Archive for December, 2010

New England Local Business Acts of Generosity #1: Meadowmere Resort in Ogunquit, Maine

Monday, December 27th, 2010

The Meadowmere Resort in Ogunquit, Maine, just wrote in with the first “New England Miracles and Acts of Generosity” submission.

During the unrelenting Maine winter storms, the Meadowmere features a “Helping Hand” program (when “the weather is frightful”) where guests can stay at this renowned Ogunquit resort at $39/night. Located on Route 1, the Meadowmere always has power and heat and the indoor hot tub makes it fun to be stuck in the snow/ice! As the Meadowmere says, “Most importantly, every one’s safe.”

Way to go, Meadowmere! We applaud you for being a thoughtful, generous New England business.

Editor’s note: please call the Meadowmere before embarking on your itinerary for room availability and to make sure the “Helping Hand” program applies to the storm you are traveling through — the phone number is (207) 646-9661. We also encourage you to log onto the Meadowmere web site to read all about this fantastic Ogunquit resort.


Are you a New England traveler that has experienced an incredible random act of kindness from a local New England business owner or employee? Are you a locally-owned New England business that has made a difference in your community by giving back?

TELL US ABOUT IT, PLEASE, by sending us a descriptive, detailed email to !

New England Miracles and Acts of Generosity from Local Businesses

Monday, December 27th, 2010

Are  you a New England traveler that has experienced an incredible random act of kindness from a local New England business owner or employee?  Are you a locally-owned New England business that has made a difference in your community by giving back?

TELL US ABOUT IT, PLEASE, by sending us a descriptive, detailed email to !

The world is full of bad news, and we thought the impending beginning of the new year would be a good time to start spreading the good news. We love the hard-working “Main Street USA” local business owners that fight to help keep our economy alive, and we love it even better when meaningful relationships are built between the owner and customer.

Further rationale why we are starting this special series:

Like the rest of the country, times are tough in New England.

Communities are cash-strapped and people are losing their jobs, homes, life savings and, ultimately, their dignity. We often see a decline in services, but an increase in our overall monthly payments — including food and gas.

At, we will be starting what, hopefully, will be this inspirational section called “New England Miracles.” We will be featuring stories on local  ”Angels in the community” that have gone the extra mile to make a customer feel good or a community in need with no more of an application process of a handshake, trust or a belief in helping thy neighbor.

While we know that there are so many self-serving elements that have contributed to our country’s recession, we are only interested in reporting on the generous people that have a big heart, and some faith and resolve. People that believe in our Constitution, community, independence, strength and integrity.

New England travelers, customers and local business owners, we’d love to hear your stories. Please help spread the word and we might just have an encyclopedia-sized book of goodness in New England!  Wouldn’t that be so nice?

Megafood of Derry N.H., Offers Unique, Novel Whole Food Supplements

Sunday, December 26th, 2010

I am one of those industrious, hard-working New Englanders. Here it is, 7:40 a.m. on a Sunday and I have hundreds of work ideas in my head — and determined to finish them by the end of the week. Of course that won’t happen, but it won’t be because of a lack of effort. It’s just that, at this point, the 24-hour day is still in effect.

Because I prioritize a balance in life, the reality is that I actually work a 40-hour week. It’s just those 40 hours are pretty intense with one self-imposed deadline after another. I am the hardest boss I have ever had.

I recognize that nutrition is a key to getting an “edge.” While I do not always stick to what is best , health-wise (too many sweets yesterday), I try my best. And whether in the office or on the road taking notes and photos for my New England travel articles at, I need some kind of advantage to keep me from getting sick. Additionally, at this point, everyone seems to be getting sick now (the winter season is upon, big-time!), so it’s especially important, in my opinion, to eat right (I’m starting today!) and supplement meaningfully. That doesn’t mean taking every supplement out there. Rather, it’s about talking with your health care practitioner about a healthy supplement routine, tailor-made for you.

As you are well aware on this blog, I have a deep affinity for supporting local New England businesses, knowing that they are the lifeblood of our economy here in the six-state region. So, it’s especially nice knowing that Megafood on Derry, N.H., makes some of the best health supplements on the market. If you think that all vitamins are created equal, then Megafood indeed proves otherwise with its own “Declaration of Independence” that distances itself away from the processes that other vitamin companies use to make their products.

