Somerville Local First

sponsor: SLF FB

Local is a Two-Way Street

Feb 21 2:15 pm

Shopping locally can have its benefits!

A friend of mine approached me the other day and asked, “‘I’ve been getting into biking lately, and I want to support my local bike shop. But when I check prices online, it’s usually cheaper. Why should I pay the higher prices just to shop local?”

I took this as a teaching moment and talked to him about how spending his money locally is better for the economy and how price shouldn’t be the only determining factor. A local bike shop could add a lot of value to his shopping experience in ways an online retailer could not. But something concerned me about his situation. What if his particular local bike shop wasn’t giving him a reason to shop locally?

We often put the success of the local movement on the customer. We use slogans like “Shift Your Shopping” and “Buy Local”. But I believe the small, local business is just as responsible for the success of the local movement and the local economy as the customer.

The big online retailers have two main advantages over the small local business: Price and Convenience. They know this and do whatever they can to promote it. The lure of shopping during your lunch hour without leaving your desk, or taking advantage of a special on-line only sale can be very seductive. In tough economic times, these are compelling features. But this doesn’t mean that the small, local business can’t compete.

Make It Personal:

The big retailers, whether online or a physical location, aren’t able to foster personal relationships with their customers like a local business can. Getting personal service from a national retailer is often rare for a variety of reasons, and sadly, it’s something many of us have gotten used to in exchange for low prices.People prefer to buy from people they like and can relate to. The local store can take advantage of this by providing personal service, before, during and after the sale. Don’t sell people stuff, help them buy it. Listen to what the customer’s needs are and find solutions that are unique to them. Never miss an opportunity to communicate with them. Social media like Facebook and Twitter can help as well as email newsletters and blogs. Let them know when you have something you think they would like. Make the customer feel like you are their personal store.

Educate:

Chances are that you started your business because you are extremely passionate about it. You wouldn’t open a camera store, for example, and not love cameras and photography. Use that passion and knowledge to be the local, go-to expert for your customers. Use social media, your website or blog to post useful tips and information. A camera store could host free photography classes or give out a beginner’s guide to taking good pictures with every new camera purchase. Customers who respect your knowledge will be much more likely to return when they need advice and will trust your judgement on future purchases. Plus, people will enjoy their purchase more if they know how to get the most out of it. You already have all this knowledge, so put it to good use.

Offer Items Not Available at the Big Retailers:

The big retailers are able to offer low prices because they purchase in volume. As a result, they don’t carry some items because the supplier can’t produce the volume they demand. This provides you an opportunity to carry those items that a big retailer can’t or won’t carry. Usually items that are “green”, natural, organic, hand-made, or locally, independently produced or manufactured, are created on a small scale and are not attractive to the big retailers. Seek out those hard-to-find unique products and be their local source. Not only will you be helping other local companies, but it could help you carve a unique niche in the marketplace.

Just telling people to “shop local” isn’t enough. Local businesses need to do their part, too. It is too easy for customers to be lured into the seduction of low prices and convenience shopping. As local businesses, we need to find ways to add value to the goods and services we provide in ways that big national retailers can’t. Whether it’s through developing personal relationships with your customers, providing help and information, or just offering what the big guys can’t, we need to give customers a reason to “buy local”.

Not Your Generic Gift Guide: Last Minute Gifts for Everyone Else!

Dec 22 10:02 am

By Elise Ramsay

One of the potential stressors of the holidays is the dilemma of finding gifts for people you might not know so well. From in-laws and distant relatives to bosses and coworkers—you don’t always know their taste, and you don’t want your gift to bore or offend. No need for anxiety! These options are safe bets for just about anyone:

 

Ornaments are a great option for those who celebrate Christmas, especially if the recipient is someone who might appreciate a memento of you for years to come (parents of a significant other, for example). These leaf ornaments are each made from a real leaf that is preserved in gold, silver, or copper.

Still Life leaf ornaments, Davis Squared - $24-31

 

Another nice neutral choice is this set of 12 snowflakes laser cut from birch.

Roost snowflake ornaments, Davis Squared - $17

 

For a slightly more personal touch, this sweet “Bird in Love” glass ball and felted acorns (miniature ones too!) will add sweetness to any tree.

Glāk Love “Bird in Love” ornament, Magpie - $17

Felt acorns, Davis Squared - $8 large, $4 small

 

Let’s face it—you should probably also pick up some miniature acorns for yourself, just because.

Felt acorns, Davis Squared - $8 large, $4 small

 

 

Candles? Trust! When done right, they add instant coziness and holiday atmosphere. Plus, scent is closely tied to memory, so you’re also giving them the gift of nostalgia. This “Frasier Fir” variation smells just like a Christmas tree and comes in a variety of sizes.

