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Local Sourcing in Focus - Harvest Fest to welcome Pizzeria Posto & The Independent

Sep 22 11:58 am

by Joe Grafton

While we’re not quite there yet on highlighting specific local ingredients or menus with our Food Vendors at Harvest Fest (next year, we’re thinking theme ingredient each session?),  the today’s announcement that Pizzeria Posto and The Independent makes it an easy choice

If you’re a customer of either or both, you already know where I’m going.  Both menus regularly feature seasonal locally-sourced items.  Local food is important to both of these organizations, and its important to us.  We can’t wait to see what they cook up at Harvest Fest 2010 (tix here)

Pizzerai Posto - Participating in Session 1 & Session 2

Posto, a modern interpretation of a classic Italian pizzeria, enoteca and trattoria all presented in a “farm chic” open air concept, is a fantastic new addition to Davis Square specializing in wood fired Neapolitan Pizza in the spirit of Verace Pizza Napoletana.

Posto features an exciting “small plates” menu, handmade pastas and specialty cocktails while providing a family friendly, approachable dining venue. We support local artists, farmers, and ranchers whenever possible.

Their website here, designed by SLF Member Oat Creative.

The Independent - Participating in Session 1

The Independent is a casual, comfortable neighborhood restaurant and pub located in the heart of Union Square. Our seasonally influenced dinner menu is offered at either of our two bars as well as in the dining room. The kitchen prepares all of their cuisine with simple, classic preparation, using local, sustainable, and fresh ingredients. Fresh, local seafood specials are a daily mainstay.

The drink menu at The Independent features both standards and new trends. Our wine list is small, featuring mainstays of the old world while maintaining an emphasis on smaller vineyards, organic and biodynamic practices, and a low mark up. The beer list changes seasonally, featuring many local and craft breweries, as well as an array of Belgians, making full use of our 32 draught lines and 60-some-odd bottles.

And, if you didn’t know, The Indo hosted a quickly sold out ALLocal Dinner earlier this year, where every ingredient on the menu, down to the salt and spices, came from New Engalnd. (ALLocal Dinners are a program of The Sustainable Business Network of Greater Boston)

Needless to say, Locavores should find lots of Local Love at Harvest Fest 2010.

Filed under: Harvest Fest — SLF @ 11:58 am

Somerville Local Learning - Creating an Unstoppable Online Brand by Dorie Clark

Sep 21 12:32 pm

As part of our continued efforts to help small business people get the skills they need to succeed, Somerville Local First is pleased to present a FREE seminar from SLF Member & innovative marketing strategist Dorie Clark.  On Friday, October 15th (10:00-11:00 AM) @ SLF HQ, Dorie will help attendees learn important skills for the digital age.

Dorie Clark will show you how to build an unstoppable online brand on 10/15

Here’s an overview of this session:

Unstoppable Online Branding: How to Build a Powerful Reputation

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, CEO, or manager, you and your company can benefit from cultivating a powerful brand. Take charge of your reputation online. You’ll learn essential strategies to:

  • Leverage social networking (including Facebook and LinkedIn) to build your brand
  • Establish yourself as an trusted expert through proven blog strategies
  • Deploy the power of online video and podcasting to cement your reputation
  • Gain maximum impact from Twitter—and recognize what it can and can’t do for your business

This class is free for any member of Somerville Local First or Cambridge Local First.  Non-members are also welcome to attend if space is available.  To sign up for the class, send us an email.

And from her website, here’s a bit about Dorie:

Dorie Clark is a consultant specializing in helping clients increase sales, enhance brand reputation, and move policy issues forward. She has worked with clients including Google, Yale University, the National Park Service, and the Ford Foundation. Previously, she served as the New Hampshire Communications Director for Howard Dean’s presidential campaign, and was the Press Secretary for former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich’s campaign for Massachusetts governor.

Clark was a staff writer for the Boston Phoenix, covering local politics and policy and winning two New England Press Association awards. She was also a regular contributor to the Boston Globe, Boston magazine, and Commonwealth magazine. She is the former Executive Director of the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition, a successful nonprofit environmental advocacy group.

