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  • April 27, 2016 6:25 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)
    Originally posted in the Monadnock Shopper News

    Monadnock Buy Local is buzzing with excitement thanks to author, attorney and local economist Michael Shuman’s recent visit to Keene.  Thank you to the seventy people who attended Michael’s Local Economy Solution Event and the forty-five who attended his Pollinator Enterprises Workshop.  Let’s keep the buzz about pollinator enterprises going.

    We continue to collect the names of existing and emerging pollinator enterprises in the Monadnock Region -- innovative, self-financing businesses that support other businesses -- in hopes of amplifying this approach to local economic development. View our current list of pollinator enterprises as of today.

    In this month’s article, we very briefly highlight three pollinator enterprises, either active or emerging in our region. Representatives from these three efforts attended our daylong workshop with Michael Shuman and include a community supported solar initiative, an artist incubation hub and a regional loyalty card.

    Community Supported Solar
    The Monadnock Sustainability Network’s Community Supported Solar initiative is an existing pollinator enterprise in our region -- and the Monadnock Food Co-op in Keene is the first business to benefit from their efforts.  This initiative developed a funding model that allowed for solar panels, owned by a small group of local investors, to go on the roof of the Co-op.  The Co-op will receive renewable energy generated by these panels and, over time, will purchase the panels from the initial investors.  The Network recently released a guide to help others start their own community supported solar projects in New Hampshire.

    “Michael Shuman confirmed that a healthy local economy is essential for a vibrant community, yet it’s very hard to nurture the local economy when most policies and mechanisms favor large and distant enterprises,” said John Kondos, Board President of the Monadnock Sustainability Network.  “But stopping economic leakages, dollars sent out of the community, contributes to a healthy local economy -- for example energy, investment and labor dollars are retained by community supported solar systems.”

    Learn more at www.greenmonadnock.org.

    Machina Arts
    Currently at the Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship, Machina Arts is organizing itself to become a hub for the creative economy.  They already host pop-up events that bring art out into the community, but their future plans include renovating an old building in Keene into an “ArtSpace” that offers an art gallery, education programs, studios, a performance venue and social gathering place.   Instead of forming as a nonprofit, Machina Arts plans to incorporate as a Benefit Corporation – a type of for-profit business that pursues mission-driven goals and uses “business as a force for good.”

    “Machina Arts really benefited from the pollinator workshop because we realized how much we are a pollinator,” shared Danya Pugliese, Co-Founder of Machina Arts.  “We could not believe the outreach and ideas that sprang up.  We want our future ArtSpace to act as a hub of innovation and creativity, that reaches out into our community, leaving it more vibrate with arts and culture.”

    Learn more at www.machinaarts.org/.

    Local Loyalty Card
    Monadnock Buy Local is exploring the feasibility of launching a loyalty card in our region -- a card that offers gifts and discounts to users who spend their dollars at locally owned businesses.  We are looking at one specific loyalty card based in Portland, OR called Supportland.  It currently boasts a network of 150 independent businesses and 80,000 users who have collectively shifted $8 million of their spending to locally owned businesses.

    “The benefit to [groups like Monadnock Buy Local] is now they have the data to prove whether their campaign was a success.  We want their members to pay dues, not as a gift, but rather because the alliance is really improving their bottom line,” said Michael Scotto di Carlo, Co-Founder of Supportland.

    Learn more www.supportland.com/.

    Want to learn more about pollinator enterprises?  Watch Michael Shuman’s talk in Keene and please keep in touch.

    Member Drive
    Our 2016 Monadnock Buy Local Member Drive is in full swing.  Ask your favorite locally owned businesses and organizations to join us before May 1st.  Why join?  Our members fuel this movement -- the more members we have, the greater our ability to forward a more local, fair and green economy in the Monadnock Region.  Business memberships start at $100 a year or $10 a month: www.monadnocklocal.org/join/.

