Interiors Green is April 2019 Featured Member

For the month of April, the Littleton Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to showcase Interiors Green as its Featured Member. We met with owner Jessica Goldblatt, to learn more about what the shop has to offer.

Located at the Pollyanna gateway on Main Street, Interiors Greens is celebrating one year in Littleton. Jessica first opened Interiors Green in Bethlehem in 2008 as a resource for people interested in “green” living and building, as well as eco-friendly products. Customers can expect to find natural home and living products such as paints, plaster, as well as gifts which are American made or fair trade.

The highlight of Interiors Green products is their organic mattresses and bedding. Unlike memory foam and other foam mattresses that contain man-made chemicals and petrol-based foams, these mattresses are made of natural latex. It is chemical-free and continually adjusts to your body’s curves, providing a silent and undisturbed sleep

“I got into this line of work because I was remodeling my own home and looking for these materials,” Jessica explained. “Pretty much people would look at me like I had two heads. So, I realized there must be a need for this sort of thing.”

While there are eco-friendly shops online, there aren’t many stores like Interiors Green. Jessica is continuously evaluating and sourcing products that have a minimal impact on personal health and the environment. “I feel like I’m always learning too,” she said. “If there’s something specific a customer is looking for, I’m always willing to either start carrying it or do research.”

With Littleton continuing to grow and expand, Jessica is excited for what the future holds for the town and her shop. “There’s so much happening on the backside of main street now,” she said. “In a way [Pollyanna gateway] is a little European-feeling walkway. I’ve personally put some gardens here and we do garden boxes. There’s a way to make these alleys very exciting.”

Jessica is actively involved in her community and would like to work more with her fellow business owners. “There are so many women owned businesses and my friend and I were wondering if we should do a business after hours of our own just for the women business owners,” she said. “There are a lot. It’s really interesting.”

Interiors Green is located at 87 Main Street, Suite 2 in Littleton. Take a left at the bottom of the Pollyanna Gateway and you’ll find it! For more information, including hours, visit their website at http://www.interiorsgreen.com/home.

Littleton Opera House is March 2019 Featured Member

The Littleton Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to showcase the Littleton Opera House as its Featured Member of the month. Standing tall and proud, the Opera House is a familiar staple to area residents.

Though it sat idle for many years, you would never know it by the numerous events that have been hosted over the last few years. Large or small, the Opera House is suitable for almost anything. Along with plays and concerts, the Opera House hosts conferences, birthday parties, meetings, and even has several weddings on the horizon.

The Chamber sat down with Opera House Manager, Sue Pilotte, to talk about services they provide to the community.

“The last half of 2017, we were booked 138 days out of 206 available booking dates,” Sue says. “During one weekend in November, we had a very successful two-day NH Council for the Arts Conference, a concert in the Grand Hall, and meetings taking place in the Tower Room. All of this increased activity, from one weekend alone, brought over 140 people into the Opera House. This is just one example of the activities taking place at the Opera House. These events not only benefit the taxpayers, but also increases the number of visitors to our beautiful town.”

To assist with the increase in bookings and workload, Jennifer Poulton was recently hired as an administrative assistant to work with Sue on a part-time basis. Sue has worked diligently, along with the Opera House commissioners and the Town Manager, to increase the usage of the Opera House.

“We have a solid commitment to the success of the Opera House. Think of the Opera House when you are planning your next fundraiser, private party, concert, meeting, or conference. Any occasion-we can do it all!”

Beware, the increase in bookings also means that space fills up quickly! “We want to open the Opera House to everyone, but we are in demand now,” she explains. “Book early!”

If the date you’re interested in isn’t available, Sue is happy to work with you on alternative dates.

“I am especially grateful, and appreciative of the many positive comments from our community members relating to the operation, and future of the historic and proud Littleton Opera House,” she says. “Most of all, thank you to our community members, contributors, volunteer supporters, community service students, and Opera House fans, who like me, see a great future for the Littleton Opera House. We couldn’t do it without you!”

To learn more about what the Opera House has to offer, visit their website at www.littletonoperahouse.com or call Sue at 603.575.5324.

Franconia Notch Guest House is February 2019 Featured Member

The new owners of the Franconia Notch Guest House are this month’s Featured Member—a pair who have moved north and settled down to live the dream of running a North Country bed and breakfast.