Frasier Fir candle, Davis Squared - $12-$17

 

As good as trees and wreaths smell, there’s nothing like the warm spicy comfort of more edible holiday treats. You’ll have to resist nibbling on this “Quince Spice” candle, though, no matter how tempting!

Quince Spice candle, Davis Squared - $22

 

For a neutral scent, these natural beeswax owls, pinecones, and twigs are whimsical yet classic.

GreenTree candles, Magpie $8-$26

GreenTree candles, Magpie - $8-$26

 

 

This time of year, calendars are everywhere. Many stores in the area offer beautiful editions by artists and designers—calendars that are no longer boring gifts, but pieces of art! Some favorite finds include:

“Boots On & Ready” by Atherton Lin, which offers an illustrated trip through England in each month’s design;

Boots On & Ready calendar, Magpie - $18

Boots On & Ready calendar, Magpie - $18

 

Julianna Swaney’s “Bird Children,” which is delicate and refined;

“Bird Children” calendar by Julianna Swaney, Magpie - $15

 

and APAK’s “Space Garden,” which is somehow surreal, pretty, and cute at the same time.

“Space Garden” calendar by APAK, Magpie - $14

 

 

Do you know anyone who recently had a baby? If so, you’re very lucky to have an excuse to shop around for miniature booties and furry things (betraying some personal jealousy here). Local Somerville shops have an abundance of cute baby items. This clever one from Egg-A-Go-Go (made in Boston) just scratches the surface of the adorable onesies.

Egg-A-Go-Go onesies, Magpie - $18-$24

 

One of these animal spoons from Beehive Kitchenware (in Fall River, MA) would make a very special baby gift—plus, there is something so endearing about the back side of the spoons showing the “backside” of the featured critter!

Beehive Kitchenware baby spoons, Magpie - $28 each. Photo cred: http://www.etsy.com/shop/beehivekitchenware

Beehive Kitchenware baby spoons (backside), Magpie - $28 each. Photo cred: http://www.etsy.com/shop/beehivekitchenware

 

It’s never too early to begin unicorn education, so why not include this print to kick-start the kid’s imagination?

“U is for Unicorn” by Matthew Porter Art, Magpie - $18

 

Finally, there is no better snuggle buddy than these stuffed animals by Jelly Cat—they come in a variety of species and are so soft, you just might buy one for yourself (no judgment).

Jelly Cat stuffed pig, Davis Squared - $20

 

 

Some other unique items for anyone and everyone include these wonderful locally made terrariums by Amanda Sawitzky. The miniature environments need very little maintenance and provide a desperately needed burst of green life in the winter months.

Terrariums by Amanda Sawitzky, Magpie - $10-$40

 

Another nice housewarming or host/hostess gift is this pair of glasses that are festive but not over the top.

Glasses, Consignment Galleries - $6

 

Grand has prints from several local artists like these clever messages on creativity from Union Press and this seasonal photo by Erik Dasque.

Union Press prints, Grand - $15 small, $25 large

Union Press prints, Grand - $15 small, $25 large

Erik Dasque photograph, Grand - $50. Photo cred: http://www.frenchguys.com

 

 

For the final touch, local Albertine Press holiday cards in a variety of minimalist designs that can be found at several shops around the area - double the local!

Albertine Press set of 6 cards, Grand, Blue Cloud Gallery, Magpie - $15. Photo cred: http://www.etsy.com/shop/albertinepress

 

This set by Julianna Swaney is a unique alternative to classic holiday cards; it celebrates the spirit of giving among all kinds.

Holiday card set by Julianna Swaney, Magpie - $15

 

 

Always a great “when in doubt” gift option? Food! Don’t worry, local deliciousness got its own post – check out the food gift guide post here!

 

Magpie

416 Highland Ave

Somerville, MA 02144

www.magpie-store.com

 

Grand

374 Somerville Ave

Somerville, MA 02143

www.grandthestore.com

 

Davis Squared

418 Highland Ave

Somerville, MA 02144

www.davissquared.com

 

Blue Cloud Gallery

713 Broadway

Somerville, MA 02144

www.bluecloudgallery.com

 

Consignment Galleries

363 Highland Ave

Somerville, MA 02144

www.theconsignmentgalleries.com

 

Not Your Generic Gift Guide: Foodie Edition

Dec 19 10:07 am

By Elise Ramsay

They say that experiences are the gifts that really stick with people, and there are few better experiences than devouring some amazing local food! Whether you’re looking to contribute to a holiday party or find an exceptional gift, Somerville’s food purveyors have delicious edible options. Here are some of the many offerings by local bakeries, markets, and more:

 

3 Little Figs

One of the most exciting new additions to the Somerville food scene is the “Mediterranean-inspired” 3 Little Figs on Highland Ave. They focus on locally sourced and natural ingredients to create treats both traditional (Spinach Pie, “Greek Candy” farina cake, Galaktoboureko, Kookla) and creative (Apple Cider Donut Muffins, Avocado Tea Cake).