    Bike to Work Day
    The Monadnock Alliance for Sustainable Transportation (MAST) and League of American Bicyclists, a national organization of bicyclists, announce that May 20th is “Bike to Work Day.”  Bicyclists are invited to enjoy free coffee, snacks and giveaways at Railroad Square in Keene from 6:00am to Noon.  Participants will be entered into a raffle to win prizes such as a bicycle basket from Peterboro Basket Company.  Learn more at www.mastnh.org/.

  • April 26, 2016 5:52 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    After focusing her creativity for the past decade on her successful photography business, artist Kimberly Peck is now shifting her talents back into retail and opening Nest :: mother child home, in downtown Peterborough.  Peck invites the community to Nest’s Grand Opening Celebration on Saturday, May 7, 2016 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 4 Grove Street in Peterborough, NH.  The Grand Opening includes raffles, prizes, and an official ribbon cutting ceremony at 12:30 pm, hosted by Peterborough Selectboard member, Barbara Miller.

    Nest specializes in newborn clothing & accessories, toys & activities for children of all ages, thoughtful gifts for mothers, and hand-crafted home essentials. “We are, in large part, defined by our homes and our families and that is my inspiration for Nest,” says Peck. “I think it creates such joy to be able to choose what we surround ourselves with and what we give to others.”

    Nest’s offerings include Farmhouse Pottery from Woodstock, VT, Erin Flett Home Designs from Maine, Milkbarn Kids clothing, Cate + Levi toys, Under the Nile Organics, MotherLove herbals, Plan Toys, Organic Farm Buddies, PlusPlus activities, and much more.  “I’m very mindful about what I offer my customers,” says Peck. “My intention with Nest is to offer sustainably-made and of course, fun, products and to facilitate more economic activity in our local community.”

    Peck closed her previous children’s shop, Precious Cargo, in 2010 after the birth of her third child.  “While I found my photography to be completely fulfilling, I missed my store and the day to day connection with the community,” Peck shares. “Downtown Peterborough is vibrant and has so much to offer -- I’m thrilled to be a part of it again, and to offer my customers a bright and cheerful place to shop and visit.”

    NEST is located at 4 Grove Street, across from the Peterborough Town Offices. Store hours will be Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  For more information, please call 603.567.7914

  • April 21, 2016 9:45 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)


    Toadstool Bookshops will have special literary offerings from favorite authors available in limited quantities when we open at 10 am.

    And in support of the buy local and independent movement Toadstool will donate 10% of their April 30th sales in Keene and Peterborough to MONADNOCK BUY LOCAL!

    In Milford, they will donate 10% of the day's sales to SHARE whose mission is to provide food, clothing, and emergency financial assistance to families in need living in Milford, Amherst, Mont Vernon, and Brookline.

    Stop in for a poetry gathering and raffle in Keene and delicious goodies in Keene and Milford. 

    RSVP on Facebook (and help us spread the word!)

  • April 02, 2016 9:21 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Help the Monadnock Alliance for Sustainable Transportation (MAST) celebrate Bike Month in May. 

    Here's what they're planning - and how you can support these events:

    • Bike to Work Week
    - Encourage your staff to commute by bicycle and log their miles via Commute Smart NH's Trip Logger (join the MAST team!)
    • Bike to Work Day
    - Join with these Monadnock Buy Local members and become a sponsor:
    Prime Roast Coffee: Free coffee from 7am-noon for Bicycle Commuters at the store
    Brewbakers: Donating Coffee for Bike to Work table at Railroad Square
    Monadnock Buy Local: Bicycle Basket from Peterboro Basket Company
    Monadnock Food Co-op: Gift Card
    Contact Mari at MAST if you'd like to sponsor Bike to Work Day in Keene: (603) 357-0557 or mbrunner@swrpc.org.

  • March 28, 2016 7:19 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Originally posted in the Monadnock Shopper News

    One of my favorite Pollinator Enterprises (as of today!) is Zingerman’s Community of Businesses in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  They are the “bee’s knees” of Pollinator Enterprises -- a whole community of innovative, self-financing businesses that support other businesses.   Even Inc. Magazine called it “The coolest small company in America.”

