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 from the beginning 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... 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 -- enjoyed what we found and wanted you to know.

 

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 - 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

Places you visited or wanted to pass along:

* 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 11, 2014 thru September 15, 2014

Travel

Recommendations

Where do you go when you travel? For instance… if you were headed to one of your favorite vacation destinations… if you were going home to visit your parents or were off to catch up with friends… are there places you almost automatically place on the list as musts? How about when people tell you they’re headed to a place you enjoy? Do you recommend places to them? What sights are there to see… meals to eat… trinkets to buy… and the list goes on…

Place(s) we visited: - Apple Betty's in Vernon, New York - Tuscan Oven in Oneida, New York - Stampede Steakhouse and Saloon in Verona, New York

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: Mrs. Wilkes' Dining Room in Savannah, Georgia - Andy Nelson's in Cockeysville, Maryland - Oakville Grocery* in Oakville, California - Brooklyn Pickle* in Syracuse, New York - The Shoppes of Premise Maid in Breinigsville, Pennsylvania - Frank Pepe's* in Danbury, Connecticut - Thames Glass in Newport, Rhode Island - Four Your Paws Only in North Conway, New Hampshire - White Mountain Cider Company in Bartlett, New Hampshire - Bavarian Chocolate Haus in North Conway, New Hampshire - Zeb's General Store in North Conway, New Hampshire - Paseo* in Seattle, Washington - La Teresita in Tampa, Florida

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

 

August 2014

August 7, 2014 thru August 11, 2014
Summer Treats

There are plenty of summer treats worthy of consideration. For instance… S’mores. What campfire or still glowing grill doesn’t deserve a marshmallow on a stick? And when you start thinking grills… maybe you think of grilling some fruit as a dessert for your cookout. And yet it could be so much more… maybe you’re visiting a stand for some ice cream… maybe you’re looking for some fresh local produce or catching up with a farmer’s market… maybe you’re idea of a summer treat is something else entirely.

Place(s) we visited: J.D. Coopers in Putnam, Connecticut - Goudreau's at Nash Garden Center in Danielson, Connecticut

 

July 2014

July 3, 2014 thru July 7, 2014
Picnics

The summer is the perfect time for getting outside and enjoying a casual meal. Maybe you to get out into a local park... head into the yard, fire up the grill, and entertain family and friends. It could involve finding a sandwich shop, planning a clam bake, or enjoying some local entertainment and fireworks. A picnic is a great way to slow things down, take a deep breath, and just enjoy the moment… and a picnic in your own neighborhood is a real treat.

Place(s) we visited: Brooklyn Pickle* in Syracuse, New York - Heid's of Liverpool in Liverpool, New York - The Depot Deli in Cooperstown, New York - Tuscan Oven in Oneida, New York

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: Andy Nelson's in Cockeysville, Maryland - Oakville Grocery* in Oakville, California - Phil's Marketplace in Westerly, Rhode Island - Mousie's Deli in Warwick, Rhode Island

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

 

June 2014

June 12, 2014 thru June 16, 2014
Rest and Relaxation

What do you do when you get the choice of what to do? It might be to spend time with family or friends or a hobby or travel or just find some time for yourself away from the usual. And it could be invested in projects around the house. Some people want to do nothing… perhaps looking for a television show or reaching for a good book and ignoring the world for a few hours. Others would spend their time outdoors… gardening, kayaking, camping, and firing up the coals for a barbecue are a few thoughts.

Place(s) we visited: Johnny's Pizza in Brooklyn, Connecticut

 

May 2014

May 15, 2014 thru May 19, 2014
A Change of Seasons

Open the windows of your house to let in some fresh air, appreciate the sunshine and beauty of spring, and head out into your neighborhood and community. Whether you’re looking for a good book to read while sitting on the front porch or cheering because the seasonal ice cream shop is open for business, this is the opportunity to soak in better days.

Place(s) we visited: The Shoppes of Premise Maid in Breinigsville, Pennsylvania - Frank Pepe's* in Danbury, Connecticut - Something Special Family Restaurant Pub in Putnam, Connecticut

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: Andy Nelson's in Cockeysville, Maryland - Iggy's Doughboys & Chowder House* in Warwick, Rhode Island - Oakville Grocery* in Oakville, California - Hank's Dairy Bar in Plainfield, Connecticut - Buttonwood Farm in Griswold, Connecticut - We-Li-Kit in Abington, Connecticut

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

 

April 2014

April 10, 2014 thru April 14, 2014
Man's Best Friend

They are true members of the family by every definition. Study after study attests to their contributions in improving a person's quality of life. It could be a puppy curling up on your lap... or even the fish tank you stare at while getting lost a bit for a few moments each day. This month we are celebrating family pets.

