The Best Kept Secret in Concord with the Best View of New Hampshire’s State House
Word of mouth and positive customer reviews are the least expensive forms of advertising that an existing business can use to establish themselves in a new market. Twelve 31 Café and Catering in Concord has done just that as they celebrate their 5th year in the catering business and continue their growth at their new Concord location. Twelve 31, owned and operated by husband-and-wife team Michael and Melissa Dolpies of Northfield, is named after the most celebrated day of the year which is synonymous with the enjoyment of food and beverage with family and friends as they ring in a fresh, new year.
Melissa’s culinary resume goes back to 2001 when she was the only woman in a kitchen full of Italian immigrants in Boston’s North End. As a teenager, she began her culinary career working in a bakery department at a local supermarket when she wasn’t mixing ingredients in her grandmother’s kitchen. This instilled a solid foundation and love of cooking that motivates and inspires her to this day.
In 2017, Melissa continued her culinary journey as a Chef at numerous high-end hotels in the Boston area organizing and directing banquets and catering for hundreds and sometimes over 1,000 guests in a single event. She grew to enjoy the event experience and decided to merge her nearly twenty years of culinary skills with her husband Michael’s twenty years of small business experience into what is now known as Twelve 31 Events with the addition, in late 2022, the Concord location known as Twelve 31 Café & Catering.
The couple owned a property in downtown Tilton that they renovated into the perfect space to offer their services in the Lakes Region. With the help of an SBA guarantee loan provided by TD Bank, they outfitted the building into a full-service catering company providing 5-star food and service for families and businesses for many events ranging from weddings to business meetings throughout the Lakes Region and beyond. During Covid-19 when all events were at a standstill, SBA programs helped keep operations going through the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF), the Paycheck Protection Program Loan (PPP), and payment of their original start-up loan.
Recently, the Dolpies’ welcomed Congresswoman Annie Kuster (2nd CD), SBA New England Regional Administrator Mike Vlacich, and NH District Director Amy Bassett to their Café at 100 North Main Street in Concord.
“We were thrilled to join with Congresswoman Kuster to visit with Melissa and Michael at Twelve 31 Café,” said Amy Bassett, NH SBA district director. “The Dolpies’ are establishing a great reputation in the lakes region with the catering business and combined with Michael’s sales experience and Melissa’s culinary experience their high quality, delicious offerings will lead them to great success in the busy downtown Concord area.”
Photo by Cheryl Croto SBA -
(L-R SBA NE Regional District Director Mike Vlacich, Michael Dolpie, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (D), Melissa Dolpie owner of Twelve 31 Café and Catering, SBA District Director Amy Bassett)