News & Views
Photo of Sandwich Village by Joe Janis
What is your name and the name of your business?
My name is Ashley Benes and I am the owner of Papa Beans Ice Cream.
How did you get to Sandwich, NH?
I grew up in the Lakes Region and my first time I can remember being in Sandwich was at the age of four going to the Sandwich Fair. This is where I experienced my first pony ride and my love for horses.
When I was in my early 30s I taught lessons and volunteered for the local Mt Washington Valley Pony Club that was fortunate enough to use the fairgrounds for their practices. Around that same time, 2011 or 2012 I believe, I helped organize a 5K Turkey trot based out of the Sandwich fairgrounds as a fundraiser for the Pony Club. My father is an active member of the White Mountain Milers running club and I had dabbled in some races by this time in my life and was hooked. I went on to attend a 5k turkey trot from the Beach to Bar, Christmas Jingle Bell Run put on by a yoga studio, Booty Farm 5k, and the Old Home week triathlon.
I remember thinking this is the kind of community I want to live in. When Brad and I started dating a few years back our first official date was hiking Mt. Israel and eating ice cream afterwards. As life partners and residents of Sandwich we find it important to enjoy the nature and beauty in our area as often as we can and our busy lives allow.
Tell us about your business. What do you make, do, or offer as a service?
I make small batches of homemade ice cream using local New Hampshire diary and source ingredients locally when ever possible to stir in the ice cream. We are located inside Young Maple Ridge Sugarhouse. You can purchase pints, half pints, ice cream sandwiches and ice cream cakes or pies. One of the most popular flavors is the Maple Bourbon Ice cream that is flavored from Maple Bourbon aged syrup made by Brad right in the Sugarhouse.
How did your business get started?
In the late 1980s my father’s construction business was taking a hit due to the economy. My parents decided to take a chance and open a homemade ice cream business they called Bobby Sue’s, located in West Ossipee where M & V’s gas station is located now.
At the age of 7, I knew that my ice cream tasting passion would continue. My favorite flavor then was peach with rainbow sprinkles. After a successful couple of years my parents sold the business and my father went back to construction. My father has opened a couple other homemade scoop shops in Conway area over the years and acquired a few nicknames: “Scoop Man” and “Papa Beans.”
Since a young age I have always dreamed of owning my own small food business and had been brainstorming this idea for several years. I have a BS in Business Management from PSU and was working as Assistant Utility Manager for a water company the last 8 years and knew I was ready for a career change. My father had given me his ice cream machine and Brad offered to share his kitchen space at his sugarhouse. I began the process of filling all the requirements for a new business and inspections needed before making the big jump of leaving my office job.
What is the most fun/satisfying aspect of your work?
Have you ever seen someone eat ice cream who is not smiling? The ice cream is not always the first thing guests look at when they arrive at Young Maple Ridge Sugarhouse. Often they are surprised by the assortment of maple syrup choices in glass & plastic bottles. Then they see the Maple Candy, Maple Sugar, Maple Cream, and Maple Bourbon Syrup.
What gets most of the attention is Brad’s evaporator, the 40-gallon barrels, stacked syrup drums, and the wooden bourbon barrel filled with syrup that is aging before being bottled. We love seeing people’s reactions to the sugaring process and the assortment of flavors of ice cream we have made. The ice cream sandwiches are a huge hit and many are thrilled to see our unique flavors.
What is the hardest?
The hardest part is not eating all the profits. Starting a business with unstable and rising product costs has posed a huge challenge for me especially in figuring out my own costs and pricing. I have attended many farmers markets and estimating what items to bring or have on hand has been difficult. Having the support of family, friends and community has allowed starting this business a little less hard. Brad and his parents, Rae & Bob Streeter, are always available and willing to step in and help. My father is even finally sharing some of his secrets of success.
What are your goals and hopes for the future?
I hope to have a successful sustainable business that allows connections with other small business and community. Anyone local that has ingredients that would pair well with our ice cream please reach out.
What else can you tell us about yourself, your business, and your life in Sandwich?
Being an ice cream eater, I must stay active and where else to do that than Sandwich. I am an avid runner, hiker, and in recent years gravel bike rider. I am a proud dog mom of Simon (14.5) and Chuck (2.5) and enjoy spending time in the woods with them and Brad.
Sandwich offers so much for such a small town because of the compassionate people that choose to live here. I truly appreciate and value being able to eat while listening to local musicians at The Foothills and The Corner House, shop at the numerous farm stands on my way home, take a yoga class, and still be able to explore quiet trails and nature.
