with some of her sister’s dolls.

Valley Craft Ales: A Historic Hub for Craft Beer, Pizza, and Live Music in Wilmington, VT

Valley Craft Ales, located at 18 N Main, Wilmington, VT, opened its doors in November 2022. Founded by five friends passionate about good food and approachable beer styles, all housed in a building with rich historical significance. Previously a wood and grain mill, the structure utilized the river for power during its operational days. Today, the 10,000-square-foot building hosts a craft beer pub, pizzeria, an event space for music and private events, an inn on the upper floor, and a seasonal deck situated on the Deerfield River.

Valley Craft Ales offers an extensive catalog of rotating craft beer styles, delectable food, and vibrant community events.

New Haven-Inspired Pizza: This pizza features a thin crust in the Neapolitan style and classic flavors like Soppressata, Margarita, and New Haven Tomato pie. The menu highlights eight traditional pies with four rotating specialties.

Diverse Beverage Selection: They have a great selection of beer to choose from, including American IPAs, New England-style IPAs, Italian Pilsners, Czech Lagers, Stouts, and Porters, as well as non-alcoholic options such as New Haven Brand Foxon Park Soda in flavors like kola, white birch, and cherry.

Scenic Deck: A summer deck overlooking the Deerfield River, providing a picturesque setting for patrons.

Private Events: Spaces available for private gatherings and events.

Live Music Venue: Spillway Stage hosts live music shows with bands performing from a wide array of genres.

To give an idea of programming, previous events have included:

• Bushwick’s Dead: A monthly jam series featuring a rotating roster of NYC-based musicians.

• Glizzy Gang Reunion: An event offering delicious hot dogs, live music, and gelato.

• Walrus: NYC-based band specializing in high-energy performances of Beatles songs.

• Free Whenever and Burnt Pink Ft. DJ Shala: A blend of vintage psychedelia, dub reggae, and Afro-

Latin rhythms.

• Yacht Lobsters: Soft rock hits from the 70s and early 80s, reimagined with a modern twist.

• The North & South Dakotas: Y’alternative Grass, Americana Band

Valley Craft Ales is now open Wednesdays from 3-9pm starting May 29th. For their first Wednesday, they are featuring live music from Shannon Roy and Michael Lashomb starting at 6:30pm. They will also

feature the following artists throughout the Summer- Shannon Roy, Mike McMann, Sammy B, Patrick Sargent, Brule County Bad Boys, Bandwich, and the Erica Reynolds Band.

Valley Craft Ales is a unique destination in Wilmington, VT. It offers a combination of craft beer, pizza styles paying homage to the New Haven Apizza tradition, homemade gelato, and vibrant community events in a historically rich setting. Whether you’re a local or just passing through, Valley Craft Ales promises an experience worth savoring.

Businesses interested in carrying Valley Craft Ales beer should contact Keith Heingartner at

Valley Craft Ales

18 N Main, Wilmington, VT 05363 United States

Social Media:

Instagram: @Valleycraftales

Facebook: Valley Craft Ales


Wednesday-Thursday: 3 PM - 9 PM Friday-Sunday: 12 PM - 9 PM

20 Saturday, June 8, 2024 | Vermont Summer Profiles | |

A Nostalgic Journey Awaits at Pastime Pinball

Nestled in the heart of Manchester Center, VT, Pastime Pinball offers an immersive journey through the history and excitement of pinball. Since opening its doors on November 29, 2019, this family-friendly playable pinball museum has become a mustvisit destination for both locals and tourists.


Pastime Pinball features a curated collection of 66 pinball machines from 1947 to the present, arranged chronologically to showcase the evolution of pinball through the decades. Highlights include classics like Fireball and Captain Fantastic, fan favorites such as The Addams Family, Star Trek, World Cup Soccer, and Attack from Mars, and the latest releases such as Labyrinth, Elton John Pinball, Godzilla, and Halloween. Each machine is in excellent working condition, offering a hands-on experience that is both nostalgic and exhilarating.


Visitors can take a break from the flippers at the mezzanine-level snack bar, which features vintage arcade games and video tables. The snack

bar offers a variety of delicious treats, including:

• Root beer floats and ice cream sundaes

• Hotdogs and turkey dogs

• Chicken tenders and soft pretzels

• Popcorn and organic nachos with cheese

Committed to sourcing locally, Pastime Pinball serves nachos made with Vermont’s Cabot Cheddar. The beverage selection pays tribute to Vermont’s rich brewing tradition, featuring craft beers from Fiddlehead, Von Trapp Brewery Zero Gravity, Drop-In Brewing, Long Trail Brewery, hard ciders from Shacksbury and Citizen Cider, and creative non-alcoholic options.