Place(s) we visited: Four Your Paws Only in North Conway, Hew Hampshire

 

March 2014

March 13, 2014 thru March 17, 2014
Local Newspapers

Over the years, the joys have changed. There may have been morning and evening editions, along with columnists that weren't syndicated, discussing the news and stories you knew because they were happening where you lived. And today, the local newspaper isn't quite the same. Stories are on the internet. Some places no longer run editions every day (never mind even thinking about two editions on the same day).

Place(s) we visited **: The Providence Journal in Providence, Rhode Island - The Bulletin in Norwich, Connecticut - The Day in New London, Connecticut

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: Warwick Beacon in Warwick, Rhode Island - Cranston Herald in Cranston, Rhode Island

** Another month that provides something a bit different -- No locations or places, but rather a listing of newspapers.

 

February 2014

February 13, 2014 thru February 17, 2014
A Night on the Town

What is your excitement for a date... a night out with friends... a place to go with the family and relax? Is it dinner? Maybe a place to get a few drinks? Perhaps something the entertains adults as well as children? This month get out of the house and explore your community. Have a great meal... take in a show at a small, regional theater... just do something different.

Place(s) we visited: Jade Garden in Danielson, Connecticut

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: Dog Watch Cafe in Stonington, Connecticut - The Courthouse Bar & Grille in Putnam, Connecticut

 

January 2014

January 16, 2014 thru January 20, 2014
Bakeries

As we announce month number twenty-five of this effort -- the second anniversary -- we return to one of the most amazing possibilities, the local bakery. It is an incredible shame, but 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: Arremony’s Quality Bakery in Jewett City, Connecticut

 

December 2013

December 12, 2013 thru December 16, 2013
Holiday Shopping

The basic premise is simple enough… gift giving and thinking of others. There’s that store you’ve always been meaning to stop in because it looks fantastic… or that little place you’ve been meaning to try for dinner… and they are offering gift certificates and other items that your family and friends will truly appreciate, find different and thoughtful, and, sure, there’s always the opportunity to pick up a little something for yourself.

Place(s) we visited: This month is a bit different -- I’m not going to list a specific business. Terry and I were involved in a craft fair with ComplemenTerry Designs, and we had a fantastic weekend with some really great people. There was candy... jewelry... Tupperware... and all sorts of fantastic products, some hand made by these vendors and others from simply great people trying to support their families. It always seems that often, even as we sell items, the car is being filled with discoveries we made at other tables.

We also made a few purchases this weekend -- and this month -- where we distinctly kept the local flavor in our mind.

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

 

November 2013

November 7, 2013 thru November 11, 2013
The Greasy Spoon

Do you enjoy breakfasts? Wonderful examples of the greasy spoon mentality. Generous servings of eggs with hash browns or home fries. How about late night eats? PERFECT examples of the greasy spoon mentality. Could be round-the-clock waffles or pancake service, or giving in to a craving as the early-early-morning hours arrive. Want to slide some of your favorite places, that might not really fir the “greasy spoon” mold, but work for you as off-the-beaten-path special finds? Awesome. Works for me.

Place(s) we visited: Sam's New York System in Warwick, Rhode Island - Pizza King in Warwick, Rhode Island

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: Andy Nelson's in Cockeysville, Maryland - Wein-O-Rama in Cranston, Rhode Island - Bill's Bread and Breakfast in Putnam, Connecticut - Zip's Diner in Dayville, Connecticut - Red's Restaurant in Hernando, Florida - Dave's Bar & Grille in Warwick, Rhode Island

 

October 2013

October 17, 2013 thru October 21, 2013
Lunch

It’s a great idea... grabbing lunch -- a way for family and friends to get together. It might be something simple... like picking up sandwiches to eat during a picnic, day out on a boat, on as part of a walk in a park. It could be traditional... Sunday football games with your friends, or a weekly family gathering. Perhaps just an excuse... friends wanting to get together, so the ideas of pizza or whatever get tossed around. Whether friends or family or even just a break in the business day... it’s the lunch break... and your neighborhood has some incredible options.

