Shops & Markets
We put our money where our heart is. Learn where to shop local and support your neighborhood businesses, artisans and artists.
A central bandstand. Check. A riverside park. Check. A walkable downtown with boutiques, restaurants and book shops. Check. A rich slice of American history. Check.
Exeter checks all the boxes.
“It is the quintessential New England town, not only in appearance, but in community; it’s multi-generational and everybody gets along.” said Kath Gallant, owner of Blue Moon Evolution, a fully organic, farm-to-table restaurant in Exeter. “You can’t walk down the street without being greeted by friends and participating in several conversations.”
This time of year, furniture takes on special importance. Holiday feasts, family gatherings, maybe even a discussion or two about politics all center around the family table.
“Our dining room table is the hub of our house,” said Justin Dunn, who hand crafts the custom furniture at the Vintage Wren in Goffstown. “It may sound corny, but when people bring their whole family to give input into the design of what will be their family gathering place, I feel honored.”
The 142nd Deerfield Fair is a celebration of agricultural life and bills itself as “America’s oldest agricultural family fair.” ...country crafts with horse-, oxen- and tractor-pulling contests, livestock shows and dog-agility competitions. In addition, there’s a large midway with games and rides, and performances... It’s well worth the trip, and visitors can make a mini-vacation of it and take in other area attractions as well!
The Woofmeow Family Pet Center in Dover made a big splash when it opened earlier this year, particularly with canines who took advantage of the facility’s dog pool. Mike Griffeth has created “destination resorts” for pets that he calls a family-first experience. “I think the Woofpool sets us apart,” ...“At first people thought the pool was just for older dogs or dogs with problems... but eighty percent are swimming for fun.”
Tilton, the well-known home of outlet malls and diners, is slowly transforming into a healthy lifestyle hub. During the last few years, businesses such as Pilates, Etc. and Raw Life Café and Juice Bar have started popping up. Conveniently located in the same building, they are just a few steps away from Awakening Chiropractic, the sister company to Raw Life Café. Nola Rocco, owner of Pilates, Etc., purchased her studio last summer... and it’s been a whirlwind ever since.
The towns of Hollis and Brookline are twins of sorts – fraternal twins. They’re far from identical, but they’ve been more or less together since birth in the mid-1700s. They look different, have separate personalities but share so much, including a border and a school system and, once upon a time, a name.
Wildly wagging tails. Exuberant barking and stampeding paws. Just another day at Bark City in downtown Manchester.
The upscale doggy day care, salon and boutique is the brainchild of John Phaneuf, who opened the facility on Hanover Street earlier this year. Pampered pooch patrons enjoy more than 2,000 square feet of cage-free indoor and outdoor play space for fun and napping with their friends.
Anchored trucks are the working-class heroes of the hospitality industry – grassroots cookery at a set location with a predictable menu and a chef behind the window who everybody knows.
On a recent afternoon as rain began to fall, a conga line of customers bellied up to the counter at B’s Tacos in Londonderry for burritos, tacos and rice bowls.
“Opening the food truck was a dream,” said Kenny Spilman, owner-chef, who was in the lumber business for more than 30 years before opening the moveable eatery. “But be careful what you wish for. I didn’t really know what I was getting into”...
This Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and graduation time, show your mommies, daddies and graddies local love. Head to your favorite boutique, farmers’ market, craft fair or mom-and-pop hardware store and pick out something you’ll never find at the big boxes.
Meredith is celebrating its 250th anniversary this year, and they’re doing it up big. Why not? It’s an ideal community in many ways with memorable views of verdant hills and the blue glories of Lake Winnipesaukee...
Roman’s Parrot & Toy Empire in Salem is for the birds. Literally.
The store is a blast to the senses. Walk through the front door and enter a whimsical world of toys. Think rubber duckies and red hearts, jewel-tone plastic, metal bells, rustic coconut shells stuffed with husks and hand-painted wooden blocks in red, green and purple...
A lot of people glean their image of New England from movies, Norman Rockwell paintings or old Currier and Ives prints – quaint vignettes of dirt roads, mom-and-pop shops, brick buildings, snow-covered pines, general stores and neighbors who seem to know everyone in town.
Supporting local farmers isn’t just a fair-weather pastime, it’s a year-round challenge in the northern climes. Winter farmers’ markets make it possible to offer locally raised products while, at the same time, supporting farms when cornfields are locked under snow.
We know there’s a lot of pressure to express your love for your honey each year in the middle of February. But here at Fiddlehead we like to keep all our holidays local. Below find some suggestions that not only will expresses your devotion to your significant other, but also your devotion to community artisans, artists and businesses...
Gunstock Mountain Resort has drawn visitors to the Lakes Region in winter since Franklin Roosevelt was in the White House, a loaf of bread cost nine cents and “They Can’t Take that Away from Me” was at the top of the music charts, but there’s more to the region than winter sports for visitors and locals alike.
“We enjoy the serenity and beauty of the lake here in the winter months... The population of Gilford drops down to 7,000-ish like-minded residents, which makes it very, small-town quaint and peaceful"....
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.