EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

March 17, 2014

They're all in for Amesbury

New residents set course on generating '21st century' businesses

AMESBURY — Recent Amesbury transplants Ed Justen, Ken Aspeslagh and Jennifer Freeman have come to love their adopted hometown so much, they’re putting it all on the line, rolling out three new businesses from the second floor of 36 Main St.

“I’m guessing that between a two-to-three-mile radius of downtown, there are enough business ideas to fill these places here,” Justen said. “We don’t have to reach out and convince them that Amesbury is a good place to come to. We are three business (owners) that live here and we know that Amesbury has what it takes. We need to reach out and find other people with that same idea.”

The veteran of the group and owner of the shared office space, Workspace 36, Justen grew up in Garden Grove, Calif., and moved to Amesbury four years ago. He started Workspace 36 two years ago to give remote workers an affordable, alternate workspace with copy, fax, internet, climate control and 24-7 access.

“I have a financial guy,” Justen said. “I have a software coder, I have two marketers, I have an interior decorator, and I also have a world-class makeup artist that was working out of here for a while. If you want to come in for six hours, you can. If your best time is from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., you can come in, it’s 24 hour access.”

Aspeslagh moved to Amesbury from Haverhill with his wife Rachel in 2010. The software engineer rented a workspace from Justen a little over a year ago and saw an opportunity to rent the office space at the front of the building. Aspeslagh started his computer learning company, Code and Circuit in January where he teaches computer science, computer fundamentals and programming classes for both kids and adults.

“I’ve had this dream of a computer school for a long time,” Aspeslagh said. “This front of the building was one, big, open space and the response has been huge. I’ve filled up all the classes. Four classes of eight (people.) People are asking me when the next one is going to be. It is more work than I thought it was going to be but I am really enjoying it.”

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