Amesbury Business Success Stories

We reached out to some of our local businesses moguls to talk about their success and what makes Amesbury such a wonderful place to eat, stay, play, and thrive, and here is what they had to say.

Amy Vander Els Amesbury MA

Started Business In: 2014

Chamber- Tell us a little about your success story.

Amy Vander Els – I grew up in Hampton Falls, NH and became an art teacher after studying art and education at the University of New Hampshire.  After 10 years of teaching visual art both locally and internationally, I decided to return home in 2014 and began working part-time as a barista at the Market Square Bakehouse and rented an art studio space at the Artists’ Muse and eventually an apartment in town.  It felt so great to get back into creating my own works of art and designing jewelry and stationery and receiving such a positive response to what I was finally able to produce.  I started doing local farmers’ markets and craft fairs in the Fall of 2014.  At this point, I have expanded to become a regular vendor at larger artisan markets from Boston, MA to Portland, ME and have begun selling my work at a number of boutiques in New England and Colorado. This “success story” is still very much in the early stages.  I have to watch every penny, but I absolutely love what I am doing with my days and that to me is priceless.

Chamber – Why did you choose to do business in Amesbury?

Amy Vander Els – This was a decision that happened for me organically, first working at the coffee shop, then with the art space, then my living space.  I have found that Amesbury is a very close-knit community with an appreciation of the arts, of history, and of culture.  The Amesbury Open Studios event in November of 2014 was one of the first markets that I ever participated in and was a guest vendor at 14 Cedar Street Studios and was enamored by the town and all that it had to offer.  I think working at the Bakehouse was invaluable to establishing contacts and building relationships in Amesbury.  After years of living and teaching internationally, it feels really great to be more rooted, to walk from my apartment to my art studio to the bank and the post office and local shops, to see familiar faces everyday and to have become invested in this community. My life is smaller, slower and more simple, in the best possible way.

Chamber – What are the advantages of doing business here?

Amy Vander Els – Amesbury has been a wonderful place to have started my own business.  It is an affordable little oasis that has become a destination for businesses and consumers while remaining true to it’s identity and history.  For me, it has been invaluable to be near my home and my family, and to have the support of the Amesbury community, yet also have access to the larger commercial destinations of Boston, Newburyport, Portsmouth, and Portland, where I have started to establish myself and sell my work.  I feel like Amesbury is the perfect balance of location, personality, affordability and opportunity.

Chamber – What advice would you give someone entering our North of Boston/Southern Seacoast economy?

Amy Vander Els – I would take some time to investigate and attend the different opportunities, associations and events that Amesbury and it’s surrounding areas have to offer and to get connected and involved personally and professionally.  As an artist, it can be a bit isolating to work alone in your studio, but there really are countless ways to be involved: the Amesbury Cultural Council, Amesbury Days, Open Studio Days, Gallery events at art galleries such as Blue Wave, Paula Estes and the Newburyport Art Association, and other local businesses such as the Bakehouse, Crave and The Noshery that support and highlight the work of local visual and performing artists.  

For more information about Amy Vander Els, please visit the websites below: 

https://www.instagram.com/amyvanderels/

www.amyvanderels.com

https://www.etsy.com/shop/amyvanderels

Cider Hill Farm Amesbury MA

Started Business In: 1978

Chamber- Tell us a little about your success story.

Cider Hill Farm – After 35 years of very intensive effort, we have transformed a small rural corner of Amesbury into a thriving agricultural business which attracts tens of thousands of visitors to our farm and surrounding city of Amesbury community. We have developed and nurtured relationships with many local businesses for mutual benefit. We have taken a very ecological approach to our farming and business practices, and have provided employment for many of our local residents.

Chamber – Why did you choose to do business in Amesbury?

Cider Hill Farm – We were actually drawn to the land and opportunity for purchasing 2 farms at a good price, but found the town to be much to our liking. It was quaint, and very supportive of our efforts over the years.

Chamber – What are the advantages of doing business here?

Cider Hill Farm – We have found great support from our community, town/city officials and businesses over the decades we have built Cider Hill Farm. We also have found it very beneficial to work with a local bank as progressive and caring as The Provident Bank. We are also in a great geographic location where we are close to an intersection of highways, and close to areas that draw many tourists, who like to frequent our business as well.

Chamber – What advice would you give someone entering our North of Boston/Southern Seacoast economy?

Cider Hill Farm – I would recommend that they view local businesses similar to theirs as allies, not competitors. We are in the middle of a large population center, and we have found it to be very beneficial to collaborate with others, and not view them as competition. That being said, we are always looking for ways to differentiate ourselves to make us unique and to stay current with the needs and wants of our customers.

For more information about Cider Hill Farm, please visit the website below: 

http://ciderhillfarm.com

Ovedia Bakery Amesbury MA

Started Business In: 2007

Chamber- Tell us a little about your success story.

