Late February 2016
Chamber Newsletter

Voting day- March 1st

A group of UVM students is partnering with the Town of Brandon to collect local insight that will be utilized to visually represent the collective perceptions and opinions of residents through the creation of a series of maps.
Your opinion is vital to the success of this initiative, which aims to capture the Town of Brandon's shared values; the students hope you will stop by their table on Voting Day and share your thoughts of and hopes for our town.


Exciting new membership opportunities! 


With the new year, Village Spa would like to thank our wonderful customers for making our first year in our new location a huge success.

We have grown in many ways and welcome you to join us as we continue this journey.  In this next year you will find a new membership addition to the spa.  It's a great way for you spa goers or wanna-be spa goers to gift yourself some "me" time.

We have 2 options available:  click here for all the exciting details!!
          32 Marble St.                802-465-8255

Zephyr performs at
Brandon Music
February 27 at 7:30pm

Zephyr is an Addison County based quartet whose music has been mined in the general vein of roots Americana - a harmony-rich lyric-oriented primarily acoustic style of music bringing together influences of folk, bluegrass, blues, gospel, country and the singer-songwriter tradition. They play a mix of unique originals interspersed with occasional covers by songwriters such as Buddy and Julie Miller, Gillian Welch, Mark Heard, Bruce Cockburn, and 
T Bone Burnett. Don't miss them at Brandon Music on February 27 at 7:30pm.
The band features Susan Nop on keyboard, accordion, and lead vocals, Matthew Dickerson on guitar, bass, harmonica, mandolin, and vocals, Kathleen Smith on vocals and percussion, and Dutton Smith on violin, bass, percussion, and vocals. After a recent Zephyr performance, Chris MacIntosh of 88.1FM in New York said he was left with a feeling that "I just bathed in a cool mountain-fed spring." He says they are "refreshing and exhilarating at the same time, if you have a chance to see them do not pass the opportunity by!!!"

Matthew Dickerson and Susan Nop are the songwriting team behind Zephyr. Many of their songs have been recorded in Nashville with some of the top musicians of that music-rich city. Prior to his work with Zephyr, Dickerson received national radio airplay as a songwriter, bassist, and one of the original members of the blues band Deep Freyed. He is also the author of numerous books including a recent fantasy novel titled 'The Gifted' and a number of books about fly-fishing and ecology. Susan Nop, who's soul-full and passionate vocals help give Zephyr its distinctive sound, has also performed as a classical pianist, though she has also fallen in love with the accordion. Kathleen Smith, in addition to active work in local musical theatre, has performed with the acclaimed women's choral group Maiden Vermont. She adds her rich and tight harmonies and interesting rhythms to Zephyr, while her husband Dutton Smith, also a long-time well-known figure in the local musical theatre scene, brings additional harmonies while providing both lead violin solos and subtle background string textures, and trades off on the bass.
This event is a part of Vermont Arts 2016, celebrating public funding for the arts.

Concert tickets are $20.  A pre-concert dinner is also available for $20.  Reservations are required for dinner and recommended for the show. Venue is BYOB. Call (802) 247-4295 or e-mail for reservations or for more information.  Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Rd. Brandon, VT 05733

Adult music jams here at
Hands-On Music in Brandon!
Our next jam night is Monday, February 29th
starting at 7 PM

Do you play an instrument but have trouble finding other musicians to jam with? Well here's your opportunity!
 Click here for all the exciting info!  You will have TOO much fun!

2016 Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce Business Show    Tuesday, March 8th 4-7:30pm
Your Chamber will once again be representing Brandon at this fun, busy and well attended event! 

Try to make it down and see all the action. Click on the link for more info-

Vermont Virtuosi presents 'Once Upon a Time' at Brandon Music
March 12 at 7:30 p.m.

