Business Briefs (1/28/10)

Keeping Good Company leaving Maple Tree Place

A home decorating store in Maple Tree Place is looking to move to another location. Keeping Good Company will soon leave the outdoor mall, although owner Pam Carter said she has not set a date. Carter plans to downsize and focus solely on the interior design and personalization part of her business.

“That has really been the backbone of our business,” Carter said.

She plans to open a design gallery in the Champlain Valley after closing the retail store, although she does not know where the location will be.

Carter said a number of factors influenced the decision to close the retail store. She said being in Maple Tree Place proved a challenge with a high number of stores coming and going. She said while her location is close to busy establishments, including Mexicali Grill & Cantina and the Majestic 10 Cinemas, many people didn’t venture toward the pedestrian walkways where Keeping Good Company and other stores are located.

Carter also blamed the economy, saying, “That’s been one of the main reasons. People have changed their shopping habits.”

The retail portion of the store sold high-end furniture and other home goods. Store items are now on sale for 50 to 75 percent off.

“There’s lots of opportunity for people to find some beautiful things at a good price,” Carter said.


Earth Turbines changes name

The Williston-based alternative energy company formerly known as Earth Turbines has changed its name. The company now goes by AllEarth Renewables Inc. and will continue its focus as a Vermont leader in “green technologies,” CEO and president David Blittersdorf said in a statement last week.

“Our company is dedicated to developing new wind and solar technologies,” Blittersdorf said. “We want to be sure that our corporate name reflects this larger focus for the future.”

The company — an offshoot of NRG Systems in Hinesburg — started by developing only wind turbines. The company created its wind turbine, known as the Earth Turbine 2500, to generate electricity for residential and commercial use. The turbines will be ready for the market this year. Allen Brook School is working with the company to install one of its new turbines in an effort to reduce electricity costs and teach students about sustainable living.

As the company worked on turbines, it also developed a dual-axis solar panel system. Called the AllSun Tracker, the device follows the sun’s journey across the sky each day, maximizing solar output. The company installed one if its first trackers at The Bellwether School in Williston last spring. There are also 36 AllSun Trackers located at Green Acres Farm in Hinesburg.

AllEarth Renewables is located off Harvest Lane.


Residents complete business course

Williston has two budding entrepreneurs in its midst.

Two of the town’s residents recently graduated from the Women’s Small Business Program Start Up. Grace Ross and Laurinda Poirier-Solomon completed the program offered at Mercy Connections in Burlington in December. They were among 13 graduates from Chittenden County.

Ross plans to open Living Green with Grace within six to eight months. The business will operate out of a bus that runs on biodiesel fuel. Ross plans to sell green living products and educate the public about sustainable living.

Students who take the 15-week course gain tools to become successful entrepreneurs. More than 1,000 women have graduated from the program since it began at Trinity College in 1989.

“I realized that for me it takes a community to make my dream of owning and running a business to come true and I found that community through the program,” Poirier-Solomon said in a press release. She could not be reached for further comment.