Papa Beans Ice Cream
301 Wing Road, Sandwich NH
The Sandwich Historical Society has received a grant from Historic New England to do research on the authenticity and cultural context of the small grouping of Native American artifacts in our collection, and to create programming for the public related to it. We will seek the advice of cultural anthropologists, collegiate academic institutions, and Abenaki leaders in this assessment and planning.
Since its inception, the Sandwich Historical Society has primarily focused on the colonial and postcolonial Euro-American history of the town. We would like to explore, acknowledge, and document pre-contact and simultaneous uses of this land too. We wish to place in context the Indigenous Peoples, First Nation historical experience in the mountains and lakes region, as a foundational and inclusive element in our complete and evolving history.
We are reaching out to the Sandwich community and beyond, with two questions that might assist us in our research, via crowdsourcing techniques:
1. Are there any residents with direct Indigenous lines in their family, with stories that would be pertinent to our town’s historical timeline and before our incorporation as a town?
2. Do you have artifacts within your family that you would be willing to lend or allow us to document, or sites on your property we may photograph, for specific summer programming that would give us further insight on the Indigenous history of this town?
If so, please feel free to contact Franz Nicolay at firstname.lastname@example.org,
on behalf of the Programs & Education, Collections, and Exhibition Committees at the Sandwich Historical Society.
Everything you need to know about this year's Christmas in the Village!
For over 40 years, a two-day holiday fair and sale has magically appeared across the town of Sandwich on the first weekend in December. This year’s Christmas in the Village features 19 locations with over 40 participants, selling a wide variety of crafts, fine art, gifts, goodies, and holiday ornaments, greens and décor.
You’ll find the holiday spirit everywhere with with many venues offering hand-crafted ornaments and holiday décor.
Your Neighbors Flowers and Something Wild Farm is a collaboration between two North Sandwich Farms offering local and sustainably harvested spruce and fir Christmas Trees, table top trees, wreaths and other handmade gifts Saturday 12/3 & Sunday 12/4 9am to 2pm on both sides of the Green in Center Sandwich.
Pam Urda will have beautiful evergreen wreaths and centerpieces at Wayside Farm, Amy Brown will have holiday wreaths, kissing balls, centerpieces and ornaments at the Doris Benz Center, and Shirly Glines will show fresh holiday arrangements at the Sandwich Home Industries.
Craftspeople and makers will set up in small groups at various locations. At Partridge Hill Farm, you’ll find four vendors in a spectacular barn, open only on Saturday 10am - 2pm only. Rachel Bartlett will have her hand thrown, high fired, functional pottery, glazed to reflect colors of the natural world. Macrame Christmas ornaments, winter paintings, & gnomes are available from Jodi with an Eye. Vicky Dworkin will bring her Fabrications: fabric collage landscapes of local scenes; as well as table top Christmas arrangements from recycled and vintage materials. Laser Focused Designs & Gifts will have unique gifts ranging from charcuterie boards, earrings coasters, holiday ornaments & more. Custom orders are available to make your gifts more personalized.
The Doris Benz Community Center will be open Saturday only 9 am- 4 pm, Little Apiary on the Hillside will have local raw honey, beeswax candles, honey based soaps, lotion bars & lip balm, as well as handmade patchwork quilts. You’ll also find hand-dyed napkins, dish towels & clothing, hand carved block printed, silkscreen and real leaves from Robin Cornwall and original photo card of flowers, animals and local landscapes by Jessica Kelly.
Wayside Farm will be open Saturday and Sunday 10am-3pm, featuring pottery & wood-turned candlesticks by Ben Shambaugh, jewelry & quilled paper Christmas cards from Amanda Twaddle, Photography, prints & ink drawings by Liz Shelley and a variety of Christmas ornaments, bucket hats, Ukrainian eggs & hand-stitched pillows by Wendy Shambaugh. Get a reallyy sweet treat of fudge and peanut brittle from Jennifer Simpson.