Vermont Virtuosi, which the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus says produces "intriguing programs expertly played," returns to Brandon Music on March 12 at 7:30 p.m. with a program of chamber music. "Once Upon a Time" features music that is narrative in character and takes listeners on a sonic journey that is sometimes pastoral, sometimes lively, and most everything in between. Flutist and Vermont Virtuosi artistic director Laurel Ann Maurer, clarinetist Karen Luttik, bassoonist Julian Partridge, and pianist Claire Black will perform music by Pierre Gabaye, Andre Jolivet, Robert Wykes, Ramiro Cortés, Ricklen Nobis, as well as Vermont composers Thomas L. Read and David Gunn, and the world premiere of a newly commissioned piece by Northfield composer Dennis Báthory-Kitsz.
 Vermont Virtuosi, whose instrumental makeup depends on the concert theme, performs a varied repertoire of both familiar and new. Although only three years old, the ensemble has already commissioned and premiered seven important works from Vermont composers.
 Laurel Ann Maurer has been lauded by The New York Times as "a secure technician and an assured communicative interpreter." According to Fanfare Magazine, she is "superb in every way." And The Salt Lake Tribune proclaimed Laurel to be "stellar in both tone and technique. She is a master of coloration and interpretation." Laurel studied with Julius Baker, Jeanne Baxtresser, and Samuel Baron, and participated in master classes of Marcel Moyse. Among her 12 commercially released CDs are "More American Flute Works" and the Jeff Mannokian "Flute Concerto," both of which were nominated for a Grammy Award. Laurel has performed and given master classes throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia, including performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, and Khachaturian Hall in Yerevan, Armenia. She was principal flutist of the Salt Lake Symphony for 12 years, and has more recently performed with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra and the Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble. Laurel maintains active teaching studios in Barre and Colchester, Vermont.
 Karen Luttik has been praised for her "musicality and innovative performance." She has taught and performed extensively in Asia, Europe, and the United States, having started her career in Asia as solo clarinetist with the Singapore Symphony before working in Europe with the solo clarinetist of the Concertgebouw Orchestra. In the Netherlands, she initiated innovative approaches to chamber music through multimedia performances and recordings with the Aleotti and Delta trios and the Kurios Clarinet Quartet. Conferences provided by MusicaLeren introduced new audiences to the beauty, skill sets, and disciplines of outstanding classical performance. Since returning to the U.S. in 2008, Karen has performed with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Cape Cod Symphony, Symphony N.H., Granite State Symphony, the Longfellow Festival Orchestra, Aliento Chamber Players, and Classicopia. She teaches an enthusiastic group of clarinet students at the Nashua (N.H.) Community Music School.
 Julian Partridge's musical journey began at the tender age of 7¾ when he took up the piano, followed shortly by the clarinet once his fingers were long enough. But he soon realized that he wouldn't be competing with Alfred Brendel on the concert platform and the universe really had enough clarinetists. Then one day, Julian discovered in a music room cupboard under a decade of dust an oblong case containing a bassoon. It was a fine example of Czechoslovakian engineering and suddenly he was playing in local orchestras. His next stop was the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England, where he developed his taste for a good pint and the odd curry. After leaving that hallowed establishment in 1991, Julian freelanced for a while before absquatulating to Hong Kong for three years, after which he returned to the green and pleasant land to scrape together a living. After countless miles travelled playing for Royalty and being featured on film soundtracks, he crossed the Irish Sea to join the Ulster Orchestra as Principal Second Bassoon/Contra Bassoon, a position he held for 10 years before crossing the pond to live in Vermont. Currently, Julian performs with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra. This is his maiden voyage aboard the S.S. Vermont Virtuosi.
 Claire Black has performed extensively as a soloist and collaborator throughout North America. Originally from the heart of the Adirondacks, Claire spent eight years in Cleveland, Ohio, where she worked as a staff accompanist at Baldwin Wallace University, accompanied several area choirs, and earned a Master of Music degree in piano performance at the Cleveland Institute of Music under the tutelage of Margarita Shevchenko. Her deep interest and commitment to chamber music includes many years of performance tours with the Cialde Quintet and with her cello/piano Elegua Duo. Often collaborating with Laurel Ann Maurer, she hopes to establish many more fruitful partnerships in Vermont. Claire is also an avid piano instructor. She taught via the Oberlin Community Music School, in her own studio, and at CIM's Summer Sonata festival for young pianists. She has established a private piano studio in South Burlington and freelances as a choral and solo accompanist. Claire also accompanies the Burlington Choral Society.
This event is a part of Vermont Arts 2016, celebrating public funding for the arts.
Concert tickets are $20.  A pre-concert dinner is also available for $20.  Reservations are required for dinner and recommended for the show. Venue is BYOB. Call (802) 247-4295 or e-mail for reservations or for more information.  Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Rd. Brandon, VT 05733

