Fremont has a new restaurant but it’s not just a place to eat - it provides a multi-opportunity meeting place for businesses and organizations to gather and enjoy some food while they conduct their work.
Tom O'Brien has opened the Spaulding & Frost Community Café at 25 Spaulding Road, just off Main Street (Route 107).
Tom O'Brien, owner of Spaulding & Frost Cafe.
Mary Martin from Fremont said, "This cafe is wonderful, it's just what we needed". Gina Cella from Nottingham works in Fremont. She said, "This makes it way more convienent for me."
Madalyn O'Brien, Gina Cella and Mary Martin enjoying morning conversations.
He took the name from the Spaulding & Frost Cooperage, the barrel cooperage once located at that site. The cooperage burned down years ago, and the Coopers Corner development sits on that historic land.
“Spaulding & Frost Cooperage was the commercial business that essentially built the economy here in Fremont,” O’Brien said. “I took the historic name for the Community Café to attempt to incubate a sense of community back into a town that has a division between generations who have been here and those who have come (later).
“Also, we are on Spaulding Road, and Frost Road is behind the development,” he added.
The cafe offers a comfortable setting and has the added feature of a designated space for professionals on the go to network and hold meetings. Whether someone just wants a place to eat while surfing the web or chatting with members of a group, or plans to hold a meeting over a meal, the café can meet that need.
Cubicals with Wi-Fi available for community businesses.
"This designated space is the Fremont Small Business Collaborative (FSBC) at the Spaulding & Frost Community Cafe," O’Brien said. Local professionals can take advantage of membership in the FSBC, which offers local advertising, exclusive local business networking opportunities and advertising opportunities to small businesses within the cafe itself for the whole community to see.
"I set up the front of the cafe as a family-style restaurant but the back area is the designated area for the FSBC and is available to business groups and organizations," he said. "We offer the only free wifi in Fremont, and we see this as a means of helping local small businesses have a safe and comfortable environment for meetings and networking, hopefully leading to overall growth in the area.
Fremont Small Business Collaborative meeting area.
“Our goal with the Fremont Small Business Collaborative was to incubate clean small business back into Fremont village,” he added. “The Spaulding & Frost name is a big symbol of community togetherness, as the townspeople once bought stock in the cooperage after it burned down, to help rebuild”
O'Brien remodeled the space and created his restaurant virtually by himself. He had a vision and a plan and executed it successfully to provide customers with an attractive, comfortable and safe place to enjoy a quality food.
Breakfast selections of pastries and egg sandwiches.
The breakfast menu includes sandwiches such as egg and cheese with various additions, while the lunch menu features a variety of wraps and flatbreads.
Blueberry muffins to enjoy along with your morning coffee.
Because the cafe is "just off" Route 107, there are no signs for it on the main road through town.
"We're tucked away behind the water tower in a commercial building, with no way to put a sign up for people to see our place up on Main Street," O’Brien said, adding that he was told by town officials that the New Hampshire Department of Transportation denied signage 10 years ago.
He explained that the original commercial development where his restaurant is located was later divided into three separate associations. "When the property divided, 25 Spaulding no longer was part of the units that abut Main Street, thus creating the problem of having no visibility by means of signage," he said. And he noted that a sign on Spaulding Road doesn't get the job done.
"Without getting the property owners together that are at Main Street for some kind of easement, there is no availability for signage on Route 107," he said. "My hope is that the commercial units that are at the corner of Main Street and Spaulding Road may potentially join with the owners of the shopping center in submitting a plan for some kind of marquee signage on Route 107 that would benefit all of the businesses down here.”
A variety of coffee selections are available to choose from.
Fresh veggies are used in the wraps and flatbreads for lunch.
The café is open from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturdays and 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Sundays. It serves breakfast and luncheon, and O'Brien said he hopes to be able to expand to being open for supper and business gatherings in the not too distant future.
Additional pastries to choose from include Scones .
Four other small businesses are located in the same commercial building, including Bella Vintage salon, Rock Your Body Fitness Center , KTM Properties, LLC and Environmental Restorations. O'Brien said all of the small businesses in the complex do many things to support the community.
Raymond Area News will be hosting a Greater Raymond Area Chamber of Commerce Morning Mixer Networking event at the Spaulding & Frost Cafe on Tuesday November 15 from 8:30 am to 10:30 am. Please stop in to say hi and consider joining the chamber.