Mini donut muffins, $4

Mini donut muffins, $4

Granola, $6

Granola, $6

 

3 Little Figs is a family owned business that couldn’t be friendlier or more welcoming—it is abundantly clear that each item is made with care. Support them and spread some of that warmth to your own family and friends this holiday by picking up some treats, big and small. Their holiday ordering menu includes large-scale items like a pan of Spinach Pie ($50) or a whole Frosted Squash, Maple & Yogurt Bundt Cake ($25), but you can easily add some “figgy” goodness to any gift arrangement by picking up some of their assorted scones, muffins, and cookies. Check out their catering menu for more options, which also includes vegan items.

3-little-figs-holiday-menu

3 Little Figs Holiday Menu. Photo Cred: 3littlefigs.com

Ginger bombs, $5

Ginger bombs, $5

 

Petsi Pies

Petsi Pies is the ultimate stop for real—as in, no fillers, no mixes, all natural—pies of every kind imaginable. They of course have incredible sweet pies, with holiday specials such as Eggnog Custard ($22), Salted Caramel Apple ($22) and Chocolate Peppermint Cream ($25). The Plum Gingerbread ($15) also sounds deliciously festive, and is available in individual sizes as well ($2.50). On the other hand, Petsi Pies offers savory pies like Spinach Ricotta, Roasted Vegetable & Goat Cheese, Mushrooms with Potatoes and Gruyere and more, all for $22 and perfect for brunch. Consult their holiday ordering menu for more details, or stop in to pick your own assortment of pastries and other delights.

petsi-pies

Petsi Pies. Photo Cred: Andrew McFarland at http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5641593 883/in/photostream/

 

When Pigs Fly

Stumped about what to bring to the holiday feast, and don’t want to add yet another dessert? Creative breads from When Pigs Fly are always a wild hit. With flavors like Veggie Potato Latke, Sicilian Green Olive & Hot Cherry Pepper, and the addictive seasonal special Savory Cranberry (tastes like stuffing!), this bread can change an entire meal.

Savory Cranberry Bread, $6

Savory Cranberry Bread, $6

 

If you’re looking for a sweeter holiday option, the Jingle Bread (rum-soaked raisins, almond paste, hazelnuts, cran-raspberries) makes for a very decadent breakfast. But seriously, you must try that Savory Cranberry. Go!

Jingle Bread, $6

 

Sherman Market

A great gift option is an arrangement of local edibles. At Sherman Market, throw together a post-Christmas breakfast basket with maple syrup, pancake mix, and granola, all local.

Maple syrup, $8

Pancake mix, $4

Granola, $8.75/lb

 

On the savory side of things, they have fancy salts, ravioli, and the most amazing pasta sauce you’ll ever try: Red Gravy by Valicenti Organico (really, get this immediately). Their prepared food also offers some delicious and unusual dips such as green hummus and roasted red pepper with feta that would bring flavor and personality to any appetizer spread.

Valicenti Organico ravioli (frozen), $10 approx

Valicenti Organico Red Gravy, $9.75

salts

Salts, $12/lb & $20/lb

 

Dave’s Fresh Pasta

Get a basket, walk into Dave’s Fresh Pasta, and you’re pretty much good to go with a plethora of items to impress even your snobbiest foodie friend. Grab some handmade fresh or frozen pasta and sauce for a personalized meal-in-a-gift. For something a little easier to transport to a party, get some local cheeses (burrata by Fiore di Nonno!), cured meats, and olives. Preserved figs and some of Dave’s famous holiday panforte are special sweet accompaniments. Some of Dave’s holiday specials are truly decadent: roasted duck tortelloni, butternut squash and ricotta gnocchi, caviar, and more. While you’re there, pick up some wine to serve with your platter, utilizing the expert advice of the friendly staff.

panforte

Panforte. Photo Cred: davesfreshpasta.com

 

ArtEpicure

For a food related option that isn’t perishable, give a cooking class! ArtEpicure offers many different varieties, including private couple’s classes. Class topics include everything from Authentic German Cooking to Italian Vegan, and the focus can also be customized to a specific theme or requested dish. Look to their list of classes for details. Know someone who prefers to stick to eating and would rather just watch their meal prepared? ArtEpicure also offers demonstration dinners, which are educational without requiring participation until it comes time to eat. Each class and demo is about three to four hours, with a final meal afterwards.