Read more about Beth & Doc Fletcher and their journey to become the next owners of the Guest House. Click here for the full feature

Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country is January 2019 Featured Member

The Littleton Area Chamber of Commerce is excited to expand our Featured Member of the Month program throughout 2019. We have partnered with the Littleton Courier to provide our featured members with the resources and recognition they deserve

A business feature will be published the first week of each month exclusively in the Courier. It will then be subsequently shared through the Chamber’s social media and member communications.

This month, we sat down with Thomas Shovlin of Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country to learn more about this crucial non-profit organization. Founded in 2009 by a group of area rec and adaptive enthusiast, Adaptive Sports aims to enrich the quality of life for people with disabilities through year-round sport, recreation, and wellness.

You can read the full feature here on the Courier website.

Member Spotlight: Building Alternative Inc.

We recently sat down with Bob Tortorice, owner of Building Alternatives to learn more about his business, its history and the green energy and green building sector. Bob had some great answers to questions we posed about the importance of this industry and how he can be a resource for Chamber members and the community. 

What is Building Alternatives? How and when did the company get started?

We started in February 1987.

I built my home in 1980 and realized that the traditional (stick built) method of building a home was antiquated and wasted time and money. After working as a civil engineer for a modular home company in Nashua, my hands-on education, formal education and my desire to build an energy efficient home with a totally different business model, I started my company when the modular company moved to Florida.

I was motivated to provide a “hand-holding experience” that specialized in understanding the client’s pros and cons of the land, budget, and their desires, with the overall commitment in building an energy efficient home. This was way before the wave of “Green Construction”. I like to say we were “green” when green was just a color.

Building Alternatives Inc. was created to service the individual home owner and light commercial market that had the desire to be involved in the planning and decision making with hands on when possible in building an energy efficient building, but had very little knowledge or experience on how to achieve their desired results.

Why do Green building practices and Energy Star certifications matter to home or commercial building owners? 

When building a “green home or business” the owner is striving to create a building that reduces or even eliminates their energy bills, while creating a place that is draft free, comfortable, and affordable to live in after they retire.

Understanding and addressing the issues of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) requires the builder to fully understand and address issues of building science. Energy Star Certifications guarantee that the home complies with the strict requirements developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Typical energy costs in a green/energy efficient building can be 40 – 60% less than a standard NH energy code-built home.

What services can you provide an existing home or business owner?

New homes are easily designed to be energy efficient in comparison to existing homes. As a certified energy auditor, we conduct energy assessments, develop a plan, and oversee all installed insulation and methods of reduction in infiltration with a goal of reducing energy cost 25-60%. Installation of renewable energy such as solar for heat or electricity or geothermal can reduce the dependency on fossil fuel even more.

Are their tax or other incentives to having a green or energy efficient home? 

Yes, all homes (new or remodeled) will qualify for some tax credits or rebates.

A great resource for current incentives is  http://www.dsireusa.org. Additionally, Eversource and New Hampshire Electric Co-Op clients are eligible for a new $4,000 cash rebate for achieving an energy start rating on the new or remodeled home.

Tell us more about being a construction manager? Is that the same role as a general contractor? 

The end result is similar but the experience in building is totally different. The construction manager works as an agent for the home owner. All building technologies are explored and completely cost out, giving the owner true comparisons of cost. Pros and cons for each segment of construction is investigated in detail. Home owner is an intricate part of the construction process.

The design and construction of an energy efficient home / building starts with the shell of the building, the location on the land and is driving by the quality of the framing and insulation. None of this cost the client any more money but makes the final product the best it can be, energy wise. All cost of every trade’s labor and material, as well as our profit and overhead, is clearly listed and all billing is based on the original cost for each construction segment, never billed for work not started.

Is there anything else that the business and community members of the Littleton Area Chamber of Commerce should know about you, your business or the work that you do? 

We are approaching our 32nd Year in Business and have achieved designing and building with over 23 energy star homes listed under the EPA website. Always moving forward, over 12 years ago we became as a certified HERS, BPI, and National Green Building Standards (NGBS) raters, thus enabling us to act as consultants and energy experts. This certifies other builders that are remodeling or building new construction to Energy Star standards.

Last year we started the national recognized NGBS certifications for multi-family apartment buildings and single family and commercial buildings which need the NGBS certification. Building Alternatives Inc. is under contract for three apartment buildings (45 apartments) which includes certifying not only the entire building, but also each apartment, lowering the operating cost for the owner and each renter.