Archive for July, 2010

A Mom and Pop Hardware Store on Upscale Charles St. in Boston, Mass.

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

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Article and photo by Eric H.

It’s nice to see the always locally-owned Charles Street Supply Co. and Hardware in Boston, Mass., remain, more or less, a Mom and Pop-type store amidst all the upscale boutiques, galleries and clothing stores on posh Charles St.

Boston’s oldest hardware store — dating back to the 1950s — has expanded throughout the years but the old-school retail presentation and friendly, knowledgeable customer service have stayed intact through the years. Recently passing by this still relevant relic today brought back many memories when going to college at nearby Suffolk University. I didn’t have a chance to stop in today, but just the sight of the welcoming exterior with its packed to the gills storefront windows and the sidewalk merchandise — wiffle ball bats, kites and American flags– exuded a wonderful feeling of nostalgic retail Americana. The handwritten sale sign out front really validated this warm presence even more!

With great hardware inventory and an impressive variety of general store items, Charles Street Supply Co. and Hardware an absolute classic locally-owned store. Check it out next time you are in the neighborhood!


Charles Street Supply Co. and Hardware
54 Charles St.
Boston, MA 02114
Tel. (617) 367-9046

Fiske’s General Store in Holliston, Mass., Brings Us Back To Another Retail Era

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

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Article by Eric H.
It’s the exception rather than the rule that you’ll find a locally-owned general store in the metro Boston area. How times have changed since growing up in the 1960s and 1970s when it was the exact opposite!

Thankfully, Fiske’s General Store — founded in 1863 and right in the heart of beautiful, leafy, old-fashioned Holliston, Mass. — allows us to joyfully hang on to our retail past while being able to pretty much find everything we need for our modern needs.

While Fiske’s has most of the staples of a general store — arts and crafts, toys, sports cards, board games, penny candy, candles, party goods, newspapers, magazines, “local” Holliston apparel, the ubiqituous Crabtree and Evelyn personal care line, as well as always colorful window displays — you’ll also find wildly popular 21st century general store kids merchandise like Silly Bands and Webkinz. Thus, all generations seem to love Fiske’s, as evidenced by the steady customer flow, many of which seem to know the staff.

With its slightly worn look and some great, upbeat knowledgable employees, Fiske’s is a pure retail delight. Along with Lord’s Department Store in Downtown Medfield, Mass., and the West Concord 5&10 in West Concord, Mass., Fiske’s is one of our favorite locally-owned general stores in New England — noteworthy, given the higher concentration of these type of stores in Vermont and New Hampshire. 

Fiske’s General Store
1776 Washington St.
Holliston MA
Tel. (508)-429-4041

Benny’s: An Old-Fashioned Locally-Owned Chain

Sunday, July 11th, 2010


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Article and photo by Eric H.

Benny’s might be overlooked as a true locally-owned store because of its chain status, but the crowds of people that frequent this general store validate its appealing, timeless and relevant presence.

In business since 1924, this Rhode Island-based company has several locations over southern New England.  What impresses me most about Benny’s is that the customer service has always been attentive (a rare commodity these days, unfortunately) and I can usually find what I’m looking for at a good bargain.  The inventory is quite diverse: housewares, automotive, home improvement, electronics, toys and games, fishing and marine, seasonal items, pool supplies, sporting goods, and lawn and garden. The toys, bikes, tires and back-to-school sections are perhaps most impressive!

Benny’s looks like the old Woolworth’s stores, but with a bow tie. The stores are generally modern-looking and well-organized and always clean and well lit. It’s nice that a local chain like Benny’s can maintain quality standards and survive quite well in a world of super stores. This is really a great success story of how a store with humble beginnings could grow into such a successful entity!

Benny’s Locations

Providence R.I. Deal of the Day is Tortilla Flats

Sunday, July 11th, 2010

Editor’s Note: You can find the Tortilla Flats Deal of the Day at:
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Those that love Mexican cuisine and a great bargain should take note at the Groupon Providence Deal of the Day, offering 50 percent off food and drinks at the locally-owned Tortilla Flats in Providence, R.I.

Actually, Tortilla Flats –located in the “East Side” of Providence (very cool place!) isn’t just about Mexican cuisine as they blend elements of Cajun and southwestern cuisines into the mix. Sign up for this one-of-a-kind dining deal and if enough other people also sign up, you receive this tremendous bargain!

Isn’t it great to live in, or visit Providence these days? While Tortilla Flats has been around for more than 30 years, it just adds to the revitalized restaurant scene. Everywhere you look in Providence, seems like there’s a restaurant popping up. What a difference from 15-20 years ago when the city was struggling in so many ways. By the way, we wrote an article a while back on the revitalization of Providence that you might want to check out.

To take full advantage of this tremendous local dining deal, please log onto the following Groupon page:

Boston Deal of the Day Is a Boston Harbor Cruise from the Bay State Cruise Company

Sunday, July 11th, 2010

Editor’s Note: You can find the Bay State Cruise Company Deal of the Day at:   Bookmark and Share

If you’re looking for a boat cruise that’s way above “C” level,  the Bay State Cruise Company , of Boston, Mass., passes with high honors with its lively summer Sunday afternoon excursions into Boston Harbor.