Place(s) we visited: Jennifer Tuesday's in Putnam, Connecticut

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: Andy Nelson's in Cockeysville, Maryland - Iggy's Doughboys & Chowder House* in Warwick, Rhode Island - Wein-O-Rama in Cranston, Rhode Island - Mrs. Wilkes' Dining Room in Savannah, Georgia - Frank Pepe's* in New Haven, Connecticut - Phil's Marketplace in Westerly, Rhode Island - Twin's Pizza in North Providence, Rhode Island - Tommy's Pizza* in Cranston, Rhode Island - Brooklyn Pickle* in Syracuse, New York - Mousie's Deli in Warwick, Rhode Island - Oakville Grocery* in Oakville, California

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

 

September 2013

September 12, 2013 thru September 16, 2013
Yard Work

This month we’re going to look at the yard… not really lawn and garden… not completely repairs and maintenance… but a little of everything. And yes… there’s a story -- Over Labor Day weekend, Terry and I decided to try and get a jump on some work outside. So I brought out the chain saw. And… it didn’t work. Well that’s not completely right. It did work. But not smoothly or consistently. It’s older… and while I do maintain it and keep it clean, it probably could use a really thorough tune-up.

People are working around their homes. They are taking care of things that are simpler address in the cooler fall weather. They are raking leaves and working on issues before the winter arrives. They are getting ready to store equipment and furniture and materials from the summer. And they are prepping for the arrival of the next spring.

Place(s) we visited: This month is a bit different -- I’m not going to list a specific business. Terry and I needed some work done in the yard, specifically cutting down some trees and working on a few others, and we decided to go with a man that runs a local, professional, tree service.

 

August 2013

August 8, 2013 thru August 12, 2013
Summer Treasures

I don’t know about you, but I’m craving some treats of the season. Heading out to the beach and the shore with friends for lobster, scallops, and chowder… waiting in line to get some ice cream… picking up items for a picnic... and all of those great, summer food shacks.

Place(s) we visited: LoPresti Farm in Preston, Connecticut - Hank's Dairy Bar in Plainfield, Connecticut

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: Iggy's Doughboys & Chowder House* in Warwick, Rhode Island - Buttonwood Farm in Griswold, Connecticut - We-Li-Kit in Abington, Connecticut - Blackmer Farm in North Grosvenordale, Connecticut - Morse Farm in Southbridge, Massachusetts - Cows & Cones in Gales Ferry, Connecticut - Papa's in Warwick, Rhode Island - Cream in Delray Beach, Florida - Dear Hearts in Warwick, Rhode Island - Josie's Icecream in Cumberland, Rhode Island - Ra Ra's Ice Cream Parlor in Moosup, Connecticut - Brickley's Ice Cream in Narragansett, Rhode Island - Oakville Grocery* in Oakville, California

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

 

July 2013

July 11, 2013 thru July 15, 2013
Farmers Markets

At their best... fresh and locally grown. Sounds perfect! There might not be a location near you, and even if there is one it might not be running on the dates of this month’s event. So… interpret this challenge as you will. Stop by a neighborhood stand selling fruits and vegetables… find a store in your community that features locally grown produce… if you think you’ve found a farmers market and are supporting the local businesses then we do too.

Place(s) we visited: LoPresti Farm in Preston, Connecticut

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: Sweet Peas Fine Foods & Farm Market in Brooklyn, Connecticut - Oakville Grocery* in Oakville, California

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

 

June 2013

June 6, 2013 thru June 10, 2013
The Great Outdoors

For this month, we've got two different possibilities for everyone that participates -- The weather around the country is moving along from spring into the summer. That means lots of outside home improvement projects. Gardens and lawns… building decks and painting houses… and you see where this is going. It’s also a time when many think about hiking, camping, and any of several other activities. So... you can help support your neighborhood businesses by getting a trellis for the corner of the yard, picking up some new equipment for grilling over a campfire, or heck, even by finding a new bocce or horseshoe set. Spend some time in the outstanding sunshine and learn a bit about your community while you do.

Place(s) we visited: Valley View Farms in Cockeysville, Maryland

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: LoPresti Farm in Preston, Connecticut - Blackmer Farm in North Grosvenordale, Connecticut - Morse Farm in Southbridge, Massachusetts

 

May 2013

May 9, 2013 thru May 13, 2013
Clam Cakes and Chowder
Growing up in Rhode Island, the terms grinders and cabinets are quite familiar to me… even though in other parts of the country the meanings, or at least the way they would be ordered, are likely very different. We drink coffee milk… crave hot wieners… and judge the seasons based on the availability of frozen lemonade. In other parts of the country I’ve found out where to look for crab cakes… the best places for wings… and other assorted local treats. We’re celebrating regional specialties... get out there and enjoy the best food of your neighborhood!

