Irwin joins AARP for Smart Driver Course July 13

LACONIA — The Irwin Automotive Group will be hosting an AARP’s Smart Driving course on Thursday, July 13, at the Irwin Toyota Location in Laconia. The AARP’s Smart Driving course is a refresher course designed specifically to meet the needs of drivers over the age of 50. The course covers age-related physical changes, declining perception skills, rules of the road, local driving problems and driver’s license renewals. It is specially designed to help older citizens continue driving safely.

By taking a driver safety course at the Irwin Automotive Group in Laconia, you'll learn the current rules of the road, defensive driving techniques and how to operate your vehicle more safely in today's increasingly challenging driving environment. You'll learn how you can manage and accommodate common age-related changes in vision, hearing and reaction time. In addition, the course is designed to help participants:

The class will be held in the Irwin Ford Toyota store in the Conference Room. Signup opens at 8:45 a.m. Class runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pack a lunch. Class size limited – call Betty Ballantyne at 581-2968 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The classroom fee is $15 for AARP members and $20 for non-members.

  • Written by Mike Mortensen
  • Category: Business
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Friendly's to donate to Boys & Girls Club

All summer long, Friendly’s will be offering guests any flavored Friend-z for a fraction of its original cost. The frozen treat, which is originally priced at $4.79, will be $2.99 all summer. And as an extra special treat, on July 16, National Ice Cream Day, Friendly’s will donate $2 from every $2.99 Friend-z purchase to Boys & Girls Club of America. To show their gratitude to those customers who have helped Friendly’s give back on the ice cream holiday, Boys & Girls Club of America and Friendly’s are pleased to offer guests special thank-you coupons toward their next Friendly’s visit.

  • Written by Mike Mortensen
  • Category: Business
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Maxfield honors 4 in Wolfeboro office for sales performance

WOLFEBORO — The top four producing agents in the Wolfeboro office of Maxfield Real Estate have combined sales of $76,359,705. Randy Parker is top producer, Carol Bush number two, Joy Messineo third, and Betty Ann Bickford fourth.

Parker takes first position honors and is the companywide top producer at Maxfield Real Estate. He has been a real powerhouse year after year while relying on support staff and the other agents in the office to help build his business.


07 07 Maxfield Bickford07 07 Maxfield Messineo07 07 Maxfield Bush07 07 Maxfield Parker

Betty Ann Bickford                       Joy Messineo                                         Carol Bush                                              Randy Parker



  • Written by Mike Mortensen
  • Category: Business
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Sunflower Natural Foods has customer appreciation day

LACONIA — Sunflower Natural Foods celebrates Customer Appreciation Christmas Day in July.

On Satururday, July 15, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. there will be a special Christmas in July extravaganza. Wayfarer Coffee Roasters will be there with a pop-up shop from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., selling their honey/lemon/mint iced tea and a special peppermint mocha cold brew. There will be free samples,  product demonstrations, plus  raffle baskets.

Customers can also participate in the Sunflower Super Santa Scavenger Hunt.

  • Written by Mike Mortensen
  • Category: Business
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Art Escape splashes into new Union Ave location

LACONIA — What do you get your business for its tenth anniversary? If you're Jean and Jim Cox, owners of Art Escape, you get it a new location in a larger building. The Coxes celebrated the new location of their business with a ribbon-cutting on Monday morning.

Art Escape's new space, at 636 Union Avenue, is about 800 square feet larger than the 1,500 square-foot space at 371 Union, which they had been renting for a decade. And, the Coxes own their new building, which they have transformed from a restaurant into a space for the creation of art.

"We started with pretty much nothing and worked our way up," said Jean Cox, a member of Laconia High School's Class of 1995. She served in the U.S. Air Force after graduation, where she met Kentucky-native Jim. Their courtship lasted a few weeks, and their engagement a few days, rushed because the military wouldn't split up a married couple.

"This is a dream building," said Jean. Compared to their first location, the business's new home has better visibility, interior space and a large parking lot.

Art Escape's new home will be known to long-time city residents as the building where Jimmy's Bakery once operated. Later, it housed King's Cuisine, then a couple of short-lived eateries.

Jean and Jim offer classes, camps and private parties, but always keep their doors open to walk-in customers who want to make a peice of art to take home with them. This has proven popular with families looking for something to do together, as well as couples in the mood for a creative date.

"It's a fun business," said Jean, looking around her new business location. "We are successful because this was my dream," she added. "It took a lot of perseverance. I was just going to do it it no matter what. Since I was a little kid, all I ever wanted was an art studio."

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Helping to cut the ribbon to celebrate the new location for Art Escape, at 636 Union Avenue in Laconia, are Karmen Gifford, executive director of the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce; Carl Smith of GBR Contracting; employee Theresa Stone; Jim, Justin, Jean and Caleb Cox; and employees Gladiana Spitz, Mollie Harris and Amber Chunko. (Adam Drapcho/Laconia Daily Sun)

  • Written by Adam Drapcho
  • Category: Business
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