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Business Notes: Another Upper Valley Convenience Store Is Sold

Valley News Business Writer
Published: 9/1/2018 11:08:37 PM
Modified: 9/1/2018 11:09:04 PM

Grazi’s Newport Meat Market, known for its quality meats and Brothers Donuts, has joined the growing list of Upper Valley convenience markets to be sold.

New Hampshire convenience store and gas station owner Jay Patel has bought the North Main Street mainstay from Graziela Cafua, who had been running the business since 2013.

The sale of Grazi’s is the latest convenience market in the area to change hands as owners sell out to bigger regional players.

In July, Massachusetts-based Global Partners bought the Jiffy Mart and T-Bird Mini Mart chains, which followed the sale of independent convenience stores in Enfield, Canaan, West Lebanon and Quechee, all to group operators.

Patel, the cousin of brothers Mehul and Devendra Patel, who purchased George’s AG SuperValue in Enfield earlier this year, said he’s not planning to make major store changes and the current employees will stay on.

But Patel said he is dropping Citgo gas at the pumps and instead going with an “unbranded” label that he will sell under the name “Yoshi,” which is Japanese for “good luck.” He said the market will be called Newport Meat Market, which has been part of its name under previous owners.

“We want to sell the lowest price gas possible,” Patel explained about the switch to a generic label. “Everything’s staying the same. We still want to serve the same great foods and meats the market always has.

He said on the phone from the store the popular Brothers Donuts that are made in Franklin, N.H., will remain.

He added he may change the layout inside the store “for better flow” but noted that he wants the employees to stay on, including the kitchen manager and the store manager.

Patel — who is no relation to the Jay Patel who last month purchased The Beverage King in West Lebanon — owns combination convenience stores/gas stations in Chester, N.H., Allenstown, N.H., and Windham, N.H., and convenience-only stores in Epping, NH and Henniker, NH.

Enfield ‘Geek’ Seeks To Up His Game

An Enfield resident, technical support manager, comic book writer and self-confessed “geek” has started a company catering to the growing market of sophisticated board games.

Ian Struckhoff, former vice president of support for Boston-based restaurant industry mobile ordering and payments platform LevelUp, is releasing a line of “value added” tabletop games that he has customized with premium card protector sleeves, lamination for paper, “ex libris” name labels and accessories like Ziplock bags and rubber bands so players can readily host “game nights.”

Struckhoff has named his online start-up The Fourth Place, inspired by the “sense of belonging” and social networks comic book geeks and board game players create around their hobbies. His first product is a series of upgraded packages marketed under the name Game Night Ready that include such board games as Betrayal at House on the Hill, The Crystal Caverns, Codenames: Pictures and Gloom.

His product “saves players and businesses time finding and assembling everything. Pre-assembled games ensure that they can go out out in front of players out of the box, instead of sitting until someone has time to set them up,” the company explained in a news release.

Struckhoff, a 1997 graduate of Hanover High School who studied at Reed College and has a degree in philosophy from University of St. Andrews in Scotland, said he also plans to help businesses like restaurants, coffee shops and bars run “game nights” because “they often can’t find partners to make it easy.”

Twin State Marketers Set Fall Summit

Many retail businesses, especially small ones, are struggling to understand the new rules surrounding online tax collection and new data protection regulations imposed by the European Union.

Those topics will be addressed at the VT/NH Marketing Group’s fourth annual “fall summit” on Oct. 4 in the conference center at the Hilton Garden Inn in Lebanon.

The VT/NH Marketing Group, a Woodstock nonprofit that provides marketing education and networking support to companies in Northern New England, is organizing the all-day event that will feature various speakers presenting on such topics as online sales tax collection, EU General Data Protection Regulation compliance, how to use Amazon to advantage and social media “best practices,” among other topics.

This year’s keynote speakers will be Jim Feinson, chief executive of Gardener’s Supply Co., who will speak on online sales tax collection and how businesses are affected by the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows states to tax online sales.

(Gardner’s Supply acquired Longacres Nursery in Lebanon earlier this year.)

For more information visit www.vtnhmg.org.

News items of interest to the local business community are published in the Business & Money section of the Sunday Valley News. Submissions may be sent by email to: biznotes@vnews.com (high-resolution photographs may be attached in .jpg format). Items are edited for clarity and space.




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