Author: Leon Thompson

Cowan Custom Creations

ST. ALBANS –– Craig Cowan’s years-long hobby and de-stressor from full-time work has turned into a part-time business. Ever since taking a high school woodshop class in the mid-1980s, Craig has been a wood turner, and he has always made sure to keep learning his craft – and staying passionate about it. “It’s thinking on a different level,” Craig said recently, during a chat at The Traveled Cup, in downtown St. Albans. “It’s not like an office job, where you have rules and regulations to go by. Two years ago, Craig launched Cowan Custom Creations, which is based at his Highgate Center home. Craig lives in Highgate with his wife, Amy, who is on the staff at Vermont Adult Learning. His business name is a play on his initials: CCC – Craig Conrad Cowan. At home, Craig has two lathes, and he loves the freedom they give him. “Whatever your mind can think of with them,” he said, “you can do it.” Craig’s current focus is custom-made, heavy, high-quality pens made of wood or acrylic castings; he turns them on a lathe and then assembles the insides with parts he orders. All of his pens are refillable. A plastic-shelled, boilerplate pen makes him cringe. “I hate to see things made cheaply,” he said, “and then you throw the plastic in a landfill. It might sound strange, but I make...

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Midnite Sews What!?

SWANTON VILLAGE –– Creative as she is, Dawn Marie Thurston could have conjured any number of snazzy names for her Swanton Village shop. Even “A Seamstress on Merchants Row” has an historic, small-town ring to it. Instead, Dawn Marie went with something much more catchy: Midnite Sews What!? “Everybody calls me ‘Midnite,’” Dawn Marie said at her Merchants Row business, where she offers her professional services as a seamstress. “And he started it,” she said, while pointing to her husband of two years, and friend for 20, Jimmy T. Thurston. “He started calling me that, and it stuck.” Dawn...

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Chasworth Farm

ST. ALBANS –– Chasworth Farm is a downtown retail store, stocked and influenced by products from the owners’ farm. The store and studio is on North Main Street, in downtown St. Albans, and it’s hard to miss, thanks to Lucille, the mannequin in the bubble bath who graces the large window at the Chasworth Farm store. The studio/store is where Marcia Hagwood, of Georgia, handcrafts and sells the yarn and artisan soaps that are directly from the animals that she and her husband, Grey, raise on their Polly Hubbard Road Farm, in Georgia. The Farm Soap is made from...

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Northwest Veterinary Associates

ST. ALBANS –– Dr. Jennifer Hull discovered early in her career that being a veterinarian is more than just about loving animals. After all – animals have owners. “If you don’t like people,” this is not the job for you, said Hull, of Northwest Veterinary Associates, located at the intersection of Routes 36 and 104, at the bottom of Fairfield Hill Road, in St. Albans. Hull is one of five doctor/owners at Northwest Veterinary Associates, a dairy-exclusive, large-animal practice that covers Franklin County, parts of Lamoille and Chittenden Counties, and Champlain, N.Y. The other owners are: Drs. Kent Henderson,...

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Lillybelle Bakes

ST. ALBANS –– In late August, college freshman Alyssa Wieland officially launched her business, Lillybelle Bakes, at Local Fare, a new, year-round farmers market on St. Albans City’s Main Street. But she planted the seed much earlier. Last October, while a senior at Essex High School, Alyssa, of Georgia, organized a fundraiser that would help her raise more than $1,000 for a school trip to Greece: She made large bunt cakes from the recipe of her 90-year-old oma (German for grandmother), Ingeborg Wieland, who moved to the U.S. when she was in her thirties. Now in her first semester...

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