Local Friends for

Local Business

 

A bit of history...

If you're wondering what kind of activities Local Friends for Local Business has focused on, this is the best page.

Below you will find the history of the effort, including the details about the category from each month along with other assorted odds and ends back to the beginnings of the program.

Please keep in mind... this continues as a work-in-progress. Any business names found on this page should not be interpreted as a pure recommendation. Consider the source... for instance, keep in mind I cannot verify every person that has sent an e-mail or suggestion along for the places they have visited and enjoy. Every person is different... every business is different... and your experiences may vary.

And... unfortunately... more than a few of these business have closed their doors. I decided to keep them listed -- In celebration of what they had been and what they meant to those that experienced them... and also to recognize the importance of your support for these establishments. We are, quite literally, losing local businesses every day.

Look at this as a starting point. Details have been included here because someone -- mainly Terry and I, along with so many wonderful others as well -- far more often than not have enjoyed what we found and wanted you to know.

 

January 2018

January 1, 2018 thru January 31, 2018
Something New

As a new year starts for Local Friends, the challenge is headed to the very foundation of the effort... learning about your community, and supporting the small businesses nearby.

This month, wherever you may be, take a moment to look around. Find a plce you have never been before and step inside. Check out your neighborhood and find something new.

Place(s) we visited: Mind Games in Oneida, New York - Weeden's Mini Mall in Blossvale, New York

Places you visited or wanted to pass along:

* Worthy of note - I can confirm that this business has multiple locations

 

December 2017

December 1, 2017 thru December 31, 2017
The Holly and The Ivy

This is the month where the holiday season picks up speed and cruises into the new year. It's a month filled with celebrations, along with exchanges between family and friends. This month Local Friends is nodding in the direction of traditions with the concept of The Holly and The Ivy.

Do you visit the same place to cut down your own family tree? Are their places you visit to see shows, eat dinner, spend time with others?

Place(s) we visited: Village Florals in New Hartford, New York - Shuster Christmas Tree Farm in Rome, New York

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: Lights on the Lake in Liverpool, New York - The National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in Attleboro, Massachusetts

 

November 2017

November 1, 2017 thru November 30, 2017
Toasty and Warm

Seasons are different around the world, which always makes it a bit important to note that Local Friends originates in the northeast United States. In November, that means changes. Cooler weather is turning into colder weather. Fireplaces and furnaces are being used.

Part of the process is comfort... from building a fire to grabbing a blanket. And that is where this month's effort is looking.

What helps you snuggle in on a cold day? A cup of cocoa? A good book? The perfect pair of pajamas and extra covers on the bed?

Place(s) we visited: Holland Farms Bakery & Deli in Yorkville, New York - Tuscan Oven in Oneida, New York

 

October 2017

October 1, 2017 thru October 31, 2017
Unexpected Delights

It is picking up the menu and seeing items you rarely find... stopping in a store and spotting a must-have item you never knew you needed... given up hope and discovering the perfect gift for a friend (that they would never find on their own).

The Unexpected Delights are awesome moments. When you had no expectations and then stumbled upon them without warning.

Place(s) we visited: Clinton Cider Mill in Clinton, New York

 

September 2017

September 1, 2017 thru September 30, 2017
Books

What things do you enjoy doing in the summer? Is there a specific food stand that opens seasonally or serves a specific type of food? Do you head out to a specific park for a picnic, take a boat ride, or participate in some outdoor adventure?

Sum-Sum-Summertime is looking at all things summer fun. The cravings, activities, people and food and fun and more.

Place(s) we visited: Savoy Bookshop & Cafe in Westerly, Rhode Island - Bank Square Books in Mystic, Connecticut

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: White Birch Books in North Conway, New Hampshire - Green Toad Bookstore in Oneonta, New York

 

August 2017

August 1, 2017 thru August 31, 2017
I Scream You Scream

What things do you enjoy doing in the summer? Is there a specific food stand that opens seasonally or serves a specific type of food? Do you head out to a specific park for a picnic, take a boat ride, or participate in some outdoor adventure?

Sum-Sum-Summertime is looking at all things summer fun. The cravings, activities, people and food and fun and more.