Pinball enthusiasts consider Pastime Pinball’s collection the best in the Northeast, as reflected in rave reviews on TripAdvisor. The clean, well-maintained venue and museumquality games ensure that each visit is a memorable experience.


For Beth and Marty Friedman, owners of Pastime Pinball, seeing families make memories together is always a reward. Visitors often mention that a stop at Pastime Pinball

is an annual tradition eagerly anticipated year-round. It’s heartwarming to see three generations —grandparents, parents, and children—sharing the joy of pinball.


Beth and Marty Fried man moved to Manchester from New Jersey after enjoying Vermont as their second home. Their love for the beautiful, culturally vibrant community and its steady flow of tourists and second homeowners inspired them to establish Pastime Pinball in Manchester, filling a unique niche in the area. The community has warmly embraced this new addition.

“It took us 20 years to move from New Jersey to Vermont! We started with a timeshare at Smugglers’ Notch and eventually gave that up and bought a weekend cabin in Wardsboro. When our youngest child was heading off to college, and we were finally ready to open Pastime, we moved to Manchester because it’s a culturally vibrant community a stone’s throw from Stratton and Bromley Mountains.”

- Beth Friedman

Pastime Pinball offers a fun, handson experience for people of all ages. Whether seasoned pinball wizards or first-time players, visitors will find something to enjoy. Visit Pastime Pinball at 4802 Main Street, Manchester Center, VT, and create lasting memories with family and friends.

Contact Us:



Phone: 802.366.1200

Instagram: @PastimePinball

Facebook: PastimePinball

Discover why Pastime Pinball is the standout attraction in Manchester Center, VT. We look forward to welcoming you!

21 | Saturday, June 8, 2024 Vermont Summer Profiles | |

Cedarcrest needs energetic employees with passion for changing kids’ lives

It’s not every career where an employee transforms children’s lives. And not every workplace feels like a home.

Cedarcrest, in Keene, N.H., promotes a one-of-a-kind environment that prioritizes children.


The mission is to help the children and young adults with complex medical and developmental needs to live their best lives with the use of technology and programs aimed at physical and cognitive development. The staff takes the children on field trips, such as going to a baseball game. Closer to home, the employees and children explore nature at Cedarcrest.

Employees experience fulfillment as the children develop and meet their goals. Employees on the administrative, medical and teaching sides of the center join forces to transform lives.

“The children all have personal goals that they are working towards, and the staff helps them make progress as best as they are able. I enjoy the striving aspect and admire the persistence everyone demonstrates. It’s a rewarding experience working at Cedarcrest, on many levels. There are opportunities to have fun while working, too,” said Patty Farmer, Director of Advancement.

“I love working at Cedarcrest. The work I do is challenging, but satisfying. I feel like I contribute to the overall well-being of the children, even though I don’t provide care for them directly. The staff are highly committed to ensuring that the kids have fun and are given all kinds of great opportunities,” said Farmer.


On 5 acres, Cedarcrest provides a comfortable environment for the children and the employees, said Director of People Operations Erin Dallas-Patch.

“Cedarcrest is unlike anywhere else you can work; for many staff, it is like a home.”

Cedarcrest, in Keene, N.H., promotes a homey atmosphere that prioritizes children. For the right individual, Cedarcrest provides educational and training opportunities that lead an employee to develop and grow with the center.

It takes a special individual to succeed at Cedarcrest. According to Dallas-Patch, “An ideal employee is patient, competent, loves children and wants to see the children succeed.”


For aspiring individuals, Cedarcrest provides educational and training opportunities that lead an employee to develop and grow with the center.

“We’ve had many staff who started here as child care assistants, then became LNA, and then LPN/RNs. Our current director of nursing began here as an LNA/RN/nurse manager,” said Dallas-Patch.


Cedarcrest attracts high school and college students, as well as pro-

fessionals who have stayed five to 20 years.

Mary Hatch, teacher and licensed nursing assistant, developed her career at Cedarcrest.

“Cedarcrest fosters a unique, warm and positive work environment and work culture. Everyone who works here is driven by the same desire to do what’s best for the children that live here. The staff members become more than just co-workers. They become people with whom you develop a deep respect for. People you can look up to, and people you can trust.”