8th Annual Vermont Chili Festival
Middlebury on Saturday March 12th

  Organizers are looking for more chili vendors and are reaching out to Brandon Chamber members and others who might be interested in participating!
1st prize is $1000, and best decorated booth is $200, plus it's a lot of fun interacting with 5000-6000+ attendees.

Groups/businesses are encouraged to work together to split costs.

The Dunmore Dip!!
$1.00 per entry, March 15, 2016, deadline.

This could be you holding a check for your winnings of the Lake  Dunmore Fern Lakes' ice out contest, " The Dunmore Dip".  Here is Lord Dunmore, back on dry ground and congratulating last  year's winner, Preston Turner, at the pay out of last year's contest.  
 See Lord Dunmore at Kampersville and pick up your entry form there or at various locations in Middlebury, Brandon, Leicester, and Salisbury.  
          $1.00 per entry, March 15, 2016, deadline.
Help support LDFLA's milfoil control project.  Click on entry link to print your own entry form.  Mail entries to:
 Dunmore Dip     PO Box  14        Salisbury, VT 05769
Pass this message to family and friends.  The more entries, the bigger the prize.
Last year's pay out was $980.00

The Bombadils to Enchant Brandon Music Audience
March 19 at 7:30pm

For over five years, rising folk-stars The Bombadils have been enchanting audiences around the world with their unique fusion of traditional, world and progressive folk. The trio will captivate Brandon Music audience members on March 19 at 7:30pm.
 Endearingly described as "chamber folk," the group of cinematic storytellers have intertwined their musical chops rooted in classical and jazz music (all trained at Montreal's esteemed McGill University) around an approachable performance style that takes listeners on a journey through history and towards the future of Canadian folk.
 According to Amy Gajadhar of the Canadian Folk Music magazine, the Bombadils "have all the elements of a great band - a high level of musical proficiency, deep respect for the traditional roots of their material and an engaging repertoire which holds the attention of the listener from beginning to end."
 Each hailing from their own unique corner of Canada, group members Sarah Frank (fiddle, banjo, vocals), Luke Fraser (guitar, mandolin, vocals) and Kaitlyn Raitz (cello), first bonded over a shared curiosity and love of the Celtic and bluegrass traditions - but have since solidified their friendship with over 50,000 kilometers of touring and countless performances together.
 After the release of their debut album, Fill Your Boots! in 2012, the group toured extensively across North America in support of the album, including performances at the Deep Roots Festival, Folk Alliance International, as well as Fiddles on the Tobique Festival, an artist exchange at Ethno Sweden, and Eaglewood Folk Festival where Artistic Director Liz Scott recounted that "this was the band that came out of nowhere and slayed the audience, offering a richer experience for everyone."
 In 2014, an artist residency at The Banff Centre served as the incubator for their sophomore album, Grassy Roads, Wandering Feet, which was released in the spring of 2015. Since then, the album has been creating a buzz in the folk scene, with Penguin Eggs praising the group's strong original compositions. The group then set off on an international tour of Australia, the U.K., and a plethora of stops throughout Canada and the U.S. where they shared the stage with notable artists The Duhks, David Francey, Bruce Molsky, and De Temps Antan.
This event is a part of Vermont Arts 2016, celebrating public funding for the arts.

