The Women’s Rural Entrepreneurial Network (WREN) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to supporting better lives and livelihoods in the North Country of New Hampshire for over 25 years. While grants keep us going, your donations are also key to helping us continue serving the artists, makers, and low to moderate income small business owners who depend on us for resources, market access, and educational opportunities.

Thank you so much for your donation. Your support means the world!


2020 Annual Appeal – Making It Happen

Kate Foley and Colleen Foley
Kate Foley (R), owner of Cold Mountain Café and Bitchin’ Kitchen Food Truck, keeping it safe (and tasty!) alongside one of the original WRENs, mom Colleen Foley (L).

Sometimes, to make it happen, you’ve got to give it your all. You’ve got to dig deep, stand tall, and dream big.

As a longtime WREN supporter, volunteer, board member, and small business owner, Kate Foley gives it all she’s got, day in and out. She’s a dreamer and a doer. A woman devoted to her family, her business, and her community.

Kate’s life has always been one rooted within WREN; in fact, she “grew up with organization, surrounded by the support the WREN.” Her mother, Colleen Foley, was “one of the founders, and I participated in the first WINGS program for young girls”. These were the fledgling days of WREN, days in which our path towards the present was built by the know-how and passion of women like Colleen, and the promise of strong, inspired girls like Kate.

Many of you know Kate as the driving force behind Cold Mountain Café, one of Bethlehem’s most cherished and revered eateries. Kate notes that “Cold Mountain has always been a big supporter of WREN; we couldn’t ask for a better neighbor.” From working in tandem to promote shop and sip events during the holiday season to hosting Cold Mountain Café in the pocket park next to Local Works Marketplace this past summer, the bond between Kate and WREN is one built on teamwork and mutual admiration for our impact on the community.

In Bethlehem, “WREN is an anchor. Having such a beautiful store and professional gallery on Main Street really elevates downtown. WREN coming to Bethlehem, and then opening the store, was the beginning of the revitalization of Bethlehem’s main street. It has come a long way over the years!” While the peace of the mountains has prompted many to move to Bethlehem over the years, community is what makes them stay. Kate believes that “community is one of the biggest reasons many of us choose to live here. Having an organization like WREN that supports and brings the community together is so important.”

Kate has served on WREN’s Board of Directors for 6 years, and as she reflects back, she notes that she is most proud of how the organization has kept moving forward, even during these unprecedented times. Indeed, “WREN’s future is looking bright, even in a pandemic!” This past year “has really proven WREN’s relevance and lasting power.” In a year like 2020, when “many of us feel isolated, having a place to network and connect is more important than ever”.

While she acknowledges that “WREN has had some challenging years recently,” the “small and mighty staff are incredibly dedicated.” This dedication is something that carries throughout the WREN community, including our board members, volunteers, donors, and more. It’s a dedication that centers around the organization, and making every day happen while never forgetting the strength and importance of our mission.

Kate is a true advocate for WREN’s place amongst busy small business owners like herself. Without a doubt, “many of us that live here have multiple sources of income. North Country people are incredibly resourceful and talented at juggling different gigs!” Thanks to WREN, members have “the tools, resources and place to support different streams of income.”

As an entrepreneur with a thriving café and food truck under her belt, a loving mom and certified toddler wrangler, and a devoted WREN board member, Kate has perfected the art of balancing it all while never losing sight of her goals. She is someone who gives her all, every single day, and has given so much to WREN over the years.

 Today, we ask you to follow in Kate’s footsteps. Show your belief in the work we do, and donate today. Give one simple gift that has the power to impact an entire community of dreamers and doers. With all of our hearts, we thank you!

Kay Kerr, WRENegade and Longtime Volunteer
WREN volunteer Kay Kerr
Kay Kerr, WRENegade and longtime volunteer

This year at WREN, we’ve reached a new level of appreciation for our wonderful network of volunteers, members, and community enthusiasts. Even in a somewhat bleak and challenging year, it’s amazing how bright the people around us continue to shine.

Kay Kerr is one of these luminous, lovely people. From helping us get ready for the massive undertaking of mailing out our annual appeal to reviewing our inventory before we reopened the store and gallery this past June, Kay is always one of the first to raise her hand and ask “What’s next? How can I help?”

Kay’s journey with WREN began back in 2004, when she moved to Franconia, NH. For Kay, “WREN gave me a quality of life that I was lacking when I first moved to the area.” Kay leapt at the opportunity to volunteer for our monthly Gallery shows, and with each next exhibit, she found the “friendships, activity, and feeling of being needed” that were so crucial during her journey towards building a well-rounded life in the North Country.

Hanging artwork for the Gallery shows was a “social, creative, learning process,” one in which she discovered she was both “a very good gofer” and “a real integral part of WREN.” Every month, Kay reveled in WREN’s First Friday openings. They embodied what she loves most about WREN: the community involvement. For Kay, “WREN is a leader in our community, an inspiration in our community, and a partner in our community”. She notes that the “the partnership with the Colonial Theatre over this past summer, featuring the ‘Women of the White Buffalo’ exhibit in the Gallery,” was another example of WREN embracing community in unexpected ways.

Over the years, Kay’s involvement at WREN has remained as constant as her can-do attitude. In 2005, Kay joined the WREN Board of Directors. Nowadays, Kay is a part of the WRENegades, a socially-minded senior group dedicated to having fun while also connecting to the mission of WREN.

It has now been sixteen years since Kay first joined WREN. Her legacy of making it happen, of showing support for the organization in so many different ways, is one with positive ripples that are felt across all of the artists, makers, and members throughout the years. For Kay, “it’s very exciting to us as former active WREN members, to see the vitality of WREN coming back. WREN ties the community together; it stimulates and creates community”.

Are you inspired by Kay’s story? Show your support for the work we do, and make a donation to WREN today! With all of our hearts, we thank you!