Business News for the September 15 issue

Choose your own featured adventure

Choose Your Own Adventure, Waitsfield, is featured in an in-depth article in this week’s edition of The New Yorker. It delves into much of the early history of Vermont Crossroads Press and the recent history of Chooseco as well. The article details the founding of the company and its franchising efforts as well as some of its best sellers.

“It was late 1980s Los Angeles. You swarmed over these books, pulling tattered, sun-bleached copies from your shelf: four, five, six in a single afternoon. Across the country, all over the world, other children were pulling these books from their shelves too.The series has sold over 270 million copies since its launch in 1979. This is the fourth series of best-selling children’s books of all time. Its popularity peaked in the 1980s, but the franchise still sells around one million books a year,” wrote author Leslie Jamieson. Here is a link to the article:

Lawson’s Finest launches Black IPA, Big Hoppy this fall

For the first time ever, Lawson’s Finest Liquids brings a dark IPA to the Northeast. Big Hoppy, a 7.5% alcohol black IPA with a bold flavor profile, is now available for the first time in the brewery’s nine-state distribution area: VT, CT, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA and RI.

Made with huge additions of five hop varieties and seven malts, Big Hoppy is a dark beer.

“Big Hoppy was first brewed in a limited batch before being moved to Lawson’s Finest Taproom,” said Sean Lawson, CEO and founding brewer of Lawson’s Finest Liquids.

Big Hoppy is the latest beer to launch as part of Lawson’s Finest specialty release schedule. Until the end of October, Big Hoppy is available in packs of four at retailers in the Northeast. Later this year, the brewery will continue its schedule of specialty launches with Mad River Maple and its famous barrel-aged winter lager.

For information on the brewery, the bar, upcoming beer releases, and more, visit

Neck of the Woods updates the HVAC system

The Neck of the Woods (NOW) Child Care Board recently agreed to commit the necessary funds to update the HVAC system on the first floor of the Waitsfield facility. Working with local contractor Ward’s Mechanical/Ward’s Energy and Lennox International, an agreement was signed to install energy-efficient Lennox mini-split systems in newly renovated NOW classrooms. The new units will serve the entire first floor, including a newly added new child care room. Additionally, the units will include the ability to support the kitchen and cafe on offer, making it easier to host the first Head Start program in The Valley.

“Local businesses like Ward’s Mechanical have been very supportive of NOW’s mission and have filled the gaps in childcare capacity in the Valley. Lennox International’s support is the first nationwide company to support our program,” said NOW Executive Director Moie Moulton.

All available discounts, including those offered by Efficiency Vermont, help make this possible.

“The new systems will provide AC power and augment the existing furnace heating system in the winter, providing reliable HVAC and improving our electrical efficiency,” said Rob Ciappenelli, board member who managed this project. Electricity for the new system will be supplied by the existing solar panel to allow NOW to continue moving away from fossil fuels.

Work is expected to begin in September.

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