Friday, August 26, 2011

Meet The Neighbors: Part 3

Hello all. As you may have noticed, we took a few Fridays off from our MTN posts. We've been putting all of our energy into your bicycles, and I have to say, they look better than ever. The new facility and equipment are truly helping us make a good thing great.

One place in particular that has fueled a lot of solid work days at IF is The Big Bean Cafe. "The Bean", as it's called around here, has a warm, comforting atmosphere, with a counter to pull up to, as well as both indoor and outdoor tables. Their daily menu is jam packed with mouth-watering dishes, and they always have creative new items on their specials list (with even more creative names...a few weeks ago, each special was named after a character from Ron Howard's 1988 classic, Willow). The Big Bean provides three great things: breakfast, lunch, and fantastic service. You could almost blindly order anything on the menu and be completely happy with not only the taste, but also how quickly it's prepared and served. My go-to lunch order is their triple decker turkey club sandwich; and in the morning I love The Bean's breakfast pizza. Yes, you read that correctly: breakfast pizza. So awesome!

The Bean is co-owned by Jack O'Sullivan and Sarah Howard. Sarah's on maternity leave, so Jack was kind enough to do a quick solo interview.


Neighbor: The Big Bean Cafe & Bakery (118 Main Street).

Type of business: Breakfast/Lunch cafe

Years Running: 5 years with us (Jack/Sarah), and 17 years total


Name: Jack O'Sullivan

How did you get into this line of work? My partner and I have always worked in restaurants. We saw The Bean for sale in 2006, and jumped at the chance to buy it!

Something special your business does (weekly/monthly events, community service, etc.): At The Bean, we love creating inspiring new dishes, and trying new and different food items in our recipes. We also take pride in composting, and above all else, hard work.

What's your favorite thing about Newmarket? The size. It's small, but not too small. There's always something going on here, and the size really creates a sense of community.


If you could add any type of business to Main Street, what would you choose? Well, the Lamprey River runs directly through Newmarket, right behind the Mills. It would be cool to have water recreation rentals.

You find a genie's lamp and he grants you 1 wish. What do you wish for? C'mon, that's silly. I'd wish to not have any wishes.

Do you own a bicycle? If so, what kind? Currently, no. I live in town and it's easy to walk most places.

Describe or draw your dream bicycle:


From the above photo it's clear that Jack is not an artist (in the traditional sense), but put the man in a kitchen or behind a grill and he's in a category all his own. Stop by The Big Bean Cafe today and see, better yet taste for yourself. You'll be glad you did.

-Ryan

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Doing Well and Doing Good :: D2R2 Raffle Frame

It's a pretty simple thing, society is better off when we help each other out.

Good folks like Sandy Whittlesey and the entire crew at the Franklin Land Trust set a standard for us all to follow. They work hard every day to preserve the land and rich heritage of Franklin County in Northwestern Massachusetts.

That Sandy is an avid cyclist and decided to marry his love of cycling with FLT's mission by creating the Deerfield to Deerfield Dirt Road Randonnee is a gift to all of us. D2R2 as it is called, is a benefit bike ride through some of the most scenic and rugged back roads in New England.

I struck up a conversation with Sandy after the ride last year about what constitutes the perfect bike for a ride like D2R2. I also suggested that if we could come up with a frame design that we were satisfied with, that we should raffle off a custom build to help raise money and awareness for the Franklin Land Trust.

Here's what Sandy has to say about the frame that we jointly developed and displayed earlier this year at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show:

"The raffle frame is designed specifically for the bumpy back roads and dirt roads of Franklin County. It looks like a racing bike, but there is clearance for slightly larger tires and fenders, and the design is lower to the ground for stability. The rear of the frame is designed to flex over bumps in the road. This is not a superlight racing bike any more than it is a heavy touring bike - it is, literally, the best conceivable design for a ride on the very roads we have here. And, the best part, it comes with FLT artwork! This is just the second frame ever built like this, a collector's item."






