Cambridge and Somerville Local First - 2011 Coupon Book - Shift Your Shopping to Local First Strengthening the Communities Within Our Community

Jul 21 12:00 am

RSVP to at Precinct - July 28!

RSVP to at Precinct - July 28!

Calling all Somerville creative enterprises, both established and burgeoning, for a swap meet of all things network-y at! This event run by the gang over at Union Square Main Streets through the Design Annex, their collaborative facility for design businesses, promises to be an evening of sharing with new friends, whether it be an exchange of industry information or a mutual sampling of the fare at fabulous host venue Precinct. Read below for more info (and how to RSVP!) or see the original post here, and keep an eye out for other awesome USMS events!

Design Annex launches, a new kind of networking event for design professionals in Somerville on July 28. At, we’re building a shop local movement for Somerville’s creative enterprises. Participants won’t just exchange their contact information; they’ll trade advice, referrals, and services to make each other’s businesses stronger. This event is the first of a quarterly series to bring together the city’s vibrant design community to grow this dynamic industry.

  • Join us for Thursday, July 28, 6-9 pm at Precinct. Free.
  • RSVP and don’t forget to bring your business cards!
Work Space at the Design Annex

While you likely know the big design players in Somerville such as ArrowstreetMoshe Safdie and Altitude, you may not know the literally hundreds of smaller scale creative businesses bustling here in Somerville and making their own bold mark. The Design Annex’s goal is to interconnect this community of people working at the intersection of commercial and creative and through the shared connections to thrive together. Somerville has been a quiet hub design and creative businesses and it’s time we made some noise, locally and nationally.

This event supports Union Square Main Streets’ efforts, through the Design Annex, to grow the creative economy in Somerville. The Design Annex provides the resources to grow creative businesses including shared office space and equipment, networking, and advocacy for industry needs. Since its founding just 18 months ago, 25 small creative businesses have used the Annex’s resources and community to help grow their enterprises.

The networking series is our first big step towards accomplishing our goal of a tightly networked, strong design community in Somerville. Please join us and other creative business professionals to relax, share ideas, and share some drinks on Thursday, July 28, 6-9 pm at Precinct. RSVP to [email protected], and don’t forget to bring your business cards!

Share the flyer for the event.

NELBF 2011 Spring Gathering Sign Up

May 18 5:14 pm

Join us for our next regional gathering, Friday June 3rd at the Cambridge Innovation Center.

NELBF gatherings have strengthened both local-first business networks and relationships across the region, and we are hoping for and expecting a repeat performance at our next meeting.

Also, we are pleased to announce that Steve Fischer, Executive Director of the New England Independent Booksellers Association will be participating in a panel discussion: The Local Movement Today & Tomorrow. The panel will investigate and discuss re-localization from the perspectives of a network leader, a business person and an industry advocate and offer insight on what is next for the movement.

Here’s a draft agenda for the day:

9:00 - 10:00 Breakfast & Networking
10:00 - 10:15 Introductions & Welcome
10:15 - 11:15 Sharing & Networking workshop (Each attendee will discuss key wins and challenges over the past several months)
11:15 - 12:30 Work group focusing on key recurring themes from Sharing & Networking discussion
12:30 - 1:30 Lunch
1:30 - 2:45 Panel Discussion: The Local Movement: Today & Tomorrow
2:45 - 4:00 Working group with peer networks
4:00 - 5:00 Closing discussion, learnings, next steps



Friday June 3rd, 9:00 AM to 5:00PM


The Cambridge Innovation Center,
1 Broadway Cambridge, MA
Cost: $10 to cover the cost of lunch.

The Cambridge Innovation Center map and directions can be found here. There is parking on site, with a daily rate of approximately $25. You may also drive to Alewife T Station and take the Red Line to Kendall Square. Parking at Alewife costs $7 per day.

We hope to see you and members of your board and network on June 3rd.

This event is being organized by the New England Local Business Forum and hosted by the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Boston.

