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Fundraiser to help local businesses people 'don't want to live without'

  • In this file photo from 2017, Noah Elbers, left, owner of Orchard Hill Breadworks, is embraced by former baker Elliot Burch of Philadelphia. Burch spoke about giving Elbers his start as a breadmaker after hiring him in the mid-1990s to bake at his Mill Hollow Bakery, which opened a short distance from Orchard Hill’s East Alstead location. At right is Burch’s wife, Sara Hiebert Burch, and granddaughter Elsa Beecher, of Cambridge, Mass. Bill Gnade—

  • Customer Oliver Strube receives hcoffee from Emily Lavigne-Bernier in March. Michael Moore / Keene Sentinel

  • Mark Florenz, with some of his charges at Archway Farm in Keene, is shown in this file photo from early 2019. Michael Moore—Keene Sentinel

Keene Sentinel
Published: 5/29/2020 6:34:47 PM

An area crowdfunding program will launch a campaign early next month to help raise funds for local businesses amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Local Crowd Monadnock has announced that four companies have signed on to be a part of the 4WARD campaign, set to launch June 5. Although businesses are still being accepted to the campaign, those already participating are Archway Farm, the Monadnock Food Co-op and Prime Roast Coffee Co., all in Keene, and Orchard Hill Breadworks in East Alstead.

The campaign’s goal is to help community-based businesses recover from the financial impact of the outbreak, The Local Crowd said Tuesday in a news release.

Companies across the country have faced hardship due to orders to close or operate at reduced capacity to help curb the virus’ spread.

“This campaign will empower community members to support the local businesses they don’t want to live without,” The Local Crowd said in the release. “This campaign will provide participating locally owned businesses with funds to weather the COVID crisis, help them meet shifts in community needs and/or seize new opportunities to forward a more local, green and fair economy in the Monadnock Region.”

Mark Florenz, who runs Archway Farm, said business has been going well during the outbreak, noting that the self-serve farm store has been quite busy. Partially because of the influx of customers, and their more diverse demands, the pork farm has needed to increase the number of display cases in the store. But Florenz said the additional displays require more power than the system is set up for.

“With this campaign, we’ll be upgrading our electrical system,” he said.

Florenz said the farm has set a fundraising goal of $1,000 to help pay for the upgrade. He added that Archway Farm has worked with TLC Monadnock in the past and participated in one of the program’s earliest campaigns a few years ago when he was looking to buy a mobile food trailer.

The Monadnock Co-op, Prime Roast and Orchard Breadworks weren’t immediately available for comment late Wednesday afternoon.

Businesses must be based in the Monadnock Region to be eligible for the 4WARD campaign. Those that are interested in participating can learn more online at

(These articles are being shared by partners in The Granite State News Collaborative. For more information visit

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