It’s funny to think back to almost eight years ago now, but that’s how "On The Road With Sherry" started.

Kathy Wagner, Steve Young and I were trying to find a way to support new and existing local businesses that wouldn’t cost them an arm and a leg. Together they started Visit Londonderry.

Pollyann Winslow and I helped them along the way. My job was to visit businesses and find out what they did and what their needs were from the community. Each day I would come back to the office and talk Steve’s ear off about the businesses I had “visited.”

One day, Steve turned around in his swivel chair and said, “Sherry, you should write a column about everywhere you go. You could call it … of course… 'On The Road With Sherry!'” That’s how a story was born, and I have loved telling you my adventures each week since that day.

So it’s time for us to once again reach out, support and share the good news about a few businesses that I have been wanting to tell you about. Remember even if it’s not a place that works for you, please share the great news about it. Tell your friends and family. Good-old networking will always be the most effective way to find jobs and support our local businesses. It works and it is free for the business owners and they need a break.

The first place has been a year in the waiting. Liz Erlandson of Renovate Fitness reached out to me through LinkedIn last July when she first opened. The world of COVID prevented us from getting together, but I kept hearing so many great things about Renovate Fitness throughout our area. Liz is transforming lives. She offers personal training, small group classes with individual coaching. You can become a member and have access 24 hours a day for just $35 a month; no locking you in either.

Liz gave me a tour and shared her story with me of how Renovate Fitness came to be. She told me it kind of started with Arnold Schwarzenegger's “The Speech that broke the Internet.” I had to stop writing to you on this Sunday at 4:32 p.m. to listen to it. Mackensie was sitting in a chair studying for the huge nursing test, the NCLEX. The speech was so powerful that we both stopped what we were doing to listen. Liz gave us a gift by telling us about this inspirational speech. I hope you make it a point to listen to it and share it with our new graduates and everyone you can.

In a nutshell, Arnold says work hard and don’t waste a minute. Set a goal and be willing to work for it. Don’t have a Plan B ready in case; work for what is important to you. He also talks about how it is okay to fail and that we all do. The key is to not stay down, but to get back up and keep going. That's all so very motivating for us at any age. I can see what Liz meant. Liz’s goal with moving to Derry and deciding to leave a secure job with great pay and benefits was to help build people up and to make them feel good about themselves and their health.

How do you start though? She started by “renovating” her basement and creating a small gym. Next she took a chance during a pandemic and put everything she had into the location in Londonderry. Arnold would be proud! No Plan B, do it right and put your heart into it.

Liz inspired me in just the 30 minutes we spent together. Check out Renovate Fitness at www.RenovateFit.com or call (603) 216-2272.

Another new business that Arnold would be proud of was started during the pandemic, too. Talk about brave business owners who set a goal and accomplish it against the odds.

Honey Dog Salon & Bakery dog grooming service is located in the 501 Pizza Plaza and I've found it to be a great place to frequent. 

I was so worried about where to bring our little Gigi for her first and future grooming. I don’t like the idea of just dropping a pet off when it can’t even tell us how wonderful or terrible their bathing experience was. That can be scary and we don’t always hear the best stories.

I decided to stop by Honey Dog and check it out for myself. I walked in and I knew we had found Gigi’s grooming home. Right off, we met the owner, Kerri. Gigi went right to Kerri and obviously felt at home. What I liked was the warm, inviting environment and for me that I could see right into where other dogs were being groomed. No closed doors or mystery treatment that we don’t see. Everything right out in the open.

I didn’t have an appointment the day that I popped in, but I made one. Gigi had no problem going in with Kerri for her grooming and she was very happy and relaxed when we picked her up. What I also loved was that she had a beautiful bow on the first time and lovely bandanna the second. Gigi was very proud and we could tell she felt so much better — I guess like we all do when we are fresh and clean.

If you’re looking for a groomer stop by Honey Dog and say hi to Kerri. Call (603) 674-9718 or you can go to www.salonhoneydog.com. Kerri is a young business owner taking a big chance on our area. Again, Arnold would be proud of her, too.

Just one more local business for our time together today:

You might know our wonderful Ellen Carter from working at many great places in the area through the years. The Coach Stop was were we first met years ago. Ellen has always been there to help and she loves dogs.

Also during the pandemic, Ellen took a chance and launched her new business, Fur Mama, to walk and take care of our puppies and other pets when we can’t. If you just want your four- legged family member to take a nice walk or have a little playtime while you’re at work, give Ellen a call at (603) 490-1099. Ellen is also available for overnight or vacation care, too.

To end with an Arnold line: "Make My Day” and reach out to these great new business owners and please let me know if there is a business that we should share here.

I’ll be back. … 

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