And as further encouragement, field trips provide enjoyment for the children and the staff.

“Watching a child’s face light up as they hold a baby goat for the first time, or listening to their shrills of

delight as they swim in the pool is the most rewarding feeling,” said Hatch.


Cedarcrest has part-time positions with perks — a daily meal, tuition reimbursement, a wellness program, staff development and a retirement plan.

Full-time employees enjoy all of the above plus medical, dental, life insurance and a benefits package.

Cedarcrest is hiring a full-time licensed nurse assistant, a full-time nurse, a part-time feeding technician and part-time child care assistants. Go to Click on Careers and apply online.


22 Saturday, June 8, 2024 | Vermont Summer Profiles | |

Bennington Community Market: A Beacon of Local Commerce and Community Spirit

BENNINGTON, VT - Nestled in the heart of downtown, in a former car dealership and then furniture store, Bennington Community Market has quickly become a cherished cornerstone of the local community since its inception in March last year. As the market celebrates its one-year anniversary, it reflects on its journey and its significant impact on the local economy and community spirit.

The market's idea originated from long-standing community discussions about the absence of a downtown grocery store offering local products year-round. The market was established not just as a place to shop but as a solution to promote economic development and enhance the downtown living experience. "When you're living downtown, you want to be able to ideally walk to a place where you can have good food all the time," says one of the founders. The vision was clear: to create a community-supported enterprise that fills the gap left by traditional retailers, offering local and sustainable options.


Bennington Community Market is a nonprofit driven by a unique model combining a grocery section, a bakery, and a café offering sandwiches, salads, soups, and a hot bar with rotating specials. Natasha Littrell, a seasoned baker who previously ran the Crazy Russian Girls Bakery and Cafe, now leads the Bennington Community Market as General Manager, significantly contributing to the market's growth. You can find Natasha and her team baking delectable pastries for breakfast every morning, cookies and cupcakes for an afternoon treat and fresh bread to take home or have on a sandwich in the market’s cafe. Specialty cakes are also available to pre-order and have been very popular for holidays, birthdays, and graduation ceremonies.

The market also serves as a community space, providing a venue for various groups to meet and interact. This dual role as a commercial hub and a community center has been well-received. For instance, a private room adjacent to the café is available for meetings at no cost, making it a

dors is free as the market is trying to bring more local produce downtown and provide a space for small producers to sell directly to consumers.

Looking ahead, the market plans to expand its kitchen and prep areas, offering cooperative kitchen space for small producers like Bennington Bagel Company and Vermont Gluten Free Bakery. This initiative supports burgeoning local businesses by providing affordable access to professional kitchen facilities.

popular spot for business gatherings and social events. One notable example is the Baby Café, a support group for breastfeeding mothers, which benefits from the market's privacy while allowing mothers to still feel engaged in a social environment.


The market's establishment and ongoing operations have been bolstered by a blend of federal funding, private donations, and small grants. Notably, funding through Peter Welch's office has been crucial, supporting the Bennington Fair Food Initiative and providing the necessary startup capital.

The market's nonprofit model ensures that profits are reinvested into the business and community. This reinvestment has already shown significant results, with $100,000 directed back to local producers in its first year alone. This figure is expected to grow as the market expands and more local products are introduced.


There are some talented new members of the market’s team, including Sage, a barista who serves creative, seasonal coffee drinks Monday through Friday, and chef Cassidy, a Certified Functional Nutrition Counselor with a degree from New England Culinary Institute.

With 30 years of professional cook-

ing experience, Cassidy specializes in farm to table meals with a focus on superior ingredient sourcing. His minimalist cooking techniques provide nutrient dense foods in flavorful, colorful dishes. Cassidy’s nutritious Paleo and Vegan pre-packaged meals are available in the market’s Grab & Go cooler near the deli. Cassidy is also heading up the market’s catering department with menus that include a fun Taco Party and an elevated BBQ Party.

The market is also hosting outdoor summer Farmers and Makers Markets on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays through September and on October 19th as part of the Better Bennington Corporation’s downtown Harvest Fest. Participation for vegetable ven-

Additionally, the market is working on various community partnerships, such as training Greater Bennington Community Services volunteers in bread making and collaborating with local refugee resettlement programs to introduce diverse culinary offerings. Free ice cream socials at the market over the summer will be open to everyone and offer a fun way to get to know your neighbors.


