New Business



Planet Fitness

Planet Fitness announced the opening of a 15,000-square-foot space at the Berlin Mall, its first Vermont corporate-owned location joining three existing franchise locations (in Essex Junction, South Burlington, and St. Albans). The Hampton, New Hampshire–based company offers a variety of reasonably priced benefits, including a “hassle-free” environment, cardio and strength equipment, fully equipped locker rooms, flat screen televisions, and unlimited small-group fitness instruction by a certified trainer. •


Mad River Taste Place

Robin Morris, the president of the food business incubator Mad River Food Hub, announced the opening of the Mad River Taste Place in a contemporary building that once housed a bank in Waitsfield. It is a venue showcasing Vermont food and drink businesses. The location offers a curated retail experience where residents and visitors can taste, learn, and provision from the food and beverage makers of the Mad River Valley and other areas of the state. Included is a full cheese and charcuterie counter, walk-in retail cooler, training room, artisan’s demonstration, media room, conference room, and tasting hall. The existing bank safe was converted to a storage cooler. Local makers selling products there include Lawson’s Finest Liquids beer, Von Trapp Farmstead cheese, Ploughgate Creamery butter, Mad River Distillers spirits, Quayl’s Chocolates, Little Hogback Farm maple candies, Babette’s Table charcuterie, pH Tea, goodMix breakfast, and Green Rabbit bread. The Vermont Cheese Council has located its office there, as well. 89 Mad River Green; 496-3165.

Ballet Vermont

Chatch Pregger, the creator of Vermont’s innovative Farm to Ballet Project announced the formation of his new ballet company, Ballet Vermont, formed following three successful seasons of the Farm to Ballet Project. The ensemble includes six soloists and 11 members of the corps, including a number of the dancers who appeared in Farm to Ballet. Pregger studied at the Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts. He joined Boston Ballet II in 1999, and was promoted to Boston Ballet the next year. Since then he has been a member of the Washington Ballet and the Houston Ballet and has been a guest dancer with several companies.

Roadhouse Studios

Resident artists Sherry Senior, Kim Senior, Bob Arns (known as Mutin), Jann LaBelle-Prince, and Johanne Durocher Yordan announced the opening of Roadhouse Studios, a collect space and gallery in Shelburne. Classes will be taught by resident and outside artists in several disciplines: watercolor, acrylics, drawing, mixed media, and decorative arts and crafts. Also planned are regular meetings of interested people for Coffee and Crafts, Paint and Sip, and other project-related gatherings. The common space is used to exhibit, teach, and collaborate. 209 Webster Road; 233-5303. •


Step Ahead Innovations

James Clark, a serial inventor and entrepreneur with expertise in electronics, wireless communications, and product development, and Giuseppe Petrucci, Ph.D., a professor of chemistry at The University of Vermont, announced the opening of their company, Step Ahead Innovations, which has developed the MindStream Monitor. The MindStream Monitor is an aquarium water-monitoring system that replaces traditional test kits with a fully automated solution for aquarists to perpetually monitor and balance up to 10 vital water parameters — the key to keeping fish and corals healthy. Monitor results are transmitted via Wi-Fi and Cloud technology in real time to any Web-enabled device. Brian Degen, formerly of Fieldstone Capital Partners, is the company CEO and CFO. The company is currently taking preorders; shipments are expected to begin the first of 2018. 6 Green Tree Drive, South Burlington; 233-0211;

Mill River Brewing BBQ & Smokehouse

David, Joyce, and Dan Fitzgerald have opened Mill River Brewing BBQ & Smokehouse in St. Albans. The company has unveiled five styles of beer: an award-winning pilsner, two wheat ales, a stout, and an IPA. In addition to growing vegetables and herbs on site, the restaurant features products from Vermont farmers and producers in family recipes from Joyce’s mother’s cookbook. Brisket appears as a star on the menu and is featured in many of the offerings, including smoked brisket platter, chili, and a Brisket Philly sandwich. The menu offers wings, burgers, roasted chicken, and pan-seared salmon in addition to a long list of beef- and pork-centered dishes and sides. 10 Beauregard Drive; 582-4182;