In business for more than 30 years, Megafood has recently taken its whole food supplements line to the next level by incorporating organic fruits, vegetables, herbs and a “superfood” foundation of nutritional yeast (rich in B vitamins, selenium, chromium, etc.) into its product line. For example, oranges (including the peel) comprise vitamin C, brown rice for vitamin E, broccoli for folate (commonly known as folic acid) and carrots for Vitamin A. That means you get the full spectrum of nutrients in these vitamins instead of taking synthesized or fractionated nutrients or maybe the chemical equivalent of chalk in the form of calcium carbonate that you see in so many supplements. I don’t know about you, but I like putting food in my body, not something made up in a lab or something made from crushed rocks!

The quality of this product line goes way beyond even many of the other whole food supplements you see at the store. If you were to visit a whole food supplement company, you might see shipments of powdered fruit and vegetable concentrates, ready to be processed. At the Megafood facility, I understand that it’s like a produce market with fresh oranges, cranberries, broccoli, carrots and other health promoting whole foods being brought in daily — ready to be gently crafted into the Megafood supplements. With state-of-the-art technology, Megafood uses a process that doesn’t overheat the nutrients, so that they are not compromised. Remember, all constituents of a fruit or vegetable work in symphony to create a healthy food — nowhere in nature does an isolated nutrient exist.

I think the important thing to remember is that supplements are exactly that. Food comes first and you use a supplement to complement what is, hopefully, a healthy diet. Because the Megafood raw materials are processed in a facility, it is not exactly the same as, say, picking an orange right off a tree. But it is as close to nature that I’ve ever found in a supplement.

What makes Megafood equally appealing is that, as mentioned, it’s local. They don’t have as big as advertising budget as other companies, and some of the folks I’ve talked to there really love living in the New England region. They feel like neighbors, healthy ones at that! I also appreciate Megafood’s dedication to quality and safety. They really take great strides to ensure a quality product.

With all that said, I believe that many of the top line whole food companies turn out extremely well-made products including Garden of Life (another staple in my limited but meaningful vitamin regiment) and New Chapter, of Brattleboro, Vt. Some of my favorite Megafood products are Men Over 40 DailyFoods Multi , Cardio Strength and Vision Strength.

All in all, Megafood is a fantastic local company. With healthy enthusiasm about the Megafood product line, I say “Shop, Local Buy Local, New England!”

LA Burdick Chocolate, Walpole NH

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Walpole, N.H., is one sweet small town with its beautiful old homes, quintessential New England town common and quaint downtown, but what makes this southwest New Hampshire community even more sweet is LA Burdick Chocolate.

LA Burdick is an upscale chocolate shop , but also features a French-American restaurant and pastry shop on the premises. The setting is laid back, sunny and welcoming — a real community meeting place where locals and staff know all seem to know each other, and where visitors are welcomed with such unconditional friendliness. Sometimes, I’ve experienced  an aura of snootiness and pretentiousness in other chocolate shops, cafes and French-American restaurants,  but not here. LA Burdick is much like Walpole itself — a down-to-earth destination that will make you feel good.

Here is a place where you can feast on Steak Frites with herb butter, sauce Bordelaise pommes frites, wilted spinach;  enjoy a glass of Bogle 2006 Old Vine, Zinfandel, California;  buy some Vermont cheese;  chow down on some lemon chocolate cake; and, oh yes, buy a classic wooden box of chocolates, with ingredients sourced from, clearly, the highest-end vendors.

Be sure not to miss this wonderful, locally-owned Walpole business if in the area!

LA Burdick Chocolate
47 Main St.
Walpole, NH
Tel. (603) 756-9058

Visiting The Toy Shop of Concord in Concord, Mass.

Monday, December 6th, 2010

Some say they don’t make toys the way they used to. The same could be said about toy stores.

We certainly don’t mind the big-box toy stores — they fill a valuable one-stop purpose — but something was so endearing and rewarding running into the locally-owned toy store when growing up in the 1970s. Here, you could find one-of-a-kind, well-made toys, puzzles, games, etc., in a place that looked unlike any other toy store. Except for a few lousy owners that were clearly in the wrong business, most local toy shops in the Boston area were as rewarding an experience as the toys themselves.

Are there any of these places left? You bet! The 68-year-old, third generation Toy Shop of Concord in Concord, Mass., is an old-fashioned locally owned toy store with an amazing variety of quality toys for sale.  Happy, festive and colorful, the Toy Shop of Concord prioritizes expert, friendly service and toys that entertain and educate children.  There’s also the opportunity for younger children to play with some of the toys. The Toy Shop is an authentic throwback to another era, warming the hearts of children — and also adults with the unforgettable memories of their own favorite childhood toy stores.

The Toy Shop of Concord, 4 Walden St., Concord MA. Tel. (978) 369-2553