Despite facing some initial challenges, the market has garnered significant positive feedback. Community groups such as Queer Connect, which held their "Chosen Family Thanksgiving" at the market, and other social service organizations regularly use the space, highlighting its role as a vital community hub.

The market's success underscores a broader mission to support local economies and foster a sense of community. Providing a platform for local farmers and food producers ensures that more revenue stays within the community, promoting economic resilience.

Bennington Community Market stands as a testament to the power of community-driven initiatives. As it continues to grow and evolve, it promises to remain a vibrant and essential part of Bennington's downtown, championing local commerce and community well-being.

To contact us, contact Contact or call (802) 474-2051.

ADDRESS: 239 Main St, Bennington, VT

HOURS: Friday: 8 AM – 6 PM

Saturday: 8 AM – 6 PM Sunday: Closed Monday: 8 AM – 6 PM Tuesday: 8 AM – 6 PM

Wednesday: 8 AM – 6 PM Thursday: 8 AM – 6 PM

23 | Saturday, June 8, 2024 Vermont Summer Profiles | |
Jennifer Brandt Vermont News & Media PHOTO PROVIDED Look for Cassidy’s nutritious, colorful meals in our Grab & Go cooler in our deli. PHOTO PROVIDED BCM Pastry Chef, Adrianna with her flower cupcakes. PHOTO PROVIDED BCM Barista, Sage with her vintage clothing tent at our Downtown Farmers and Makers Market.

New England Center for Circus Arts: Why Jog When You Can Juggle?

The New England Center for Circus Arts (NECCA), located at 10 Town Crier Drive in Brattleboro, Vermont, was founded in 2007 as a non-profit circus education center by co-founders Elsie Smith and Serenity Smith Forchion. The organization has grown significantly over the years, moving into the custombuilt Trapezium building in 2017 and expanding its professional circus school training program to a comprehensive three-year curriculum.

NECCA offers a variety of programs catering to all ages and experience levels. These include a threeyear professional circus training program, recreational classes for adults and youth, camps, and workshops. The center also hosts performances at its Trapezium venue, featuring shows produced by NECCA and guest companies.

NECCA stands out in the circus arts industry by providing inclusive programming for individuals ranging from 1.5 to 85 years old. The center emphasizes social and emotional connection, physical strength, flexibility, balance, and community development. Their motto, "Why jog when you can juggle?" encapsulates their innovative approach to fitness and wellness, promoting circus arts as a fun and engaging way to stay active and mentally sharp.

This year, NECCA launched SilverCircus, a program designed for older adults that focuses on strength, balance, and empowerment. This initiative underscores the organization's commitment to using circus arts for personal growth and community building.

NECCA is also expanding its offerings to include staff retreats and team-building activities. These programs leverage the unique aspects of circus arts to foster empathy, compassion, leadership, and positive communication within groups. For more information or to get involved, contact their reception team at (802) 254-9780 or You can also find more details on their social channels @NECCACircus or visit their website at

24 Saturday, June 8, 2024 | Vermont Summer Profiles | |
Jennifer Brandt Vermont News & Media PHOTO BY ELSIE SMITH

The Wilburton: A Destination Resort for Celebrations and INNspiration


Experience the magic of The Wilburton, a family-run destination for history, hospitality and creativity.

Majestically perched on the crest of a hill with breathtaking views of the Green Mountains, the awardwinning resort was built in 1902 as the largest private estate in Manchester. For 36 years, the Levis family has been working together running The Wilburton and bringing joy to the hilltop.

The 30-acre Wilburton resort includes two turn-of-the-century mansions, spacious vacation homes, a marble celebration pavilion and the Museum of the Creative Process. The Wilburton is sold out on weekends through October, however, the Levis family has created a variety of unique midweek experiences that the community can enjoy.


The Levis family came to Manchester in 1972. Their family home is now Earth Sky Time Farm. They became innkeepers when Albert and Georgette dined at The Wilburton for his 50th birthday, and he spontaneously decided to buy it. Georgette turned The Wilburton into a place

of elegant destination weddings and joyful family reunions.

At 87, Albert is the family visionary and patriarch. His childhood experience of surviving the Holocaust in Athens, Greece inspired him to become a psychiatrist and devote his life to understanding conflict resolution. He created The Museum of the Creative Process at The Wilburton to illustrate his Formal Theory of Behavior. This summer he leads free weekly workshops on Tuesdays from 5 - 7pm called, “Healing the Person and The World”, a program of Emotional Education. Guided sculpture tours are on Sundays at 11am and by appointment.