Magic Mountain National Disc Golf Course

Ski Magic LLC announced the opening of Magic Mountain National Disc Golf Course to the public with nine holes of an eventual 18-hole championship course in Londonderry. The course layout stretches across multiple ski trails and wooded glades on the lower part of Magic Mountain. The course was designed by Tim Garvey, and the layout can be viewed at The course is only $5 to play; discs can be rented for $5 at the Pro Shop at Magic’s Black Line Tavern. Initially open Thursdays through Sundays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. or dusk. 495 Magic Mountain Access Road; 824-5645; •


Michelle Marketing Strategies

Jennifer Michelle announced the opening of Michelle Marketing Strategies, a consultancy specializing in marketing companies in the health care technology sector, in Fairfax. Michelle helps healthcare tech businesses by conducting comprehensive audits of their marketing strategies or acting as an outsourced member of their teams. She was marketing director at OpenTempo, a health care tech company in Williston, and has recently been director of email marketing for Pinnacle Creative Studio in New York. 310-0130;

Samuel Stoyak, M.D.

Samuel Stoyak, M.D., opened a primary care internal medicine practice in South Burlington. He earned his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and completed his residency in internal medicine at The University of Vermont Medical Center, where he served as chief resident. He is a board-certified internist and is affiliated with The UVM Medical Center and Central Vermont Medical Center. 43 Timber Lane; 448-3759,

The MINT – Rutland’s Makerspace

The MINT – Rutland’s Makerspace is a nonprofit with a shared workshop and classroom for anyone interested in making things. MINT members include hobbyists, DIY enthusiasts, educators, students, entrepreneurs, and nonprofit and for-profit companies. Beyond being a workshop with all the tools, it is a community of people sharing their knowledge, experience, and ideas. The organizer is the Rutland Economic Development Corp. 112 Quality Lane; 772-7087; •


Elm Place Senior Housing

Cathedral Square announced the opening of Elm Place, an affordable senior residence, in Milton. The facility has 30 one-bedroom apartments and provides free SASH (support and services at home) services to residents. It features laundry facilities, discounted cable rates, a secure entry, large common rooms with fireplace and kitchen, and central air. It is the first multifamily building in the state built to passive house energy standards. Rent includes heat, air conditioning, hot water, laundry, and electricity. 60 Bombardier Road; 859-8883.

Home Care Assistance

Tom and Stacy Lee have opened Home Care Assistance of Greater Burlington. Tom is business operations manager, and Stacy is client care manager. The company provides hourly and live-in services that allow seniors to remain safely in their homes. Caregivers use a holistic approach that encourages independence and engages clients in physical, mental, and social activities in addition to assisting with meal preparation, personal hygiene, and transportation. The company serves clients in Chittenden, Grand Isle, Addison, Lamoille, Washington, and Franklin counties. 4 Pearl St., Essex Junction, Suite 104; 876-7258; •


Konrad Prefab

Konrad Prefab opened its new manufacturing facility in the Robert S. Jones Industrial Center in Springfield. Konrad specializes in the design and production of modular and display units, and its initial product line is lactation suites, which will be distributed by Burlington-based Mamava. The suites will be installed in public facilities around the country to support nursing mothers. David Jaacks is president of Konrad Prefab, and Sascha Mayer is CEO and co-founder of Mamava.

Club Fitness

Club Fitness celebrated its opening in Rutland. The company calls itself a “new option in fitness,” open to people of all ages and conditions, and offers top-level personal training, classes, nutrition counseling, and no contracts. Sean Manovill is the owner. 275 N. Main St; 776-4034; 683-7160;

Hampton by Hilton St. Albans

American Resort Management announced the opening of its new Hampton by Hilton in downtown St. Albans. Maureen Brown was named general manager. She is a past president of the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce. The hotel was developed by Peak CM. It includes 84 guest rooms and features free hot breakfasts, a 24-hour business center, indoor swimming pool, fitness center, and meeting space. 528-5020. •


Addison Residential

Michael Gingras opened Addison Residential LLC in Middlebury. The company specializes in residential design, management, consulting, and millwork for clients throughout the Northeast. The team includes eight former employees of Connor Homes, which closed suddenly in December of last year. 16 Creek Road, Suite 5; 388-7077;

Karlise Fine Jewelers

Michael Archambault announced the opening of Karlise Fine Jewelers in Burlington. A certified gemologist, Archambault worked at Fremeau Jewelers for 30 years, as a bench jeweler and store manager. The store, located in the space formerly occupied by Fremeau, is named for his two daughters, Kara and Elise. 78 Church St.; 658-0333;