Ovedia Artisan Chocolates – If we have achieved ‘success’ it’s because we’ve tried to stay true to our vision. There are tremendous challenges when starting a small business but when you get to do something you love every day, it’s worth the sacrifices you have to make.

Chamber – Why did you choose to do business in Amesbury?

Ovedia Artisan Chocolates – Ovedia began in the back kitchen of a small sandwich shop in Newburyport. We moved to Amesbury because of the people and this wonderful downtown. We wanted to be in a place where we could become part of the fabric of the community and create a place where people gather and feel welcome.

Chamber – What are the advantages of doing business here?

Ovedia Artisan Chocolates – Amesbury has it all. It’s a wonderful place filled with history and an incredible ‘streetscape’ in the downtown. The business community is vibrant and growing but most of all Amesbury offers a quality of life that is usually only found in much bigger cities.

Chamber – What advice would you give someone entering our North of Boston/Southern Seacoast economy?

Ovedia Artisan Chocolates – Bringing or starting a business in Amesbury requires the same kind of realistic goals, perseverance and business planning required of locating anywhere. This is a community that is proud of all it has to offer and will heartily support its downtown businesses. If you have a good idea, and you offer a great product with great customer service, you’ll love it here.

For more information about Ovedia Artisan Chocolates, please visit the website below: 

https://www.facebook.com/Ovedia#

Trendsetters Amesbury MA

Started Business In: 2009

Chamber- Tell us a little about your success story.

Trendsetters – I have been in the retail business for most of my life because I love it and I love working with people. I opened my boutique in hopes of bringing something new and unique to our downtown community.  We offer both new & resale trendy clothing and accessories for both teens and women at a very competitive price.  We started out with just a few consignors, but now have well over 400 and that number continues to climb every week.  I have had such a wonderful support group over the years to help me get me where I am today.  My family has been a huge support along with my very friendly and reliable employees, both past and present.  We love being able to give back to our community too by giving unsold clothing and accessories to Community Action, every week.

Chamber – Why did you choose to do business in Amesbury?

Trendsetters – I chose to open a business in Amesbury mainly because it is close to my home and my family.  The rent was affordable and it has a cute downtown area with many shops and restaurants to explore.  Amesbury’s downtown has grown so much in the past 7 years and I am looking forward to more of it in the future.

Chamber – What are the advantages of doing business here?

Trendsetters – I love that I am very close to home and that we have a good networking community.  We love getting to know our regular customers/consignors really well and we also enjoy meeting new people every week as well.  We are always recommending other places to shop and to eat at in our area.  We offer a great variety of things to do here in town and I love living in a close community where everyone likes to help one another out.

Chamber – What advice would you give someone entering our North of Boston/Southern Seacoast economy?

Trendsetters – I would look into all the different businesses in town and try and offer some variety and bring something different to offer the community.  Our customers love the personal service they get when they come in looking for something specific and don’t like going to the bigger chain stores and malls.  Check in with your local Chamber of Commerce, which is a great source guide too.

For more information about Trendsetters, please visit the website below:

www.trendsettersboutiquema.com

Kitchen Local Amesbury, MA

Started Business In: 2013

Chamber- Tell us a little about your success story.

Kitchen Local – I knew that there was a need for affordable, fully-equipped commercial kitchen space, but I didn’t expect to be viewed as a trailblazer or for Kitchen Local to be hailed as a model and critical first step toward expanding and supporting the burgeoning local food economy.

Kitchen Local provides a niche for foodpreneurs by providing permitted shared-use commercial kitchen workspace and storage as well as permitting/licensing guidance, industry connections and resources, business mentoring and marketing support.

The success of Kitchen Local is far reaching, with more than twenty-five participant food businesses calling Amesbury home and more in the pipeline to do the same.

Chamber – Why did you choose to do business in Amesbury?

Kitchen Local – Amesbury is a city that embraces its rich history, yet welcomes innovation. Despite that a shared-use kitchen was an unfamiliar relatively new concept in the region, city officials of all levels gave me the due diligence and opportunity to present my plan and business model and worked closely with me and my team to help Kitchen Local come to fruition.

Chamber – What are the advantages of doing business here?

Kitchen Local – There are many advantages of doing business in Amesbury such as its history, farms, the close-knit community, the small shops, located at the intersection of Routes 495 and 95, several airports, as well as close proximity to rivers, lakes, woods, seacoast, mountains, Portsmouth, Portland and Boston.

I have only lived here for six years and had a business here for 3 years, but I see the biggest advantage as being the people in Amesbury who I find to be down to earth, welcoming, and supportive of new businesses. They have been our cheerleaders.

Chamber – What advice would you give someone entering our North of Boston/Southern Seacoast economy?

Kitchen Local – Do your due diligence and your homework! If your results favor your business concept then go for it, but with both eyes wide open. Be flexible, open to continuous learning, and know when to ask for help.  Network, build your team, build your support system and build relationships. Engage the local community.

For more information about Kitchen Local, please visit the website below:

www.kitchenlocal.com