    Zingerman’s started as a delicatessen in 1982.  When their success began to plateau, owners Paul Saginaw and Ari Weinzweig chose a unique path to growth -- one they felt would generate a greater positive impact on their employees and their neighborhood.  Instead of franchising their business, they became a “family of independently owned but coordinated enterprises collectively named the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses.”  Zingerman’s grew deep, instead of wide.

    In the early 90s, their first effort to “grow deep” began with opening a bakery -- to provide a local source of the bread the deli used for sandwiches.  Then in 2001, they created a creamery business to provide cheese and other dairy products to the deli, next a coffee roaster, then a candy manufacturer – and, to this day, they continue to add businesses up and down their supply chain.  One of their most recent additions is the Zingerman’s Cornman Farms, a working farm and event venue.  Zingerman’s Community of Businesses now includes 10 independent enterprises, selling $60 million of goods and services annually and employing close to 600 individuals.

    Any Zingerman’s employee who wishes to start a new enterprise goes through an extensive two-year in-house leadership development program.  If the business idea is viable, the revenue from other businesses provides startup funding for the new enterprise -- or, in more lean times, Paul and Ari take out (or provide) a loan that the employee pays back as a salary reduction.

    Another way Zingerman’s helps strengthen other businesses is through their consulting business, called ZingTrain.  ZingTrain provides training on customer service, leadership development, open book management and business visioning.   The positive effects of these trainings extend to our region: Many staff members at the Monadnock Food Co-op received training from ZingTrain.  I was lucky enough to take a 2-day workshop on open book management with ZingTrain last year.  Their website features free essays and webinars for all to peruse: zingtrain.com.

    Other things that make Zingerman’s cool: They use zero waste practices (reusing materials that are destined for the landfill at other businesses), each business has a garden, and they capture their greywater or rainwater for reuse.  To underscore their coolness factor even more, read Zingerman’s vision for 2020: bit.ly/zingermans2020.

    We invite you to learn more about Pollinator Enterprises like Zingerman’s at Michael Shuman’s free public talk called “The Local Economy Solution” on April 7th at 7 p.m. at the Keene State College Alumni Center. This event is part of the Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce’s Regional Issues Series.  The first 50 event registrants will receive a free “Local Economy Buzz” Swag Bag with goodies from Monadnock Buy Local members.  This event is free, but please register today: localeconomysolution.eventbrite.com.

    Michael will also lead a more in-depth daylong workshop on April 8th at the Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship in Keene.  He will provide inspiration for developing, launching and amplifying the work of new and existing Pollinator Enterprises here in the Monadnock Region and beyond. This event is also free, but donations are encouraged: pollinatorenterprises.eventbrite.com.

    Both events are sponsored by Monadnock Buy Local, New Hampshire Local Economy Network, Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce, Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship, Healthy Monadnock, W.S. Badger Company, Keene Yoga Center, MB Massage Studio, Southwest Region Planning Commission, Monadnock Food Co-op, Green Energy Options, Chelsea Green Publishing, Facilitated Change, New England Web & Tech Collective, Monadnock Shopper News, Toadstool Bookshops, Monadnock Sustainability Network, Monadnock Time Exchange, Arts Alive!, The Sustainability Project, Monadnock Broadcasting Group, Keene Sentinel, Clark-Mortenson Insurance, Catlin + Petrovick Architects and Wyatt & Associates.  Learn more at monadnocklocal.org/pollinators.

    We hope to see you at one or, better yet, both events.  Thanks for being the “bee’s knees” of local economy supporters!

  • March 25, 2016 8:53 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Locally owned businesses contribute so much to our local economy and community — make sure everyone knows that you’re part of this movement:

    What is Monadnock Buy Local? We are a network of locally owned businesses, nonprofits and citizens creating a more local, green and fair economy.  See which of your friends and neighbors joined this year.

    Why Join?

    • Earn recognition for being a locally owned business
    • Feel pride in supporting the Buy Local Movement
    • Increase customer loyalty and visibility in your community

    Listen now

    Is Monadnock Buy Local supporting its members? Sixty-four percent of businesses located in cities with active Independent Business Alliances / Local First campaigns (like Monadnock Buy Local) reported increased customer traffic and other benefits from efforts like ours. View more details about our impacts.

