News & Views
Photo of Sandwich Village by Joe Janis
What is your name and the name of your business?
My full name is Carl Parker Hansen. Named after my father Carl, but not junior. To my closest friends and the government I'm Carl but I've gone by Parker my whole life. The name of my business is Lower Corner Millworks, named after our family home in the old brick store at the historic Lower Corner.
How did you get to Sandwich, NH?
My relationship with Sandwich goes back as far as I can remember. We summered in our small family cottage on Dinsmore Pond until we moved here permanently in 1999 to renovate the old brick store. My parents met in Sandwich in the early 80s doing theater with the Sandwich players in a production of Our Town.
My father owned and operated the only gas pump by the only "traffic light" in town. Generations of our family on the Howe side (my father’s mother was a Howe) have lived on Diamond Ledge and Howe Hill, including Rev. Chester Howe. My father has cousins who still live on Howe Hill in Sandwich. I had moved away to Portland, Maine in 2014 after college, but returned in 2020 to start my own cabinet shop.
What got you started in this profession?
My father has always been a carpenter and cabinet maker, so growing up I would help him as much as I could. After gaining my degree in Environmental Studies from The University of Vermont, I pursued a career in teaching but after being waitlisted for grad school, I began working at a cabinet shop in South Portland, Maine.
For five years I worked my way up to production supervisor at one of the largest cabinet shops in New England, while simultaneously attending Southern Maine Community College to earn an Associates Degree in Architectural and Engineering Design. I then saw an opportunity to return to Sandwich with the skills I had gained, to try my hand at running my own cabinet shop. I knew my father was retiring, as well as a few other cabinet makers/carpenters in town, so I felt that there would be an eventual void that needed to be filled. In the winter of 2020 I started Lower Corner Millworks.
Tell us about your business. What do you make, do, or offer as a service?
Initially I began making signs and small wooden crafts like cribbage boards, catch-all trays, cutting boards, etc., but knew I wanted to be making cabinets and furniture. It took about six months but I eventually built my first kitchen for a client. I’ve made several tables and I was hired to fill an entire home with bookshelf built-ins, bunk beds, an entertainment unit and a full kitchen. I still provide sign engraving services, custom gifts and other misc. products, including 3D topographical maps, flight boards for breweries (a flight board is a serving tray for small glasses of beer or wine or spirits) and the occasional cutting board!
I also have a relationship with The Shaker Furniture Company to make furniture parts and I use a CNC router for some projects. A CNC Machine or Computer Numerical Control Machine is a computer-aided router that allows the user to program text or shapes to be cut out or engraved onto a designated material. In my case, I engrave signs into wood or signboard, cut out furniture parts out of wood, create 3D landscapes out of solid wood or cut cabinet parts out of plywood.
How did your business get started?
My business began pretty easy. Registering my LLC, acquiring start-up funds from The Wentworth Economical Development Corporation and finding a shop space to rent all happened very quickly. My first client was The Shaker Furniture Company, who hired me to make furniture parts before I even had my shop set up.
What is the most fun/satisfying aspect of your work?
The best part of my job is setting my own hours, deciding what jobs to take and basically just being able to do what I love every day. I could be working on a live edge table one day and then making a custom charcuterie board the next. The scope of my work is diverse, which I love. I also get to bring my dog to the shop which is probably the best part.
What is the hardest?
There are a few difficult aspects of my job. I make my own hours which is fantastic, but not having a "clock-in" time sometimes results in sleeping in a little longer than I should some days! Definitely the most difficult part of the job is juggling every task that goes into running your own business, specifically, bookkeeping. I cannot stress enough how boring yet important it is to keep track of all the ins and outs of my business and I'm learning quickly that hoarding receipts in a manilla folder until tax season is not a great habit to get into.
What are your goals and hopes for the future?
My goals when I started this adventure were pretty straightforward; to build what I wanted and continue the tradition of craftspeople in Sandwich. I had to leave Sandwich to really appreciate the town I grew up in. When I knew my father was retiring from his long career as a cabinet maker and carpenter, I knew that there would be opportunities to fill the void he left behind.
The first year of operating I made four signs for local businesses, several large cabinet jobs, and a contract to provide Sandwich-based Shaker Workshops with furniture parts. I have made countless gifts and game boards for people I grew up around. I joked in my college essay that "Sandwich is a vibrant town full of carpenters and yoga instructors, where the post office parking lot looks like a Subaru dealership." Fifteen years after writing that essay, I find myself driving my Outback to the post office to pick up mail for my own woodworking business.
What else can you tell us about yourself and your business?
I'm learning something new everyday. Working in Sandwich means a lot to me. Personally, Sandwich has always been my home, whether it be summers as a small child, becoming our "new home" when I was in 5th grade or when I returned after years away. Creating my business in this small town full of hardworking men and women makes me very proud. Carrying on the traditions of these people is something I take very personally and I hope I can make my family and neighbors proud.
To learn more about Lower Corner Millworks visit: lowercornermillworks.com
or get in touch with Parker at: 603-986-8391, firstname.lastname@example.org. Facebook and Instagram people can search Lower Corner Millworks
Sam Kachmar, new owner of the Corner House Restaurant & Bar, tells us how he came to Sandwich. Enjoy!
