“I’m willing to go right up to the precipice.”

This month’s presenting entrepreneur relates his cheerful plunge into hospitality, social goodness, and fun

If your eatery had won more than one NH Mag “Best of NH” or Hippo “Reader’s Pick” award, you would probably start trying to figure out where you should open your second location. 1MillionCups of Central NH’s March presenter Daniel Lagueux had a different next great idea: bring better nutrition to his Tap House Grille customers via his own organic farm! “It’s a money pit” he cheerfully admitted to the March 1MillionCups audience… but he is all in with an agricultural director, commitment to sustainable methods, and greenhouses for a reliable four-season harvest. The farmhouse that came with the land? Turned into a vacation rental for guests curious about agriculture or who just want to relax at “Hip Peas Farm.”

And none of this would have happened without a late-night conversation Dan had with his daughter.

The drive to open the Tap House Grille crystalized one evening when he checked in on his daughter after bedtime and found her crying.  Earlier that day, other children had mocked her dream of becoming a professional soccer player. When he talked to her about the importance of believing in one’s passions, she wanted to know what HIS dream was. He suddenly realized it was NOT to continue his streak of high sales of granite countertops!

The next steps in this impressive rollout of following your heart? Brewing his own beer, putting out a retail farm stand, and offering a larger space for events. But he’s also continuing to pour ideas and heart into the existing businesses, like their fundraising partnership “On Tap for CASA” in which teams of participants have to occupy a barstool for 12 hours to help this non profit advocate for children at risk. Or their farms sale of tomato plants to benefit the local food pantry (you can also buy and donate a tomato plant to a neighbor in need.)

Following Dan’s presentation, we received updates from friends of 1MillionCups. Heidi Solomon-Orlick took the podium to announce the launch of her podcast, “Making of HERStory“, which is about the power of pivital moments in women’s lives. THe pilot episode launched with special guest nancy Pearson, a councilwoman for the City of Portsmouth. Along with the new podcast, Heidi is expanding on her prior success with last year’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Day High Tea to put on a series of classes and capstone workshop. The events will be in partnership with Making Matters NH and the Center for Women and Enterprise… more information will follow on this site!

Lisa Stockwell, business training center coordinator for our kind host NHTI, then took the floor to remind attendees that a variety of inexpensive, brief, and practical courses are available at NHTI over the summer. (Areas of study range from Front Line Manager Certification to “Marketing, Marketing, Marketing” to MS Excel Pivot Tables.) The school is also proud to bring the “Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses” initiative. Qualified small biz applicants need to have minimum of four employees (including the owner), to have been in operation at least two years, and to have had revenue over $150,000 in the most recent fiscal year.

If you are a small business with a problem to solve, news to air, or exiting developments to share, please contact us at info@makingmakersnh.org to talk about presenting at a future session!

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