Clark has taught campaign management, media studies, and government at Emerson College, Tufts University, and Suffolk University. She has also lectured at Harvard University, Holy Cross College, Smith College, Lesley University, the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering and the University of Massachusetts-Boston. She has been quoted by media nationwide, including the New York Times, Boston Globe, Slate, CNN, the Washington Post, and the Chicago Tribune, and is now an Expert Blogger for MassINC, a nonpartisan think tank.

Filed under: Local First, Our Members — SLF @ 12:32 pm

Pretty Things Beer & Highland Kitchen - Latest Announced Participants at Harvest Fest 2010

Sep 20 2:19 pm

We’d like to start off our blog this week by announcing  two more amazing participants in Harvest Fest 2010.  With just under 3 weeks left before the big day, we’re getting really excited for 10/9 to get here….with these two participants you can see why.

Session 1 Food Vendor - Highland Kitchen

Highland Kitchen was one of the hits of Harvest Fest 2009.  Their deviled egg specialty was voraciously scooped up at last years event (Ed. ~ hmmm, maybe that had a little something to do with the dearth of food?) and we expect this years offerings to be equally scrumptious.

Highland Kitchen is a family-owned neighborhood restaurant and bar located “up the hill” in the heart of Somerville.
It has been delivering its award-winning American comfort food, well-crafted cocktails, friendly service and a killer jukebox in a casual, fun atmosphere since opening its doors in 2007.  Their Weekly Goings On include a rotating set of musicians, games, a monthly spelling bee and an ever evolving blackboard of specials.

"We are a gypsy brewery, without a permanent brewing home. We like it that way, we can be whatever we want to be on a shoestring budget. What more do you want than that?"

Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project is something special.  The brewers/founders are passionate about what they do.  What we love about them most is that this passion and personality resonate throughout everything they do.  If you ask beer connoisseurs in the Boston Metro they’ll likely bring up Pretty Things as one of their favorite local indies….so would we.  We’re not sure yet if Pretty Things will be on the main floor, or only available to Super Supporters, but we’ll be sure to update you soon.  We’re just psyched to have them there.

Filed under: Harvest Fest, Local First — SLF @ 2:19 pm

Harvest Fest Contest Extended - Keeping it simple

Sep 20 10:36 am

Win tickets to the session of your choice...TODAY!

So we launched a contest on Friday of last week.  It was the 2nd time we’ve done so on a Friday, and both times almost nobody played. (Note to organization  - Choose a better day of the week next time)

So we’re going to extend the contest and simplify it.  Just comment on this blog post by the 10:00 PM tonight for a chance to win a pair of tix to the Harvest Fest session of your choice.

Filed under: Harvest Fest — SLF @ 10:36 am

Regale us for Harvest Fest Tix to the Session of your Choice

Sep 17 9:37 am

3 more weeks and Harvest Fest will be upon us....we're excited about it and hope you are too.

We wanted to run a contest on our blog for tickets and this time want you to get creative.  So we are going to pick our favorite reply to this post as the winner and award a pair of Harvest Fest tickets to your choice of sessions.

To enter, comment on this blog post by Sunday @ 1:00 PM and tell us, in your most fun and creative way, why you’d like to go to Harvest Fest.  We’re looking forward to seeing what you can come up with.

Note:  We love fun and irreverent, but must ask you to keep it clean or we won’t approve the comment and you won’t have a chance to win.

Filed under: Harvest Fest — SLF @ 9:37 am

A Look Into the Sounds of Harvest Fest 2010

Sep 16 12:21 pm

by Clay Adamczyk

It’s safe, but bittersweet, to say that this glorious summer is all but behind us. And though our days of enjoying our meals, music, and fine ballgame lagers & wheat ales outside are numbered, it only really opens our pallets to the flavors of fall: New England’s most beautiful season. So while the leaves are turning Oktoberfest orange, let’s bid a fond adieu to summer, welcome autumn with open arms, and see what this year’s harvest has to offer. Harvest Fest that is, with a sampling for all senses: the tastes and smells of great local wines, beers and food; a look into the season’s local fashion; and of corse, the best in a variety of sounds this great town has to offer.

With the nature of the festival, experiencing what may be new to us is what’s fun, and with the musical entertainment, we’ll get a full dose.