Classes: $85/person

Couples classes: $200

 

Taza Chocolate

Taza is already featured on many other lists, but deserves a mention! The perfect gift for a Taza novice is the Taste of Taza ($50), sampling some of their signature products. Mix and match individual goodies to throw into any holiday basket or stocking, including tickets to a factory tour ($5 per person). If you can’t make it to their factory store, Taza products are sold at many shops in the area, including Dave’s Fresh Pasta and Sherman Market.

Taste of Taza, $50

 

Savoring East Somerville

This book is a wonderful collection of the community’s food and the faces behind it. Savoring East Somerville features local restaurant owners and employees alongside signature recipes-it perfectly captures the vibrancy and warmth of the local food culture.

Savoring East Somerville, $15 at Grand 

 

Dave’s Fresh Pasta

81 Holland Street

Somerville, MA 02144-2738

www.davesfreshpasta.com

 

Sherman Market

22 Union Square

Somerville, MA 02143

http://shermanmarket.blogspot.com/

 

Taza Chocolate

561 Windsor Street

Somerville Ma 02143

www.tazachocolate.com

 

ArtEpicure

1 Fitchburg St

Somerville, MA 02143

www.artepicure.com

 

When Pigs Fly

378 Highland Avenue

Somerville, MA 02144

www.sendbread.com

 

3 Little Figs

278 Highland Ave

Somerville, MA 02143

www.3littlefigs.com

 

Petsi Pies

285 Beacon Street

Somerville, MA 02143

www.petsipies.com

 

Grand

374 Somerville Ave

Somerville, MA 02143

www.grandthestore.com

 

The SLF Shift Your Shopping Holiday Gift Guide – Part Deux

Dec 09 4:11 pm

This post is part of our series covering Shift Your Shopping Week, which runs in Somerville from December 2-11.  Shift Your Shopping week highlights holiday shopping themed events and gift ideas from local businesses to promote choosing local and independent this holiday season. Shift Your Shopping week is part of SLF’s 3rd annual Shift Your Shopping campaign, now a national collaboration of hundreds of local business networks. To find out more about Shift Your Shopping, related events, and how you can get involved, please visit shiftyourshopping.org.

We’re halfway through the holiday shopping season, and more than halfway through Somerville’s Shift Your Shopping Week, so we thought, what better time to give you Part 2 of our SLF member gift guide? For those of you who may been missing out on all the sweet events going on this week, you can still pick up some great finds around town on your own time.

Did we miss something great that you think deserves the spotlight? Is your local business featuring a special item or sale that we haven’t about? Let us know in the comments!

 

Grand

http://grandthestore.com/

Grand has a wide assortment of household items and crafts. Use ‘em for stocking stuffers or gifts, or make someone really happy at the office Secret Santa. Stop in this weekend for Sip & Shop Saturday and get 20% off everything in store!

 

Owl Kitchen Timer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cheery little owl kitchen timers. The perfect stocking stuffer!

Price: $5

Coffee Mug

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graphic coffee mugs in a variety of designs. Each comes packaged in its own gift box.

Price: $12

 

Nervous System jewelry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unique stainless steel earrings and necklaces from local designers.

Price: $25-60

 

Vinyl Wall Clock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rock around the clock! Glass front 8 inch clock.

Price: $14

 

Dreamlights Solar Lamp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Made to resemble a jar full of fireflies, this flickering lamp features a solar powered lid.

Price: $32

 

The Boston Shaker

http://thebostonshaker.com/

The Enthusiast Bar Set

Here’s a bar kit from The Boston Shaker with some of our favorite items. When we’re mixing drinks at home, this is the gear we’re often reaching for — high quality, durable and a pleasure to use. Includes all of the key components for a basic home bar set up along with a copy of Gary Regans’ classic “The Joy of Mixology,” a go-to cocktail resource. All packaged up for easy gifting to the craft cocktail lover in your life.

Price: $98

 

 

Blue Cloud Gallery

http://bluecloudgallery.com/

Photo Paintings by Marshall: Dali

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Paintings by Marshall of local establishments. All your favorite places produced on a canvas frame and varnished to seal in a painterly look. In a variety of sizes and prices.

Price: $20-350

 

Magpie

http://www.magpie-store.com/

Pick up some shiny things for someone else’s nest at Magpie!

 

Holiday Postcards by Oh My Cavalier! (a set of 10!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Magpie has several boxed card sets, such as the one pictured above by Oh My Cavalier, as well as ornaments - perfect for the holidays!

