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Business Notes: June 8, 2014

Thetford — David McInnis is putting his smoky, slow-cooked pulled pork and ribs on the road.

McInnis is expanding his Wicked Awesome BBQ operation and adding a food truck that he plans to set up at the Vermont Institute of Natural Science in Quechee on weekends and on the greens in Lebanon and Norwich on other days.

For the last three years, McInnis and his family have been operating a “barbecue shack” on Route 5 in East Thetford and running a catering business. The truck will add a new dimension to the business and help get his food to new customers, he said.

“We’re very excited about it. I think it’s really going to expand our business,” said McInnis, who moved from Boston to the Upper Valley eight years ago and has cooked in restaurants and hotels for the last 25 years.

“We’ll serve pretty much the same menu on the truck that we do here (on Route 5), and my wife and son will run it.”

About 15 years ago, McInnis got interested in cooking barbecue, starting out by doing pig roasts and keg parties for friends at his home in the Boston area.

“I really liked it and liked cooking it, and it just sort of developed from there.” Wicked Awesome BBQ operates out of neat, small wooden building offering window service only with outside tables near the smoker, where McInnis slow cooks pork shoulders and ribs, chicken halves and beef tips.

“We cook the pork with a dry rub (a secret recipe) for about 12 hours and finish it off by basting it in root beer, which just adds another layer of flavor. Then we serve it with our sauce on a roll from King Arthur Flour,” he said, adding that the ribs are cooked for about six hours with the same rub and basted in apple juice.

Company News

Bethel-based GW Plastics is expanding its manufacturing facility in Dongguan, China, to provide room for growth, the company announced last week.

The 125,000-square-foot, stand-alone building, which is scheduled to be completed during the first quarter next year, is in the same industrial park as the company’s current operations. GW Plastics-Dongguan offers in-house tool building, clean room molding and assembly and global shipping of finished medical devices.

The close proximity of GW’s new facility to its existing operation will allow for business expansion with minimal disruption to its customers and workforce, a news release says.

“We are working very closely with our customers to plan the necessary coordination for the transfer,” said Benjamin Bouchard, GW Plastics vice president of international business and managing director in China.

In addition to the increased room for growth, the new facility will allow for a much larger in-house tool manufacturing operation and more streamlined production operations.

By more than doubling the size of its plant, GW Plastics will be able to expand its room for growth.

GW Plastics, which started in 1955, is a contract manufacturer serving companies in the health care, automotive safety, and consumer-industrial markets. The company specializes in injection molded thermoplastic and silicone solutions. GW Plastics has manufacturing facilities in Bethel and Royalton; San Antonio, Texas; Tucson, Ariz.; Queretaro, Mexico, and Dongguan, China.

Retail Control Systems Inc., of Enfield, was presented the 2014 Governor’s Outstanding Achievement award for promoting healthy lifestyles through physical activity and fitness services and programs for a small worksite organization, the company announced in a news release.

The company developed an in-house employee wellness program, overseen by Lois Donelson, which focuses primarily on ergonomics for computer industry employees, exercise guidance and advice and employee participation in the governor’s 90-day walk challenge, workplace health messaging, nutrition education utilizing an Enfield-based CSA, an on-site fruit program and volunteerism with the Upper Valley Trails Alliance.

Retail Control Systems is a reseller of point-of-sale computer systems for retailers.

Upcoming Events

The Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire’s traveling roundtable discussion is coming to Lebanon on June 19, at the Hypertherm plant at 71 Heater Road, from 2 to 4 p.m.

Discussion will center on the 2014 New Hampshire legislative session, the challenges that are facing businesses and what action is needed. The roundtable is designed to give the business community a voice in establishing a proactive legislative and regulatory agenda for the 2015 legislative session at the New Hampshire Statehouse.

Business leaders will be asked to identify challenges affecting their operations. They will be asked to rank these challenges from most pressing to least pressing. Finally, business leaders will be able to recommend action steps.

In addition to BIA, the roundtable at Hypertherm, which is one of eight being held across the state, also is sponsored by the Lake Sunapee Region Chamber of Commerce and the Lebanon Area Chamber of Commerce.

The roundtable is free and open to the public. To make reservations, call 603-224-5388, ext. 100.

The Vermont Small Business Development Center is offering a free workshop on “How to Commercialize Your Idea” on June 25 at the Community College of Vermont in Wilder, from 1 to 3 p.m.

The workshop will be presented by the SBDC’s technology commercialization adviser Scott Holson and will focus on turning ideas into products and service with a minimum of risks.

To register for the workshop, go to www.vtsbdc.org.

Items of interest to the local business community are published every Sunday. Submissions may be mailed to: Business Notes, c/o Sunday Valley News, P.O. Box 877, White River Junction, Vt. 05001. You may also send your items by fax to 603-298-0212, or by e-mail to biznotes@vnews.com. All items are subject to editing for clarity or space.