MEREDITH — Working with Meredith Village Savings Bank and Belknap County Economic Development, Hermit Woods Winery received the support and funding needed to purchase their future home, a building located at 72 Main Street, once known as the Capala Building, in downtown Meredith. In addition to loaning Hermit Woods the funds needed to purchase the building, Meredith Village Savings Bank provided a construction loan to bring the building up to date and give it a fresh new look. Belknap EDC also contributed funds toward the purchase of the building, as well as funds to purchase the necessary winemaking equipment to expand production to meet the expected demand of the new location.
Bob Manley, owner/partner at Hermit Woods, said, "We are in our third year at our current location, 56 Taylor Road in Sanbornton, and are bursting at the seams. I don't think we could produce even one more bottle of wine."
Though the team at Hermit Woods briefly considered expanding at their current location, the cost and challenges associated with that choice quickly made it clear they needed another option. With the help of real estate agent Ellen Mulligan of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokers, they began looking at other alternatives.
"Working with Ellen, Gracie Cilley, our Loan officer at MVSB, and Carmen Lorentz and Ken Wilson from BEDC, we have found the perfect solution for our expansion and cannot thank everyone enough for helping us make this happen. Ellen made it easy from start to finish," said Manley.
"Meredith Village Savings Bank was excited to have the opportunity to work with Hermit Woods to help them achieve their expansion goals," said Gracie Cilley, Vice President - Commercial Loan Officer for Meredith Village Savings Bank. "The Hermit Woods team's entrepreneurial spirit, vision and passion for the wine making business are sure to make for a successful transition to their new location. We are thrilled to be a part of their new venture and expect that this will be an excellent addition to the Meredith Main Street community."
Ken Wilson, Loan Officer for Belknap EDC, stated that "We are very pleased and proud of the role that we played in assisting with the financing of Hermit Wood's expansion into Meredith. This will prove to be a winning addition to Meredith's Main Street and the adjoining world class destinations."
Manley said "Hermit Woods Winery will not be leaving their present location until the finish of the current season in November. There is still much work to be done before we can move our business to Meredith. Nonetheless, the Hermit Woods team is working hard to create a smooth transition and get our winery and tasting room open in Meredith before the holidays. We are looking forward to being part of the Meredith community."
Hermit Woods has contracted with Christopher P. Williams Architects to help design the look of their new building, ensuring that the changes they make fit in with the surrounding Main Street businesses. Eric Gallagher from Gallagher Construction will be bringing the design to life. They expect to begin work just as soon as they get approval from the town of Meredith.
Ken Hardcastle, Chuck Lawrence, and Bob Manley opened this small boutique winery in Sanbornton, New Hampshire in 2011. They make a wide variety of traditional and non-traditional wines from local fruit and honey, as well as a few select wines crafted from grapes purchased from Chile.
People can sample their wine by visiting the Hermit Woods tasting room, which is open on weekends from 11-5, with additional hours in July and August, Wednesday through Friday from 1-5.
Hermit Woods wines can also be purchased in a select few local restaurants, wine shops, and beer stores throughout New Hampshire, as well as in the winery's tasting room. Hermit Woods wines are also available for purchase online in sixteen states across the country.
Chuck Lawrence, Hermit Woods Winery, Ken Wilson of Belknap EDC, Gracie Cilley of MVSB, Ken Hardcastle, and Bob Manley of Hermit Woods Winery. (Courtesy photo)