Foodstuffs Small Plates: More Hard Times For Robie’s Country Store?

Jun 29, 2015

Credit NHPR / Brady Carlson

Small Plates is a roundup of New Hampshire food news.

It’s a New Hampshire presidential primary landmark and a part of the National Register of Historic Places. But Robie’s Country Store in Hooksett is again looking for an operator, according to WMUR. That may sound familiar, as the owners of the shop went through the same process in 2013.  We’ve asked for more details on where things stand at Robie’s and the efforts to keep the famous primary stop in operation to host White House hopefuls and locals alike.

“The two sides dispensed with decorum”

More labor news over at the Hanover Consumer Cooperative Society; a worker whose termination sparked recent protests outside the Co-op Food Store in Lebanon is headed back to the job. The Valley News reports Caren Giaccone will return to the prepared foods and deli section July 6.

Giaccone’s statement says she will return “in reliance on management’s position that there will be no retaliation or harassment.” This is notable because the two sides had disputed exactly why she was out of a job in the first place – and she wasn’t the only one: there have been several cases in which former employees say the company unfairly fired employees after complaints about working conditions and meetings with union representatives. Co-op officials have denied the claims, saying they have always followed the law, and so what’s left is a long and contentious standoff over the direction of the organization (think federal complaints and lots of shouting at official meetings). The Valley News report notes it was up to cheesemonger Ken Weldon to get people to “control [their] emotions.”  

New owners aboard Dinner Train

The Café Lafayette Dinner Train will continue riding the rails of the White Mountains under new ownership. Employees Mike and Ali French are taking charge of the dining-focused Pullman cars as longtime owners Lance Burak and Leslie Holloway retire. The Café Lafayette has been operating since 1989, one of only a dozen moving dinner trains in North America.

This week:   Currier After Hours: The Art of Beer in Manchester (Thursday); The Fourth on the Farm, complete with homemade strawberry shortcake, at the New Hampshire Farm Museum in Milton (Saturday); 8th Annual Chili and Chowder/Soup Cookoff and Dessert Competition at the Gorham Fire Station (Sunday).

Links to take home: Sign at Arnie’s Place in Concord: “Love Wins – Free Rainbow Sprinkles Today.” North Country Smokehouse is building a new facility in Claremont that will triple its space. “More employees, better paying jobs,” says the parent company’s executive VP. In other meat news, Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern says Texas has one competitive advantage over New Hampshire: “its beef brisket is admittedly hard to deny.” 84 year old Estelle Quintal explains why she’s retiring from the Raymond, NH McDonald’s: “I’m getting old.”