  • March 03, 2016 8:43 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

  • February 26, 2016 7:40 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Originally Posted in Parent Express

    Spring is an ideal time to shift your family’s eating habits to more locally grown food, as the bounty of the growing season begins to trickle in.  How do you make this shift without driving up your food expenses?  Here are seven tips to help you shift your spending to more local food.

    Make a Budget
    This first tip may seem obvious, but establishing goals are a great way to empower yourself to make a change.  Create an entire food budget and then a goal for how much you plan to spend on locally grown and locally produced food.  Start small by taking 5-10% of your total food budget and directing that spending to local food.  As you gain experience and success, shift 10% more of your spending to local food.

    Eat in Season
    Visit your local farmers’ market and see what’s abundant.  As specific fruits and vegetables become more plentiful, prices tend to go down for that type of produce.  Talk to the farmers and local food vendors and ask them what’s the best value of the day.  On days when there isn’t a market open, keep what’s in season in mind as you make your purchases at local farm stands and grocery stores. Find a farmers’ market near you at newhampshirefarms.net/explorenh.

    Pre-order Your Food
    Community Supported Agriculture, better known as a CSA, works like this: an individual or family pre-orders a share of the harvest from a farmer before the growing season begins.  This model provides farmers with cash up front to help pay for seeds, compost and other needed supplies for the coming growing season. As a CSA member, individuals receive more value for their dollar and cultivate a closer connection to a farm.  Members also broaden their palette for local food, trying different types of produce in new ways thanks to recipe suggestions from the farmer and fellow CSA members.  Find a CSA Farm near you at yardenofeatin.wordpress.com/csas/.

    Try What’s On Sale
    Find out how your favorite grocery store labels locally grown and made food and then check to see which of these items are on sale.  The Monadnock Food Co-op makes this easy by labeling local items on their “MFC Deals” Sales Flyer with a bright orange icon.  You can see their latest sales flyer at monadnockfood.coop/sales-for-all/.

    Grow Your Own
    Have something that your family just can’t eat enough of?  Try growing it in your yard or in a container.  I love strawberries -- so many parts of my lawn are carpeted with strawberry plants.  What I don’t eat goes into my freezer to enjoy during the winter months.  Like with your budget, start small -- herbs and sprouts are great first options. Check out UNH Cooperative Extension for gardening resources at extension.unh.edu/gardening-resources/.

    Cook More Often
    This is where I stumble, but cooking in batches and freezing meals for later is a critical strategy for eating local on a budget.  Find a cookbook or online recipe site that features seasonal fruits and vegetables.  My favorite resource is Farmer John’s Cookbook by John Peterson and Angelica Organics.  Recipes are grouped by season with storage tips and culinary uses for each type of produce.  One of my favorites recipes, hands-down, is Spiced Parsnip Cake.

    Reduce Food Waste
    You’ve spent well-earned money on fruits and vegetables that are grown and processed with lots of love and care, now make sure this food lasts.  Find out the best way to store and preserve each type of produce at extension.unh.edu/community-gardens/harvesting-and-preserving/.

    Here’s one extra bonus tip:
    If you or someone you know receives Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, please be sure to check out the Farmers’ Market of Keene’s Double Up Veggie Program and the Monadnock Food Co-op’s Healthy Food for All Program.  The Farmers’ Market’s program doubles the purchasing power of participants’ dollars, up to $10 per market day, while the Co-op’s program offers participants a 10% discount everyday when they shop. Learn more at monadnockfood.coop/healthy-food/.

    Here’s to your success -- and to the success of our local farmers and food producers as we all shift to eating more locally grown and made food.

  • February 19, 2016 6:51 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Originally posted in the Monadnock Shopper News

    “In nature pollinators like bees, butterflies, or bats carry pollen from plant to plant, and they instinctively know that the intermixing of these pollens nourishes the entire ecosystem. Pollinator businesses similarly carry the best elements of one local business to another, thereby fertilizing all local businesses and creating a healthy entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

    ~ Michael Shuman, The Local Economy Solution

    This spring, Monadnock Buy Local is excited to offer a unique opportunity for our region -- one that we hope creates much “buzz” and boosts our collective efforts to grow our local economy.  Michael Shuman, author and a leading expert on community economics, will visit our region on April 7 – 8 to share the latest buzz in local economy work -- pollinator enterprises.  He will provide inspiration for developing, launching and amplifying the work of new and existing pollinator enterprises here in the Monadnock Region and beyond.