Early on, the event featured open studios and workshops, a tradition that continues today. Field Fine Art, the studio of artist and sculptor Kathryn Field will be open Saturday 10am - 4pm and Sunday 10am - 3pm. At MuMandi Glass Studio, Ann Lambert creates colorful fused glass ornaments, dishes and more, open Saturday only 10am to 4-ish. Weaver Suzanne Rowan will have hand-woven items to wear and for the home, rug-hooking & other handmade treasures, also on Saturday only 10am - 4pm. The workshop of Will Lehmann Frames will open Saturday 12/3 10am - 4pm & Sunday 12/4 10am - 3pm. He’s been doing custom picture framing, custom woodworking & finishing for 49 years. Enjoy cookies and cocoa at Kindred Spirit Farm and shop for hand-knit hats, hand-crafted felted soaps, jams, salsas, dog biscuits, & nesting balls for your fine feathered friends.Open Saturday 9 to 4 and Sunday 10 to 3.
Of course, the shops in Center Sandwich village will be open, and will also host special guest makers and sellers. The Sandwich Home Industries be open Saturday 10am - 5pm and Sunday Noon -5pm. Along with the fine crafts from The League of NH Craftsmen, you’ll find photography and photo cards from Susan Lirakis who also makes cozy Polartec hats, Marcy Greene’s handmade bags and accessories, small batch, hand-thrown stoneware pottery by Suzanne Weil and whimsical hand-knit Climate Critters from Anne Richards to benefit .
The Porch will be Saturday 9am to 5pm and Sunday 10am to 5pm with a selection of gifts, holiday decor, seasonal apparel, and antiques. Stop in to sop and enjoy complimentary home-made cookies and refreshments. Willow Pond Antiques & Goods is unique and whimsical shop featuring antiques and vintage item, home decor, local crafts and unique curiosities, with Sandwich’s own talented ANNE MADE crafts and homemade delicacies Saturday 12/3 & Sunday 12/4 10am to 5pm.
Looking for an old or rare book? Hill Country Books will be open Saturday 12/3 & Sunday 12/4 10am to 4pm. The Sandwich Historical Society will also have books, along withcards, ornaments, Sandwich Fair posters, vintage travel posters, Sandwich Hoodies and Crews, magnets, White Mountain puzzles & more! Also showing at there are Hannah’s Handmade Crafts crochet holiday garlands, scarves and shawls and Kathie Fife Photography & Fabric Art - Fine Art Photography greeting cards, bookmarks, ornaments; art of New Hampshire’s nature, landscapes & historic sites, handmade fabric art gift bags, gift card holders, bowl cozies and napkins, hand-warmers & organic catnip toys. Custom orders available. Open Saturday & Sunday 10 to 3
Visit the Marigold Moon Wildcraft Apothecary for locally wild-crafted plant medicinals in the form of tea blends, tinctures, oils, balms, salves, and more. Beverage teas available. And featuring books by MJ Pettengill, local author, historian & wildcrafter. Saturday & Sunday 10am to 3pm.
Feeling hungry? Stop by and warm up at the Ladies Aid Soup & Chowder Luncheon on Saturday from 11am -2pm at Sandwich Community Church. Or stop by the Doris Benz Center whose young pastry chefs have been busy baking up their specialties on Saturday from 10am to 4pm. Enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner, or just a cup of coffee at The Foothills Café and Curio, open Saturday 8am - 9pm and Sunday 9am -10pm and enjoy live Christmas and Celtic music by the CaravanBand from 10am - 2pm both days.
Foothills Café will also be hosting local artist Blair Newcomb with oil paintings and card, and Fraser Design’s fabulous winter hats with a Polartec lining by Linda Danielovich. Art by toddlers, preschoolers and kindergarteners at the Sandwich Children’s Center, a fundraiser to benefit the Center. And before you leave the Fair, have your gifts wrapped and ready to go at Wrap-a-thon Fund Raiser to benefit Advice To The Players, Sandwich’s own Shakespeare Theatre
For more tasty treats visit the Young Maple Ridge Sugarhouse for Papa Beans small-batch homemade ice cream and pick some sweet gifts of maple syrup, maple cream, maple candy, maple sugar & maple bourbon syrup -all made on site. Open Saturday and Sunday 9am to 9pm. Or stop by the Mount Israel Grange Hall Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning 9am to noon, and shop for local farm products, garlic, onions, herbs, squash, maple syrup, jams, beef, pork, baked goods & more from Chestnut Meadow Farm and Mountain Breeze Farm to take home.
Each venue has set its own hours, and some are only open on Saturday. You’ll find everything you need to know about who’s selling what, where and when, along photos and descriptions of each participant offerings on our website http://sandwichchristmasinthevillage.com, including a printable map to plan your shopping tour. Email email@example.com for more information, or contact Julie Deak at 603-707-0140 or find us on Facebook.
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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