Place(s) we visited: Iggy's Doughboys & Chowder House* in Warwick, Rhode Island - Johnny's Pizza in Brooklyn, Connecticut - Zoe's Pizza & Seafood in Southbridge, Massachusetts

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: Wein-O-Rama in Cranston, Rhode Island - Mrs. Wilkes' Dining Room in Savannah, Georgia - Frank Pepe's* in New Haven, Connecticut - Andy Nelson's Barbecue in Cockeysville, Maryland - White Mountain Cider Company in Bartlett, New Hampshire - Arremony’s Quality Bakery in Jewett City, Connecticut - Phil's Marketplace in Westerly, Rhode Island - Twin's Pizza in North Providence, Rhode Island - Tommy's Pizza* in Cranston, Rhode Island - Brooklyn Pickle* in Syracuse, New York - Mousie's Deli in Warwick, Rhode Island - Buttonwood Farm in Griswold, Connecticut - We-Li-Kit in Abington, Connecticut - Hank's Dairy Bar in Plainfield, Connecticut - Varsity Pizza in Syracuse, New York - Antonio's Bakery in Warwick, Rhode Island - Oakville Grocery* in Oakville, California

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

 

April 2013

April 11, 2013 thru April 15, 2013
Breakfast

You know the places... pancakes that literally cover the plate... specials that feature eggs, home fries, toast and coffee... and don't forget to get your English muffin grilled.

Place(s) we visited: Bill's Bread and Breakfast in Putnam, Connecticut

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: Wein-O-Rama in Cranston, Rhode Island - Zip's Diner in Dayville, Connecticut - Red's Restaurant in Hernando, Florida - Peter's Coney Island System in Warwick, Rhode Island - Oak St. B&B in Westerly, Rhode Island - Goodies in North Stonington, Connecticut - Paula's Place in Warwick, Rhode Island - Oatley's in North Kingstown, Rhode Island - Goose Feathers in Savannah, Georgia

 

March 2013

March 7, 2013 thru March 11, 2013
Gift Shops

Looking for a memory? Some little item to place on a shelf... or something to bring home from a trip to those that stayed behind? Maybe a place to pick up a card or flowers or whatever. It's the gift shop... and it's the store that can fulfill so many needs. They could be a place you visit while on vacation, offering a t-shirt or coffee mug or other novelty item. They might be a place you stop at to pick up a present for a special occasion. One thing is certain, when they are good, they are very good.

Place(s) we visited: Four Your Paws Only in North Conway, New Hampshire - White Mountain Cider Company in Bartlett, New Hampshire - White Birch Books in North Conway, New Hampshire - Bavarian Chocolate Haus in North Conway, New Hampshire - Zeb's General Store in North Conway, New Hampshire - The Penguin Gallery in North Conway, New Hampshire - Flossie's General Store in Jackson, New Hampshire - Ravenwood Curio Shoppe in Jackson, New Hampshire

 

February 2013

February 14, 2013 thru February 18, 2013
Pubs & Sports Bars

It could be the place with the best cheeseburgers or perfect fries. Might be the place where you head to catch up with friends, watch a game, and order a stream of appetizers over a couple of hours. Perhaps lunch during the day, or, a beverage to finish off an evening. The great thing is the incredible sense of community. Relaxed, comfortable and fun. And… quite often… the reasons you are there and the crowd you are surrounded by can serve perfectly as a snapshot of that moment in your life. The friends… the stories… the excitement…

Place(s) we visited: The Courthouse Bar & Grille in Putnam, Connecticut - Dan's Place in West Greenwich, Rhode Island

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: Bentley's Tavern in North Scituate, Rhode Island - Dave's Bar & Grille in Warwick, Rhode Island - Willimantic Brewing Company in Willimantic, Connecticut

 

January 2013

January 17, 2013 thru January 21, 2013
Bakeries
To celebrate the first anniversary we return to one of the most amazing possibilities, the local bakery. Again, I ask -- why so amazing? Because 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: Arremony’s Quality Bakery in Jewett City, Connecticut

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: Lis Bake Shop in Mystic, Connecticut - McQuade's Marketplace* in Mystic, Connecticut

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

 

December 2012

December 13, 2012 thru December 17, 2012
Catch All

Down the road from where you live are some incredible treasures that often don’t get enough recognition. They are the shops… restaurants… food outlets… that add character to your neighborhood. They are the family-owned operations that may even be crossing into second… third… or more generations of service. They are the start-up hopes and dreams of two or more friends that call your community home. These are the small businesses that Local Friends was created to celebrate. And as we finish the first year of the effort… and as we acknowledge the best in each other… we are directing the spotlight to all of them.