Place(s) we visited: Nicky Doodles* in Verona, New York

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: Brickley's Homemade Ice Cream* in Narragansett, Rhode Island - We-Li-Kit in Abington, Connecticut

* Worthy of note - I can confirm that this business has multiple locations

 

July 2017

July 1, 2017 thru July 31, 2017
Sum-Sum-Summertime

What things do you enjoy doing in the summer? Is there a specific food stand that opens seasonally or serves a specific type of food? Do you head out to a specific park for a picnic, take a boat ride, or participate in some outdoor adventure?

Sum-Sum-Summertime is looking at all things summer fun. The cravings, activities, people and food and fun and more.

Place(s) we visited: Brickley's Homemade Ice Cream* in Narragansett, Rhode Island - Harpoon Eddie's in Sylvan Beach, New York - Green Lakes State Park in Fayetteville, New York - Arnie's Produce Center in Sherrill, New York - Iggy's Doughboys & Chowder House* in Warwick, Rhode Island - Nicky Doodles* in Verona, New York - Aunt Carrie's in Narragansett, Rhode Island

* Worthy of note - I can confirm that this business has multiple locations

 

June 2017

June 1, 2017 thru June 30, 2017
Prepping for Summer

Depending on the gardening you do, the calendar of events you keep, and the vacations you take... June signals the arrival of summer. And with it... the preparations for all of the fun that follows.

Will you be opening a pool or setting up the grill for cookouts? Are the kids finishing up school and in need of some entertainment? It's time for breaking out painbrushes... organizing hoses and sprinklers... and focusing on things outside.

Throw open the windows, shake off the cobwebs caused by months indoors, and take a look around for some things to do.

Place(s) we visited: Freedom Farm Market in Vernon, New York

 

May 2017

May 1, 2017 thru May 31, 2017
Special Events

Mother’s Day… Memorial Day… May breakfasts… even Cinco de Mayo… the month is packed with reasons to celebrate. And because of it, we’re having a month-long challenge.

From festivals and fairs to fundraisers and parties, it is quite likely that A LOT will be happening in your neighborhood during the month of May. Depending on where you live, the weather might be improving (and find you looking for reasons to get outside).

Enjoy the offerings of May by attending a special event.

Place(s) we visited: New York State Chinese Lantern Festival** in Syracuse, New York

** Worthy of note - This event is not held in the same location each year. Check for additional details.

 

April 2017

April 7, 2017 thru April 21, 2017
Along Main Street

The classic, almost small-town-like, city center walkway and landmarks.

A road that might just lead past the only stoplight in town. A stand on the side of the road offering produce, ice cream, plants or hot dogs.

Character… architecture… an image of the community. Shops, markets, and businesses… and as the communities get smaller, the faces are more familiar, and it becomes family and friends and trusted acquaintances.

Place(s) we visited: Nicky Doodles* in Verona, New York - T's Restaurant* in East Greenwich, Rhode Island

* Worthy of note - I can confirm that this business has multiple locations

 

March 2017

March 6, 2017 thru March 20, 2017
In the News

They provide more information than we could cover in several thousand words. Wedding announcements and high school sports stories... businesses and politicians and festivals and construction... advertisements and classifieds and coupons.

The local paper... print edition.

Time marches on. Without advancements, we wouldn't be riding in cars, watching television, or texting on phones.

And even as it falls into the background, the sense of community and neighborhood pride may never be found as strong in any place as it is when delivered to our doorstep.

Place(s) we visited **: The Post-Standard in Syracuse, New York - The Oneida Daily Dispatch in Oneida, New York - Rome Sentinel in Rome, New York - Observer-Dispatch in Utica, New York

Places you visited or wanted to pass along **: Warwick Beacon in Warwick, Rhode Island - Cranston Herald in Cranston, Rhode Island - The Providence Journal in Providence, Rhode Island - The Bulletin in Norwich, Connecticut - The Day in New London, Connecticut

** Once again, the subject delivers a month providing something a bit different -- No locations or places, but rather a listing of newspapers.

