North Country

100-year businesses don’t exist. The retail industry is dead. In the rugged White Mountains of northern New Hampshire, Lahout’s has remained open 365 days a year since 1920. While e-commerce and conglomerates have stripped the country of local, independent retailers, a family of Lebanese immigrants have prevailed for a century, beating the Great Depression, World War II, the Dot Com Crash and Great Recession.

With a family and staff who have spent their entire lives working at the shop, we arrive at their centennial at a vulnerable time. The patriarch (Joe Lahout Sr) is in an intense fight with father time. Having skied, worked-out and traveled well into his 90’s, Joe has begun to struggle with his daily rehab and medication schedule, while the 4th generation (Anthony Lahout), has returned home to help with his recovery. As Anthony begins spending time with him and he sees his grandfather in a different light as well as question the source of the store’s success. As we approach 2020, the reality of life-without-Joe is introduced to the Lahout family and staff, sending shockwaves throughout the ranks.

Award-winning director Nick Martini and cinematographer Cam Riley have teamed up with executive producer Anthony Lahout to captivate a nation consumed with hashtags instead of history. This film tells a timeless short story of the American dream and the family that put a community on skis. After 100 years, Lahout’s is still a family business moving onto its fourth generation. Through past and present, we learn the true root of the store’s success. As the original passes on, we question and discover the backbone of its longevity. We hope to inspire immigrants, millennials, family businesses, and outdoor enthusiasts that all in America is not lost.

Director’s Vision

Growing up skiing in northern New Hampshire, I really connected with that part of the country, but I personally had no idea how rich the area’s history was. Once we began working with the Lahout family, I started learning that where I grew up was really the birthplace of skiing in America. It was fascinating. I spent four years traveling back and forth capturing Joe Lahout Sr.’s story, and it was really eye-opening to see these polarizing worlds of family, sport, and culture all collide.