A Year in Pattern by Angela Traunig

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out the cool art prints by Angela Traunig of Ferntree Studio, then contribute to her Kickstarter campaign to make two new children’s pattern designs every week for a year!

 

Davis Squared

http://davissquared.com/store-info/

Inflatable Wreath!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Davis Squared has it’s usual line of products, as well as some holiday themed items. Pick up some photo ball ornaments for the tree, or with this inflatable wreath, celebrate the holidays all year long…in style.

 

Stinky’s Kittens & Doggies Too

http://www.stinkyskittens-doggiestoo.com/

Treat the furriest member of the family to something special too (no, we don’t mean Uncle Phil). Stinky’s is running a Customer Appreciation Celebration through December 24 (while supplies last). Purchase any brand of dry dog or cat food, and receive a free can of Wervua Dog Food and Wervua Cat Food In A Pouch.

The first eight dog customers that buy dry dog food will receive a surpise gift for your dog.

 

For your foodie friend, many of our restaurant members are offering gift cards for the holiday season. Check out some great spots on our members page.

http://www.somervillelocalfirst.org/our-members/

 

Shift Your Shopping Week Event Calendar

Nov 29 11:01 pm

This post is part of our series covering Shift Your Shopping Week, which runs in Somerville from December 2-11.  Shift Your Shopping week highlights holiday shopping themed events and gift ideas from local businesses to promote choosing local and independent this holiday season. Shift Your Shopping week is part of SLF’s 3rd annual Shift Your Shopping campaign, now a national collaboration of hundreds of local business networks. To find out more about Shift Your Shopping, related events, and how you can get involved, please visit shiftyourshopping.org.

Shift Your Shopping Week starts this Friday, folks, and lasts through Dec. 11! That’s 10 whole days of holiday fun! We’ve put together a calendar of events for you for the week, so that means no excuses (we’re looking at you, last minute gift buyers).

December 3

 

The picture says it all

Groundwork Somerville: Maple Syrup Brunch Fundraiser

Join GWS on December 3 at The Independent in Union Square for the third annual Maple Syrup Project Fundraiser! Brunch will be served from 10am-4pm on Saturday and 20% of proceeds will be donated to the Somerville Maple Syrup Project.

Artisan’s Asylum Grand Opening

Come join the Artisan’s Asylum Saturday, December 3, 1-5pm. The new facility will be open to the public all afternoon, with tours and exhibits and food and full Asylum services finally available. You’ll be able to check out the facilities, meet the staff and members, see all the work members are doing, sign up for daily and monthly memberships, register for our next round of classes, and purchase gift certificates and unlimited class passes just in time for the holiday season.

Support local artisans and craftspeople

Support local artisans and craftspeople

Union Square Winter Craft Market

Winter Craft Market in Somerville’s Union Square offers distinctive, handmade holiday gifts for everyone on your shopping list! From 11am to 4pm, Precinct will be filled with local vendors, including Albertine Press, Susanna Brown, Citizen Chain, Community Growing Center, Dinofrio Handbags, Jennifer Durkin, Esoterica Jewelry, Forest Karma Soap, Funky Monkey Colorworks, Emily Garfield, Alice Grossman, Jo Jo, Rocklen Designs, Salamander Arts, Silverfalls Designs, Three Graces Designs, Union Press, Union Square Main Streets, and Emily Weisman.

Libana: Artisans of India 2011 Holiday Marketplace

On December 3 (10am-6pm) & 4 (11am-6pm), head to the Third Life Studio in Union Square for an Indian-inspired craft fair right in your own backyard! Come for a weekend of food, fun and cameo performances by Libana, while you browse the array of global Fair Trade crafts, festive scarves and imports from India, and Libana CDs and merch. Proceeds will benefit the women artisans of Barefoot College in Rajasthan and SEWA in Gujarat.

Washington Street Art Center Winter Open Studios and “My Blue Heaven” by Gretchen Ann Graham

Join the Washington Street Art Center from 12-5pm for the 7th annual Winter Open Studios. Come by and support local artists in your community as WSAC kicks off Washington Street Saturdays. There’ll be plenty of art, snacks, and affordable small works for gift giving. Then, be sure to come back in the evening from 6-9pm for the opening reception for “My Blue Heaven” Photographs by Gretchen Graham (also on view Saturdays in December from 12-4pm).

The Burren: SLAM Holiday Artist Market

For truly unique gifts this holiday season, the Saturday Local Artist Market (SLAM) is holding three holiday markets on December 3, 10, & 17 from 12-4pm. You’ll find a great selection of crafts including painting, photography, jewelry, textiles, glass, ceramics, handmade soaps, artisan foods and much more. A different mix of artists will exhibit each Saturday, so you’re sure to find that one-of-a-kind gift. When you get hungry from all that shopping, The Burren will also be offering $5 lunch specials on market day.

