March Monthly Member Highlight:

Alton Market on Main

Q:  Tell us about your business?

A:  Market on Main evolved from a VISION to create a space and place where LOCAL growers, artisans and entrepreneurs could share their goods + services with community residents and visitors of all ages. This is a vibrant COMMUNITY environment and is open to local farmers, artisans, businesses, professional dream makers and those who share a kind heart + positive community spirit! The Market was organized with the idea in mind to start rallying interest from small business owners who need to place to sell their goods AND a place for the community to shop their favorite small businesses and farmers while getting outside to mingle and gather with other residents.

The first outdoor market was held in June 2023 and we’re going into our second season, which kicks off on June 1st with a “Spring Fling & Vintage Things” special event!

In October 2023, I took a huge leap to grow my business even more and purchased a historic 1880 building, 115 Main St., that had been vacant for many years (the old Alton video store), that is directly next to the outdoor market location. A portion of my plan for that building space is to carry a piece of Market on Main inside, creating a space for the community to gather + for businesses and farmers to showcase their goods all year round! That project is currently undergoing renovations but stay tuned for more information on how you leave you Mark at the Market on Main!

Q: Tell us about yourself:

A: I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and met a New Hampshire boy along my journey while serving in the United States Air Force (USAF) and he brought me to NH, where I’ve called HOME since 2005. My husband and I planted our roots in Alton over 18 years ago in 2006, where we have lived in the same home and expanded our little family with two sweet boys! Nowadays, I describe myself as an average stay at home mama with a few SIDE endeavors who cherishes time with my family and spending the summers at our camp on Lake Winnipesaukee.

I’m a proud retired USAF Veteran, where I served over 20 years serving my country and being a part of something bigger than myself! In the Air Force, I served as a criminal investigator/federal agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (USAF Reserves). I conducted counterintelligence and major crime investigations and specialized in protective service operations for high-ranking dignitaries. My career journey has also included child abuse investigations with Children Service’s Offices across three states, Federal Agent with the USPS/Office of Inspector General, Contract Investigator for the U.S. Government and Adjunct Firearms Instructor at Sig Sauer Academy. I hold a Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice from University of Cincinnati and a Bachelor of Science degree from Wayland Baptist University, Honolulu, HI.

After I retired from the military in 2017, I embarked on a new mission and answered the calling in my heart to share my voice as a sexual assault survivor. My “voice” evolved to “Christy’s Survivor Journey” now Christy Painchaud, LLC, which I started in 2019. A platform where I shared my survivor story, by raising awareness with public speaking, hosting intimate informative and healing events, workshops, and firearms education classes. This is a very (intended) part-time endeavor, but I love that I’m able to help others by sharing my personal and professional experience to empower and inspire others!

Once my children started school, I started to volunteer more of my “free time” serving in the community where I reside and immersed myself in any way I could to help bring about growth and positivity where I call home! I am very active in my community and have served on the Board of Directors for the Alton Business Association for six consecutive years, the Board of Directors for the Farmington Fish & Game Club for six years, and I’m an active member of the Alton Garden Club, Alton Central School PTSA and many other organizations.

In 2023, it only made since to add an extra “side hustle” to my plate, lol!! I’ll forever hold a passion for community connection and creating the Market on Main was an opportunity to do just that! As a proud 20-year retired USAF Veteran, it was an honor to serve my country and now I’m embracing the opportunity to serve my community by creating a thriving business that invites others to do the same.

Throughout my career I’ve held many titles, responsibilities and leadership roles. I do have limits, but there is nothing I’m not afraid to take on or put in the work for! Of all the titles, motherhood is my most cherished one! I do a lot to be semi-retired, but I do pride myself on effectively managing my side hustles around my family life, not the other way around!

Q:  How did your business get started?

A:  I just jumped, lol!! I decided to finally stop letting the ideas and visions just stew in my head and I hit the gas pedal and took action to make it happen!

The first outdoor market season started in June 2023 and was held on the lawn area right across the street from Alton Town Hall (it’s the grassy field in between 115 and 119 Main St.) and the land is utilized in agreement with and permission from the landowners, the Community Church of Alton.

