BRATTLEBORO -- The owner of Brown Computer Solutions had been eyeing Keene, N.H., for a few years and decided in November to open a new storefront in the city.
Patrick Brown, who owns locations in Brattleboro and Bennington, said Keene seemed to be in need of extra coverage for his specialty -- the sales and services of Apple, Inc. products -- and he found a great location at 43 Main St. He said he plans to open the doors of the new venture in late January.
"There is a resurgence on Main Street. The downtown Keene area seems to be very much a vibrant place for businesses right now, he said, adding that is often a chain reaction when quality small businesses move into a downtown area. "You need neighbors that are doing well for you to really do well."
He said his new shop will replace a business called Pocketful of Rye and be next to Fritz Restaurant and a Subway sandwich shop. The city had a different Apple store, Diversified Computers, but it recently closed and Brown said he was not in a position to speculate why. Brown told the Reformer he was inspired to open a shop in Keene because there is no sales tax there and his store at 27 Birge St. was getting a lot of customers from New Hampshire.
He said his new landlord, Mitch Greenwald of Greenwald Realty Associates in Keene, has been very supportive and everyone he has spoken with seems excited to have the new store on Main Street. He said one person even thanked him for opening a shop in Keene.
Brown said he started his company in 1998, when he was 16 years old, and opened up a store in Brattleboro two years later. He opened a shop in Bennington in August and said he hopes to have nearly 20 employees once the Keene shop is established. The company also offers a full line of services on PCs, though it does not sell any.
Brown told the Reformer he spent the majority of his time in Bennington after opening a store there and plans to do the same in Keene.
He said the recent holiday shopping season was a strong one for his company, though it was a little slow in the middle. He believed the season would last through New Year's Eve, as many people use money or gift certificates from Christmas to purchase Apple products. Brown also said people come in with questions about products they received as gifts.
Domenic Poli can be reached at email@example.com, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoli_reformer.