 

February 2017

February 6, 2017 thru February 20, 2017
Basket in Hand

We all have places that are special to us for a variety of reasons. When it comes to the neighborhood stores and markets, I can recall in my youth heading out with mom to specific shops for meats and seafood and more.

And though supermarkets were the place for the larger and regular grocery adventures, in several ways they were essentially community resources and not quite generic, nation chains. They were OUR stores.

This month take some time to plan a special menu… make your shopping list… and find a small place nearby that perhaps you never thought about visiting before. You just might be shocked by the incredible places close to your front door.

Place(s) we visited: Joe's Jerky & Corner Market in Sherrill, New York

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: Phil's Marketplace in Westerly, Rhode Island - McQuade's Marketplace* in Mystic, Connecticut - Dave's Marketplace* in Warwick, Rhode Island

* Worthy of note - I can confirm that this business has multiple locations

 

January 2017

January 8, 2017 thru January 21, 2017
Breaking Bread

It is one of the most amazing, meaningful, wonderful moments you can share... a meal with special people. It is, one several levels, an invitation to join someone's family.

This month, as Local Friends celebrates its fifth anniversary, we are looking toward that beautiful gathering, and asking you to set the table... with bread and other food items you can find in your neighborhood bakeries, marketes, and specialty shops.

Thank you for being part of sixty incredible challenges so far. Thank you for sharing your stories... sharing your treasures... and supporting your community.

Place(s) we visited: Ye Olde Pizza Pub in Oneida, New York - Apple Betty's in Vernon, New York - Tuscan Oven in Oneida, New York

* Worthy of note - I can confirm that this business has multiple locations

 

December 2016

December 4, 2016 thru December 24, 2016
Last Minute Shopping

Anything from a gift to bring the hosts of a holiday party to some final assorted items for a stocking, it seems as though there is usually something that we all leave until the final possible moments to cross off our lists (even if we check them twice). (Sorry... couldn’t resist that set up for a joke.)

Whether your needs are large or small, a quick look nearby will likely reveal some tremendous opportunities for you to find the perfect something for the perfect someone.

Place(s) we visited: The Chocolate Delicacy in Warwick, Rhode Island - Gregg's* in Warwick, Rhode Island

* Worthy of note - I can confirm that this business has multiple locations

 

November 2016

November 1, 2016 thru November 30, 2016
Setting the Table

The holidays can create an interesting string of events. Traditions are strong... with family meals and gatherings, social interactions and parties, and more. For many, this time of year involves travel, and often some type of homecoming. There are relatives and friends and schools and hometowns and on and on.

The challenge this month is to look at those moments, prepare for them, and celebrate them. Head out and buy decorations for the season or materials to host a get together in your home. Make a phone call and catch up with some friends while you’re in town.

Place(s) we visited: Romagnoli's Christmas Tree Farm in Canastota, New York

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: The Chocolate Delicacy in Warwick, Rhode Island

 

October 2016

October 13, 2016 thru October 24, 2016
Autumn Treasures

Apples… baked into pies and straight off of a tree. Gingerbread… warm and fresh out of the oven. Cooler weather… a comfortable sweatshirt… crisp air and clear skies… October.

Autumn traditions often build around watching leaves, scarecrow themed festivals, and apple picking. Hay rides and corn mazes are explored. Brilliant colors are used in decorating, with cornucopias and gourds all over the place.

Embrace and enjoy the traditions.

Place(s) we visited: Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards in LaFayette, New York

 

September 2016

September 16, 2016 thru September 25, 2016
Late Season Harvest

Autumn is a truly magical time of year when it comes to gardens and harvests.

In one sense, we know the traditional ideas. Pumpkin takes over the world... gingerbread arrives... Thanksgiving themes take over color palettes.

But there can be so much more. Wine production in the United States involves a grape harvest normally falling between August and October (depending on a billion factors including the grape type and wine being created).

Our own personal gardens... including produce and items found at roadside stands... often deliver unexpected treasures even as the temperatures begin to drop.

