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Kids in a candy store

  • Nate Morison of Peterborough and Casey Goodrich of Hancock, both 17, will be partnering in the purchase and relaunch of Vicuna Cafe and chocolate shop in Peterborough. (Ashley Saari / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Nate Morison of Peterborough and Casey Goodrich of Hancock, both 17, will be partnering in the purchase and relaunch of Vicuna Cafe and chocolate shop in Peterborough. (Ashley Saari / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Nate Morison of Peterborough and Casey Goodrich of Hancock, both 17, will be partnering in the purchase and relaunch of Vicuna Cafe and chocolate shop in Peterborough. (Ashley Saari / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Nate Morison of Peterborough and Casey Goodrich of Hancock, both 17, will be partnering in the purchase and relaunch of Vicuna Cafe and chocolate shop in Peterborough. (Ashley Saari / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Nate Morison of Peterborough, right, and Casey Goodrich of Hancock, both 17, will be partnering in the purchase and relaunch of Vicuna Cafe and chocolate shop in Peterborough. (Ashley Saari / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Nate Morison of Peterborough and Casey Goodrich of Hancock, both 17, will be partnering in the purchase and relaunch of Vicuna Cafe and chocolate shop in Peterborough. (Ashley Saari / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Ashley Saari—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Tuesday, July 18, 2017

They’re young and they’re hungry. For chocolate.

Despite not being able to legally vote yet, Nate Morison, 17, of Peterborough, and Casey Goodrich, 17, of Hancock, are ready to take on the business world. The two friends have just bought Vicuna Chocolate on Main Street in Peterborough, and are set to re-open the store under their management.

“I knew the traditional path of high school, then college, wasn’t right for me,” said Morison. “I’m an entrepreneur, and I want to be a business owner. I see this as a no downside situation. I have less debt than if I took student loans, and I’m in charge of whether I get a paycheck or not. College wouldn’t afford me that opportunity.”

Morison, who graduated this June, said he had previously founded and run a landscaping business, 603 Property Care, which is still in operation. But when he heard about the chocolate store being up for sale as a turn-key business, he was immediately interested.

He approached Goodrich to ask if he was interested in going in on the business together. And despite still having a year of high school left to go, Goodrich was.

“I’ve always been interested in business. When I was a kid, the first thing I wanted to be wasn’t a firefighter or a cop, but a sales rep,” said Goodrich.

Vicuna Chocolate specializes in artisanal bean-to-bar chocolate. The business was founded by Neely Cohen in 2014, who ran it until Morison and Goodrich purchased it in early July. 

“To have created Vicuna Chocolate from only a vision – with all my heart and soul – then to let go of the reins entirely is a humbling experience,” said Cohen in a press release issued last week. 

Cohen will stay on to train Morison and Goodrich in the chocolate making process, before transitioning fully out of the business. Vicuna’s current part time employee, Caitlin Wilder, will stay on, now as a full-time employee, and the store will keep its current name and branding under its new ownership.

The two said they will be receiving plenty of help from family members on their new venture (including being signers of the official paperwork until Morison turns 18 in December).

“We’re working together, and with our parents and family win a new and different capacity,” said Morison. “Instead of going to a barbecue with my uncle, instead, we get together to sit down and go over revenue projections.”

They recognize that their age may present challenges, especially as Goodrich finishes school. But they also see it as one reason their commitment to stay in the area is so important. 

“Going through high school, I was one of my few peers that thought, ‘Well, I want to stick around,’” said Morison. “This being a Peterborough business – specifically – was a big attractor for us.”

And besides, added Morison – he’s never going to be this young or have this much energy again, so he might as well pour it into a dream.

The two plan to extend the store hours, expand the in-store offering by adding baked goods and more seasonal chocolate offerings, and pursue additional wholsesale through retail outlets, but on the whole, they said, the business will look much the same to the average customer.

 

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.