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Posts Tagged ‘Le Rendez-Vous Cafe’

Economic Development Officials “Heroes in Hard Times”

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

Congratulations are inĀ order for New Hampshire Department of Resources & Economic Development Commissioner George Bald and New Hampshire Division of Economic Development North Country BusinessĀ Resource Specialist Beno Lamontagne for their role in the state being mentioned in People Magazine’s “Heroes in Hard Times” section (9/14/09 issue).

Both Commissioner Bald and Beno were instrumental in saving a Colebrook eatery by helping the owner work through visa issues, and though the Commissioner wasn’t named in the article, everyone “in the know” recognizes his vital role in the effort. Here’s the text of the article:

Bonding Over Baguettes

Every morning for the past eight years, French-born couple Verlaine Daeron, 51, and Marc Ounis, 62, have risen at 3 a.m. to roll dough and mold madelines for customers of their bakery Le Rendez-Vous Cafe. But their American dream came crashing down in March, when Verlaine went to Paris to renew her U.S. visa and was denied because her business was deemed “marginal.”

Beno Lamontagne

Beno Lamontagne

Not to residents of Colebrook (pop. 2,600) who loved their little piece of Paris and considered its French proprietors their own. “They’re good, decent people, and there’s not too many of those left,” says Caleb Skousen, a Rendez-Vous regular.

After the couple’s friend Beno Lamontagne persuaded the local paper to do a story on their plight, hundreds of people sent letters of support; Verlaine forwarded a 2-lb. stack of testimonials to the U.S. Embassy in Paris. Her visa renewal was granted in May and she and Marc are back to baking. The publicity has led to a flood of tourists and much-needed business for the town.

“In a small town,” Verlaine says, “everyone’s behind you.”

Great job by Commissioner Bald, Beno, the citizens of Colebrook and the Rendez-Vous Cafe!

– Steve Boucher, Communications & Legislative Director