December 4

Discover the bounty of Windsor Street!

Discover the bounty of Windsor Street!

Albertine Press: 561 Windsor Street Open Studios

Meet the denizens of Somerville’s hotbed of creative businesses - from chocolate makers to letterpress printers and everything in between. Shop local for the holidays and maybe take up fencing while you’re at it! This event is free and open to the public. It will take place on Sunday between 12 and 4 pm at various studios throughout the building 561 Windsor Street, Somerville. Free parking is available.

QRST’s “Yard Sale”

During the Open Studios from 12-3pm, QRST’s will be having a “yard sale” of all brand new blank apparel odds and ends! Brand new t-shirts only $2, polos for $4, sweatshirts & sweatpants for $5, and ALL American Apparel brands are only $5 per piece. QRST’s will also be offering ALL of their online store apparel at 50% off. Purchase anything from a coffee mug to local Boston band t-shirts.

E. Scott Originals & CarrieSewFancy: Everyday Glamour

From 5-9pm above Carrie’s Fancy Sewing Studio, join e. scott originals jewelry and CarrieSewFancy clothing for an evening of glamour! New collections will be unveiled, presents will be purchased, drinks will be drank, good times will be had!

December 5

Knucklebones’ Epicenter of Athletic Services Grand Opening

Knucklebones is pleased to announce the GRAND OPENING (Stage 1) of Knucklebones’ Epicenter of Athletic Services! To celebrate this special day, they will have free athletic games and activities from 9am-6pm on Monday, December 5th for ages six months to six years.  Come by and meet the KB team, register for upcoming classes, find out more about our retail and, of course, play with the coolest and most unique athletically inclined products around.

Chocolate. ‘Nuff said

December 10

Taza Chocolate Holiday Fiesta

Taza’s free Holiday Fiesta is coming! Join them December 10 & 11 from 11am-5pm for two days of sampling, sipping and shopping for locally made treats. Warm up with some Taza hot chocolate, enter the raffle to win free Taza Chocolate prizes, and shop for Factory Store Limited specials. Counter Culture Coffee, Somerville Brewing Company, and Sofra Bakery will also be there at different point in the day to sample their own tasty holiday treats

 

Snow Mall - Holiday Marketplace

December 11

Arts at the Armory: Snow Mall

Take a break from the malls and support local artists and craftspeople at the second annual holiday marketplace- SNOW MALL. Peruse all manner of local crafty goods for free from 12-6pm in the Armory’s performance hall. Get an in depth look at some of the vendors on the Snow Mall Facebook page.

 

The SLF Shift Your Shopping Holiday Gift Guide - Part 1

Nov 21 3:17 pm

As we approach the real kickoff of the holiday shopping season, SLF is pleased to offer a series of blog posts highlighting great local gift options, all in the name of helping you Shift Your Shopping!

Below, you’ll find 10 great items to get your thoughts rolling, with prices, descriptions and photos.  We hope they spur some good ideas for you and help make it easier for you to Choose Local & Independent this Holiday Season.

We’ll have follow up posts in the coming weeks, so be sure to check back.  And if we missed something great in the meantime, feel free to suggest it in the comments!

Local Arts & Crafts

Albertine Press

http://www.etsy.com/shop/albertinepress

2012 Calendar

2012 Calendar

Our 2012 letterpress wall calendar will take you on a trip around the world with postcards to send to your friends and family when you’re done. Every month features an original sketch from a different city in the USA and around the world - when you’re ready to flip the page, cut along the dotted line and you’ve got a ready-to-mail postcard. Bon Voyage!

We will be featuring the inspiration behind each city on our blog throughout November: albertinepress.blogspot.com.

Price: $30

Ogusky Ceramics

http://www.oguskyceramics.com

Compost Jar

Compost Jar

For the folks that love to compost, this 7″ tall functional handmade jar to hold all your kitchen waste is perfect!

This jar holds close to one gallon and includes a lid that fits right on top. It also has a handle made from sturdy braided wire. And the front states ‘compost’ — so you clearly know what is inside — and is created using vintage letterpress stamps.

Price: $110

Three Graces Designs

http://www.threegracesdesigns.com

Fresh, contemporary jewelry handcrafted from sterling silver

Price Range: $25-$250

Om Nom Nom

Taza Chocolate

http://www.tazachocolate.com

Taste of Taza Gift Set

Taste of Taza Gift Set

Item: A Taste of Taza gift set

A Taste of Taza is the ultimate Taza Chocolate gift.  This elegant cigar-style gift box is brimming with a generous assortment of our organic stone ground dark chocolate. From our fresh Roasted Cacao Nibs, to our perfectly unrefined 80% Stone Ground Bar, A Taste of Taza lets serious chocolate lovers experience the full range of intense flavors and bold textures of Taza Stone Ground Chocolate.