Concert tickets are $20. Reservations are recommended for the show. Dessert is available. Venue is BYOB. Call (802) 247-4295 or e-mail for reservations or for more information.  Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Rd. Brandon, VT 05733

Brandon Artist Guild painting class!
Fundraiser to benefit area school art programs

The Brandon Artist Guild is excited to announce a fundraiser to benefit all of the nine area school art departments! The cost of adult classes is $45.00 and includes related supplies and your take home project. Classes are limited to 15. The first painting class will be held on Sunday, March 20th from 1-3:30. So reserve your space now by registering at the Artist Guild on Center Street in Brandon.
Children's classes are also being scheduled. We welcome sponsors, business and individual, to help cover the cost of art supplies. Join in the fun!!
More info to follow on future classes. Questions, call Dolores Furnari at 802-247-3695

Common Ground Restaurant and Pub
up and running!

 After a long road we are proud to announce that Common Ground Restaurant and Pub is up and running! We are looking forward to serving the greater Brandon area with a new Italian American menu and full service bar. We are opening 6 days a week (closed Tuesdays) from 2pm-9pm offering daily specials and always taking suggestions to improve menu, atmosphere and service!
Thank you for all of your support as we have been renovating and designing. 
We look forward to seeing you for dinner, reservations are a great idea 802-464-8010.
Mae's continues to thrive here in Brandon! Thank you for all of your support!
The Brandon community is one we are proud to be a part of, thank you for your continued support and patronage.
Erynn & Andrew Doaner
Owner, Mae's Place and
Common ground Restaurant and Pub

Compass Treasure Chest
Open every day!!

We're delighted to announce the Compass Treasure Chest! Run by a group of local residents, the store is a unique co-op consignment shop. They sell and consign collectables, antiques, dishes, tools, furniture, jewelry, stamps, puzzles, books, toys, art items and much more! They will always be looking for more items and of course, always receiving new items, so stop in frequently to see what is new.

Open 10-5pm everyday!!. For more information or to inquire about consigning with them, contact Annie at 802-558-2663 or email and follow them on Facebook.

Compass Music and Arts Center has more to offer!
There is always something going on at Compass- stop in and explore!!

You've probably seen events, classes and exhibits mentioned here for the Compass Music and Arts Center in Park Village, but do you know what else Compass has to offer?

The Compass Café is open daily from 10:00am - 5:00pm (with the exception of most Saturdays when they close at 2:30 due to concert events at Brandon Music) with daily specials, soups, salads, wraps, Donna's award-winning chili, delicious home-made desserts and more. Stop in for a bite while you explore the rest of Compass.

The Phonograph Rooms is a permanent exhibit at Compass. It offers fascinating insight into the history of recorded music in the home. The exhibit features vintage "talking machines" from 1890 to the 1970s, with the opportunity to listen to great recordings of the past - both classical and popular. A display of antique radios and TVs is also included. There is a small entrance fee to help with maintenance of the machines.

Compass is also the home of the international record company Divine Art Records. You can browse their 400+ CD titles and CDs by local musicians, as well as art and music books, general interest books both new and collectible, and a wide range of gift items at the Compass shops.

Looking for a studio to rent or office or retail space? Compass has rooms available to rent by the month or by the hour. There are currently several artists working out of Compass and by now you may have heard about the Compass Treasure Chest, a consignment shop located in the Compass building.

 There is always something going on at Compass- stop in and explore!

 Compass Music and Arts Center  333 Jones Drive, Brandon, VT 05733  802-247-4295


Check out Little Pressroom's
latest newsletter!

43 Center Street- Highly visible on route 7, prime downtown Brandon retail space. 1,500 sq. ft. restored historical storefront with maple floors, high tin ceiling and windows over the Neshobe River. A couple of storage spaces and plenty of parking. Located next to Gourmet Provence Bakery.
Available immediately. Call Jim Leary @ 802-247-9595 or Nancy Leary @ 802-558-1444.

Rutland County Solid Waste District Survey
Solid waste issues

This survey is required by the state to find out what the general knowledge is in the community about solid waste issues. There are many issues facing us now and more in the near future. Your input and answers will help tremendously. Please click on this link and take the survey!

