Business Notes: Oct. 27, 2013

Quechee — Relish the Dog, a hot dog cafe and a shop featuring dog gifts, opened last week in the building next door to the Fat Hat Clothing Co. on Route 4.

“We’ve always been dog lovers, and our customers are dog lovers, so this seemed like a good idea,” said Sara Ecker, who is a part owner and the general manager of Fat Hat.

“(Relish the Dog) is a place that gives people a place to go who want a quick bite to eat and might want to buy something unusual for their dogs.”

The gift shop offers made in Vermont dog toys, treats and clothes and other limited production dog products made in other parts of the country.

“We’re trying to make things that aren’t available in the area and trying to keep it local and unique,” Ecker said.

The hot dog cafe features two types of dogs — Nathan’s hot dogs and Hebrew National all-meat knockwurst — with locally made toppings including Vermont pickles, mac and cheese, chili, spruced-up sauerkraut and coleslaw, she said.

“We’re looking for a veggie dog when we can find one that tastes good. So far, we haven’t had much luck.”

Dogs are welcomed, but they can’t come inside because state health laws don’t allow them in a place that’s serving food, Ecker said.

The store will be open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

Company News

Pixel Power VFX Studios, an education studio for those interested in animation and visual effects owned and operated by Shallon Thorpe of Lebanon, is opening an office in Glen Road Plaza in West Lebanon, Bruce M. Waters, senior broker for Lang McLaughry Commercial, said in a news release.

Thorpe has experience and knowledge of animation and general design from his involvement with major studios in the Berkeley, Calif., area.

“The Upper Valley is underserved by educational opportunities for those interested in a career in animation and visual effects in gaming and advertising,” Thorpe said in the release.

Lang McLaughry Commercial represents the landlord, Triton Realty Corp., and assisted Pixel Power in securing their new facility.

Kris’s Kuts, a hair and beauty salon owned and operated by Kris Dow, is opening in the Junction Marketplace in White River Junction. Dow has been a hair and beauty stylist in the Upper Valley for years, but left for other business opportunities in Texas. Having successfully completed those opportunities, she now is back. The new salon will have three stations and will offer full salon services. The Junction Marketplace is on Route 5 near the intersection of Interstate 89 and Interstate 91.

Lang McLaughry Commercial represented the landlord, Execusuite, LLC, and assisted the tenant.

Sugar River Bank, in Newport, was presented with the New England Automated Clearing House’s President’s Award for 2013 in September.

The award was accepted by Susan Ordway, deposit operations officer, at The New England Automated Clearing House Association’s 40th anniversary Payment Conference for exemplary performance in automated clearing house payment processing. Ordway and the bank’s payment processing team “showed exemplary leadership and guidance through the year with her knowledge and understanding of ACH,” said Mark Pitkin, the bank’s president and CEO.

Kovacs Ice Drilling Equipment, the Lebanon-based manufacturer of drilling and coring equipment used in snow and ice research, has been sold to Donna and Elijah Keib of Rosenburg, Ore., owners Austin and Betty Kovacs announced earlier this month. The Lebanon company will now operate under the name Kovacs Enterprises Inc.

FairPoint Communications has expanded broadband service to more than 65 additional homes and businesses in the town of Charlestown. High-speed connection areas include portions of these streets and roads: Calavant Hill, Claremont, Judland Heights, Morningside Lane, Morse Hill, Ox Brook and River.

The expansion is part of FairPoint’s $3.3 million broadband expansion project. This expansion is in addition to FairPoint’s effort to increase broadband availability to 95 percent of its access lines in New Hampshire by the end of 2013.

Dan Lagerstedt, of Northfield, Vt., has been hired as systems technician at Vermont Computing Inc. in Randolph. Lagerstedt has experience in both technical and non-technical fields and recently graduated from Vermont Technical College in Randolph Center with a degree in information technology. He will be serving customers in the central Vermont areas.

Upcoming Events

River Valley Human Resources Association is hosting a presentation for HR professionals and small business representatives at its annual meeting on Thursday, Nov. 7, at the Quechee Club in Quechee. Breakfast and networking starts at 8 a.m. with the presentation from 8:45–10:30 a.m.

Lisa Landry of Savvy Workshop, and Susan Osborne of Be Image Consulting will be presenting information focusing on how to present the best image for an organization by making “brand ambassadors” out of employees.

Association members are free along with member guests. The fee for non-members is $20. To register, email

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 e-mail to All items are subject to editing for clarity or space.