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

A Little Help for Your Tech and Style Woes

 

When you work in the corporate world you have an IT department to handle all those tech challenges - computers, software, and data security. It all seems so easy when the guy from IT shows up, plugs in a few cables, taps a few keystrokes and says "Okay, you're all set." But when you're on your own one of the first things you notice is that all that tech is a little more complicated than it looks. Especially nowadays when everything we do is on a computer or in the cloud.

In this month's episode of Live from the Hive, IT tech Joe Tauras from Team Logic IT will be on hand to talk about software, hardware, and those pesky ransomware viruses. We're also going to be sharing a major announcement about a new podcast.

I'm also going to be joined by featured guest Sharon Jensen from Embrace Your Wardrobe.

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By Pat Hammond

Above & Beyond Childcare

In this month's episode of Live from the Hive, we're talking about daycare with Rebecca Collins, owner of Above and Beyond Childcare.

Whether you're self-employed or work in a cubicle, day care is a big issue for a lot of parents and Rebecca is going to give us some insider tips for finding the right daycare provider for your family as well as some news about upcoming rule changes to the State of New Hampshire's licensing for day care providers.

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By Pat Hammond

In this month's episode...

In this month's episode of Live from the Hive, the incomparable Tammy Downing from Out of the Box Tours is back in the Hive. Tammy is always a lot of fun and you will definitely want to stay tuned to hear about her latest paranormal and foodie tours around New England.

Also this month, I am super excited to have special guest Jordyn Mastacouris from On Point Consulting.

If you've ever dreamed of starting your own business, you need to put Jordyn on speed dial.


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By Pat Hammond

Love it or hate it, the fact remains the same, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, typically referred to as Obamacare or ACA, has created a lot of headaches for sole proprietors, and with this year's tax penalty for not having ACA-compliant insurance at 2.5% of your household adjusted gross income[1], those headaches have gone from being a gentle throbbing in your temple to an ice pick in your brain.

  • Premiums
  • Out of pocket costs
  • What is covered?
  • What has to be covered to avoid tax penalties?
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By Pat Hammond

What do you get when you mix wine, chocolate, ghosts, and toner?

Would you believe a boat load of savings and a whole lot of fun?

Happy New Year everyone! I don't know about you but I am super excited about 2017. I spent the last couple weeks networking and I am on overload at this point. I'm bouncing off the walls and running around like a lunatic and it's driving my husband and everyone else around me a little nuts.

One of the things that got me so excited is that we are kicking off the new year with not one, but two guests on this month's edition of Live from the Hive, Tammy Downing from Out of the Box Tours and Mike Lynch from Inkspot NH.

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By Pat Hammond

Forget everything you thought you knew about ice cream

I recently sat down to talk with Mark and Rita McCabe, owners of Sub Zero Ice Cream at 495 Amherst Street in Nashua, and all I can say is we are not in Kansas anymore.

Forget everything you thought you knew about ice cream and franchising, this power couple brings a whole new energy with emphasis on

  • Customer Experience
  • Community
  • Good Business

And it all starts when you come in the door.

As Rita McCabe says, "We are not your average ice cream shop," and she is not kidding.

With 50 flavors, 32 mix-ins and 8 cream bases, including two dairy-free options, Sub Zero Ice Cream crushes the idea of 31 flavors, and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

They can accommodate most allergy and dietary restrictions including gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and nuts and every order is custom made while you watch.

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By Pat Hammond

A Mobile Bar? Do they make house calls?

My first thought when I saw "mobile bartending service" was lunch truck with liquor and I thought "Wow, that is brilliant."

Tea and water are my standard work beverages, but there was a time back when I was a cube dweller when a quick shot at lunchtime wouldn't have gone amiss, so when I saw Kathy Torres' post about her mobile bartending business, Pour Me Bartending, LLC, on meetup.com I knew I had to meet her. Between you and me, that was the best decision I made that week.

The first thing I should say is while Pour Me Bartending, LLC is a mobile bartending service, they don't have a lunch truck and don't bring the liquor.

What they do bring is the bar setup and an incredible staff of experienced bartenders who will take the pressure off you so you can enjoy your event with your guests.

No worries about how to mix someone's favorite drink, how much liquor you should have on hand or what kind of mixers you need. Instead of getting stuck behind the bar, you get to spend your time dancing, socializing and eating with everyone else.

And if that isn't enough, Pour Me Bartending, LLC is going to save you a lot of money.

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