Place(s) we visited: The Shoppes of Premise Maid in Breinigsville, Pennsylvania

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards in LaFayette, New York

* Worthy of note - I can confirm that this business has multiple locations

 

August 2016

August 1, 2016 thru August 31, 2016
Hidden Pages

Over the years, I’ve been in several tremendous bookstores around the country. Some of them feature brand new titles… there are brilliant ones around carrying nothing but used copies… and many focus heavily on local authors and regional subject material.

I’ve found there are some incredible ways for books to be hidden… and discovered. Get out and visit independent bookstores… used bookstores… shops featuring antiques and consignment items… and you’ll find yourself on a simply breathtaking adventure.

Place(s) we visited: Killingly Public Library in Killingly, Connecticut - Warwick Public Library in Warwick, Rhode Island

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: White Birch Books in North Conway, New Hampshire

* Worthy of note - I can confirm that this business has multiple locations

 

July 2016

July 5, 2016 thru July 11, 2016
The Picnic Table

It is one of the most common sights at a park, on a deck, or in a yard... a table... and usually it just so happens to be a picnic table.

We use it for sorting out activities with the kids... to set up the food for our summer parties... as a place to play a game of cards with friends on a spectacular afternoon.

It is a gathering place... a celebratory space... a common area. And this month... whether flying a kite, grilling a meal, or relaxing with a refreshing beverage... get out in your neighborhood, find your supplies, and then relax at the picnic table.

Place(s) we visited: Dave's Marketplace* in Warwick, Rhode Island - Nicky Doodles* in Verona, New York - Iggy's Doughboys & Chowder House* in Warwick, Rhode Island - Wein-O-Rama in Cranston, Rhode Island

* Worthy of note - I can confirm that this business has multiple locations

 

June 2016

June 1, 2016 thru June 30, 2016
I Want A New Treasure

A bit of a return to thinking of friends and those close to you for the May challenge.

Do you have a project in the yard or around the house? Want to invite some people over for a night of cards? Is there someone you haven't seen in a bit, and really need to catch up with?

Here's a chance. Grab some supplies... some good food... pick up the phone and set a time to get together for lunch.

Place(s) we visited: Ocean Blue Restaurant & Oyster Bar in Utica, New York - Nicky Doodles* in Verona, New York - Sherrill New York Pizzeria in Sherrill, New York

* Worthy of note - I can confirm that this business has multiple locations

 

May 2016

May 1, 2016 thru May 31, 2016
Friendship

A bit of a return to thinking of friends and those close to you for the May challenge.

Do you have a project in the yard or around the house? Want to invite some people over for a night of cards? Is there someone you haven't seen in a bit, and really need to catch up with?

Here's a chance. Grab some supplies... some good food... pick up the phone and set a time to get together for lunch.

Place(s) we visited: Delmonico's Italian Steakhouse* in Utica, New York - Nicky Doodles* in Verona, New York - Tuscan Oven in Oneida, New York

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: George's of Galilee in Port of Galilee, Rhode Island - Schartner Farms in Exeter, Rhode Island

* Worthy of note - I can confirm that this business has multiple locations

 

April 2016

April 7, 2016 thru April 18, 2016
A 10-Mile Pole

Just about all of us remember the line about the Grinch and not touching him with a thirty-nine-and-a-half-foot pole. This month, we're twisting the idea and creating a ten-mile radius around your house. So this month Local Friends isn't about your neighborhood... it's about the neighborhood next door.

What places are somewhat nearby, and amazing enough for you to make plans to stop in?

Do you have a friend that you'll meet for coffee or lunch, and there's a place you always go? Is there something you set up for your house... a pool, a garden... and you need some supplies? Would you like to tackle a home improvement project, and you know just the shop to get the pieces for it?

Place(s) we visited: Nicky Doodles* in Verona, New York - Tuscan Oven in Oneida, New York

* Worthy of note - I can confirm that this business has multiple locations

 

March 2016

March 1, 2016 thru March 31, 2016
Special Occasions

All around you... where you live... are traditions. Places that, when you want to celebrate, or when you are thinking of making important plans, are virtually must-do establishments.

Ordering flowers for someone? Looking for a fanatsic gift? Planning dinner with the family after a student event at the school?

All of these reasons and more might be part of that a specific place in your neighborhood being important to you.