Contains: 1 - 1.75 oz. bag Organic Roasted Cacao Nibs, 1 - 3 oz. 60% Stone Ground Bar, 1- 3 oz. 80% Stone Ground Bar, 4 - 2.7 oz. Chocolate Mexicano Discs (Orange, Cinnamon, Guajillo Chili, Cacao Puro), 1 - 8 oz. can Chocolate Covered Nibs.

Price: $49.50

Item: Mexicano Classic Collection

The Taza Chocolate Mexicano Classic Collection celebrates the centuries-old Mexican stone ground chocolate tradition that inspired founder Alex Whitmore to create Taza Chocolate. A perfect, any-occasion gift for the serious chocolate lover.

Contains: 6 - 2.7 oz. Chocolate Mexicano discs, one each of Guajillo Chili, Cinnamon, Vanilla, Salt & Pepper, Coffee, and Salted Almond.

Price: $27

Fashion & Apparel

QRST’s

http://qrsts.com

If you need tshirts, caps, jackets or any other type of apparel - we are your complete source for your apparel needs. QRST’s also has an online store of licensed apparel from some of the best Boston bands from the 80s. Morphine, The Neighborhoods, The Del Fuegos, The Rat (club), The Atlantics and much more online at qrsts.com. QRST’s is also a licensed seller of Harvard apparel.

Price Range: $7.5-15

Suneri

http://shopsuneri.com/eshop/

Ronen Chen Coco Dress

Ronen Chen Coco Dress

Ronen Chen Coco Dress

Jewel neckline sleeveless dress with grey print paneling down the center of the front and back with black side panels which create a slimming effect along with a black front strip.

Price: $282

Liza dress

Tailored sheath dress ideally suited for power meetings or a night out. Comfortable cotton with a touch of Lycra for stretch when you need it.

Price: $320

Shape Up and Relax

Bow Street Yoga

http://www.bowstreetyoga.com

The joyous and love-filled holiday season can sometimes be hectic! Give the gift of yoga and melt the stress of the your loved ones. Giftcards available in any amount, from a single class to a year of yoga bliss.

Price Range: Starting at $15

Corpbasics (CBC) Fitness & Training Club

http://www.corpbasics.com

Holiday Gift Card: Give the gift of fitness this holiday season! Good towards the purchase of Corpbasics fitness classes or personal training sessions. Also valid towards our 12 week “Get Fit” programs.  Gift cards are available for purchase online or in our studio.   Questions should be directed to Kristen at [email protected] or by calling 617-628-8400.

Price Range: $25-$150

Mass Metta Massage Therapy

http://www.massmettamassage.com

One hour massage gift certificates will be on sale during the month of December for $60 (normally $75) and if you buy 4 at this price, you get one for yourself free!

Price Range: $60-$240

Massage Therapy by Judith Prager

http://pragerbodymind.com

Offering CDs for relaxation and stretching and gift certificates for massage in the heart of Davis Square. Achieve relaxation, relief of pain and injury. Soothing, energizing, 30+ years experience. 1 hour and 1.5 hour sessions

Price Range: $15-$85

The Training Room

http://www.thetrainingroomboston.com

Personal Training & Group Exercise Classes

The Training Room is a local, privately owned fitness studio offering personal and small group training, kettlebell training, cycling and group fitness classes. There is no membership required to train or participate in a class. Our convenient online scheduling system allows you to book ahead and reserve your space in class or purchase training and class packages right from your home or office.

Price Range:  $12-$90

For Four Legged Friends

Stinky’s Kittens & Doggies Too

http://www.stinkyskittens-doggiestoo.com

Yeowww Candy Cane

Yeowww! Candy Cane Over size (over 8”) and stuffed full of Yeoww Catnip. This toy is quite the mouthful. Festive colors and fuzzy fabric are sure to inspire Kitty this holiday.

Price: $10.99

Nature Naps Beds are oval, purrfect for those finicky cats and pampered pooches. Made from soft, cozy designer fabric.
Easy to clean. Made in the USA

Price Range:  $22.99-$59.99

Chilly dog Sweaters: Do not let your dog out in the harsh weater of New England. Buy them a Chilly dog Sweater. Comes in an array of different designs and solid colors. 100% organic wool and original, hand knit sweater for dogs.