Onion River Press

Michael DeSanto and Renee Reiner, the owners of Phoenix Books Burlington, have launched Onion River Press, geared toward promoting the voices of local authors. Services range from basic printing and distribution to a launch event at a Phoenix Books location and distribution in its five stores around the state. The company will provide authors access to editors and designers to ensure that the finished product is competitive with the quality of traditionally published titles. It will be run by Tod Gross, the Burlington store manager, and Rachel Fisher, who will act as publishing manager. 191 Bank St.; 448-3350; •


STEAMworks Preschool

Heartworks Preschools of Shelburne announced the opening of STEAMworks Preschool, with capacity for 45 children, in Essex. The program, designed for children from 2 to 5 years of age, will introduce them to science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. The school builds on three years of work providing an afternoon STEAM curriculum in the Heartworks Preschools. The new school offers a full-day program. 51 Center Road; 951-1827;;


David Weaver, a marketing strategist in Underhill, announced the opening of AccessCMO LLC, a marketing consultancy offering advice to growing businesses on an ad hoc basis without the added overhead of a full-time CMO (chief marketing officer). Weaver made his announcement while giving a speech to attendees of the South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, Texas. Weaver was working remotely in Vermont for a Kansas City, Missouri, advertising firm. 47 Jackson Hill Road; (206) 854-7750; •


Willow House

Jessica Humphrey has opened Willow House in Shelburne. The shop had been located inside the Vintage Inspired Market Place in Burlington. Willow House sells antiques, vintage items, and treasures of all kinds. 11 Falls Road; 489-5571;

BNI Vermont

Vickie Wacek, executive director of BNI Vermont (Business Networking International), announced the launch of a Montpelier chapter, the 12th to open in the state. The Heart of Vermont BNI leadership team consists of Gabe LaJeunesse of Edward Jones, the founding president; Shawn Shouldice McShane, Capital Connections LLC, founding vice president; Sarah Lipton, The Presence Point, founding secretary/treasurer; Dan Swider, BNI Vermont chapter launch director; and Jackie DesLauriers, BNI Vermont director consultant. Meetings are held every Friday from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at the Christ Episcopal Church at 64 State St.;

Oak Hill Wellness

Oak Hill Wellness, a collective of counseling and healing practitioners, opened in South Burlington. Megan Poor, LICSW; Molly Madore, MA; Angela Vogel Arigo, LCMHC; Katie Hoar, LICSW; and Leah Barth, MA, offer individual and group counseling services. Nina Kalantari, CMT, and Althea Beagley, LMT, offer a range of healing bodywork. 54 West Twin Oaks Terrace, Unit 12. •


TLC HomeCare Services

TLC HomeCare Services, which provides personalized home care services, opened in Rutland. TLC offers in-home personal senior care, homemaking, companionship, medication management, and nursing supervision plus other services in the hospital, nursing homes, and other places of residence. The Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce organized the opening celebration. 65 North Main St., Suite 1; 353-3333;

Serene Country Cabins

Craig and Jennifer Fowler are the builders and owners of Serene Country Cabins in Hyde Park. They have worked three years preparing their 12-acre wooded property for vacation rentals. The staff at Capstone Community Action’s Micro Business Development Program helped with the business plan process. Vermont Economic Development Authority and the Vermont State Employees Credit Union V-BIZ provided financing. Two cabins are ready for guests, and two more are under construction. 302 Brook Road; 793-4995; •


Blue Cottage

Blue Cottage, a home décor and gift store, opened in Hinesburg near the Bristol Bakery and Kinney Pharmacy. Offerings include vintage furniture, lighting, mirrors, stained glass windows, curios, and hand-crafted products from 18 Vermont artisans, such as jewelry, pottery, cards, knitwear, cloth bags, woven goods, candles, and herbal personal care products. The owner is Ginny Couture. Open Wednesday through Sunday. 30 Kailey’s Way; 799-2168; •


Hampton by Hilton St. Albans

American Resort Management will open the Hampton by Hilton St. Albans in the spring with 84 guest rooms. It will feature Hampton Inn’s signature free hot breakfast, a 24-hour business center, indoor swimming pool, fitness center, and meeting space. Maureen Brown, former president of the Franklin County Chamber, was hired as general manager. 42 Lake St.; 528-5020. •