Spring Has Sprung: A Wonderful Night at the Foundry

May 10 12:47 pm

By Katie Riedman

Spring Has Sprung Networking Event

It was only 6:15 when I walked into the Foundry on Elm for Somerville Local First’s Spring Has Sprung Networking Event. And while the party had only started 15 minutes earlier, the Somerville community was already a few sample cups deep in socializing, munching, and good old fashioned networking.  At one end of the room, Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project set up shop, offering guests a selection of their quirky beers.  At the other end, MS Walker highlighted an array of fine wines from the classic pinot to an adventurous zinfandel.  And in between these two sampling stations were the familiar, and not so familiar, faces of the many villen’s who made it out to celebrate. Not to mention, the delicious hors d’oeuvres provided by the Foundry’s Executive Chef.

Among the crowd floated SLF members Somerville Cleaning Company, YUM: A Taste of Immigrant City, Recover Green Roofs, Centering Touch Massage Therapy & Bodywork, Union Square Main Streets, Truly Good Design, Union Square’s Grand, and SLF Community Members—just to name a few.

As I waited in line to sample one of Pretty Thing’s unique beers, I caught up with one attendee. She had just arrived from work, and although she didn’t know many people at the event, she was eager to meet the other faces who representative and supported SLF.  Making my way through the crowd, I stopped to hello to a few of the SLF board members who introduced me to the Recover Green Roofs crew. Why did they stop by the Foundry that night? To catch up with friends, check out the venue, and support an event that brought the community together.

Social Networking

One newer SLF Member decided to check out the event in order to expand his network, connect with other members, and promote his business. A group of SLF Community Members said they attended because they’ve enjoyed previous SLF events while others attended simply to welcome in spring. Some guests came as plus ones, twos or threes, while some flew solo to sample the Foundry’s delectable dishes. A few couples were even on date night. However, by the end of the evening, the unanimous reason for attending wasn’t the delicious flatbread pizza. It was to join together and support the work of Somerville Local First.

Well after the event ended, there was a small crowd still mingling and catching up with old friends. When I asked one of the remaining guests what they thought of the event, he replied there is no better way to greet spring than by being in a room, surrounded by people who share a common goal and passion— to engage business and community leaders in building economies that are green, local and fair. With that, Somerville Local First has taken one step closer to strengthening the unique community of the ‘Ville.

Calling all Somerville Business Owners: What are we here for, anyway?

Feb 15 11:47 am

by Henry Patterson, SLF Board Member

As a member of the SLF Board of Directors, I have recently taken on the Business Owners Membership Chair. My instinct to grow membership is to create an exciting new SLF program that would entice non-members to join. I have been asking myself, and others around me: “What the hell are we here for, anyway?”

Neighborhood Networking Chapters in SLFs Future?

Neighborhood Networking Chapters in SLFs Future?

SLF is about staying local. Perhaps, when thinking about what a new program would look like we should get even MORE local? There are nineteen identified neighborhoods in Somerville. 19! I believe the businesses in those neighborhoods could reap some serious benefits from networking with their immediate business neighbors.

We could foster “chapters” of SLF which are neighborhood based. Since I am rooted in the restaurant business (for the last 35 years anyway) my idea is to recruit the restaurants to become the chapter clubhouses. I envision the restaurants in a neighborhood each hosting 1-2 monthly meetings per year.

The business owners would convene at 11:00am on, say, the first Wednesday of the month, with a simple agenda of each attendee taking one minute to inform the group about his or her business mission and goals – in other words, practice the proverbial “elevator speech” – and then have a simple soup and sandwich lunch.

These meetings would be open only to SLF members in that neighborhood, so interested qualifying non-members would have to join SLF to participate. (That’s my simple membership growth strategy.)

I expect it wouldn’t be long before the chapter members cook up plans for a neighborhood logo, neighborhood events, cross promotions or other ways to help each other realize their goals.

And since I am rooted in Union Square (the same 35 years) my obvious next step is to try to prove this concept in Union Square. Anyone who like to would like to help create the Union Square SLF Chapter, please email me.

Henry Patterson is an SLF Board Member and, as a Union Square landlord, only works with local independent businesses. He has founded and operated and consulted with successful restaurants for over 30 years. Currently he is focused on the financial management and growth of several restaurants, including, in Somerville, Ronnarong Thai Tapas Bar. He lives in Concord with his wife Claudine.

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