    Pollinator Enterprises are innovative, self-financing businesses and nonprofits that drive job growth and community prosperity by supporting economic planning, entrepreneurship, local purchasing, workforce development, collaboration and local investing.  They are diverse in nature and include youth entrepreneurship schools, local debit cards, makerspaces and local farm delivery services.

    The success of these businesses is not solely tied to their financial bottom line, but is connected to community goals like the percentage of jobs in locally owned businesses, number of citizens prepared to start a new business, survival rate of local businesses and other social and environmental measures. 

    Shuman’s book “The Local Economy Solution” digs deeper into 28 models of Pollinator Enterprises.  Here are just a few examples to pique your interest:

    Fundación Paraguaya runs agriculture education schools in Paraguay financed through the revenues generated by student-run enterprises.  Their theory is to “learn by doing, selling and earning.”

    Fledge is a business accelerator in Seattle that offers training and mentorship for startup mission-based businesses.  It actually pays the startup to participate in its program, set up as an investment in the company.  Fledge then earns equity from the startups that graduate from its program and launch into successful socially responsible businesses.

    Tucson Originals is an alliance of locally owned restaurants in Southern Arizona that buys supplies in bulk and markets the benefits of dining locally.  More importantly, they work to preserve the heart and soul of their regional culinary culture.

    Credibles, based in San Francisco, is an online platform where customers can pre-pay for food from their favorite restaurant, coffee shop or grocery store, and that business receives critical capital needed to grow their business.

    Main Street Genome, based in Washington, DC, looks closely at a business’ operations to identify inefficiencies.  The savings gained from fixing those weaknesses are split between Main Street Genome and each business it works with.

    What about Pollinator Enterprises that already exist in our region?  There are many businesses and nonprofits with Pollinator Enterprise-like qualities.  We hope to see more of them become self-financing in the future. 

    They include the Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship’s Incubator Program, Monadnock Buy Local’s emerging Debit/Loyalty Card Program, Monadnock Table Magazine, Monadnock Art x Tech Markerspace, Make It So Makerspace, Monadnock Menus, New England Web & Tech Collective, Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing, YEA! Young Entrepreneurs Academy, Arts Alive!, Team Jaffrey, Keene Downtown Group and many more yet to be identified.  Help us add to this list by contacting monadnockbuylocal@gmail.com.  Stay tuned for more Monadnock Region Pollinator Enterprises at monadnocklocal.org/monadnockpollinators

    We invite you to learn more about Pollinator Enterprises at Michael Shuman’s free public talk on April 7th at 7 p.m. at the Keene State College Alumni Center. This event is part of the Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce’s Regional Issues Series and is sponsored by the Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship, Healthy Monadnock, Keene Yoga Center and W.S. Badger Company.  Michael will also lead a more in-depth daylong workshop on April 8th at the Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship.  Learn more at monadnocklocal.org/pollinators

    Our region has a strong vision for a sustainable community and solid economic development plans to get us there.  Let's expand our capacity to implement this work!  Pollinator enterprises illuminate a path forward for us -- towards our collective vision.  Please explore this new model of community economic development with us, and discover how we can help our local economy flourish.

  • January 30, 2016 8:57 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Congratulations to Barb Fletcher of Chesterfield, NH — the winner of our second annual Shift Your Shopping Spree.  Barb will receive $500 in gift certificates from her choice of Monadnock Buy Local member businesses.  Her winning receipt was from Your Kitchen Store in Keene, NH.


    This contest was part of the Shift Your Shopping annual campaign sponsored by Monadnock Buy Local which encourages residents to shop at locally owned businesses during the holidays to grow our local economy and strengthen our community.  Nearly 860 receipts were collected from 327 individuals totaling $62,743 in local purchases.


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