SunCommonClient since 2012
SolarCommunities, Inc., DBA SunCommon is a Vermont Benefit Corporation & certified B Corp that provides residential and community solar installations, sporting the tagline ‘Save Money. Go Solar.’ M&M assisted the venture through various capital raises as it scaled exponentially from an idea by founders James Moore and Duane Peterson in 2012 (in collaboration with Vermont Public Interest Research Group) to a soon-to-be 9,000 sq. ft. net-zero facility hosting most of its 100 workers in Waterbury, Vermont. SunCommon is consistently recognized for its leadership, landing a spot in 2015’s Best Places to Work in Vermont and President Duane honored with Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility’s 2015 Terry Ehrich Award for outstanding dedication to socially responsible business practices.
“There’s a lot of moving parts to creating a new business. Our easiest decision was selecting the law firm to guide us. Ken Merritt’s deep experience in venture finance made him the obvious choice. We didn’t want cookie-cutter, and Ken’s knowledgeable creativity helped us fashion our structure and raises just our way. And his respected standing in the investor community gave comfort to our prospects that our offering was well-structured. Ken and his easy to work with team were invaluable in getting our business underway and guiding our steep growth phase since.” – Duane Peterson, President of SunCommon
Hubbardton Forge designs and manufactures innovative hand-forged lighting and home furnishing accessories in Caslteton, Vermont. Beginning in 1974 in an old Vermont barn with two designers turned entrepreneurs, Hubbardton Forge is now the oldest and largest commercial forge in the United States, with over 200 employees! M&M has provided trademark, copyright, vendor and distribution advice to the company for over 20 years, and successfully settled numerous disputes with infringers, including infringements of design patents.
“Hubbardton Forge has been working with Sharon Merritt of Merritt & Merritt to protect its intellectual property for over fifteen years. We are a design-driven company and Sharon knows us well; our culture, our products and our competition. In addition to providing us with trademark and copyright advice, Sharon has successfully defended our trademarks, copyrights and design patents against infringers in the US and abroad, negotiating infringing product destruction, compensatory damages and royalty payments to Hubbardton Forge without costly and time-consuming litigation. Having a partner like Sharon helps us stay ahead of the curve in an industry where most products are manufactured overseas and original designs are frequently knocked-off.” – Lyn Brown, New Product Manager of Hubbardton Forge
Hill Farmstead Brewery
Hill Farmstead Brewery is a small-scale brewery close to the Canadian border in Greensboro, Vermont, and we aren’t exaggerating when we say they are producing some of the best beer in the world! Named 2015 Best Brewery in Vermont, the United States, and the World by RateBeer (the world’s largest beer review and rating website), Founder and brewmaster Shaun Hill works tirelessly to create top-notch, highly sought after craft beer, garnering attention from Vanity Fair and The New York Times. M&M has assisted the business with various matters including trademark protection, seed financing, and lending agreements.
Vermont Coffee Company
Voted ‘Best Coffee Roaster’ in Vermont by Seven Days, Vermont Coffee Company markets fair trade, organic coffee throughout New England. A community-based roaster, their motto is ‘Coffee Roasted for Friends’. Company Founder and President Paul Ralston started roasting in a garage in Bristol, Vermont. The company now occupies a 15,000 sq. ft. facility in Middlebury with over 20 employees and an onsite café. The company’s growth has been internally financed through cash flow. M&M has assisted the company in protecting its valuable intellectual property and has managed transactions on behalf of the company for over a decade.
“I have been a client of Merritt & Merritt since the late 1980s. Over the years, they have provided me and my companies with strategic counsel and legal services across all matters of business. We have worked together on contracts, intellectual property, key-people compensation, capital formation, and the sale of a business. They are problem solvers. In the one case we needed to go to court to prosecute a contract violation, they won big time. Merritt & Merritt is a hard-working firm that brings high-value, high-touch service to our growing companies. As an entrepreneur, I value their quick and nimble response to my legal needs. As a friend, I value their honest insight and unflinching advice. My relationship with their firm is one of the best things that has happened in my business life.” – Paul Ralston, Founder/CEO of Vermont Coffee Company
Halyard Brewing Co.Client since 2016
Halyard Brewing Company, LLC is reviving the pre-Prohibition art of brewing alcoholic ginger beer in Vermont at their South Burlington brewery and taproom. M&M has assisted Halyard with every aspect of starting up, including entity formation, brewing facility leases, intellectual property protection, federal and local licenses, and distribution agreements.
“Andrew, Ken, and Sharon have adeptly guided me through the multiple and complex legal challenges associated with starting a brewery. The team at Merritt & Merritt are incredibly capable of tackling a wide range of business related legal challenges. Plus, they are super friendly!” – Kenny Richards, Founder of Halyard Brewing Co.
Reilly’s HempVet creates hemp-based superfood chews to keep pets healthy and strong. Formulated by veterinarians and animal nutrition experts, these supplements are manufactured in small batches in Vermont. Merritt & Merritt helped RHV secure over $500,000 in private equity funding, furthering their expansion of supplements into a nationwide distributor network.
Danforth PewterersClient since 1996
The legacy of Danforth Pewterers began in 1755 when Thomas Danforth opened his pewter shop along the banks of the Connecticut River in Middletown, CT. The Danforth pewter business flourished until the late 1800s, when affordable glass and ceramic rendered pewter mugs and bowls obsolete. Almost two hundred years later, Fred Danforth met his future wife, Judy, at Middlebury College, and the two applied their love of craftsmanship to reviving the history of Danforth pewter. Now a thriving business known nation-wide for beautiful and high quality goods, Danforth Pewterers still handcraft all their fine pewter in a Middlebury, Vermont workshop.
M&M is proud to have worked with Danforth Pewterers for over 20 years to successfully grow their business while maintaining their ties to the New England manufacturing tradition. M&M has worked with Danforth on securing multiple rounds of funding and significant state loans.
Fiddlehead Brewing Company
Fiddlehead Brewing Company, located minutes from the shores of Lake Champlain in Shelburne, VT, is renowned for their eponymous IPA, but has expanded beyond that draft since opening in 2011. In 2014, Outside Magazine named Second Fiddle, Fiddlehead’s Double IPA, one of the the Top 25 Canned Beers for Outdoor Fun. M&M has worked with Fiddlehead to provide intellectual property protection for their distinctive brand.
Sniff & Barkens
Sniff & Barkens, LLC publishes stories, photos and videos that celebrate the bond between dogs and humans on social media platforms. Sniff & Barkens generates original content, republishes posts from dog lovers around the world, and promotes dog adoption and rescue agencies, while generating a profit with innovative, dog-centric ad campaigns. M&M has helped Sniff & Barkens navigate the intricacies of employment and vendor contracts in the digital world, as well as assisting with raising capital as they expand their network of dog lovers.