Deane Wilson- Waste Diversion- Rutland County Solid Waste
2 Greens Hill Lane
Rutland, VT  05701
(802) 775-7209

Craft, Art, & Music Sales Return to Compass:
Reserve your space now
Compass Music and Arts Center is holding a series of sales during the winter months

For the third year, the Compass Music and Arts Center is holding a series of sales during the winter months, giving crafters, artists, and music enthusiasts an opportunity to sell their goods make some extra cash, free up some storage space and give someone else the chance to make use of and enjoy their items.  See the event information below and contact 802-247-4295 or to reserve a space or with questions.
 Art Sale- February 27, 10-2pm
 Calling all Artists:
Sell your unwanted art supplies, materials, or artwork at the Art Sale on Saturday, February 27th from 10-2pm. Artists may sell unused art supplies as well as finished artwork if it is at a reduced price such as a "second" or older work. This is not a sale in which to offer your full-priced, gallery-ready pieces.
 Please note the ratio of supplies to completed artwork should be at least 50/50, and higher if possible.$20 per space ($5 additional charge per table, if renting) for each 6'x6' selling space with a maximum of 3 spaces per seller. Spaces are limited. No commission is taken so price your items to sell. Send completed registration form and payment by check by Thursday, February 25th. Registration form is available online at or by contacting 802-247-4295 or
 Music Swap-March 26, 10-2pm
 Calling all Music and Audio Enthusiasts:
Sell, swap and barter!: vinyl records, CDs, 78s and tapes; new and vintage audio equipment, phonographs, radios, and musical instruments; accessories and more, at the Music Swap on Saturday, March 26th from 10-2pm.
 $20 per space ($5 additional charge per table, if renting) for each 6'x6' selling space with a maximum of 3 spaces per seller. Spaces are limited. No commission is taken so price your items to sell. Send completed registration form and payment by check by Thursday, March 24th. Registration form is available online at or by contacting 802-247-4295 or
 Compass Music and Arts Center is located at Park Village, 333 Jones Dr. Brandon VT, 05733 (Park Village used to be the Brandon Training School, located 1.5 miles north of downtown Brandon off of Arnold District Rd.).

The OFFICES at 25 Union Street

Furnished, private professional offices with shared conference room, full kitchen, comfortable customer waiting area, and parking. $350 - 3750 per month (all utilities included). Co-office environment. Walking distance to village center. Community includes educational publisher and accountant. Large unfinished space also available.

The GRANARY at 29 Union Street, Brandon VT

This beautifully renovated, historic building contains 14 artist studios. The spacious studios have lots of natural light, great lighting, handicapped ramp and parking. The community includes milliner, jeweler, graphic designer, painters, sculptors, photographer and Brandon Artist Guild. The GRANARY is located in the village of Brandon, walking distance to shops, restaurants and galleries. Rents range from $325 - $485 per month ( all utilities included).

Please forward to anyone who may be looking for space in Brandon. I look forward to discussing the available options and showing you the spaces. 
Please contact me at or 247-3214 or 683-8209.

Winter reminder for businesses
Keeping Sidewalks Safe

 After a few falls and mishaps in the downtown after the last snow and ice storm, the Chamber encourages all businesses to try and keep their sidewalks clear an safe. Also clearing a path between the sidewalk and the parking spaces makes it easier and safer for all our patrons.
Salt barrels are located throughout the area for your use.
DPW head Daryl Burlett asked for businesses or citizens to call the town office if they encounter any slippery conditions or if the salt barrels need to be refilled.  247-3635
Please Practice Polite Parking :)
Be aware of your fellow businesses and their needs.

We all have to be aware of parking by our employees in the downtown. Try to park off the main streets when possible, and if you park out front before other businesses open, try to move your vehicle after regular hours kick in.
 There's lots of off-street parking so take advantage of it when you can.
Remember we're here for hours working, but our customers are only popping in for a short time, so let's make it easy and convenient for them to shop and support all of our businesses.

Thanks for making it easier for all of our customers.

