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Emshika Alberini is a restauranteur, advisor, and investor.


Blog of Emshika Alberini: Restauranteur, Advisor, Investor

Blog of Emshika Alberini: Restauranteur, Advisor, Investor


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Chang Thai Café Celebrates 10 Years

Meg Brown

Chang Thai Café 10th Anniversary.jpeg

Emshika Alberini had a successful corporate career by the time she relocated to Littleton. Just over ten years ago, she never would have considered herself a chef, despite growing up in Thailand with her entrepreneurial mother and grandmother, both of who owned and operated their own restaurants.

Emshika, however, decided to pursue a career in business, moving to the U.S. initially to earn a Master’s Degree in Organizational Management from Sage College in Albany, N.Y.

The inspiration for her now popular Chang Thai Café came from Alberini’s sister, Ann. “I talked with my sister a lot after I moved to Littleton,” Alberini explained. “I was missing my family and planned to open a restaurant with Ann so she could be near me. I would manage the business, she would manage the cooking.”

Alberini continued, “Dreaming of our future helped me cope with everyday life so much easier.”

Then suddenly, the dream was put on hold on Alberini’s birthday in 2007. “I received a phone call at 5 a.m. I thought Ann was calling to say happy birthday, but it was the police in New Jersey calling to tell me she had passed away from a fire in her apartment.”

Many of Chang Thai’s recipes came from Emshika’s mom.

Many of Chang Thai’s recipes came from Emshika’s mom.

Her mom is one of the chefs at Chang Thai.

Her mom is one of the chefs at Chang Thai.

In grief, Alberini continued working in the corporate world. She wasn’t a chef and she didn’t know how to cook, so how could she start a restaurant on her own? “But then I remembered,” revealed Alberini, “I love to eat!”

Alberini took action with zero money and a business plan she had written in college. Bank after bank turned her down, until a family member allowed her to borrow a credit card and Alberini saved enough in a small savings account. Soon after, Chang Thai Café opened on Main Street on Oct. 31, 2008.

Despite early setbacks and Alberini expecting her first child, Chang Thai Café took off. Within the first year Alberini was able to pay off her start-up costs and Chang Thai has since been awarded Editor’s Pick Upscale Thai Restaurant by New Hampshire Magazine and Viewer’s Choice Thai Food by WMUR viewers.

Chang Thai has also been named a Top Woman-Led Business and Alberini a Most Intriguing Woman Business Leader by Business New Hampshire Magazine. Earlier this month, Cherry Bombe Magazine, a publication for women in the food industry, also listed Alberini on the Cherry Bombe 100. She was invited to speak at the annual Cherry Bombe Jubilee earlier this year in New York City. Alberini, a believer in continuous growth, is currently developing a food and beverage line inspire by her family recipes.

With 2018 marking Chang Thai Café’s tenth anniversary, Alberini is reflecting on how the restaurant got started. “I entered the food industry as a result of Ann’s spirit and have felt her guiding me ever since,” said Alberini. “Chang Thai is dedicated to her. I believe that we EAT WITH LOVE, which is what Chang Thai Café is all about.”

For more information, visit or call (603)444-8810.

Crystal Lynn Design Debuts at POP-M

Meg Brown

Crystal Lynn Design at POP-M.jpg

LITTLETON—The popular multi-brand gift and coffee shop, POP-M opened its doors a few weeks ago, welcoming visitors with a curated menu and variety of gifts made both local and afar.

Crystal Lynn Design is one local artist featured on POP-M’s shelves. Designer Crystal Knapp began making jewelry as a way to showcase her crystal collection instead of jamming them in her pockets. According to Knapp, a friend suggested wire wrapping them. “I didn’t think I would love it so much,” she explained, “but as soon as I started doing it I loved it. It’s meditative. I have to look at the shape of the piece to come up with new ideas.”

Four years later, Knapp has begun experimenting with color and learning new techniques that include soldering, working with resin, and chain mail using jump rings.

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Her display at POP-M features her resin jewelry along with her own style of bracelets that she hasn’t seen in the area. Knapp is expanding her line to include custom stamped bracelets personalized with dates or messages, resin pieces based on paintings and images, and jewelry infused with fresh and pressed flowers.

 “I really like the concept and energy of POP-M,” noted Knapp. “I like how Emshika [Alberini, owner of POP-M] is about empowering other artists and businesses. I really respect and admire that and I want to be a part of that picture.”

POP-M is debuting Knapp’s new alcohol inks, which create bright, vibrant colors reflective of the multi-brand shop.

“I have a couple of crystal pendants I plan on adding [to POP-M] as they are my favorite to work with. I’m also doing more with custom wrap pieces and matching sets of jewelry.”

Knapp designs and creates her pieces out of her studio in 42 Maple in Bethlehem. She is enjoying having her work featured at POP-M as “There’s a lot of unique items in here such as Dusty’s Palace with one-of-a-kind clothes; things that you’re not going to find anywhere else on Main Street,” she revealed. “I just try to have fun and come up with unique designs that I think will look one-of-a-kind.”

