BoHo Cafe and Coventry Catering Downsizing, Moving to Wilder

Valley News Business Writer
Sunday, July 30, 2017

White River Junction — After operating for 13 years out of the Hotel Coolidge, BoHo Cafe and Coventry Catering owner Lynn Caple is downsizing his business and moving his catering operation to Wilder, where he will operate out of the former Wilder Sandwich Co. storefront on Route 5.

The shift follows the decision by his wife, Karen, last November to close White River Yarns, which also was located in the Hotel Coolidge building.

Caple said he was downsizing his business because he and his wife are preparing to move to Florida in order to assist in the care of his wife’s parents. As a result, he will not be able to manage both businesses. “It is too much of a challenge to operate an enterprise with significant staffing from 1,500 miles away,” said Caple.

Both Caple and Briggs termed the end of their business relationship “friendly” and something dictated by the Caples’ pending move to Florida.

Caple said he expects to be able to oversee a downsized Coventry Catering from his new home in the Sunshine State, although he will continue to make periodic visits to the Upper Valley as needs dictate.

“I have a core staff I trust implicitly,” he said.

Caple is expected to wind down operations at Hotel Coolidge over the next several months, although a specific date for the transition is still unknown.

The move is creating an opening for hotel owner Briggs to find another caterer-cafe operator to take over the space in his downtown White River Junction location.

“This is an opportunity for someone rising in the catering world,” Briggs said. “We’re taking a look at applications and doing interviews now.”

Briggs said he created the Hotel Coolidge’s in-house catering model 20 years when he “got out of dining and went into events and I needed someone to provide food for those functions.” The caterer also could use the hotel’s kitchen facilities to prepare food for the cafe, putting it to double use.

“The cafe gives the catering company employees a place to work between events,” he said, which eliminates the headache of hiring, letting go and rehiring staff between functions.

Caple, who previously operated the Plainfield General Store before starting Coventry Catering, said the combined in-hotel catering business, outsider catering business and Boho Cafe collectively generated about $600,000 in revenues last year.

As a result, by giving up the hotel catering and cafe functions of his operations, he will now be operating a smaller enterprise.

“The hotel and cafe were a significant part of the business,” he said.