Change is good, especially when we are ready and waiting for it. And sometimes we have to pull up our bootstraps and re-acclimatize. It’s the ebb and flow of life, and we are fortunate that it makes things interesting.

Recently a local resident reached out to the newsroom concerned that the Hilltopper Restaurant was open while school is on summer break. The St Johnsbury Academy’s Operation Creation is in its seventh year teaching rising ninth graders job-related skills in three areas of concentration: Woodworking and Communications, Culinary and Leadership, and Business and Community Service. The weeklong concentration in Culinary and Leadership has students running the Hilltopper Restaurant.

So be pleasantly surprised the Hilltopper is open to the public for lunch Tuesday through Friday, until July 26th, with lunch hours of 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Operation Creation students are preparing the food and serving customers. The menu includes a variety of soups, sandwiches, including the famous pulled pork with cider-maple barbecue sauce, salads, and homemade bread. During the concentration in Woodworking and Communications the students manufacture cutting boards in the SJA woodshop. These cutting boards are available for purchase at the Hilltopper during the lunchtime hours of operation. Dale Urie is director of the SJA’s Operation Creation program. Additional information is available at www.stjacademy.org/sja-summer/operation-creation. The Hilltopper Restaurant is located at 1216 Main St.

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The local landmark Farmer’s Daughter Gift Barn located at 2285 Portland Street in St Johnsbury has not opened the doors for the season. The owners Bruce and Anna Cushman said, “It is with great sadness that the store is not open this season. Our fudge route has taken us through Vermont, New Hampshire and New York, and can be found at most any local grocery, convenience and mom & pop stores. We are hoping to re-open next season and welcome all our friends and family that have supported us in the store over the past 7 years.”

The Cushmans also operate the Farmer’s Daughter Fudge Shop and have been selling fudge from the Gift Barn, and this past winter they picked up distribution to several chain stores and family-owned mini-marts all over VT, NH and NY. This season their focus is on the fudge and servicing the fudge route which has Anna on the road five days a week. While the Farmer’s Daughter Gift Barn is closed you can still place a fudge order at 802-274-1219. Fudge flavors include peanut butter, chocolate, peanut butter and chocolate, M&M, maple, maple walnut, and chocolate walnut. You may also find Farmer’s Daughter Fudge Shop fudge locally at Cole’s Discount Beverage, Towns Corner Store, Barnie’s Market, Natural Provisions, East Burke General Store, Champlain Farms, and at Farmway.

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In Littleton, Tender Corporation, the parent company of leading brands including After Bite, Adventure Medical Kits, and Survive Outdoors Longer, continues to grow with the recent acquisition of Bushwacker Backpack and Supply, maker of the popular Counter Assault brand of personal-defense products, including the leading bear spray and tools for law enforcement and self-defense. This addition to Tender Corporation’s portfolio of outdoor and consumer products will continue to manufacture at its facility in Montana.

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Also in Littleton, the Littleton Area Chamber reports that the foundation has been poured for the future urgent care and walk-in medical clinic, ConvenientMD. A “Coming Soon” sign is up for the location at 551 Meadow St. Additional information is available on the website www.convenientmd.com .

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Mark your calendar for Wednesday, July 31, noon-1:30PM to attend NHPR’s The Exchange with host Laura Knoy and the Exchange team hosted by Littleton’s Inkwell Coffee & Tea House. The Exchange is NHPR’s locally produced statewide call-in program and they want to hear what’s happening in your community. Recently The Exchange has continued its in-depth series by looking at workforce challenges in New Hampshire. For info, airtime and past podcasts visit www.nhpr.org. To check out the coffee house owned by Jim and Angel Anan, go to www.inkwellnh.com and visit at 42 Mill Street, Littleton.

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If you have business news and/or a discovery you’d like to share please send an email to hatchb@caledonian-record.com. I am always happy to learn more about your business and our shared region.

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