Shops & Markets
We put our money where our heart is. Learn where to shop local and support your neighborhood businesses, artisans and artists.
A lot of people glean their image of New England from movies, TV, Norman Rockwell paintings or old Currier and Ives prints – idealized vignettes of dirt roads, mom-and-pop shops, brick buildings, snow-covered pines, general stores and neighbors who seem to know everyone in town.
It’s that time of year when we hear a lot about frankincense and myrrh. Steve Kesselring, owner of Your Oil Tools in Hooksett, will tell you those essences, and dozens of others, are part of his life’s work and recovery from a long illness.
The three-year-old business – the only one of its kind on the East Coast – provides “a wide range of relevant, high-quality and affordably priced essential oil tools and supplies in order to help our customers enjoy an incredible essential oil inspired lifestyle,”
Even do-it-your-selfers need a helping hand from time to time. Not all of us can just watch an episode of Flea Market Flip or open our Pinterest apps and figure out how to turn a tired mahogany hutch into a shabby-chic desk.
Goffstown Village looks more like a mountain hamlet than a suburb of Manchester. The block-long shopping district surrounding the 19th-century, Queen-Anne-style Congregational church has coffee shops, galleries and boutiques as well as a 21st-century general store tucked in a bend of the Piscataquog River in the twin shadows of the Uncanoonuc Mountains.
But it’s so much more than quaint. Day by day it’s morphing into a cozy, cultural cool place to shop, graze and gather.
“We lived in Manchester,” said David Christopher, who moved to the village almost a year ago with his wife, Sarabeth Bundzinski.
Some of us live organically, eat pesticide-free foods, use toothpaste and cleaning products made with natural ingredients and do what we can to save the planet, or at least our part of it. But what about sleeping? Oh, yeah. That too.
Tucked In Organics bedding store in Amherst has you covered – literally and figuratively.
“Our mattresses are made of rubber and other natural ingredients. There is no polyurethane, formaldehyde or other chemicals,” Emily Aborn, the owner of the shop in the resurgent Salzburg Square said recently.
Nashua shares its name with the river that runs through it – apt given the Gate City has always gone with the flow.
It was work that drew successive waves of immigrants – French-Canadians, Irish, Greek, Italian, Polish, Lithuanian and most recently Latino, Southeast Asian and African – who have reinvigorated the city’s culture over the years.
...Every Sunday the Nashua River is the centerpiece of a weekly farmers’ market as local growers sell fruit and vegetables on Main Street on a flower-decorated bridge above the river...
Back Downtown, a river walk along the waterway is being constructed in segments. It will eventually create a 1.6-mile loop for walkers and bicyclists. Peddler’s Daughter Irish Pub has outdoor seating on one section already built. Uphill on the other side of Railroad Square, Riverwalk Café and Music Bar offers coffee and sandwiches as well as an eclectic array of music...
The boys at Stump Chunks want to light your fire.
Whether it’s a barbecue, a fire pit, a fireplace or a woodstove, a fistful of Stump Chunks will turn on the heat.
“It’s kindling and a fire starter and it is completely natural,” said Dan Roy, who owns and operates Stump Chunks with his brothers Norm, Sylvain and Dave.
According to company lore, the product was born one cold night when the brothers discovered it was easy to kindle a fire using dried wood chunks from old tree stumps. The product is 100 percent wood and contains no chemicals or additives...
First a note about how to pronounce Contoocook.
Martin Marklin, world-class candlemaker, beekeeper and local business owner, provides an easy trick.
“You can’t cook.”
“Yes, I can too cook.”
No matter how you say it, this charmer of a village is in the town of Hopkinton. Contoocook (a Penacook name meaning “place of the river near pines”) is a walking hamlet with independently owned restaurants, small businesses, cafés and shops offering everything from healing oils to boutique clothes and antiques to liturgical candles.
Junior wants to join the town rec soccer team. Yay. You’ve wanted him to try some kind of sport. You go out and buy him new soccer shoes, pants, pads, cleats, balls. Ka-ching!
Two weeks later, Junior decides to take up hockey instead and little Louisa announces she made the track tryouts in high school. Ka-ching! Ka-ching!
If any proof is needed that Windham Junction Country Store and Kitchen is a local gathering spot, just look at the wall at the entrance to the dining area.
There, written in various shades of Sharpie, are the names, ages and heights of local children charted as they grow through the years. But a sticker admonishes that only “Miss K” can mark the chart.
Miss K is Kay Normington who, along with her husband, Jon, a Johnson and Wales graduate with years of food-service experience, own the café and country store. The establishment is near the former Windham Railroad Junction, which in the late 1800s was one of the busiest single-track lines in the country.
Derry is the quintessential New England town. But it’s also a living, growing place, which has adjusted to changing times and economies.
The former factory town was reinvigorated by the construction of Interstate 93 and easy access to Manchester and Boston. Restaurants now line downtown, three performance venues showcase national and local acts, and there are recreation options for everyone.