RUTLAND — A local family recently opened Rutland Toy and Hobby at 158 North Main Street, filling the niche that the former store Mike’s Hobbies filled for many years.
In fact, 158 North Main now has two businesses selling treasures from decades past, with the recent opening of the vinyl record shop Rick and Kat’s Howlin’ Mouse in the former Mike’s Hobbies space next door to the city’s newest toy store.
Rutland Toy and Hobby is owned by the father-and-son team of Wayne Thornton Sr. and Jr., and Thornton Jr.’s mother Denise handles the bookkeeping and also helps in the store.
Thornton Jr., who is 25 years old, said he has expertise in toys and comics from the 1990s and early 2000s, and all manner of video games, and his dad’s specialties are toys from the 1970s and 1980s, along with cars, trains and remote-control toys. Together, that’s a wide range of expertise that makes the key attribute of the new business possible: diversity.
BURLINGTON — The University of Vermont has a wide-ranging economic impact on Vermont that added up to $1.33 billion in fiscal year 2014, a recent study reported. That number includes UVM’s impact on tax revenue and different industries and community groups, as well as the impact of the university’s research programs. The study was done by Pittsburgh-based consulting firm Tripp Umbach, which has completed more than 150 economic impact studies for clients in North America, Australia and Europe. The time period covered by the study was July 1, 2013, through June 30, 2014.
Nobody just handed you your job. No, you had to strike fast and scratch up a decent résumé that packed a wallop. You knew there were other clock-punchers who wanted that job, too, and you were determined to beat them all. Turns out, though, that the work practically knocks you out every day, but in the new book “Feminist Fight Club” by Jessica Bennett, there are ways to attack your dissatisfaction.
NORTHFIELD — “Vermont is the best state for beer in the union,” Scott Kerner said. “The amount of tourists that pour into our state each year is one barometer for the strength of this industry. The brand is strong, and the community is stronger.” Kerner should know.
Beer matters in Vermont. Not only do we have more breweries per capita than any other state, we also consume 25 percent more beer than the national average per capita. That’s not surprising — if everyone else’s beer was as good as Vermont’s, they’d drink more of it too. The brewery industry is also an increasingly important part of Vermont’s economy. According to a study released last year by the Vermont Brewers Association, “Vermont’s brewing industry operations and investments, including food sales, other merchandise sales at breweries and brewpubs, and new plant and equipment capital expenditures, generates $199 million in total economic activity and 1,575 jobs in the state.
Flowers … chocolate … 401k? Let’s face it — talking money and financial planning with your significant other on a “date” may not be your first choice for spending quality time together. Even in the best of relationships, discussing money and finances can send two people running in opposite directions. Yet, establishing the habit of scheduling an annual financial date night nurtures your long-term relationship and future together.
BURLINGTON — Vermont’s booming technology sector will get a boost this month from a new weeklong series of events. Burlington’s inaugural Innovation Week, from Oct. 14 to 22, will feature programs highlighting the vibrant energy of the creative technology sector in the Queen City and throughout the state. Innovation Week will be bookended by Hack VT, a 24-hour hackathon during which competitors build apps to assist with state progress, and Vermont Tech Jam, a two-day job fair and tech expo that showcases Vermont employers and products, along with student projects. The Innovation Week schedule between Hack VT and Vermont Tech Jam features several spotlight presentations in numerous areas, from food, beverage and agriculture to energy efficiency, health care and software technology.
WATERBURY — Hiata DeFeo has a right to be happy. After seven years of offering Waterbury residents a welcoming, community-focused space at her Stowe Street store, Bridgeside Books, DeFeo has turned another one of her passions into a retail business.
BURLINGTON — Mention Burlington International Airport and most people’s initial thoughts likely involve travel — coming and going. Whether for vacation, business trips or picking up visiting family or business colleagues, the airport is typically about arrivals and departures. Increasingly, though, BTV is hosting opportunities for Vermonters to come to the airport and stay a while — to do business, learn, celebrate, or support local causes. BTV has become a popular venue for a wide variety of events, ranging from conferences, trade shows and charity fundraisers to live music and even weddings. And Gene Richards, BTV’s director of aviation, loves it.
KILLINGTON — Killington Resort’s bike park has seen various improvements in recent years, and the customers have responded by using it more often. The resort’s season pass sales for mountain biking went from fewer than 150 in 2014 to more than 550 this summer, according to Communications Manager Michael Joseph. That contributed to the resort’s 25-percent growth in summer revenue over the last three years, and total days with bikers on the trails — including season-pass holders and day-ticket users — have grown at that same 25-percent clip annually over the same period, Joseph said. Recent improvements to the bike park are part of a “long-term growth strategy,” he said, to boost summer offerings and make the resort more of a four-season destination. “We’re continuing to build this part of the business year over year and not slowing down,” Joseph said.
BRIDGEWATER — From Colonial times to today, woodworkers have been supported and celebrated throughout the Northeast, notably in Vermont. The evolution of hand tools has been gradual through the generations of artisans. Friday, Oct. 7, kicked off a two-day Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event hosted by ShackletonThomas in Bridgewater. On Oct.
SOUTH BURLINGTON — Davis Studio relocated to a much larger space on Shelburne Road in South Burlington this past spring, after 13 successful years at the corner of Pine and Howard Streets in Burlington’s South End. Founder and Director Teresa Davis seized an opportunity to acquire a property that would both enhance her businesses’ existing offerings in art camps, classes and gallery, and accommodate her broader vision for what Davis Studio could be for the community. “We purchased the property, so that sense of ownership — of permanence and control — was important, as was having everything under one roof,” Davis said. At her previous location, Davis said, the gallery was in a separate building from studios, and even those studios were scattered and separated by other business spaces. “This offers a unified, all-in one feel,” Davis said.
RANDOLPH — Three new events, including the first Central Vermont Brew Fest, are coming to the Randolph region Oct. 8. Organizers hope that holding the brew fest and two new races on the same day will draw a big crowd to central Vermont and bring lots of customers to local businesses. Shane Niles, president and co-owner of One Main Tap & Grill, is leading the effort behind the brew fest; Zac Freeman is organizing the Braintree 5 Gravel Grinder, a 35-mile dirt-road bicycle race; and Matt Murawski is heading up the Vermont Foliage 15, a 15-kilometer running race with a shorter 5k option. The brew fest is from 2 to 8 p.m., the Gravel Grinder starts at 11:30 a.m. and the Foliage 15 kicks off at 1 p.m. The brew fest, a 21-and-over event, offers free parking and has Vermont bands playing throughout the day.
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — The man who has helped Community Access Television grow over the past 24 years is ready to retire. Robert “Bob” Franzoni, 70, announced he is retiring from his position as CATV’s executive director next May, handing off leadership of an organization he helped shape into what it is today. CATV is a nonprofit public access station airing on local channels 8 and 10 that serves the towns of Hartford, Hartland and Norwich in Vermont, as well as Hanover and Lebanon in New Hampshire. First located in nearby Hanover, CATV relocated to the Tip Top Building in downtown White River Junction in 2005. “Channel 8 is for public and select board meetings and Channel 10 is for education, arts and school board,” Franzoni said.