Articles

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By Pat Hammond

MANCHESTER, NH – You may know Chef Joe Grella from the cake pops and over-the-top cake designs at Custom Eats & Sweets, but this local chef is on a mission to bring the magic of the traditional Italian family dinner to your family’s table.

Grella says the idea came from being embarrassed by how often he bought frozen meals or fast food for his own family’s dinners. At work, he can easily make hundreds of meals during lunch or dinner service, but like so many other families, he and his wife work long hours and don’t always have time cook for their kids when they get home.

He says his favorite memories growing up were the Sunday pasta dinners with risotto, his grandmother’s famous chicken legs and thighs with lemon and rosemary, fresh bread from his grandfather’s bakery, salads, and pasta with homemade sauces. The weekly family dinner was a time to relax and enjoy the comforts of home and family, but as delicious as it was, it took all day to cook.

So he came up with Presto Pasta.

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By Pat Hammond

Whether you’re taming the wave, fighting the frizz, or just frazzled by out-of-control curls, Erica Sowa, owner of Tower of Curls & Beyond, is here to show you how to tame your wild locks, no matter how hazy, hot and humid it gets.

Tucked away on the 6th floor of the Wall Street Tower, this boutique salon at 555 Canal St. is a hidden gem in the heart of downtown Manchester.

And when I say hidden, I mean it literally.

They are open six days a week, but hours are by appointment only and while parking is free, you can’t just walk up to the door.

Don’t worry, you don’t need a secret knock or password, but you do have to book ahead and visit the ground level concierge to access the elevator which adds a layer of exclusivity and mystique to the experience.

And have no doubt, a visit to Tower of Curls is almost a spa experience.

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By Pat Hammond

It's a sunny Wednesday when I sit down with Manchester Ink Link publisher Carol Robidoux at WBC's Elm Street co-working space. We're in the same networking group and I've been after her for a few weeks to do an interview so we sneak out of our bi-weekly networking meeting to make it happen.

I know Robidoux in the way people in a small community are aware of each other.  She shares my content on her website, but we've never had a conversation beyond a quick smile and hello and I am curious. I want to know why a talented, experienced reporter with no business background would don an entrepreneur's hat to start an online news service in an unlikely market.

It turns out her motivation had as much to do with serendipity as inspiration.

After being downsized out of her job as an editor for Patch - Nashua in 2014, Robidoux says she knew firsthand how fast the traditional news media's footprint was shrinking. It was her second industry layoff since coming to New Hampshire as a reporter for the Union Leader in 2001 and given the choice of changing careers or chasing after dwindling jobs in a dying industry, she took a leap of faith and chose door number three.

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By Pat Hammond

Become superhuman with one 30-minute workout a week - That's all it takes to achieve and maintain a healthy body.

The first thing Body Fusion FitClub owner John Hardwick will tell you is "30-Minutes once a week is all the work-out you need" to achieve optimal health.

It's a heck of a statement from a man with bulging biceps, but he's serious. So serious he's built an entire business around the concept.

Tucked into 2000 square feet of prime mill space, Body Fusion FitClub does not feel like any gym I've ever been to.

The focus of this boutique fitness club is training, recovery, and healing. And the overall feel of the room is relaxation.

On the day of my visit, filtered sunlight reflects a mellow glow off of the old brick walls as a handful of people sneak in a mid-day workout.

There's no loud music, no ker-thunking of weights, they don't have rows of treadmills or spin bikes and there is no sense of competition.

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By Timothy Hirsch

Is the high cost of healthcare coverage forcing you into a high-deductible plan you can't afford to use? 

All too often I find articles that boast about solutions to the rising costs of healthcare yet offer little or no help. Sometimes these articles will offer some remedial resolutions, such as purchasing a cheaper plan with a larger deductible. To me, that is more of a common-sense approach versus professional advice or an actual fix, especially if there is a $7,000 out-of-pocket deductible.

This approach only saves money if coverage is not needed in the first place. This is not practical nor is it a solution. This article is not to discuss the well-known problem many face, but instead to explore an actual healthcare solution unknowingly available to many people across the country.

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By Pat Hammond

When was the last time you looked at your calendar and said "Wow! I get to make sales calls today"?

I always say that the number one complaint I hear from small business owners is that they hate networking, but the underlying cause of their disdain is the fact they really hate the idea of sales.

Between the old cliche about the slimy used car salesperson and the real fear of rejection, it's no surprise that the average small business owner has a hard time warming up to the idea they have to actively go out and make a sale.

But what if I told you that your idea of what makes a good salesperson is all wrong?

What if I said a good salesperson:

  • Leads with conversations instead of pitches
  • Asks questions and listens to answers
  • Understands the value of building relationships that will open the door to new conversations and referrals

No, I'm not crazy.

In fact, I've found a local resource that can help you let go of your fear mindset and embrace a proven professional sales technique that will make selling as easy as having a cup of coffee.

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By Pat Hammond

Check out this FREE resource for your business!

The primary goal of Queen City Buzz is to connect you to the people, information, and resources you need to start and grow your business in the Granite State, and this week, I've got a phenomenal find from Spectrum Consulting that does all three. It's a live webinar series that covers a full range of essential human resource topics like hiring, insurance, and current event topics such as harassment, and it's absolutely FREE.

Yes, I said free.

Now in its fifth year, Spectrum's monthly webinar tackles tricky questions like The Top Ten Icky, Sticky People Stuff Problems – Ugh, they never end, Stealing at Work – Investigation strategies, and regular human resource topics such as Managing your workers’ compensation carrier – YES, you are going to manage them!, Managing Remote Workers, and OSHA and my staffing employees? Not my problem!

I stumbled upon this fabulous resource last October when I was doing research on leadership and I was completely wowed.

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By Pat Hammond

MANCHESTER — At first glance, the empty desk, bare cinder block walls, and three plastic chairs give the new headquarters for Uni-Star Cleaning Service a vacant look, but looks can be deceiving.

Between a string of new hires, a growing fleet of vehicles, and new digs, Ryan Van Orden is living the dream.

In fact, this Manchester native and owner of Uni-Star Cleaning Service says he's taking his business to the next level.

He explains that cleaning is a competitive industry because of the low barrier of entry.

You don't need an office, you don't need a lot of equipment, and you don't even need employees. This is a business that one person can start on their own with very little up front cost and that's where most cleaners stop.

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By Pat Hammond

They rode into town like the Four Horsemen, but instead of death and destruction, Jeremy Hitchcock, Chris Reinhardt, Tom Daly, and Tim Wilde came to Manchester to resurrect the Queen City's fading glory.

How's that for a little hyperbole?

It may sound like a stretch when you look at today's Manchester, but when you take a minute to remember what Manchester was like in 2001, you could make an argument that whether they knew it or not, these men were destined to bring a change of an almost biblical proportion to our tired old city.

In 2001 we were less than a year removed from the Y2K panic, cell phones were expensive toys for people with more money than sense, and the country was in the middle of a recession. Read full post »
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By Pat Hammond

Have you ever had one of those days when you wished you had a little extra help around the office? Maybe you had two clients with competing deadlines, or maybe you just needed an extra pair of hands to do the things you're not-so-good at so you could focus on doing the tasks that make you money. I'm here to tell you you're not alone.

The number one reason small businesses fail to thrive is a lack of resources. And it's no surprise to anyone that the three resources most businesses lack are:

  1. time
  2. support
  3. money

What if I told you that Career Connections, a family-run staffing agency in Bedford, New Hampshire can help you overcome the challenges of limited time and support so that you can make more money?

You'd probably think I was crazy.

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