Typically, most farmer/community markets are structured and set up as a non-profit, but I wanted something different that would complement my bigger vision down the road that didn’t require volunteers to support and run it! This business model put a lot of pressure on me, as I manage and operate every aspect of it by myself but it’s the MARKET PARTICIPANTS that make it OUR MARKET and it would not be what is it without them! I’m so grateful for all the support and participation that’s helped this new Market grow!

So far, the market has been a great success and is growing by the year as the second season starts in June 2024.

Q:  What has your relationship with the Alton Business Association done for you or
your business?

A:  I answered the call for help in a newspaper ad in 2019 that our Alton Winter Carnival would be cancelled if they (the ABA) didn’t have volunteers to help! Well, I showed up to help and plan that year’s Winter Carnival and haven’t left since! It’s been an honor to be a part of a great association that’s been in our community since 2006! It has definitely helped me grow my small business outreach and strengthened my networking and event planning skills by serving on the Board of Directors.

The ABA boosts economic development and community outreach by hosting monthly meetings and large community events throughout the year!

Q:  What do you value most about this community?

A:  I love, love the small-town feel + energy we still have here! I’ve lived in several cities across the US and Alton is by far my favorite!

There are good people, doing good things in Alton and I love the support everyone has for each other!

Q: Why did you want to open your business in this community?

A:  I wanted to give back to the community by creating a special place that businesses, farmers and organizations would be PROUD to be a part of AND a place residents looked forward to going to!! I wanted people to feel connected to the town that live in…. the whole “LIVE LOCAL” spirit!

As for purchasing the permanent home for Market on Main at 115 Main St…. I could not let another day pass letting such a significant piece of our history wither away!! I’m huge on preservation, and I know it’s going to take A LOT of energy, time and funds… BUT I’m committed to turning the once vacant building in the center of town to something amazing that everyone can enjoy!

Q: What business accomplishment are you most proud of?

A:  I would definitely have to say starting my parent business, Christy Painchaud, LLC., and having the confidence to share my VOICE + STORY as a survivor in a way that EMPOWERS + INSPIRES others and turning that mission into a business model that worked for me and my family!

What I’m most proud of with Market on Main so far is to witness the growth and connections amongst the market vendors! My confidence to start, inspired others to start and grown their businesses and outreach too! It has truly been heartwarming to watch other entrepreneurs evolve and collaborate with others.

I’m a huge advocate of collaboration + connection and I love when I see that bleed onto others! So many people get intimated by competitors doing what they’re doing, I just don’t… I see it as an opportunity to make a bigger impact TOGETHER! We all are unique in our own way, so don’t be afraid to let your light shine!

Q: What does the future hold for you and your business?

A:  I have big dreams and I intend to keep taking action to achieve those dreams!

I only hope our outdoor community market sustains high energy and community support for years to come!

There are no rewards without risks in life, AND I took a big one when I purchased 115 Main St. for the permanent home for Market on Main! I’m super excited to share my vision for this space and to enhance the atmosphere of our historical Alton Village, all for the betterment of our community!

Q:  What is one piece of advice you wish you had as a new business member?

A: Start networking sooner! The quicker you put yourself in the room with like-minded people, the more opportunities you have to learn things that will help you operate a success business. Invest in professional + personal development!

Q:  How can people who want to learn more about you or your business get in
touch with you?

A: Please follow @altonmarketonmain on Facebook and Instagram, and our website is altonmarketonmail.com or email altonmarketonmain@gmail.com

Come see us in person please!!! Our second season kicks off on June 1st from 9 am – 4 pm with a “Spring Fling & Vintage Things” special event! The regular Market season starts June 12 – Oct 2, every other Wednesday from 3-6 pm. This year we’ll also have four Food Truck Friday special events on July 19, August 16, September 13 and October 11 from 3-7 pm.

Market on Main is located at 115 Main St., across the street from town hall. The outdoor market is located next to 115 Main, on the grassy lot that is owned by the Community Church of Alton.

Email us to learn how you can leave your “Mark”, at the Market on Main! There will be many different things available in this new SPACE but one SPECIAL thing will be a COMMUNITY TABLE,
where residents + businesses can GATHER for an array of purposes! Next to the table will be our COMMUNITY WALL, where the names of residents, businesses and organizations will proudly be displayed as financial SUPPORTERS who helped make this monumental renovation come to life!

This is the space where you can leave your “MARK”, at the Market on Main!

We look forward to seeing you this Market season and inside our new location once it opens!!

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