As second-generation innkeepers, Tajlei and Melissa Levis honor the legacy of their mother Georgette, by continuing her love of song and dance. They grew up seeing their Aunt Wendy Wasserstein’s plays on Broadway and both sisters became Off Broadway songwriters.

Tajlei, the director of events, delights audiences with her original musical murder mysteries and summer “Tuesday in the Tent” cabaret series. This free weekly event in The Wilburton’s marble pavilion, from Tuesday, July 9 - Tuesday August 5, features beautiful views, delicious cocktails, and a talented lineup of performers.

Melissa leads The INNcredible Paris Workout Retreat from Sunday August 4 - Wednesday August 7. This transformational experience encourages women to increase their joie de vivre and leap into their Midlife Renaissance. As a reflection of The Wilburton magic, Melissa met her French boyfriend while performing a cabaret at The Wilburton and now spends half the year in Paris.

Oliver and his wife Bonnie run Earth Sky Time and bakery. They host concert extravaganzas every other Sunday from June 9 through Oct 13. The Wilburton offers a concert lodging package that includes two free tickets.

Max Levis, a psychologist and researcher at Dartmouth, collaborates with Albert on books and presentations. They are leading a workshop at the Psychotherapy Research in Canada in June.


• Tuesday in the Tent Cabaret, Tuesday, July 9 - August 5 from 79 pm FREE

• Emotional Education Workshop: Healing the Person, Healing the World, Tuesday July 9 - August 27, from 5 - 7pm FREE

• Earth Sky Time Farm Concerts, alternate Sundays, June 9 - October 13, from 5 - 10 pm. $15

• INNcredible Retreat for Women, Sunday, August 4 - 7, $495 for locals

• Museum of the Creative Process Art Tours, Sundays 11am and by appointment.

• Murder Mystery Weekend, November 15 - 17

• A Canine Christmas, Doggie Slumber Party December 6 - 8

Lodging packages are available for all of these events.


The Wilburton accommodates 100 guests in a variety of mansion guest rooms, suites and vacation homes. It is ideal for destination weddings, milestone celebrations, yoga retreats, corporate offsites and family reunions.

Whether for a summer wedding in the marble wedding pavilion, a ski weekend in the historic mansion, or a Fall murder mystery weekend,The Wilburton is an INNspiring yearround destination.

To learn more, visit WILBURTON. com or follow on Facebook @WilburtonInn and Instagram @thewilburton. For reservations or inquiries, call (802) 362-2500.

The Wilburton is located at 257 Wilburton Drive, in Manchester Village, VT.

25 | Saturday, June 8, 2024 Vermont Summer Profiles | |
PHOTO PROVIDED BY THE WILBURTON The Wilburton Destination Resort: The Wilburton Inn in Manchester, Vermont PHOTO BY ALEX VINCENT PHOTOGRAPHY Levis Family Innkeepers: The Levis family innkeepers

Unparalleled Care and Community Commitment at Pine Heights

BRATTLEBORO, Vt. — Nestled in the heart of Brattleboro, Vermont, Pine Heights at Brattleboro Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation stands as a beacon of compassionate care and community dedication. Located at 187 Oak Grove Avenue, Brattleboro, VT, this healthcare haven operates 24/7, 365 days a year, ensuring that patients receive topnotch care whenever needed.

Pine Heights at Brattleboro has been an affiliate of National Health Care Associates since 2009, solidifying its commitment to excellence and quality care over the years. The facility boasts a rich history of serving the local community and becoming a trusted healthcare provider.

At the core of Pine Heights’ offerings is a dedicated sub-acute short-term special care unit, along with long-term care units providing skilled nursing care and physical, occupational, and speech therapy. The facility’s comprehensive approach ensures that residents receive tailored care plans, addressing both short-term and long-term healthcare needs.

What sets Pine Heights apart in the healthcare industry is not only its range of services but also its unwavering commitment to core principles. Nina Willson, the Director of Admissions & Marketing, with 7.5 years of dedicated service, attests to the facility’s pride in being recognized as a Great Place to Work, certified in November 2023. In a remarkable achievement, Pine Heights was deficiency-free during its annual licensing survey in 2023, a testament to its unwavering commitment to exceptional standards of care.

One of Pine Heights’ unique features is the on-site LNA (Licensed Nursing Assistant) education program, which contributes to developing skilled healthcare professionals. This initiative enhances the facility’s workforce and strengthens the local healthcare community.