Place(s) we visited: Columbus Baking Company in Syracuse, New York - Walt's Diner in Old Forge, New York - Glenwood Movieplex in Oneida, New York - Nicky Doodles* in Verona, New York - Holland Farms Bakery & Deli in Yorkville, New York - Brooklyn Pickle* in Syracuse, New York

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: The Chocolate Delicacy in Warwick, Rhode Island

* Worthy of note - I can confirm that this business has multiple locations

 

February 2016

February 11, 2016 thru February 15, 2016
Looking for Our Shadow

Spring is on the horizon... or, as February starts, at least in our thoughts. And it isn't just groundhogs. While Punxsutawney Phil may be the most famous groundhog, he is not alone in making predictions on Groundhog Day. And, most histories for any predictions usually focus on several types of hibernating animals.

For Local Friends, we're looking at what types of plans you might be making for the spring. It might be at home, where the yard or garden is on your mind. It could be getting outside, for a picnic or road trip.

So fire up the grill... prepare some of the vegetables you want to plant... and make some plans for the spring.

Place(s) we visited: The Chocolate Delicacy in Warwick, Rhode Island - The Olde Kountry Market in Westmoreland, New York

 

January 2016

January 14, 2016 thru January 18, 2016
I Never Knew

Look around you. Within a few miles of your home... or just outside the door of the places you visit... there are businesses that you have never visited.

In some cases, that's understandable. Perhaps what they offer in goods or service isn't what you need... may not be what you're looking for. Still, there are places... dozens upon dozens of places... that you might just love. (If only you tried.)

So this month, the challenge is to find a place that you have never been to, step inside, and enjoy.

Place(s) we visited: The Spaghetti Kettle in Clinton, New York

 

December 2015

December 10, 2015 thru December 14, 2015
Merry Christmas

This month, I just feel that everyone could use a hug. A bit sappy… sure… but accurate. We could all use a moment of feeling appreciated, valued, and, perhaps more than anything, safe.

Get out there and find a place where they welcome you as the door opens and they thank you for visiting. Call a friend you haven’t seen in some time and get them to join you for a coffee or lunch. Leave a few minutes early and pick up some pastry or snacks for your co-workers. Show a family member how much you care by taking the time to look for a gift with heart and meaning.

And however you decide to approach this month’s challenge, have a Merry Christmas. (And I mean that.)

Place(s) we visited: Holland Farms in Yorkville, New York - Apple Betty's in Vernon, New York - Lights on the Lake in Liverpool, New York (Annual holiday display/event)

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: Phil's Marketplace in Westerly, Rhode Island

 

November 2015

November 12, 2015 thru November 16, 2015
Homecoming

The holidays in November and December are filled with moments that draw our attention home. To our families… our friends… our communities and neighborhoods and schools.

They are filled not only with the traditions carried on for generations, but also with the new memories and customs created with those we love.

Think about those places you loved growing up… and those places you love sharing with those closest to you as you prepare for upcoming celebrations. Get out and visit them again… get together with friends and family and find new places to enjoy.

Place(s) we visited: Sherrill New York Pizzeria in Sherrill, New York - Holland Farms in Yorkville, New York

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: Troyer's Country Store in Canastota, New York

 

October 2015

October 8, 2015 thru October 12, 2015
Crisp Autumn Nights

Apples… Gingerbread… Scarecrows and cornstalks and hay bales… Welcome to autumn and one of the most wonderful times of the year.

Some of the first fires of the fall and winter seasons are lit, and the cool evenings are just fantastic. Apple picking… apple cider… apple crisp… and yeah, it doesn’t get much better.

And while yeah… the evenings are suggested in the title… if you want to head out and grab some hot cocoa on your way to the local orchard, you go right ahead and do just that.

Place(s) we visited: T's Restaurant* in East Greenwich, Rhode Island - The Courthouse Bar & Grille in Putnam, Connecticut

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: 5 Spot in Seattle, Washington - Glenwood Movieplex in Oneida, New York - White Mountain Cider Company in Bartlett, New Hampshire

* Worthy of note - I can confirm that this business has multiple locations

 

September 2015

September 1, 2015 thru September 30, 2015

Friends

For this Local Friends challenge, the dates are being extended to run throughout the entire month. Yup... for September 2015 we are celebrating friends, from beginning to end.