Price Range: $25.99-$42.99

 

Thanksgiving Dinner: Made by Somerville

Nov 18 9:43 am

Yeah, trytophan’ll do that to you…

Ah yes, it’s Thanksgiving time again. For a lot of people, the holiday means time off work/school, football, and a delicious spread. For others, it means stress, stress, stress. Maybe you got stuck hosting more people than you can handle this year. Maybe you have to accommodate a few last minute moochers and tailgaters.

Or maybe you’re unable to make it home this year, and you’re just a little nostalgic for the holiday tradition. Or maybe you and the fam are just playing it low key this year.

Whatever your plans this year, the ‘Ville has countless options to ensure your Thanksgiving meal is stress-free and melancholy-free, minus none of the delectability. Check out these local Somerville businesses that are taking care of the food, so you don’t have to.

 

Open on Thanksgiving Day

Brunello Bistro is offering a no fuss, no muss traditional turkey dinner. Dig into all your favorites accompanying the bird, including mashed potatoes, squash, green beans, cranberry sauce, and apple and pumpkin pie – without the all day cooking undertaking. Or choose from the 4-course special menu for some of their more typical fare.

Dinner served 12pm-7pm, starting at $29.95/person ($14.95/child)

Pork pâté, poutine, pecan and chocolate ganache tart…croque-monsieur? This is how Thanksgiving should be! Foundry on Elm’s Chef Derek Clough sure isn’t serving your mama’s Thanksgiving meal – why not treat yourself to something a little gourmet this holiday. And don’t worry diehards, there’s a turkey dinner option on the menu – cider-brined and free range, of course.

Dinner served 12pm-8pm, prices vary. View the full holiday menu here

Not into the whole turkey thing? Or meat of any kind, for that matter? For the vegans and veggies with the unsympathetic families, you don’t have to starve this holiday. Head to True Bistro for a vegan Thanksgiving Day smorgasbord the likes of which you’ve never seen. Who knows? Their four course spread with options like chestnut-stuffed yuba roulade and vegan pumpkin cheesecake may just convert some of the nonbelievers.

Dinner served 2pm-8pm, $60/person, add $30 for wine pairings. By reservation only

 

Take-Out Options

Prefer to eat at home and catch the game? Or maybe you’re trying to fool everybody into thinking you are a turkey chef extraordinaire. Fair warning: if you choose Redbones to supply your Thanksgiving meal, they’ll all call your bluff. Only the BBQ masters themselves could serve up such a high caliber bird, slow smoked to perfection. You never knew turkey could be this moist! Don’t forget the fixin’s – choose from candied yams, garlic mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, collard greens, succotash corn pudding, and sweet potato and pecan pie.

Order by Monday, Nov. 21 for pickup on Wednesday, Nov. 23

JJ Gonson of Cuisine en Locale has gotten together with Kate Stillman of Stillman Farms to help you out with your last minute Thanksgiving needs. It’s not too late to order a bird you can feel good about – Stillman is offering fresh and frozen free range turkeys throughout the holiday season, and the En Locale crew is whipping up some premade sides, like cranberry maple sauce and winter squash mash. The full list can be found on the order form. There are several pickup options, but we recommend you head out to Stillman’s New Braintree on Sunday, where they’ll be offering a farm-cooked pre-Thanksgiving supper.

Sunday Supper, Nov. 20 @ 3pm, $25/person (kids eat free). Turkey pickup locations & dates listed here; sides can be delivered via Metro Pedal Power or picked up at the JP Farmers’ Market 11/22.

Save room for dessert! Petsi Pies is taking orders for just about every kind of pie you could want to finish off your Thanksgiving meal. With options like Apple Pear Cranberry, Brown Butter Pecan, and Mississippi Mud, you may find yourself going straight for dessert first. But hurry – preorders close tonight!

Order by Friday, Nov. 18 @ 7pm. Pickup on Tuesday, Nov. 22 or Wednesday, Nov. 23

 

If you find yourself not cooking dinner this year, why not spend part of the day volunteering? Many organizations need volunteers on and around Thanksgiving Day to help provide meals to those in need. In Somerville, the food pantries at the Elizabeth Peabody House and the Somerville Homeless Coalition hold annual Thanksgiving events. And if you can’t donate your time, donate a meal – food banks like the Greater Boston Food Bank hold food drives and turkey drives this time of year.

To serve another good cause (provided that you are ever able to eat again after Thursday), join Groundwork Somerville at The Independent for their annual Maple Syrup Brunch Fundraiser on Saturday, Dec. 3, 10am-4pm. 20% of the proceeds will go to GWS’s Somerville Maple Syrup Project . The theme ingredient of the day is…you guessed it: maple syrup, complete with maple-inspired cocktails. Just call it Death by Syrup. Reservations highly recommended.

 

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