Pine Heights has consistently received a 5-star rating by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for over nine years. This recognition underscores the facility’s dedication to maintaining high-quality standards and providing exceptional resident care.

What truly sets Pine Heights above its competition is its commitment to the principles of kindness, compassion, service, and excellence. These principles form the bedrock of Pine Heights’ ethos, ensuring that every resident receives not only medical care but also the kindness and compassion that contribute to holistic well-being.

Nina Willson, the driving force behind Pine Heights’ community engagement, emphasizes the facility’s dedication to both patients and the local community. Pine Heights actively participates in a variety of local organizations, including the Brattleboro Winter Carnival, Downtown Business Alliance, Rotary Club, Toys for Tots, Elks Club, Brattleboro Senior Center, and more. This involvement underscores Pine Heights’ role as a community partner, extending its support beyond healthcare.

As Director of Admissions & Marketing, Nina values her role in the Pine Heights team and takes pride in serving the community she calls home. For further inquiries or to learn more about Pine Heights, Nina can be contacted via email or phone, reflecting the facility’s commitment

to personalized communication.

In conclusion, Pine Heights at Brattleboro Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation is more than a healthcare facility; it is a community cornerstone dedicated to providing exceptional care and actively contributing to the local community’s well-being. Experience the Pine Heights difference, where kindness, compassion,

and excellence converge to create a home for healing and holistic care.

Explore the world of Pine Heights by visiting their website at or contacting them via email at or phone at 802-257-0307. Join their community on Facebook through Pine Heights at Brattleboro Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation.

26 Saturday, June 8, 2024 | Vermont Summer Profiles | |
Jennifer Brandt Vermont News & Media PROVIDED PHOTO Nina Willson, Director or Admissions & Marketing, and Mary Reeder, Staff Development Coordinator

Taconic Music’s Summer Festival features a contemporary world premiere and a pops orchestra concert

Taconic Music will celebrate its eighth summer season with a lineup of internationally renowned artists performing chamber music from around the globe. The 2024 Summer Festival, which will take place from June 17–July 15, is anchored by a trio of “Chamber Music Saturdays” at the Riley Center for the Arts at Burr and Burton Academy and a Pops Concert with full orchestra at Southern Vermont Arts Center’s Arkell Pavilion. A pair of Monday-evening Young Artists Concerts featuring the talented students from Taconic’s Chamber Music Intensive, two Wednesday-evening masterclasses, a benefit concert at Dionondehowa Wildlife Sanctuary and School in Shushan, New York, and midweek and weekend performances around the region round out the offerings.

Comments co-Artistic Director Joana Genova, “This season will open with a world premiere of a quartet by Japanese-American composer Sato Matsui, and our concerts will be a mix of favorites by Mozart, Brahms and Mendelsohn with pieces by 20th century composers like Prokofiev, Villa-Lobos and Martinů. Along with traditional repertoire, our Young Artists will also be performing works by living composers.”

Co-Artistic Director Ariel Rudiakov adds, “I’m really looking forward

to conducting the Taconic Pops Orchestra—we’ve got an all-star band of musicians from NYC, Boston and Vermont, and our friend Maxine Linehan will be the featured guest vocalist. We’re planning for a truly fun evening with something for everyone.” The pops concert will showcase light classical music and tunes from Hollywood and Broadway, with themes ranging from James Bond movies to Lord of the Rings, TV shows, and more.

All Chamber and Young Artists concerts will again be both live in Manchester and livestreamed on Taconic’s YouTube channel. For those able to attend in person, Chamber Music Saturdays are $30 for adults, free for students and kids, with an informal reception in the Riley Center lobby prior to each concert. Young Artists concerts are free to all, with a suggested donation at the door of $15 for adults and free for students and children. Masterclasses, in which visiting professionals work with young

artist groups as the audience experiences firsthand how chamber music is refined and brought to a whole new level, are also free. Ticket prices for the Pops concert range from $20 for kids and students to $150 for a special VIP package that includes an exclusive after-party and with the conductor and members of the orchestra, hosted at an elegant Manchester Village residence.

Rudiakov and Genova both note, “As an organization with deep roots in the area, we are continually expanding both our year-round offerings and our audience reach. But the Summer Festival has a special place in our hearts where we can tie together our joy in bringing live music to the community, pride in providing employment and live performance opportunities for the musicians who are at the core of our Festival, and hope and inspiration in helping train the next generation of chamber music performers.”

