Posts Tagged ‘shop local New England’

Live Streaming Updates from Locally-Owned Stores in New England

Friday, August 5th, 2011

We are in the process of building a Twitter list of locally-owned stores in New England. Here, you’ll see live, streaming updates from independently-owned New England stores that sell books, specialty foods, furniture, clothing, farm fresh produce and more. While some “tweets” are merely conversational about subjects unrelated to that given store, most announcements offer excellent information on sales, new merchandise, events and contests. It’s really an up-to-the-minute, one-stop shopping resource for local business owners to tell people about their great stores!  We, in fact, encourage all New England business owners to start their own Twitter page, as this form of micro blogging is a terrific way to let people know about your stores.

Some stores on the list are nationally-known like the Vermont Country Store in Weston, Vt., while others like the Corner Store of Cape Cod are best known in the neighborhood, or to vacationers in the area. We feel it’s a really nice mix, and with some very nice, down-to-earth messages.

Our Twitter list is a work in progress with a goal to “get the word out” on shopping local in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. If you know of any locally-owned stores with a Twitter presence, please let us know and we’ll consider it for our list.

As always, we encourage you to shop local, buy local New England!

Here is a widget of the live, streaming updates from some locally-owned stores in New England…

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!”

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