We hope you'll take this opportunity to think about those close to you... the places you visit with friends... the businesses that your friends own and operate... and the employment that introduced you to some special people.

Maybe you get out and get back to locations that have been important to you, part of tremendous experiences, and just very special.

Perhaps you are overdue for a cup of coffee and conversation, call someone you haven't spoken with in a while, and find a way to catch up.

It's thirty days of important stuff... get out in your neighborhood (and say hi to a friend).

Place(s) we visited: - The Great New York State Fair** in Syracuse, New York - Holland Farms Bakery & Deli in Yorkville, New York - Apple Betty's in Vernon, New York - Tuscan Oven in Oneida, New York

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: Phil's Marketplace in Westerly, Rhode Island - Mrs. Wilkes' Dining Room in Savannah, Georgia - Andy Nelson's in Cockeysville, Maryland - Oakville Grocery* in Oakville, California - Brooklyn Pickle* in Syracuse, New York - La Teresita in Tampa, Florida

* Worthy of note - I can confirm that this business has multiple locations

** I know... The Great New York State Fair. Doesn't seem to exactly fit the small effort concept normally associated with Local Friends. It is HUGE. That said... just about everyone heads to The Fair with friends... you see people you know... you look for tradional booths and vendors... you learn about your community and neighborhood businesses... and in general, you will find an AMAZING collection of everything that Local Friends looks to support, if you only open your eyes. Pick up some business cards, web site information and e-mail addresses in the Center of Progress Building... check out the artisans in the Art & Home Center and Horticulture Building... spend some time with the dogs and horses (and kids!!!) in the Toyota Coliseum... and DO NOT miss the Rainbow Milk Bar. (And I'll bet there is a fantastic town, county or state fair that takes place near you, celebrating all the terrific local things around where you live.)

 

August 2015

August 6, 2015 thru August 10, 2015
Summer Lovin'

What are some of the special things you do, crave, and look for during the summer?

Maybe it’s a family vacation, a trip to the beach, or a movie -- Could be you enjoy special food like corn on the cob, clam cakes and chowder, and ice cream -- Perhaps it’s getting outside and visiting a state or national park, tending to your yard and garden, or playing some miniature golf...

Enjoy the season... and the challenge...

Place(s) we visited: Nicky Doodles* in Verona, New York - Dave's Bar & Grill in Warwick, Rhode Island - Dave's Marketplace* in Warwick, Rhode Island

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: Crow's Nest Restaurant in Warwick, Rhode Island

* Worthy of note - I can confirm that this business has multiple locations

 

July 2015

July 9, 2015 thru July 13, 2015
Something New

If you really open your eyes and look at your neighborhood you call home, my guess is you will see dozens upon dozens of businesses within a few miles of your door that you have never really considered… and possibly, never even noticed.

This month, Local Friends is encouraging you to take that look and see those unique spots near you. Check out that place you’ve been meaning to go inside for years… try a new restaurant… discover a new store… and just in general learn a bit more.

Place(s) we visited: Ocean State Apparel & More in Warwick, Rhode Island

 

June 2015

June 18, 2015 thru June 22, 2015
Generations

They could be there for tradition, celebration, or simple convenience. They might be something every day and routine, and they could be a splurge for an occasional treat. The central idea is a place that provided you with a shared experience, filled with memories. Maybe it is someplace special. It might be a restaurant that the family goes to after a school event. Perhaps there is a spot your grandparents involved when they came over to visit.

Place(s) we visited: Brooklyn Pickle* in Syracuse, New York - Nicky Doodles* in Verona, New York

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: Buttonwood Farm in Griswold, Connecticut - Brickley's Ice Cream in Narragansett, Rhode Island - Heid's of Liverpool in Liverpool, New York - We-Li-Kit in Abington, Connecticut

* Worthy of note - I can confirm that this business has multiple locations

 

May 2015

May 7, 2015 thru May 11, 2015
By the side of the road

They give us a sign of the coming winter… and a sign of winter’s end. At some point, usually in October, the boards go up and the place shuts down. Then… one day… one glorious day... after enduring cold and slush and months spent almost entirely indoors… we drive by and there’s an announcement of a date for this year’s opening, and that news shatters the freezing temperatures with a promise of warming weather.