To purchase tickets for Taconic

Music’s summer festival and learn more about their year-round programs, visit

Taconic Music

P.O. Box 732, Manchester, VT 05254 802-362-7162

FB, IG, YouTube: @taconicmusic


22 Opening Chamber Concert: Matsui, Prokofiev, Brahms

23 Dionondehowa benefit concert

26 Masterclass led by cellist Roberta Cooper

29 Chamber Concert II: Mozart, Villa-Lobos, Martinů


1 Young Artists Concert I

6 Pops Orchestra at SVAC

10 Masterclass led by violinist Eugene Drucker

13 Chamber Concert III: Brahms, Mendelssohn

15 Young Artists Concert II

27 | Saturday, June 8, 2024 Vermont Summer Profiles | |
PHOTO BY DENNIS THORNTON Ariel Rudiakov conducts the Taconic Pops Orchestra at SVAC on July 6. PHOTO BY DARREN LEWIS

The Marina Restaurant: A Waterfront Dining Paradise in Brattleboro

BRATTLEBORO — Located at 28 Spring Tree Rd., The Marina Restaurant offers something for everyone, including picturesque waterfront views of the West River. This beloved dining spot provides a comfortably casual atmosphere that invites guests to savor their meals year-round. From grilled salmon paired with summer sunsets to a cozy bowl of lobster bisque in the winter, there's never a bad time to visit The Marina.

Guests seeking excellent starters will find an array of tempting options. The steamed Prince Edward Island mussels served in a savory white wine sauce, and the classic New England clam chowder are just a few highlights. To complement the seafood fare, The Marina offers a variety of local beers on tap and perfectly balanced margaritas.

Enhancing the waterfront experience, the Vermont Canoe Touring Center across the street offers canoe and kayak rentals. Boaters on the river can dock at The Marina’s guest dock for a convenient lunch stop, although it is not a public launching area. The area also features the local radio station WTSA 96.7 and the Inner Heat Yoga studio.

The restaurant’s location at the Connecticut and West Rivers confluence provides stunning views from every seat, whether on the fabulous first floor or the upstairs mezzanine. Outdoor seating includes two decks and an event tent for parties, all overlooking the water with lawn heaters and fire pits for cooler days and evenings.

The Marina's menu boasts a diverse selection, including appetizers, seafood, pasta, burgers, steaks, homemade ice cream, and desserts. Patrons can enjoy their meals with a craft beer, a glass of wine, or a specialty cocktail from the full bar.

Open Wednesday through Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to close, The Marina offers daily specials and encourages guests to check Facebook for updates. The Marina is a perfect stop for hikers looking to refuel with local artwork adorning the walls and the West River trail beginning or ending on the property.

The Marina Restaurant in Brattleboro is a year-round favorite for those seeking a memorable, casual dining experience with breathtaking views.

Starting June 10th, the Marina will be open on Mondays!

For reservations and more information, or call (802) 257-7563.

28 Saturday, June 8, 2024 | Vermont Summer Profiles | |

For the Love of Vermont: The Lyman Orton Collection of Vermont’s Art Golden Era 1920–1960 by the Proprietor of The Vermont Country Store

MANCHESTER — Join The Manchester Community Library on June 14th from 5:00-7:00 PM for the summer art exhibition opening featuring Lyman Orton’s “For the Love of

Vermont.” The Gallery Opening event will include light refreshments.

5:00 PM – Lyman Orton will speak, followed by open gallery viewing and light refreshments.

From June 14th to September 7th the Manchester Community

Library is honored to present a new iteration of “For the Love of Vermont: The Lyman Orton Collection.” The 2023 debut exhibition of paintings, prints, and drawings from The Lyman Orton Collection was a blockbuster hit, breaking all attendance records at two southern Vermont museums. The Manchester Community Library exhibition is bringing forth almost 70 artworks that were not previously exhibited locally.

Lyman Orton, best known as the proprietor of The Vermont Country Store, said, “The response to ‘For

the Love of Vermont’ last summer was nothing short of overwhelming, and since then people have been contacting me asking to see more of the works in my collection. These scenes of Vermont and Vermonters resonated with everyone, and this summer I am delighted to partner with the Library to display many more works of art, including quite a number of new acquisitions.” Manchester Public Library is located at 138 Cemetery Avenue in Manchester, Vermont; the artwork on display is viewable during regular Library hours and admission is free.