For more information on Crystal Lynn Design, visit, or check out her display at POP-M, 97 Main Street in Littleton.

Photo by MegaBug Photography
Logo by Sweet Thyme & Co.

Purchase of 97 Main Street

Meg Brown


As one story ends another begins!   Dave and Nancy Ernsberger have owned and operated the popular gift shop “The Nest” for five years.  Dave, who has been instrumental in a number of initiatives in Littleton,  decided it was time for him to step back to focus on his projects and to spend more time with his family and closed the store this past September.

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Emshika Alberini, owner of Chang Thai restaurant as well as the building occupied by Little Village Toy and Bookstore, Blue Jay Café, The League of NH Craftsmen and The Stitch purchased the 97 Main Street building last Friday.  Her plans for the building have, to date, been a closely guarded secret but Emshika has hinted that “it will be the same but different”.  Emshika plans to slowly renovate the space to fit her plan and open her store sometime during the first quarter of 2018.

Emshika said “I am excited to now own one of the nicest buildings in downtown Littleton.  Dave and Nancy have created such an attractive building that has provided shoppers with a unique and comfortable shopping experience.   I hope to carry on the tradition that the Ernsbergers have started.”

“Nancy and I are delighted to turn over the keys to Emshika” commented Dave after the closing.  “She is a rising star in Littleton and beyond and we know she will continue to work closely with other local business owners in continuing Littleton’s goal to make its downtown a pleasant and memorable place to visit.”

Mary Doherty, Broker with Peabody and Smith Realty commented “I have worked with both Dave and Emshika for a number of years and I can’t think of a better match.  I’m very proud to have played a very small part in helping Dave with this transition.”

Island Life: My Food Tour Through Hawaii

Meg Brown

Earlier this month I traveled to Hawaii to visit my best friend and enjoy their authentic island cuisine.

Hawaii is over 2,000 miles form the mainland, so they rely on foods they can grow easily. I've found their cuisine tends to be a blend of Philippine, Chinese, Japanese, and tropical paradise. So yummy.

My first dinner was enjoyed at the Modern Honolulu where I stayed. I went to a luau in Paradise Cove and loved watching the hula dancers while savoring King Hawaiian Bread (a staple made with taro root), salmon salsa, pork poi, rice, taro pudding, and coconut jelly.


Olive & Oliver was my go-to in the morning. I adore their strong presence and modern contemporary beach feel. Their coffee was, of course, fantastic as well!


Hawaii does a wonderful job relying on what they can grow. However, they do have their splurges.

Due to Hawaii's distance from the mainland, SPAM is incredibly popular because it lasts. It is everywhere on that island!

While in Hawaii I visited my best friend and Hawaiian native, Verena! She knows where to go and invited me to join her private chefs club where Aaron Sanchez cooked us dinner!

He prepared an authentic Hawaiian feast that included rare kumu fish, watercress, rice and corn salsa, and a salad.


One morning I stopped by the Surfjack Hotel for brunch. Their spread included fried rice, kimchi and avocado.

Brunch at the Modern Honolulu was fresh and delicious. On my plate was poke tuna and mixed salad with local greens.

Overall I adored the fresh, juicy, and tropical flavors of Hawaiian food. I look forward to my next visit!

Touring Thailand and Japan

Meg Brown

My family and I returned home from a three week trip to my hometown!

Markets full of street vendors are cultural to Bangkok. Every time I'm home I visit them almost daily to taste their savory offerings.

Street vendors typically prepare one or two items, allowing them to develop the tastiest recipe imaginable. Here I am about to try pork satay!

During our trip, we were also fortunate to visit Japan. I haven't been there in so long!

It's a misconception that sushi is a frequent main course in Japan- it's actually a side dish.

Many other dishes make up a typical meal in Japan, including tonkatsu (fried chicken or pork over rice), chawanmushi (steamed egg custard), and radish pico.


Sakura, or cherry blossoms, bloom just a few weeks in the spring. The streets of Japan were buzzing with people celebrating food and flower of the season, many wearing traditional yukatas.

I get goosebumps every time I think of that sight. When I visit next spring, I'm bringing my kimono.

We returned to Thailand to enjoy a few more weeks in my homeland. Seafood is a staple in Thai food, with squid being as popular in Bangkok as lobster is in Boston.

Restaurants serve a catch-of-the-day special (I enjoyed grilled clam), squid salad, steamed fish, and a side of chili lime dressing.


In between food tasting, I enjoyed my $2.50 bit of heaven. Foot massagers are almost as common as street vendors in the market.

I enjoyed a delicious high-end dinner from the upscale Paste Bangkok. I ordered coconut milk with fresh crab meat that came with a side of fruit (star fruit and rose apples) that I dipped in my soup. Yum!

Dessert was truffles with chocolate dust. So good.

One of the more famous street vendors I visited above offered a variety of look-chin made with fish, pork, and chicken. In Thai, we write it as ลูกชิ้นทอด.

I've missed my hometown so much and look forward to visiting again soon. Stop by Chang Thai Cafe to enjoy a taste of my journey; I'm infusing a little inspiration from home into our new dishes!