Place(s) we visited: Nicky Doodles* in Verona, New York - The Olde Kountry Market in Westmoreland, New York

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: Buttonwood Farm in Griswold, Connecticut - Blackmer Farm in North Grosvenordale, Connecticut - Morse Farm in Southbridge, Massachusetts - Dear Hearts in Warwick, Rhode Island - Ra Ra's Ice Cream Parlor in Moosup, Connecticut - Brickley's Ice Cream in Narragansett, Rhode Island - Hank's Dairy Bar in Plainfield, Connecticut - We-Li-Kit in Abington, Connecticut

* Worthy of note - I can confirm that this business has multiple locations

 

April 2015

April 9, 2015 thru April 13, 2015
Out of Town

Friends have arrived for a visit. They've never been around this place of yours before... and they want to find out why you're so happy and what's so special about the place you call home.

You want to bring your friends to the best -- for food... for fun... for an all-around GREAT experience. What are the places that without question need to be in your plans?

Place(s) we visited: Brooklyn Pickle* in Syracuse, New York - Apple Betty's in Vernon, New York - Tuscan Oven in Oneida, New York - Nicky Doodles* in Verona, New York - Zebb's* in New Hartford, New York - Holland Farms in Yorkville, New York

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: Mrs. Wilkes' Dining Room in Savannah, Georgia - 5 Spot in Seattle, Washington - Andy Nelson's in Cockeysville, Maryland - Frank Pepe's* in Danbury, Connecticut - Heid's of Liverpool in Liverpool, New York - The Shoppes of Premise Maid in Breinigsville, Pennsylvania

* Worthy of note - I can confirm that this business has multiple locations

 

March 2015

March 12, 2015 thru March 16, 2015
Better Weather

It's been a long, COLD winter in the northeast part of the country. And now people are looking to open their doors... their windows... and get outside. It isn't going to be easy... and it won't necessarily be warm... but the themometer is saying that things are getting better.

So where would you like to go to celebrate? Maybe start the day off with a great breakfast? How about meeting some friends for lunch? Would you like to get something for the house?

It's a general challenge month folks! Use your imagination, take a look around your neighborhood, and get back outside for a bit.

Place(s) we visited: Brooklyn Pickle* in Syracuse, New York - Apple Betty's in Vernon, New York - Glenwood Movieplex in Oneida, New York

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: Bill's Bread and Breakfast in Putnam, Connecticut - 5 Spot in Seattle, Washington - Andy Nelson's in Cockeysville, Maryland - Heid's of Liverpool in Liverpool, New York - Iggy's Doughboys & Chowder House* in Warwick, Rhode Island - Wein-O-Rama in Cranston, Rhode Island - Valley View Farms in Cockeysville, Maryland - Oakville Grocery* in Oakville, California

* Worthy of note - I can confirm that this business has multiple locations

 

February 2015

February 5, 2015 thru February 9, 2015
Comfort Food
There is something about perfect comfort food. It speaks of... simply put... home. And yet, perhaps there is a bit more. Perhaps... just perhaps... it is made of a sense of place. When you look around your neighborhood, you see those places that are reliable, familiar, and trusted. When you travel to locations you have visited before, there may be a treat waiting for you that you've been craving since you last left. What is comfort food? Something that makes you feel like you are exactly where you are supposed to be... and happy because you are.