She's resplendent in British Racing Green and Vanilla Shake panels, although you could choose a different color combination if you are the winner. We all win when we have beautiful places to ride, so please take a moment to click through here and help out the Franklin Land Trust by entering the raffle.

Better yet, register for the ride itself, and purchase raffle tickets at the same time here.

Hope to see you in a few weeks out on the back roads of Franklin County doing well and doing good.

Cheers,

G.

Monday, August 8, 2011

55 Main Street :: Coming Together

We're getting settled into our new home, working out the kinks and building bikes again. It's been a long time coming, so here are a few pictures of the space.

First up is the showroom space. As I type, Jonathan Rummel of Hand Forged Iron Works is hanging his custom bike holders on the posts.


This is the "tree" that Jonathan built to hold bags and other merchandise.


From the showroom you can look through windows (actually the old windows that we replaced on the outside of the building) and see bikes being made on one side, and bags being made on the other side.



These are shots of the tacking and welding area. Its nice to have all of the big windows to let the light and breeze in, but it's not ideal for TIG welding, so we have some new custom curtains on order for the welding cells, kind of like what you'd find in a hospital room on tracks suspended from the ceiling. It'll let us open the area up when we want, and protect the welding when necessary.



Next up is our new paint booth. Chris just can't stop saying, "this thing is amazing". It is amazing; down draft, heated make up air, bake cycle, fully programmable logic controllers, integrated mixing room, and oh yeah, it's white and bright.


You couldn't make a painter any more happy.

Unless of course, you also add in an extremely well lit and clean prep area...


On the happiness note, it was extremely important to me that our new home reflect a real team spirit, so that meant adding employee amenities like a well equipped break room, lockers and clean showers.



We've got a ways to go to get everything dialed in and ready for a grand opening over Labor Day Weekend, so stay tuned. In the meantime, if you find yourself in 03857, stop in and check out the new place.

Cheers,

G.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Meet The Neighbors: Part 2


This week's neighbor in our MTN series is Panzanella's, a local (and very delicious) pizzeria. Almost directly across the street from our new location here in Newmarket, Panzanella's is the perfect spot to grab a quick afternoon slice (or 2. You'll definitely want another). Feel free to get creative; they'll add any topping(s) you like to a single slice. My personal favorite is fresh green pepper and grilled chicken. Can't beat it! At Panzanella's you'll enjoy simple, classic Italian food, paired with fast and friendly service. I was impressed by their extensive menu selection, and it took close to 15 minutes for me to decide on a pasta dish for lunch today. After much debate, I kept it simple and had their stuffed shells. Served up with plenty of garlic bread and a generous helping of red sauce for dipping, it was just like Grandma used to make. Manga!


Neighbor: Panzanella's Italian Pizzeria and Restaurant (72 Main Street).

Type of business: Italian-American pizzeria

Years running: 10


Owner: Jared Ernest Woodman Sr.

How did you get into this line of work? I began working as a dishwasher at another pizzeria when I was 12 years old. Over the course of 8 years, I went from the bottom of the barrel to the top of the barrel. I knew I could do it myself, so I did!

Something special your business does (weekly/monthly events, community service, etc.): We sponsor local youth sports teams and donate to many local organizations, on top of providing top notch service to our many loyal customers.


What's your favorite thing about Newmarket? I'd have to say the restoration of the Newmarket Mills. I like what it's doing for business, and it's doing wonders for the downtown landscape.

If you could add any type of business to Main Street, what would you choose? Easy. I'd choose a single screen movie theater that plays classic movies like My Cousin Vinny.

You find a genie's lamp and he grants you 1 wish. What do you wish for? I would wish for my son to make it into the NBA.

Do you own a bicycle? If so, what kind? Yes, I do own a bicycle. It's a Schwinn. My wife and I love to go for rides together around our home town. I pop wheelies!

Describe or draw your dream bicycle:


J-Rad is awesome and he runs a solid pizza place. But don't take my word for it. Go there! Grab a few slices by yourself or enjoy a good meal with your friends or family. You'll leave satisfied and smiling.

Breakfast fans: tune in next week!

-Ryan