By Lindsey Lapointe


As you meander through New Hampshire, remnants of its history in manufacturing emerge along the drive. Along the riverbanks of quaint towns, fossils of the industrious textile, shoe, and other mill-powered factories stand as a memory of its once productive past. Now, most New England’s factories have fallen silent and with them, the skill and expertise to create these items has become lost and forgotten. It is therefore not only inspiring, but perhaps nostalgic as Burgeon strives to build its manufacturing operation in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.


An Opportunity to Expand


When the outdoor company opened in 2019, it made Lincoln, New Hampshire its hub. Here, Burgeon crafted and produced their specialty lightweight mid-layers like their signature Highlander Hoodie. Lincoln also sports their retail store, where locals can shop in the same spot where their new mid-layers are created. However, when owner Rudy Glocker caught wind that a military outerwear company was planning to leave the northern town of Gorham, he wasted no time. This 3600 sq foot location was a “gore certified” facility. This could give Burgeon the opportunity to move into the realm of waterproof outer layers. “It was a little bit of a slip right in,” says Glocker, “We worked with the [previous company] to keep that facility open and provide some level of continuity.” In September of 2022, Burgeon officially moved into the location. As a result, the White Mountain company saved jobs and preserved the hub of outdoor clothing manufacturing north of the notch.

 

With the addition of the Gorham location, Burgeon gained the machinery and facility to create waterproof jackets and pants. The current employees are all carryovers from the previous manufacturer, and Glocker recognizes their skill.  “They do a great job for us,” says Glocker and, “They really care about making great stuff.” Now, thanks to this local talent and skill, Burgeon is able to make world class outer layers like the Tuckerman Hardshell Jacket and Tuckerman Pants.


Burgeon is the White Mountains


While Burgeon’s retail location and some manufacturing remains in Lincoln, the expansion into Gorham has also expanded its identity. With Gorham north of the iconic Presidential mountains and Lincoln to the south, the company 'hugs' the national forest in an impactful as well as symbolic way. “We are more than just Lincoln - we are the White Mountains,” Glocker shares. The company has felt welcomed by both towns and strives to give back to the communities. Most of all, Burgeon’s having an impact by retaining skilled workers and jobs in the region.


By keeping employees from the previous manufacturer, Burgeon was able to keep the jobs of skilled, knowledgeable and experienced staff. They are a “world class team” according to Glocker and a “wonderful group of people who love New Hampshire, love their communities, and take a lot of pride in their work.” He also adds, in the future, “we hope we can do more things”. The company wishes to add more skilled employees to the production team, host open houses, and make Gorham a site for community events. 

Purchasing from Gorham, Supports Gorham


Whether you’re currently sporting Burgeon gear, or just learning about the brand, it’s worth stopping by the Lincoln store to see the work by both facilities. By choosing a waterproof jacket like the Tuckerman Hardshell, you’re not only purchasing an item made at the Gorham’s facility - but you're also partnering with a team of Gorham workers. As Glocker proudly shares, “[The Gorham employees] really care about making great stuff...their signature is on every garment that comes out of there.” If you’re not near Lincoln to see these items in person, peruse the outerwear on the Burgeon website. Scroll below the item’s description to read exactly where it was made.


A New Sign is a Sign of Commitment


With the arrival of spring in the White Mountains, Burgeon is seizing the opportunity of the pleasant weather to install a permanent company sign at the Gorham location. By doing so, they are signaling their commitment to the area. While the local mill buildings may no longer hum with the mass production of textiles, it’s comforting to know that skilled manufacturing is still present in New Hampshire’s historic towns. This means that hikers, skiers, and outdoor enthusiasts around the world can access high-quality outdoor gear crafted right here in the heart of the White Mountains.

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