Place(s) we visited: Borrelli's Pastry Shop in Coventry, Rhode Island - Kon Asian Bistro in East Greenwich, Rhode Island - Gregg's* in Warwick, Rhode Island - The Courthouse Bar & Grille in Putnam, Connecticut - Chelo's Hometown Bar & Grille* in Greenville, Rhode Island - Dan's Place in West Greenwich, Rhode Island

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: Apple Betty's in Vernon, New York - Bill's Bread and Breakfast in Putnam, Connecticut - 5 Spot in Seattle, Washington - Tuscan Oven in Oneida, New York - Mrs. Wilkes' Dining Room in Savannah, Georgia - Andy Nelson's in Cockeysville, Maryland - Brooklyn Pickle* in Syracuse, New York - Frank Pepe's* in Danbury, Connecticut - La Teresita in Tampa, Florida - Heid's of Liverpool in Liverpool, New York - Iggy's Doughboys & Chowder House* in Warwick, Rhode Island - Wein-O-Rama in Cranston, Rhode Island

* Worthy of note - I can confirm that this business has multiple locations

 

January 2015

January 8, 2015 thru January 12, 2015
Bakeries
It started Local Friends in 2012... and it has become a bit of an annual anniversary tradition... the local bakery. The quality bakery is disappearing. Markets have begun offering products such as breads, cakes and other "fresh" items, which they often claim to prepare right there on property. Generally it’s convenience and not much more, since the greatest of local bakeries will usually offer better quality at a better price. (Usually.)

Place(s) we visited: Holland Farms Bakery & Deli in Yorkville, New York - Apple Betty's in Vernon, New York

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: Arremony’s Quality Bakery in Jewett City, Connecticut - Bill's Bread and Breakfast in Putnam, Connecticut - The Shoppes of Premise Maid in Breinigsville, Pennsylvania

* Worthy of note - I can confirm that this business has multiple locations

 

December 2014

December 11, 2014 thru December 15, 2014
Home for the Holidays

For your holidays needs in 2014, Local Friends is... as you would expect... recommending that you look around your community as much as possible. Seek out someone that runs their own business, perhaps with a holiday theme, and maybe even from their own home. We understand that may not be easy to do, and in some cases may not work for you. Fair enough. Use it as a theme for your experiences overall. Maybe while doing some holiday shopping… think about your neighborhood treasures and stay local when you can.

Place(s) we visited: Distinctive Cabinetry in Cohoes, New York - Geppetto's Wood Shoppe in West Monroe, New York

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: Four Your Paws Only in North Conway, New Hampshire - The Shoppes of Premise Maid in Breinigsville, Pennsylvania - Phil's Marketplace in Westerly, Rhode Island

 

November 2014

November 13, 2014 thru November 17, 2014
Family Traditions

About twenty-five years ago, Disney went on a run where over four Novembers they released The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin. It was part of a run of movies that had me looking toward the theaters over Thanksgiving breaks. There are, of course, all sorts of other things -- my parents taking me Christmas shopping as a kid for family members... meeting my grandparents for lunch... and, without a doubt, the lighted Santa face my Dad placed on the house. They are in different ways, great memories as well as traditions. And there you have the challenge for November. What are some of the things you do when getting together with family and friends. Is there a place you gather for breakfast? Does everyone head to a school football game? Take a moment to celebrate those places this weekend.

Place(s) we visited: Apple Betty's in Vernon, New York

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: Four Your Paws Only in North Conway, New Hampshire - Glenwood Movieplex in Oneida, New York - 5 Spot in Seattle, Washington - Arremony’s Quality Bakery in Jewett City, Connecticut - The Shoppes of Premise Maid in Breinigsville, Pennsylvania - Phil's Marketplace in Westerly, Rhode Island

 

October 2014

October 9, 2014 thru October 13, 2014
Harvest Moon

I have an admission to make... I have no clue what to say about people that get glazed looks in there eyes and go crazy for the weeks where everything -- EVERYTHING -- is pumpkin flavored. And yet, when you compare that obsession to warm gingerbread and fresh apples, I do believe I fully understand. We are in a tremendous part of the year, with fireplaces being lit, comfort foods served on a chilly evening, and corn stalks showing up in decorations. The clothes... the sights... the food... the foliage... getting out into the neighborhood in October.

Place(s) we visited: Apple Betty's in Vernon, New York - Turtles Taco Shop in Putnam, Connecticut

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: 5 Spot in Seattle, Washington - White Mountain Cider Company in Bartlett, New Hampshire - Arremony’s Quality Bakery in Jewett City, Connecticut

 

September 2014

September