Today, Groupon offers a 47 percent percent ticket discount for the 2.5 hour afternoon cruise that includes a DJ and a cash bar aboard a spacious ship. Sign up for this bargain deal and if enough other people also sign up, you receive this tremendous bargain!

So, if you feel it’s “aboat time” to take a cruise, the Bay State Cruise Company’s summer Boston Harbor Cruise is the place to “anchor!”  Plus, before or after the cruise, you get to enjoy, Boston, one of the great cities of the United States!

To take full advantage of this tremendous local cruise deal, please log onto the following Groupon page: 

Edaville USA, Carver, Mass., Is Your New England Deal of the Day

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

Editor’s Note: You can find the Edaville USA Deal of the Day at  .   Bookmark and Share

If you love train rides and amusement parks, we encourage you to get on track to an amazing deal at Edaville USA in Carver, Mass., for 44 percent off a general admission ticket.

At this writing, one day, 17 hours and seven minutes remain to sign up for this special deal. If enough other people also sign up, you receive this tremendous bargain!

One of New England’s most recognized and beloved travel attractions, the 1,800 acre Edaville is locally-owned and operated and has been around since 1947. Its local household name-caliber train ride takes you on a 20-minute excursion through the historic grounds and still has those narrow gauge rails that were brought in from Maine and built by local Ellis D. Atwood on his cranberry plantation.

Train rides aren’t the only ticket at Edaville USA. Time-tested amusements like the ferris wheel, spinning tea cups, bumper boats, go karts, tilt-a-whirl and carousel are just a few of the rides that bring back childhood memories for us (wow, what great times here I had when growing up in New England!) and create new ones for the kids. Additionally, Edaville features an amazing Christmas Festival of Lights during the holiday season. Here, kids can experience the Christmas train rides passing by the seven million lights and 30 displays  while enjoying hot chocolate, apple cider, caroling, and a visit with Santa (Groupon ticket not valid on Saturdays during this festival).

Edaville is about a half-hour from fun-filled coastal Cape Cod, 20 minutes to historic Plymouth, and about an hour to the “Hub of the Universe”, otherwise known as the great City of Boston!

All aboard for a great deal on a classic train ride and fun amusement park? Hopefully, this deal is too good to pass on! To take full advantage of this fantastic deal at Edaville, please log onto the following Groupon page:

New England Local Deal of the Day is at the Pembroke Country Club

Friday, July 9th, 2010

Editor’s Note: You can find the Pembroke Country Club Deal of the Day at:  

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The New England Groupon Deal of the Day for July 9, 2010 is a 46 percent discount for 18 holes and a cart at the Pembroke Country Club in Pembroke, Mass.

Owned by former National Hockey League star Jeremy Roenick, the Pembroke Country Club is “known for its well-maintained landscaping, its challenging par 5 holes, and its sensual Jacuzzi water hazards,” according to the Groupon description.

Sign up for this special deal and if enough other people also sign up, you receive this tremendous bargain!

Playing golf at the Pembroke Country Club can be part of a fun travel day in the South Shore/eastern Massachusetts area, too. The beautiful New England coastal towns of Cohasset, Scituate, Hingham and Marshfield are nearby, while Boston and Cape Cod are both about 40 minutes away. Plymouth is a few minutes away and is famous for historical attractions like Plymouth Rock, Plimoth Plantation, the Pilgrim Hall Museum and Mayflower II (a recreation of the Mayflower ship that brought the Pilgrims here, actually to Provincetown first).

For great seafood at locally-owned seafood restaurants, we recommend Woods Seafoods in Plymouth and Pier 18 Seafood and Grille in East Bridgewater (a hidden gem, if there ever was one).

Sounds like a “hole in one” day!  To take full advantage of this tremendous golf deal, please log onto the following Groupon page:

What’s For Dinner Wednesdays at Rye Farmers Market, Rye N.H.

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

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At the Shop Local, Buy Local New England! Blog, we are always looking for innovative locally-owned businesses sharing news about what’s going on at their stores and in their communities. Dagne Goodwin from Amelia Mae’s and Company (offering locally-made jams, jellies, barbecue sauce, vinegars etc.) of Strafford, N.H., just passed along information to us on a wonderfully creative idea, courtesy of the Rye Farmers Market in Rye, N.H.:

“I just had to share the neatest idea ever with you.  It’s called ‘What’s for Dinner Wednesdays’ brought to you by the Rye Farmers Market.

Every week there will be a whole meal plan posted on the web and fliers at the market!  All the recipes are made with what is available at the market and are absolutely delicious.  You’ve got to check it out. On tap for this week, Bruschetta, ’I-don’t-feel-like-cooking’ glazed chicken, goat cheese potato salad and Red White and Blueberry Medley.  I don’t know about you but my mouth is watering!”

Editor’s note: This sounds like a fantastic idea and the type of info we welcome from the great local business owners and community event planners of New England. If you would like to share an idea about a great locally-owned and operated business event in your New England neighborhood, please contact us here at the Shop Local, Buy Local New England! Blog.

Additionally, we recommend you logging onto the Rye Farmers Market web site for more information on its ambitious and delicious looking summer market.