“For The Love of Vermont: The Lyman Orton Collection” features works of Vermont scenes created between 1910 and 1970, a period that Lyman Orton calls the “Golden Era” of painting in Vermont. There will be works by well-known painters and printmakers.

Lyman Orton said, “I want folks who perhaps have never attended an art exhibit to come and enjoy what they see and read about the art. The best example of this is a comment from last year by a woman who wrote me and said, ‘I had to drag my husband to the see the art show, and then I had to drag him out!’”

As with all of our Library events and programs, the exhibition is free and open to the public.

29 | Saturday, June 8, 2024 Vermont Summer Profiles | |

Health Care and Rehabilitation Services Empowering People to Reach Their Potential

Since 1967, Health Care and Rehabilitation Services (HCRS) has been a cornerstone of support in Windham and Windsor counties. HCRS offers comprehensive mental health, substance use, and developmental disability services. With a mission to empower people to reach their full potential, HCRS impacts more than 4,000 lives annually, fostering healthier and stronger communities.

Located at 51 Fairview Street in Brattleboro, HCRS' regional office in southern Vermont is open on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Moreover, their crisis services are available round the clock, 24/7. This commitment to accessibility ensures that no one is left without help. Their Mobile Crisis service, operating regardless of an individual's ability to pay, provides an in-person response with a dedicated two-person team, offering immediate assistance when it’s needed the most.

Experience the efficiency of HCRS' newly enhanced Mobile Crisis program, accessible via This innovative service provides immediate support for those in crisis, eliminating the barriers of waiting for appointments or navigating eligibility requirements. Impressively, 91% of callers are met in person by a crisis responder within 60 minutes, a testament to HCRS' unwavering commitment to swift and effective care.

Beyond immediate crisis intervention, HCRS builds long-term relationships and provides ongoing support to help people achieve lasting wellness and personal growth. This holistic, person-centered approach is the heart of HCRS’ mission and is encapsulated in its guiding principle: "Empowering people to reach their potential."

For more information about HCRS and its comprehensive services, visit For the latest news and events, follow HCRS on Facebook and Instagram!

Facebook: https://www.facebook. com/HCRSVermont/

Instagram: https://www.instagram. com/hcrsvt/

Contact Information: HCRS Phone: (802) 886-4500


Address: 390 River Street, Springfield, VT 05156, United States

Mobile Crisis: 988 or (800) 622-4235

Business Hours:

HCRS: Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m.5:00 p.m.

Mobile Crisis Services: Available 24/7

30 Saturday, June 8, 2024 | Vermont Summer Profiles | |
Jennifer Brandt Vermont News & Media

SWVT Chamber of Commerce: Guiding the Way to Southwestern Vermont

BENNINGTON, Vt. – The SWVT Chamber of Commerce, situated at 100 Veterans Memorial Drive in Bennington, Vermont, has emerged as an essential resource for those looking to relocate to the scenic Shires region of Southwestern Vermont. The Chamber is more than just an organization; it is a crucial community organization committed to the growth and development of the local economy.

In 2024, the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development launched the GROW program, aimed at enhancing relocation and retention efforts across the state. Under Executive Director Matt Har-

rington's strategic guidance, the SWVT Chamber of Commerce seized this opportunity to expand its initiatives. Harrington’s vision was clear: to create a robust support system for newcomers to the region. To bring this vision to life, he hired Luis Lascari, a Texan transplant with a deep understanding of the relocation challenges unique to rural Vermont. Lascari’s personal experience as a New Vermonter infuses the GROW program with empathy and authenticity. His journey from Texas to Vermont mirrors the transitions many new residents face, allowing him to provide personalized, conciergelevel services. The program assists with job placement and real estate referrals and offers a wealth of local resources, ensuring newcomers feel

welcomed and supported from the moment they decide to move.

The GROW program distinguishes itself through a unique, partnershipdriven model. By fostering collaborations with business partners and securing corporate sponsorships, the Chamber aims to amplify its impact. This approach helps individuals relocate and drives significant economic growth at both regional and state levels.

The SWVT Chamber of Commerce's unwavering commitment to a tailored relocation experience and strategic partnerships distinguish it from other relocation services. For more details about relocating to Southwestern Vermont, please visit or call them at (802) 447-3311.

31 | Saturday, June 8, 2024 Vermont Summer Profiles | |
Jennifer Brandt Vermont News & Media PHOTO PROVIDED Luis Lascari, Relocation and Retention Expert. PHOTO PROVIDED

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