Success Stories

Thompson House Eatery

At the heart of New Hampshire’s White Mountains, restaurateur Larry Baima (Bah-mah) has earned a strong following among both year round locals and vacationing regulars who have been returning for thirty five years to enjoy his consistently great tasting food!

Located in the historic village of Jackson, Larry’s restaurant (Thompson House Eatery) is named for the cozy 1790 farmhouse it occupies. Larry and his family also run a small farm stand and gift shop in the historic barn next door, in part selling fresh flowers and produce grown on the surrounding five acre farm.

In choosing his menu offerings, Larry emphasizes broadly popular selections. About ten years ago, he also began spotlighting local artisan foods on his menu after a trip to see his parents’ villages near Torino, Italy. There, as a chef, he was inspired by the pride Torini restaurateurs took in featuring local specialties. (As a patron, he also found that hearing stories behind special ingredients made them even more tempting!) So instead of “beef,” Larry’s menu explains: “We are proud to feature premium Angus beef from nearby Peppermint Fields Farm.”

Attracted by the area’s natural beauty, many locals (including Larry) are “eco minded.” So in addition to focusing on superior ingredients, Larry enjoys operating his place in a visibly “green” way, which helps memorably reinforce its unique character. So instead of crisp white linens, Larry’s upscale quality cuisine is enjoyed on colorful, homespun tablecloths. Premium coffee is served, not in fine white china cups, but in colorful vintage coffee mugs, handpicked for their conversation starting messages or graphics.

Instead of buying uninspired “new” barware, Larry’s eye catching beverage glasses are handcrafted by a local artist from empty wine and spirits bottles. Another local artist engraves each with the restaurant’s name. In fact, this attractively “repurposed” glassware has proven so popular with Larry’s customers that he now sells matched sets in the barn gift store for home use.

For fun, Larry sometimes takes the “Reuse, Reduce, Recycle” theme even further. For example, customers unwrapping their “to go” meals may be surprised to find them attractively plated on real dishes. (Gently used “to go” plates cost only 10¢ at church bazaars and are sterilized in the dishwasher before use.) The unique gesture has generated plenty of word of mouth, and occasionally, washed plates have reappeared on the restaurant’s doorstep with thank you notes!

Creative menu marketing and décor ideas aside, Larry NEVER loses sight of the fact that it is his consistently great tasting food which will keep customers coming back for another thirty five years! Bravo!