100-year businesses don't exist. The retail industry is dead. In the rugged White Mountains of northern New Hampshire, neither of those statements are true. North America’s oldest ski shop, 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 the 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 fourth generation (Anthony Lahout), has returned home to help with his recovery. As Anthony begins spending time with him, he begins to see 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 business, and outdoor enthusiasts that all in America is not lost.
North Country Will Be Available To Watch on Teton Gravity Research TV on 10/5.