Synergy, Brewbakers and other local Keene businesses enjoy the boost from student clientele
Many businesses on Main Street in Keene have noticed an increase in business since school is back in session, and they have their location to thank.
“There’s a lot more foot traffic,” Pilar Burgos, the manager at Fritz, said.
Keene State College is located at 229 Main St. in Keene, N.H. Just steps away from the college’s campus is downtown Keene, which is also located on Main Street. This area is filled with countless shops and restaurants for the students to explore and spend their free time at.
Fritz restaurant, the Place to Eat, is currently located at 45 Main St. It used to be located in the Center at Keene between 2003 and 2007. Now they are located “right smack downtown,” Burgos said.
Burgos also believes there is more business because Fritz is located right between neighborhoods and a lot of people like to walk in the area for fun.
The “Fritz Special” also brings in the crowds with weekly specials.
According to Burgos, Fritz sees most of their traffic around lunch time and on weekends– even Sundays after “long nights.”
Fritz is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. Also on Fridays this fall they have live music shows.
Just a few blocks away at 5 Main St. sits a sportswear store called Synergy. Store manager Gretchen Merritt believes this is the best location for the store.
Originally Synergy was located in the Colony Mill, but then relocated to the Panera shopping plaza located on West Street in Keene as well. It wasn’t until January that the store settled in to its newest location.
“Yes its better number wise and report wise,” Merritt said.
Synergy has also become quite popular due to its “diverse” inventory claims Merritt. The store carries top name brands such as: The Northface, Ugg, Ray-Ban, and Oakley. The newest edition to the store is their collection of Alex and Ani bracelets.
“There will be a swarm of like twelve girls around the Alex and Anis [collection],” Merritt said.
Not only do the sales on Alex and Anis increase during the school year, scarves, jewelry, and junior clothing sales do as well.
Synergy stores are only located in Florida, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. Their Keene location is not only the newest, but also has the largest selection of sunglasses.
Also on Main Street is Brewbakers Cafe which resides at 97 Main St. for the last 15 years, and they’re not planning on moving.
“Yeah of course, it’s more visible and there is a lot of walking traffic,” owner Jeff Murphy said.
During the academic year Murphy notices an increase in coffee and breakfast sandwich sales.
He also sees a lot more students and professors stopping in during the week, whether it is in between classes or after work.
The café is open seven days a week serving breakfast and lunch.
All three of the companies located on Main Street agree they see a change in the type of customers and the amount from the summer to when school starts. When school is in session there are a lot more students frequenting the shops and restaurants on Main Street.
What also helps draw in the students are the sales and specials run by the businesses. At the beginning of every school year the incoming freshmen receive a coupon booklet filled with specials only for them.
Brewbakers provided a $10 off coupon for the freshmen in their booklet. Fritz had a coupon for a free soda with a $20 purchase, and Synergy had a coupon in the booklet for 25 percent off an item in the store.
A lot of the businesses on Main St. do run sales or specials throughout the year for everyone.
Synergy has their “notorious” 20 percent off sale around Pumpkin Fest weekend and before Thanksgiving.
A census from July 2011 states that Keene’s total population reached 23,354. Approximately 6,000 of those citizens are attending Keene State College for undergraduate and graduate programs. With that large of a population in that prominent of an area, it’s no wonder why these businesses prosper.
Shannon Flynn can be contacted at