Buy your Harvest Fest 2010 Tickets, its a show not to be missed

Buy your Harvest Fest 2010 Tickets, its a show not to be missed

Session One presents two of the finest bands to rise out of our diverse music scene. One Fine Morning opens the night with their own blend of acoustic based rock. Though this quintet began as an all acoustic quartet, they’ve spent the last couple years discovering themselves, incorporating a touch of funk, the perfect backing warm electric guitar tones, and classic rock organ.

SEA MONSTERS: "More of a 'collective' than a Band"

Headlining the first session is Boston’s own super group of sorts, and a band most known for their weekly residency at the Precinct. SEA MONSTERS: a band whose sound is as diverse as their lineup. As the groups informal leader, Christian McNeill puts it, “[SEA MONSTERS] is more of a “collective” than a band.”  It’s a musical endeavor in which friends come in and out of bringing in their own styles and ideas so much so that he could not as of yet confirm who the group would be comprised of for this performance, and is seen as a side-project “that is (supposed to be) a vehicle where we can all get together and have fun doing what we love” McNeill said. “As Scott Aruda, our trumpet player, says “SEA MONSTERS - never the same band once.” With a rotating cast of about twenty musicians, ‘a healthy spirit of improvisation in everything that [they] do,’ and a range of musical style from jazz to blues to rock, each performance is unique so this one is not to be missed.

Session Two musically shifts corse in a way that will loosen up those ties and work those dance muscles. Fellow SLF blogger and Weekly Dig editor, David Day, opens the electronic portion of the evening spinning top tracks in big-room techno heavily fused with soul and a lot of vocals. Day is one of the city’s leading members in an electronic revolution as both a co-founder and resident DJ of Boston’s best Thursday night, Make it New at the Middlesex Lounge; a founding member of show promoting organization, Basstown Presents; and is a co-founder of the Together Music Festival which celebrates its second run this coming April.

Closing the night is an unstoppable duo, the Zebbler Encanti Experience, with a performance unlike anything else we’ve seen–something truly legendary in which Zebbler, the visual mastermind behind the two, describes will be “a hybrid of bass-heavy electronic dance music and completely locked in three screen wide visuals, with a handful of artfulness thrown in to spice up the mix.” For the first time, Encanti’s original produced music and Zebbler’s multi-headed hydra of synched visuals will be joined with a choreographed performance by Somerville’s own AirCraft Aerial Arts team.

The Zebbler Encanti Experience - Breaking new ground @ Harvest Fest 2010

The Zebbler Encanti Experience - Breaking new ground @ Harvest Fest 2010

“SLF introduced us to the idea of collaborating with the Aircraft Aerial team for our performance and we loved it right away!” said Zebbler when asked about their collaboration with the aerial acrobats. “Co-incidentally, Encanti and I have been developing ideas for making our performances more interactive and large-scale, including ideas about involving a marching band (anyone?) and aerialists.”

AirCraft Aerial Arts will contribute to a visually stunning performance @ Harvest Fest 2010

AirCraft Aerial Arts will contribute to a visually stunning performance @ Harvest Fest 2010

Harvest Fest is about people enjoying new experiences, and is why Zebbler is excited to perform for folks from all walks of life. “After all, pretty much everyone loves good local beer and good local food!” he added. “But as the night takes hold - we think people will be ready to get a little wild and experience something that is at once an aerial dance, a circus show and a 21st century dance party.”

Filed under: Harvest Fest, Local First — SLF @ 12:21 pm

Om Nom Nom Locally First @ Harvest Fest 2010

Sep 14 11:38 am

by Joe Grafton

Of all the things that didn’t quite work at Harvest Fest 2009, food was at the top of the list.  Part of the issue was our promotion of the event (i.e. setting the wrong expectations).  Another challenge was the format of offering 1 restaurant at a time and passing the food.  We just, quite frankly, just didn’t expect that many people to be there!

So, we knew in planning this years event, we needed to do a better job with food.  And we think its a safe bet that we’ll deliver.

We are very fortunate to have the managers from new SLF Member Foundry on Elm managing our food program as a sponsor this year.  With their help, we’ll be recruiting 10 local restaurants and food producers for EACH Harvest Fest 2010 session, offering 1 bite/small serving to each of the first 350 guests.