Brandon Fire Department reaches out to area businesses
Fire pre-planning for your building

Roman Wdowiak - Chief of the Brandon Fire Department encourages businesses in the Brandon area contact him about doing a walk thru of their building(s) to see where everything is in case of a fire so they can do some pre-planning.
Call 802-247-3400 to arrange a walk-thru.

Cyber Hacking and protecting your business.
   by Paul Gladding of Holden Financial Services

Please click here for Paul's complete article on cyber protection.


FREE $2,500 Grants to Help You Grow Your Business!
The Vermont Holistic School of Business

   Yes, you did read that correctly ... You may be eligible to get a FREE $2,500 grant to help you grow your business with your own personal business coach.
   The Vermont Holistic School of Business and is helping small business owners like you get these free grants so that you can grow your business, make more money, and improve the quality of your life.
   Since this program has the potential to help you make major positive changes in your business and your life, we wanted to pass the opportunity on to our members!
   Your grant will pay for ten private business coaching sessions AND a complete online learning system that will help you create specific goals for your business and your life. You'll develop successful and manageable plans of action that will take you through the process of bringing in more customers and increasing sales!
A Holistic Approach...
Perhaps best of all, the school's unique, holistic approach is unlike most others. In addition to learning modules to help you grow a successful business, it also has specific modules focused on Self-Care and Life Balance for the Entrepreneur. So, you will develop new skills that will not only help you build your business, but you'll also do so while living a healthy, happy, and balanced lifestyle.  
About the Grants...
The Holistic School of Business has been approved by VSAC (The Vermont Student Assistance Corporation) as a Non-Degree Grant school. This means, if you fit the income guidelines, you could qualify for a $2,500 grant through VSAC that would pay for your Personal Business Coach. This is money you will NEVER have to pay back!
Here's the link that explains the program and the grant in more detail:
To learn more, call 802.225.5960 Ext. 2, and listen to the pre-recorded message explaining all the details of the program. There is no grant application fee or hidden cost of any kind.

Vermont Association of Chamber Executives
Insurance program offerings for Chamber members.
Although the VACE health insurance program, that many of took advantage of for years, is no longer available, other products still offered through VACE include, Dental, Vision & Life packages.
More information on all of these products can be found at
Or contact Holden Financial Services (802) 775-2503 
Meet this month's newest 
Chamber business!
Our latest addition to the Chamber family.

Good Earth Farms
(formerly Pinewoods Garden Center)
2473 Franklin St.
Brandon, VT

Welcome !!
2016 New Members- go to for more info on our newest members

-Good Earth Farm- Hannah Davidson- 310-8534
-Simple Systems of Vermont- Greg Smela- 458-0620
-Common Ground Restaurant & Pub-Erynn & Andy Doaner- 464-8010
-Upscale Resale-Leo and Penny Larocque, Jill and Tim Comes, Mary & Tim Shields- 324-0613
-The Little House-A Vacation Home- Kerrie Quinn & Russ McColman- 247-2770

Own a business?? Join us and connect with other dynamic businesses in the Brandon area and gain great exposure for you business!
Just click here for an application and rates.  
We also have many Individual Members -- what a great way to support a local non-profit and all the great things we do in our town. (Individual/couples memberships are only $50/year)

NEW INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS 2016- who will be our first in 2016?   Maybe you ??

Paying the bills.
2016 Chamber dues
Dues are coming in strong, thanks so much!

For the fifth straight year, the Chamber Board of Directors has decided to hold dues steady. Board members are delighted to be able to continue to provide the same great benefits to members and the general community, without raising dues.
Please pay promptly so we can spend more time on programs, events and activities, rather than bookkeeping!
Thanks for supporting your Chamber throughout the year!
For more info, contact the Chamber at 802-247-6401 or

Next Chamber Meeting
Monday, April 18th, 2016 at 6:30
The Brandon Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors will meet at 6:30pm in the Cliver Room at the Stephen A Douglas Birthplace. Chamber membership and the general public are invited to attend.
The March meeting will be a work session for our board of directors.