Business Notes: Worthy Burger Owners Plan Restaurant, Catering Operation in Woodstock

South Royalton — The owners of Worthy Burger, a successful restaurant that opened last August in the old railroad freight depot here, are planning for a second restaurant and catering business this summer in Woodstock.

Worthy Kitchen and Worthy Catering will open in late July or August, one of the partners, Jason Merrill, said last week.

“We needed a bigger kitchen for what we want to do, and this is just an expansion that we had planned on the concept that we started with the Worthy Burger,” Merrill said.

The company has already lined up catering events and the additional load is stressing the small kitchen at Worthy Burger, which frequently is packed with customers.

Merrill, along with partners Dave Brodrick and Kurt Lessard, have signed a lease on the old Eastender restaurant on Route 4 in Woodstock, which has been closed more than a year.

Remodeling will begin soon for a 80-seat restaurant and the area for the catering prep and kitchen facilities. The new restaurant will have 20 craft beers on draft and six wines and will continue the wood-fired concept of Worthy Burger, but with a wood-fired oven instead of a grill.

“We’ll have a different menu, featuring our Worthywich, a sandwich of the day, the Worthy Animal of the Week Cut, Asian and Italian noodles and the Worthystoop, soups, stews and chowders,” fish, salads and a large doughnut for dessert, Merrill said, adding that local ingredients will be used and no burgers or pizza will be served.

Merrill, who was the chef of the Jackson House Inn in Woodstock and the Hanover Inn, has long been an advocate for using local ingredients and has contracted with a Vermont farm to supply the restaurant and catering operations. He also works with Wood Mountain Fish Co., which brings fish and shellfish daily from the Boston boats to Upper Valley restaurants.

The Worthy Kitchen will take over more of the food prep for Worthy Burger and will be baking sourdough breads and expand the pickling operation.

“This is just phase two of what we’re planning. There will be phases three and four. We’re looking for other locations for down the road,” Merrill said.

Company News

LaValley-Middleton Building Supply Inc. has received the first “Standard of Excellence Award” from roofing systems manufacturer IKO for a LaValley’s commercial featuring the Kankakee, Ill.-based company’s product.

A LaValley’s commercial in the “Home Improvement Minute” series on YouTube and featured on the company’s website highlights IKO products. The ad caught the attention of the roofing company, which decided to recognize LaValley with the first “peak performer” honor.

In addition to a plaque, LaValley’s ad will be featured on IKO’s website and highlighted in trade magazines.

Started in 1962, LaValley’s is a family-owned business based in Newport that has locations in New Hampshire and Vermont. IKO has 25 manufacturing plants throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.

Upcoming Events

The N.H. Foreclosure Relief Project of the New Hampshire Bar Association will be hosting a free public foreclosure clinic tomorrow afternoon, from 1:30 to 3:30, at the Kilton Public Library, 80 Main St., West Lebanon. Homeowners who attend the legal clinic can meet one-on-one with an attorney who specializes in mortgage and foreclosure cases to formulate a plan to avoid, cope with or fight foreclosure, depending on individual circumstances. Pre-registration is required. Call 603-715-3255 or register by email at

Upper Valley entrepreneurs will discuss their experiences and share what lessons they’ve learned during a seminar on May 8, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., at Lebanon College, 15 Hanover St., Lebanon. The event, sponsored by Upper Valley Young Professionals and Lebanon College, is free. Food and beverages will be provided. Reserve a seat by going to

The Upper Valley Housing Coalition’s spring business leaders breakfast is scheduled for May 10, from 8 to 9 a.m., at the Fireside Inn in West Lebanon. A panel of local employers will lead a discussion of the Upper Valley’s job market, which will be followed by an update of area’s real estate outlook. A full buffet breakfast will be served. A $5 donation is encouraged at the door. To reserve a seat email or call 603-448-0272 by Friday.

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