So with no further ado, we are happy to announce our first group of confirmed food participants for Harvest Fest 2010.  Local Om Nom Noms for everyone!

Foundry on Elm (Both Sessions)

Thank you to our Food Sponsors - Foundry on Elm

A brasserie-tavern hybrid, Foundry on Elm transports the best of seasonal New England fare into the kitchen of 255 Elm Street and produces refined, fresh food while serving proper ale. Located in the heart of Somerville’s Davis Square, the restaurant will pay tribute to the modern day craft worker by celebrating the farmers, brewers and winemakers that created the products on the menu.

Eat at Jumbo’s (Both Sessions)

The Margherita Pizza @ Jumbo's

Offering more than just pizza, Eat at Jumbo’s is the go to place when dad wants a huge 100% Angus Beef Burger, Jenny wants a freshly prepared sandwich, Jimmy wants some flavorful Chicken Wings and mom is looking for one of those fancy Panini sandwiches  Our mission is to provide every guest with a remarkable experience every day by serving only great fresh food at a fair cost. It’s that simple.

Ronnarong Thai Tapas (Both Sessions)

Thai Basil Anyone???

Formerly the Great Thai Chef, Ronnarong Thai Tapas has reinvented itself over the past 2 years.  With a revamped menu with many small plate options, a remodeled interior and a new outdoor patio, Ronnarong Thai Tapas is an eatery on the rise.  But what really sets it apart is its offering of Tapas menu items.  Small plates of Thai specialties like Paradise Beef and Papaya Salad make Ronnarong a dining experience like few others.

Lions Share Foods (First Session)

Local Probiotic Foods FTW!!!

Christine Oliver, founder/owner of Lion’s Share Foods completed her Certification in Holistic Nutrition and Health Counseling at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in NYC. She is a health conscious cook and avid locavore. Her goal is to provide healthy, affordable eating options for urban families. Lion’s Share Foods provides local alternatives  to probiotic foods such as Kimchee, Fresh Yogurt and Kefir, Cheeses, Breads, Teas, and other fermented vegetarian products. All of our ingredients are locally sourced and organic as often as possible. We want you to feel good about eating right!

the chocolate tarte (Second Session)

Desert from the chocolate tarte - the final Om Nom Nom of Harvest Fest 2010

the chocolate tarte believes in doing a few things very well.  They have spent countless hours perfecting each of these custom cakes, truffles and tartes, so that they offer a product that is fresh, all-natural, luscious, and decidedly one-of-a-kind.  They’ll be serving up a delicious desert after a day of local love at Harvest Fest 2010.

We think you should listen to your stomach, and buy your Harvest Fest tickets now!

(Unrelated side note:  this website makes me laugh every time I go there:

Filed under: Harvest Fest, Local First — SLF @ 11:38 am

SLF is Hiring - Business Development Manager

Sep 13 10:21 am

SLF is Hiring!

We’re pretty excited to announce a job opening at SLF.  While its not quite the job we’d like to offer (we still can’t afford to employ anything other than independent contractors, nor can we offer benefits), but we think its a tremendous opportunity for the right person.  It should be a good opportunity to develop valuable transferable skills and is a good earning opportunity for part time work.

Please note that one of the main drivers of opening up this opportunity is to build diversity in our network, so the right applicant MUST speak either Spanish or Portuguese, with both being a huge plus.

So take a look at what’s below and contact us if you’re interested.  And if you know someone who might be a good fit, please share this article and job description.



Job Description – Development Manager

The Development Manager will be responsible growing membership in Somerville Local First , as well as to develop new sources of income from regional independent and locally owned businesses.  Under the primary supervision of the Executive Director, the Development Manager will be responsible for the following tasks:

  • Engaging in research to identify new potential business members and event or organizational sponsors.
  • Maintaining and expanding SLF’s Member Prospect database.
  • Evaluating marketing options for SLF and developing marketing strategies and materials for multicultural communities.
  • Developing and improving SLF Sponsoring Membership category.
  • Creating and updating marketing materials; maintaining regular correspondence with prospective members and SLF staff.