Tell us about yourself: How did you connect with Sandwich, NH? What made you decide to live here?
I connected with Sandwich in the early 2000s. A family friend bought a piece of land up on Smithville Rd, and engaged SKA, my architecture firm based in Cambridge, MA to design a weekend home for them that they could eventually retire to. It looks out to Red Hill. Over time they decided to reside permanently up in Sandwich, so we added two wings on either side of the main structure.
In going up for site visits to the land in Sandwich, I heard about the Sandwich Fair, and came up for that with my wife and kids. We visited Beede Falls, hiked with family friends, and really enjoyed being surrounded by nature. We found Sandwich to be such a special place that our family came to visit often the following year.
While here on a site visit my wife found a listing for a home down on Metcalf Rd. We went and looked at a beautiful cove with a really run down cabin from 1970. We bought it. We thought about tearing it down and starting new, but we loved the bones of the house, so we worked to restore some of the mid-century detailing as well as providing modern amenities to the home.
While we don't live in Sandwich full time, we do spend as much time as we can at our home during the summer when it's not rented out. In the fall, winter, and spring we enjoy being in the quiet of Sandwich rather than the busy scene of Cambridge and Boston.
What were you doing before you came here and what are you doing now?
I have been running the SKA Architecture Studio in Cambridge, MA since 2008. We design residential homes in Cambridge and the surrounding areas, and now that I have opened up an SKA office in Sandwich, we offer that same service in the Lakes Region of NH.
SKA is pronounced S…….K…..A, not skah, like the music. We utilize Virtual Reality in our work to allow our clients to experience their homes before they are actually built. This technique creates a reduction in variables and surprises during the construction process, and that makes our projects boring in the best way. When the project is complete, the clients say, "Wow, that looks just like it did in VR."
What made you decide to buy a historic business in the center of town?
I wanted to buy a building in Sandwich as I have loved the time spent up here over the last few years. 22 Main St became available and presented itself as a unique opportunity to house the Corner House restaurant, the Sandwich Creamery, and Sam Kachmar Architects (SKA).
Where do you see the Corner House in the next few years? What are your hopes for the business?
I see the Corner House improving as a destination restaurant over the next few years. The building and land are in need of some significant maintenance and upgrades. We are planning to replace the roof with a solar roof, upgrade the insulation and HVAC systems of the building, replace rotted wood, etc, in an effort to bring the building back to the prominent status that it has held within the town for decades.
What is the most fun/satisfying aspect of your life here?
One of the most fun and satisfying aspect of my life in Sandwich is to see people coming back to the Corner House and being excited to have the restaurant going again. Some people have described the Corner House as “Sandwich’s living room.” That is a really nice moniker to have associated with the restaurant.
There are so many ways I love being in this town. I love spending time at the Foothills with Nancy and Rebecca, and going to the dump to see John and Kevin. Old Home Week this year was a such a fun event for our kids. I really love walking out into the woods near our house, and just standing in the trees. It recharges my batteries.
What else can you tell us about your experience of Sandwich?
This town is brimming with intelligence, energy, thoughtfulness, and caring people. I’m happy to see high speed internet making its way into the town. Sandwich is such an appealing town that it has become a beacon for retirees from many parts of the country. As we move forward with high speed internet utilities, there is an opportunity for Sandwich to chart its course and redefine what kind of town it wants to be going forward. I love coming up here from the city. I can feel the stress of the city falling off my shoulders as I drive down 113 towards Sandwich.
Text and photos by Trish Bushmich
After a very hot and busy summer, we are happy to welcome the next season here at Chapman Sanctuary and Visny Woods. Green foliage is quickly changing to the glorious colors of autumn, and the air is suddenly cool and dry and blustery. What a perfect time to hit the trails at CSVW.
New Benches: Take an extra-long moment to breathe deep the fresh air and take in the sights and scents of fall in New Hampshire. CSVW has installed two lovely benches for its members and visitors to sit and enjoy the views. Located on either side of the entrance to Trail 13, the benches at the top of the field look down over the pollinator garden, birdhouses and all the way to sparkling Teacup Lake. Give yourself a refreshing treat during this extra-gorgeous time of year. Get outside in nature at Chapman Sanctuary and Visny Woods. THANK YOU for signing in at the Visitor’s Kiosk.
Established in 1955, Chapman Sanctuary and Visny Woods (CSVW) operates as a not-for-profit nature, bird, and wildlife sanctuary in Center Sandwich, NH. It is a place for children, families, and adults to connect with nature and explore wildlife in their natural habitat across more than 225 acres of woodland trails, meadows and streams, of which CSVW owns 114 acres.
CVSW is open to the public year-round from dawn to dusk free of charge and depends on individual donations and grants for financial support. Located at 740 Mt. Israel Road in Sandwich.
News & Views
News of what's happening in Sandwich and other items of interest.
Meet Our Members
Please enjoy the Sandwich Business Group's 2021 project called Meet Our Members. Read interviews with fascinating people who live here and run businesses, organizations, and engage in other creative pursuits.
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