The current owners, Deanna O'Shaughnessy and Fae Kontje-Gibbs, inherited Sunny Slope Farm from their father, Dr. Kenneth W. Chamberlain, Jr. in September 2002.
Deanna O'ShaughnessyChief Operating Officer:
Deanna O'Shaughnessy, CEO, Co-Founder
Deanna O'Shaughnessy: Ms. O'Shaughnessy is a company founder and a one-half owner as a tenant-in-common of Sunny Slope Farm, which is the site of Chamberlain Springs.Ms. O'Shaughnessy is a writer & performance poet, and designed and built her own home, Joy Hill, in 1982 on the farm that her family has occupied for three generations.She and her sister, Fae Kontje-Gibbs, have undertaken this Spring Water project because of their family's long-standing belief in the purity and abundance of the water found in the springs and streams Sunny Slope Farm, and because of their desire to preserve these natural resources by placing them in conservation once the property can sustain itself financially.
Ms. O'Shaughnessy is also the manager of Joy Hill LLC , a rental management company which handles year-round vacation rentals at Sunny Slope Farm.Previously Ms. O'Shaughnessy has worked as a photographer, and was the owner and operator of The Studio, a photographic studio and art gallery in Chico, CA; a co-founder, as well as secretary & treasurer of Aperture Photo Communication Conferences, Inc., in Chico, CA; the manager/chef for the Courtroom Restaurant in Wolfeboro, NH; the owner and operator of JoyFare, a catering company in Alton, NH; and a founder & designer and the managing partner of FireFish Graphics in Wolfeboro, NH.
Timothy Morgan and his partner Deanna O'Shaughnessy have acted as the Project Managers for Chamberlain Springs LLC, as well as COO and CEO, respectively.
But people read about our situation in The Daily Sun and rallied around us,'' says Deanna O'Shaughnessy, who along with her husband, Timothy Morgan, and sister, Fae Kontje-Gibbs , founded Chamberlain Springs on the 300-acre Sunny Slope Farm some nine years ago.
''I guess everything happens for a reason,'' says O'Shaughnessy, who said that the company, newly renamed as Nh2o, recently received an infusion of a capital from a Boston man who has an interest in seeing small, start-up companies succeed.
That gave us some breathing space and let us take out another loan on the farm,'' said O'Shaughnessy, who said that she and her partners are now in partnership with Newfound Business Associates, which is run by Casey's wife, Cheryl.
''It's been an interesting spring.
We're reaching out to our old customers and have gone back to self-delivery.
And we're improving our product with new waterproof labels and have got a new capper.
And our new summer labels arrived just the day before we were scheduled to deliver 80 cases of glass bottles to the Heron Pond Farmer's Market in Kingston.
So we've got new labels and lots of water and things are really looking up for us,'' she says.
She said that the initial plan for the company, which drilled a 585 foot well in 2004 to tap into its water, was to market the water as a bulk product.
That plan was dropped after it became apparent that the construction costs of a new building and necessary infrastructure was just too steep.
''We decided to bottle it ourselves, which was probably not the best decision, but it seemed like the only alternative we had.'' she says.
In 2009, Profile Bank and the Belknap Economic Development Council provided a funding package to create Nh2o, a company that put the water in 750 milliliter bottles and distributes them through restaurants, grocery stores and at outdoor markets.
Profile Bank's loans included $177,000 for start-up costs and an additional line of credit.
However, O'Shaughnessy said that getting the business off the ground took more than they had estimated.
"We were seriously under-capitalized.
It cost a lot more to do everything than we anticipated."
She said that she is extremely grateful to Profile Bank for all the help that it extended to the company during it's financial problems and is looking to see the company move ahead on a firm financial footing and build itself into a profitable venture, which will help keep Sunny Slope Farm, which currently rents space to vacationers and for weddings, intact and thriving.
Deanna O'Shaughnessy of Nh2o holds two bottles of water which earned accolades as New Hampshire's Best Drink of Water in 2010.
NORTHEAST BOTTLED WATER ASSOCIATION - NEBWA MEMBERS--BOTTLERS
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