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What is your favorite place to shop local on Small Business Saturday?

Shop small business 2017

November 25th, 2017 - 11am to 5pm

That's the date for Small Business Saturday this year!

Our displays are full of delicious gift ideas and you are welcome to taste your way through our holiday showroom at 382 Southampton Road in Westfield, MA.

Feel free to call 413-562-2042 for more information.


I like stories.  I have forever, but it probably took me 42 years to realize.  My local spirit shop has 2 incredible wine tastings a year.  Every time I go I gravitate to this one distributor.  He is brilliant.  He knows his wines and can tell you about the vintner, the land and how the vintage got to market.  After a couple of years he said to me, “You enjoy terrier. You enjoy the story.”  I was shocked.  In a nutshell he had somehow summed up my life.


Over the Thanksgiving dinner table talk turned toward the economy.  One aunt remarked on how people seem to be talking about shopping local a lot more.  The consensus was that a thriving economy had trained us away the joy and adventure of shopping in our hometowns.  Driving home I asked my parent’s where they shop local.  Each had to take a moment and think, is there anywhere to shop local anymore?  After a bit my father answered “Highland Hardware & Bike Shop, in Holyoke, they have everything. Pleasant Street MarketPajer’s. Westfield Auto Parts.  Other than that there is no where else to go.”  After an even longer pause my mother added “Balboni Bakery in Feeding Hills. Rays farm stand in Southwick.  Pilgrim Candle for unique ideas and their commitment to community.  A jeweler.  A seamstress. For clothes I would not know where to look unless you made the 45 minute trip to Northampton.  For the uniqueness, quality and actual service it is a worthwhile commute.”

I like a story and that is why I like to shop local. On a hot, humid day in summer I will bike up a very big hill to get some Nestrovich peaches.  Part of the joy is to get a smile and a little tale out of the Mr's Nestrovich.  One legend is that the grandfather stopped in England on his way over from Russia, he was delayed a bit longer than planned because he literally missed the boat.  Would he have enjoyed the company of the unsinkable Molly Brown had he managed to get on the Titanic?  Now that the days grow dark so early, I have to drive down to Sweet Pea Cheese. Light or dark, entering their drive is always an adventure, look out for the free range chickens, especially if you are looking to pick up eggs for breakfast, and be prepare for the charming four legged greeting which includes the obligatory frisbee toss.

Another spot I frequent, not just because I am unconditionally biased, is at 382 Southampton Road in Westfield.  It is the stories.  From where a recipe came from, to the day Ashley Beluzo and Kati Lewantowicz stopped what they were doing to go and hunt the squirrels who let themselves in the front door, to the friends who stop by or keep in touch by e-mail just to let us know about the roasted squash they made with our Tomato & Parsley Vinaigrette Spice or ask if we would consider putting just a little more Maple Sugar in our polenta.  The rich tapestry of tales that have brought us to where we are today are a constant cause for inspiration.  It is a place where the perfect gift is not an investment. Our warm little spot is a reason to smile, relax, enjoy and share..... That is why I like to shop local!

Oh, and here is another very good reason - According to the Center for a New American Dream, each time you buy one pound of locally produced food, you help keep 13 pounds of carbon emissions out of the environment.

What is your favorite place to shop local?

Our showroom

What you've shared:

Golden Farmer's Market in Golden Colorado is always worth the long trip we take to get there. Lots of quality produce and other interesting things to pick up even this year when quite a few farms were flooded. The brought what they could and the quality was great.

Golden City Brewery has the best beer...and I'm not much of a beer drinker - it has to be great beer for me to bother.

Udi's Gluten free is a local Company and has two great restaurants. Does that count? Not sure what their local content is. By Cindy L. Monical

Farmers markets, of course! And I like independent shops and restaurants. It's nice to chat with the owners.
By Beverly Noble
hi, Julie
For vegetables I shop every Saturday morning in the farmer's market in my neighborhood. (Every town in Greece has similar markets).For meat I visit the butcher. In every excursion I buy pasta and cheese from local producers. I get fruits for my jams and chutneys from a friend who has a farm. For olive oil we have our family production.
By katerina papaspiliopoulou

Step aside green bean casserole, this recipe is for a healthy twist with craisins and cashews

Green bean casserole is a staple of American Holiday dinners.  I remember sitting on the school bus listening to the boy down the street talk about how the creaminess of the Campbell's mushroom soup was accented with the crunch of the fried onions from French's.  Iconic and comforting, I love the decadence but it is not such a fan of me.  Surely my Thanksgiving morning hike could not justify a second helping anyway.  Fresh and flavorful, this recipe is something my brilliant mother threw together one year with what she had on hand and easily replaced the old green bean mush in my list of favorite sides for our Turkey.

Place green beans in a microwave safe bowl with the water.  Cover with plastic wrap and cook on high for 6 minutes.  In a separate bowl combine the Herbs de Provence, Coconut Oil, cashews and Dried Cranberries in a large bowl, tossing just enough to coat.  Add warm, cooked green beans and toss again. Add Parmigiano Reggiano and toss yet again. Salt and Pepper to taste.

Transfer to a serving dish to your guests at room temperature or warm.

More Vivacious Veggies:

What you've shared:

Thank you for that wonderful green bean mush replacement. That casserole is fat laden and is a poor excuse for a side dish period. I'll give your recipe a whirl. It sounds delicious.
Posted by BJ

Wendy Flanagan Hey Julie! Thanks for sharing! I was actually going to make something similar, just that I was going to use blue cheese crumbles instead of parm!!! I am also going to toast the walnuts!

Sounds wonderful, We'll try it! Thanks for the heads up!
Posted by Judith

I never liked the "traditional" green bean casserole. The soup was full of sodium and the canned fried onion rings...well, I need not go on about the true nature of their origins. Thanks for this sound and tasty alternative!
Posted by Diane

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