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Women’s History Month: Celebrating Women Entrepreneurs in New Hampshire 


March is not just a month to embrace the arrival of spring; it’s also Women’s History Month, a time to honor and celebrate the achievements of women throughout history. This March, Bank of New Hampshire proudly shines a spotlight on three remarkable local women entrepreneurs who have made significant contributions to their communities. 

Wayfarer Coffee Roasters – Karen Bassett 

Wayfarer, a coffee haven in Laconia, has its roots in the passion of co-founder Karen Bassett. Originally from Seattle, Karen moved to New Hampshire in 2008 and embarked on a mission to bring her beloved coffee to the community. Starting with home-roasted coffee sold at the Laconia Farmers Market, Karen, along with her husband Reuben and Laconia local Ben Bullerwell, opened the flagship Wayfarer Coffee Roasters in downtown Laconia in 2015.
What began as a single coffee shop has expanded into a community-driven enterprise. In 2020, Wayfarer’s second cafe in Lakeport opened across town. Wayfarer’s commitment to supporting local farmers and makers led to the expansion of the Wayfarer Marketplace, which created an opportunity to showcase local products year-round. In 2022, their commitment to using coffee to grow communities led to the inaugural North East Coffee Festival (formally New England Coffee Festival), which will be held in Concord this coming May. Their offerings now include space rentals, catering, and a wholesale program serving cafes and retailers across the region.

MAE Group – Janet Kwiatkowski 

MAE Group, located in Manchester, New Hampshire, was founded by Janet Kwiatkowski in 2013 and has been instrumental in bringing life-saving devices to global markets. Specializing in regulatory affairs, clinical affairs, quality management, AI/ML engineering, product design and development engineering and program management services, MAE Group collaborates with medical device, bioscience, and life science companies to commercialize products globally. 

Under Janet’s leadership, MAE Group expanded its vision in 2020 to lead the commercialization of a thermobrachytherapy oncology medical device. With a strong reputation with global regulatory bodies, MAE Group continues to guide companies through successful product launches, aligning strategic and tactical aspects with business plans. 

Vine 32 – Leah Bellemore 

In April 2022, Vine 32 emerged with a refreshing take on the traditional wine bar experience in the heart of Bedford, New Hampshire. Founded by locals Leah and Tom Bellemore, Vine 32 allows customers to try a variety of wines by the ounce. Leah, with a background in boutique hotel marketing, got the idea during a business trip to Charleston, South Carolina, in 2020. She knew that she wanted to create a space where people could come together to enjoy good wine and good company, in a relaxed and approachable setting. 

Since opening its doors in spring 2022, Vine 32 has transformed from an idea on paper to a thriving community hub. Leah and Tom have crafted not just a wine bar, but a space where women are supported and encouraged to pursue their dreams. 

For women with entrepreneurial dreams waiting to blossom, Bank of New Hampshire’s team of Commercial Loan Officers are always ready to assist. If you’ve been contemplating a new business venture, reach out to BNH today to kickstart the process of turning your ideas into a flourishing reality.