Place(s) we visited: Arremony’s Quality Bakery in Jewett City, Connecticut

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: Phil's Marketplace in Westerly, Rhode Island - Wonderland Comics in Putnam, Connecticut - Mousie's Deli in Warwick, Rhode Island - Wein-O-Rama in Cranston, Rhode Island - Frank Pepe's* in New Haven, Connecticut - Twin's Pizza in North Providence, Rhode Island - Tommy's Pizza* in Cranston, Rhode Island - McQuade's Marketplace* in Mystic, Connecticut

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

 

November 2012

November 8, 2012 thru November 12, 2012
Gourmet Foods

This isn’t about the coffee maker in your kitchen that you use each morning (or the ability to use those one-cup disposal units)… I’m looking for how you create your own mix of coffee, grind it fresh, and that shop you visit for the whole beans you use. This could be the winery that makes its own salsa and jams… the store where you bought your garlic roaster and pizza stone… and… you get the idea.

Place(s) we visited: Sweet Peas Fine Foods & Farm Market in Brooklyn, Connecticut

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

 

October 2012

October 11, 2012 thru October 15, 2012
Comics & Hobbies

Ever promise to grow old but never grow up? (Or at least go kicking and screaming?) Then this month we have the theme for you. These are more than the sources of blockbuster movies (and great television). This is the train set in your basement... and the hours spent looking for the perfect pieces. This is the figurine of Harley Quinn and the copy of Batman: The Killing Joke. This is crafts and knitting afghans... baseball cards and shot glasses... playing guitar and Disney ears.

Place(s) we visited: Wonderland Comics in Putnam, Connecticut

 

September 2012

September 13, 2012 thru September 17, 2012
Sandwiches & Delis

There are plenty of places in your town offering them up, likely filled with some amazing memories for you. Maybe you stopped to pick up a grinder on summer morning, while on your way to the park with your friend to enjoy a school-free perfect afternoon. Perhaps it was a sub that you tossed in a cooler, then driving off to a picnic table with a fantastic view. And it could have just been a quick stop with your mom or dad and some quality moments.

Place(s) we visited: Phil's Marketplace in Westerly, Rhode Island - Johnny's Pizza in Brooklyn, Connecticut

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: Brooklyn Pickle* in Syracuse, New York - Mousie's Deli in Warwick, Rhode Island - Hudson Street Deli in Providence, Rhode Island - Mystic Market* in Mystic, Connecticut - North End in Groton, Connecticut

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

 

August 2012

August 9, 2012 thru August 13, 2012
Farm & Produce

Maybe it’s the corn you shucked and placed into some boiling water… perhaps it’s the blueberries you had in some muffins, pancakes or pies… it could be something you grabbed from your garden minutes before incorporating it into your dinner. The summer is filled with treasures… and this month, we’re going to visit the neighborhood farms and stands that sell those amazing treats.

Place(s) we visited: LoPresti Farm in Preston, Connecticut

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: Blackmer Farm in North Grosvenordale, Connecticut - Morse Farm in Southbridge, Massachusetts - Sweet Peas Fine Foods & Farm Market in Brooklyn, Connecticut

 

July 2012

July 12, 2012 thru July 16, 2012
Ice Cream

We’re going to look at those roadside stands of summertime favorites… yup, we’re hitting the ice cream stand. Now you may like ones that serve hot dogs or clam rolls… maybe the favorites for you have the crazy crunch coatings for your soft serve chocolate-vanilla twist cone… and maybe you’re feeling a bit dizzy just thinking about it. The ice cream stands are a small business tradition unlike any other… especially in New England, where the opening of the service window is the true sign of an arriving summer.

