2022: Our Annual Letter

November 2022

Maxine:  Dear Friends, time still moves quickly. I keep my hand in the happenings at Harman’s by stuffing envelopes and stamping postcards from the comfort of my home. This spring, I switched from jigsaw to word puzzles, but the jigsaw puzzle table is set up with a difficult puzzle of my college, waiting for me.  It’s a puzzle of a black & white photo, so the pieces all look similar.   I fed a variety of birds, Cardinals, Hummingbirds, Finches, Woodpeckers and a squirrel or two.  The bears starting looking in our windows, so we stopped feeding all but the hummingbirds.

Brenda and Cliff drove me to Vermont for my June birthday and all my siblings were finally together for a visit. There are 5 of us now . . . the oldest is my sister-in-law, Hilda at 95; then me, my sister Madeline, my brother John, and my sister Flora.  I took my annual ride with Cliff in the Fire Truck for Franconia’s Old Home Day Parade.  In September; Cliff, Brenda and my college friend Jackie, went with me to Lyndon State College’s homecoming.  The Manor Vail Society honored me (and my friend Betty) by placing a plaque in the college museum to thank us for our dedication to the museum and recording its inventory.

Thankfully, we were able to enjoy family visits this year. We are looking forward to a full family gathering at Christmas. Here are some of my family’s highlights and then Cliff & Brenda add their updates to this letter.


Bob & Patty

Son Bob & Patty: Bob’s work processed Covid data for New York State.  Patty reached an amazing milestone, working 47 years for the same bank.  When the COVID restrictions eased up, they enjoyed spring bus tip to Boston to tour downtown, visit the aquarium and sample the cuisine of the North End.  This year, they opted to enjoy what New York State has to offer.  They visited western NY, the Finger Lakes region, and the state parks at Watkins-Glen and Letchworth.   They make time for their grandchildren.  Bella and Alissa are in high school and enjoy track.  Their brother, Weston is in 2nd grade and has an electric bike that keeps him going.  Their other grandson, Nolan in in 3rd grade and this fall, played baseball.

Son Steve & Nancy: Steve has been at Granite State Development Corporation, a non-profit lender, 28 years; and he’s my youngest child!  His wife, Nancy is busy keeping up with the family but finds time for 5:30 am outdoor workouts, 2 times a week (all year round).  Victoria started a new accounting job in Boston.  Logan will be starting electrical training at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in early 2023.   Jake is a Tech recruiter while taking Data courses and still is working remotely.  Will moved to Ohio this spring to be a MLB sportswriter for the Cincinnati Reds.  Youngest son, Tommy is in 10th grade and just finished his soccer season and soon will start basketball.

Cliff’s delivery to The Common Man Company Store included a visit with Bear.

Cliff:  I continue to handle our 40lb cheese blocks from our rented refrigeration to the store.  The store’s walk-in cooler holds about 10 tons but we order and sell 15-16 tons a year.  Thirty five years at UPS still comes in handy because I deliver the wholesale orders to NH businesses, such as The Common Man Company Store and the Apple Hill Farm Stand.  I pack your orders during the holiday season or whenever needed. Active in our local volunteer Fire Department and enjoy looking after our refurbished 1939 #2 Fire Truck.  Maybe you have seen it parked on the museum lawn across from Harman’s. Pauline continues to help in the retail store and especially enjoys the busy Lupine and Foliage seasons.  A real challenge!  She’s always available to taste-test new products or find a new product for the store.  We enjoyed a few Red Sox games, beach get-a-ways and a long awaited trip to The Big E Fair. We’re looking forward to our trip to Florida this winter.

Brenda:  It seems that my life revolved around the store, physical therapy and doctors’ appointments and I’m reasonably healthy!!  I have a torn rotator cuff, so the employees watch me like a hawk.  I did one wholesale trip and Cliff had warned folks to not let me lift the boxes! Surgery will be this winter.  Cliff helped plant our garden.  We had a bumper crop of peas, but the rest went to weeds.  I had a container garden for cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant. We ate well but no canning or pickle-making this year.


Harman’s News:  Staffing continues to be the biggest challenge for small businesses. Thankfully in February, we had the staff to open 4 days a week and in June, opened 7 days a week. It was good to see so many customers who hadn’t visited in a while.

Supply disruption and price increases continue, often without any advance notice.  Some products may sell out quickly, so please order early.  We take each day as it comes.

Genuine Local is baking Cheese Balls, again, and we should have plenty. For those of you who like heat, we now stock the popular Sugar Bob’s Maple Srirachas.

Our webstore lists more products, including handmade items. Linda Lomasney’s woven baskets are perfect for the NH Breakfast gift.  If Carl has time in his workshop, we will offer his wood-turned pens, pizza cutters and cheese knives.

Photo: Carol wrapping cheese with Carl.

Employee News:  We had a large holiday crew last year with Bev, Carl, Cliff, Colleen, Elaine, Elijah, Harper, Jen, Jill, Kathy, Nancy, Monica, Pauline, Tess, Webb and me (Brenda).  Everyone wasn’t available for the whole season, but we still managed to have at least 5 of us working on most days.  It was the first holiday season for half the crew, who were a bit overwhelmed at how busy we were.  We cut and wrapped over 9,000 lbs of Cheddar and shipped out over 2,200 packages during the holidays.

On a sadder note, we lost Carol Young last year, right before the holidays.  She started working here over 40 years ago, when the Harmans owned the store. We miss her and her holiday sweaters! Her granddaughter, Shelby, worked here this summer.

This Holiday Season
To avoid shipping delays, our small crew appreciates your early orders.  We gift wrap our items and include gift cards (or your cards) for the personal touch to every package.

Ordering Deadlines:
     November 14th for delivery before Thanksgiving
     November 28th for delivery during Hanukkah
     December 5th for delivery before Christmas
     December 12th for delivery before New Year’s Eve
If you miss a deadline, we do our best to get the order out as soon as we can.

Newsletter and Brochure Update:  With the high costs of postage and printing, we are paring down our mailing list for this annual letter and the spring postcard. We are offering 3 ways to receive this letter and the notification of our spring sale.

By E-Mail: Sign up at the bottom of the www.harmanscheese.com page.
By Mail Post: Contact us by phone, mail, or e-mail to stay on the mailing list.
Posted on our Website: For those of you who wish to keep mailboxes a bit emptier.

We wish you a Happy Holiday Season and May 2023 be a Year of Hope for us all.
                                                                                                                            – Maxine, Brenda and Cliff Aldrich

Order by November 18th
Receive a FREE pound of Harman’s Cheddar.
We will add the cheese to your package.
Limit: 1 per customer.
No coupon code needed.