Additional Qualifications:

The ideal applicant will have the following qualifications:

  • A passion for and familiarity with the SLF Mission.
  • A demonstrated ability to learn and problem solve.
  • At least 1-2 years of nonprofit fundraising/ sales / business development experience, preferably including cold call experience.
  • Fluent Spanish or Portuguese a must, both a big plus.
  • Excellent interpersonal and intercultural communication skills; excellent oral communication skills.
  • Excellent written communication, research, and organizational skills.
  • Ability to develop and manage budgets and prepare financial reports.
  • Computer literacy, with experience with excel preferred.
  • Interest, enthusiasm, and affinity for business development and working with people.

Status: Independent Contractor

Compensation: At this time SLF cannot offer base compensation.  A generous

commission will be offered.  7-20k earning potential over the next 12


To apply: Email Resume & Cover Letter to [email protected]

Filed under: Local First — SLF @ 10:21 am

The Fluff Festival Needs You!

Sep 10 12:27 pm

by Mimi Graney, Executive Director - Union Square Main Streets

Union Square Main Streets Needs Flufftastic Volunteers...Can You Help?

Love to eat Marshmallow Fluff but hate the guilty feeling it leaves you with? Come absolve that guilt (and have your Fluffernutter, too!) by volunteering at the fifth annual “What the Fluff?” Festival in Union Square, Somerville.

The Festival celebrates the invention of Marshmallow Fluff in 1917 in Union Square and serves to unite the diverse Somerville community around a common love of Marshmallowy craziness.

We’re expecting around 5,000 Fluff-hungry attendees to descend upon Union Square so we need lots of help. This free celebration of kitsch and community includes live music, games for kids and adults, a cooking contest, craft and food vendors and, of course, lots of Marshmallow Fluff! The festival is presented by Union Square Main Streets as part of the Somerville Arts Council’s ArtsUnion series.

This is a wonderful opportunity to get involved with Union Square Main Streets and to get to know and give back to the Union Square community. All are needed and welcome!

If you’re interested in taking a leadership or planning role for the Festival, we’d love to have your help! Please just mention your interest in your email.


  • Saturday, September 25 (rain date Sunday, September 26) from 3-7pm
  • Volunteer shifts run 2-3 hours long, beginning at 1:00 pm and ending at 8:30 pm
  • There will be a pre-volunteer rally/party on Tuesday, September 21 at 7pm at the Design Annex, upstairs from Precinct. Attendance is encouraged but not mandatory to volunteer.

Volunteer positions:

  • Run games for kids and adults alike
  • Welcome guests and distribute programs
  • Help backstage for musical and dancing performances
  • Set-up, decorate and clean-up

Perks of volunteering:

  • Meet other creative, quirky, Fluff-friendly volunteers
  • Eat lots of Fluff
  • Support the amazing Union Square community
  • Thank you gifts to volunteers
  • You’ll still have lots of time to enjoy all the Festival has to offer: live music, eating contests, craft and food vendors, crazy shenanigans!

How to get involved:

Email [email protected]

Include your name, times available, and whether you can attend the pre-volunteer rally on Tuesday, September 21 at 7pm.

Filed under: Local First — SLF @ 12:27 pm

SLF Presents the First MySomerville Essay Contest

Sep 08 3:02 pm

Submit your Somerville Essay for a Chance to Win Great Prizes!


From Davis Square to Winter Hill, this city is defined by its local people, places, events, food, and attitude. The 2010 MySomerville Essay Contest is about what makes Somerville special to you. We invite you to share what Somerville means to you through words, pictures, or video. Past or present, this could be your favorite part of this city, a personal experience that took place here, basically anything that captures the local spirit.


Entries can be in the form of:

  • Video (up to 3 minutes)
  • Essay (up to 500 words)
  • Photo or series of photos (with caption)

Winning entries will be chosen based on originality and ability to capture the local spirit of Somerville.


1st place
-Choice of either 2 tickets to Harvest Fest or a $25 gift certificate to Taza Chocolate
-Opportunity to contribute to the Somerville Local First blog.

2nd place
-Somerville Local First merchandise
-Somerville Local First Shift & Save Coupon.

3rd place
-Somerville Local First merchandise

Contest Deadline

Entries must be submitted by e-mail to [email protected] by September 25th.

Photo Courtesy: Georgy Cohen - flickr

Filed under: Contests, Local First — Tags: , — SLF @ 3:02 pm
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