Place(s) we visited: Buttonwood Farm in Griswold, Connecticut - We-Li-Kit in Abington, Connecticut

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: Cows & Cones in Gales Ferry, Connecticut - Papa's in Warwick, Rhode Island - Cream in Delray Beach, Florida - Hank's Dairy Bar in Plainfield, Connecticut - Dear Hearts in Warwick, Rhode Island - Josie's Icecream in Cumberland, Rhode Island - Ra Ra's Ice Cream Parlor in Moosup, Connecticut - Brickley's Ice Cream in Narragansett, Rhode Island

 

June 2012

June 7, 2012 thru June 11, 2012
Diners

This month... true hidden treasures… true local legends… exactly the kind of places that Local Friends celebrates proudly. And for this challenge, they are front and center. Places where you might be able to get three eggs, hash browns, bacon, toast and unlimited coffee… leave a 50% tip… for two people... and STILL have change due from a ten-dollar bill. Places where “silver-dollar” pancakes are unheard of. Places that know what it means to grill an English muffin.

Place(s) we visited: Wein-O-Rama in Cranston, Rhode Island - Zip's Diner in Dayville, Connecticut

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: Red's Restaurant in Hernando, Florida - Bill's Bread and Breakfast in Putnam, Connecticut

 

May 2012

May 10, 2012 thru May 14, 2012
Lawn & Garden

Let’s face it… Mother’s Day… flowers… this month is quite literally gift-wrapped for participation. You can absolutely head over to your favorite neighborhood nursery or greenhouse and pick up a plant or some flowers for mom. Maybe though… you’ve got some work going on in the garden. A few vegetable plants or a couple of herbs might be nice. Perhaps… some work to do on a walkway or the lawn.

Place(s) we visited: Goudreau's at Nash Garden Center in Danielson, Connecticut

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: Blackmer Farm in North Grosvenordale, Connecticut - Morse Farm in Southbridge, Massachusetts

 

April 2012

April 12, 2012 thru April 16, 2012
Hardware & Home Improvement
I can still recall as a kid heading to the hardware store on different occasions with my father, uncle and grandfather. It seems to me there were always one or two in particular that were first stops for them. This month, we turn our attention to the place you can use as a quick stop -- because spring is here, and it’s time to think about some outdoor projects and maybe working on the house… and maybe the lawn… the garden… and on and on.

Place(s) we visited: Anthony's Hardware in Jewett City, Connecticut

 

March 2012

March 8, 2012 thru March 12, 2012
Pizza
We all have a favorite place to get some delicious pizza. And, in many cases these places fit the definition of small, local, community businesses. If you head to your favorite neighborhood pizza place this month... fantastic. How about a bit of a twist though? Why not use this challenge as a reason to try that place you’ve always wanted to stop at, or, or to visit the place you haven’t been to in some time? Here’s another idea... you might order a pizza or a sandwich all the time... but if this place serves calamari, or calzones, or fish and chips... why not try something different from the menu?

Place(s) we visited: Kikapoo Family Restaurant in Danielson, Connecticut - Pizza King in Dayville, Connecticut

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: Frank Pepe's* in New Haven, Connecticut - Twin's Pizza in North Providence, Rhode Island - Tommy's Pizza* in Cranston, Rhode Island - Varsity Pizza in Syracuse, New York - Two Guys from Italy Pizza & Restaurant in Warwick, Rhode Island

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

 

February 2012

February 9, 2012 thru February 13, 2012
Markets
It could be a small general store… perhaps it specializes in meats or seafood… it may be the place where you know the name of the butcher (and he’s already correctly assembled half of your order before you get from the door to the counter)… occasionally it’s where you settle in for a cup of coffee or to buy your lottery tickets.

Place(s) we visited: Phil's Marketplace in Westerly, Rhode Island - Sweet Peas Fine Foods & Farm Market in Brooklyn, Connecticut

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: Oakville Grocery* in Oakville, California - Ruggieri's Market in Cranston, 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 2012

January 12, 2012 thru January 16, 2012
Bakeries
We’re starting things off with one of the most amazing possibilities, the local bakery. Why so amazing? Because 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: Arremony’s Quality Bakery in Jewett City, Connecticut - Antonio's Bakery in Warwick, Rhode Island - DePetrillo's Pizza & Bakery* in Warwick, Rhode Island

Places you visited or wanted to pass along: McQuade's Marketplace* in Mystic, Connecticut - Lis Bake Shop in Mystic, Connecticut - The Village Hearth Bakery Cafe in Jamestown, Rhode Island - The Baker's Dozen* in Pomfret Center, Connecticut

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

 

 
If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail me at LocalFriends@inmybackpack.com