As you know, Food on the Food likes to support the local community. I regularly feature ingredients from local farmers, fishermen, and artisans. I like to share news of book releases from local authors. I often publicize local food-related community events. Now, I’m announcing a friendly venture with a local family-owned business: The Concord Shop.
If you’re not familiar with this culinary hardware store located in historic Concord, you’re in for a treat. It’s jam-packed with all kinds of practical kitchen tools, from the requisite whisks, spatulas, and wooden spoons to electronic scales, cookie cutters, teapots, Lodge cast irons skillets, table linens, candles, baskets, and all manner of bakeware, not to mention cookbooks. I’m not one to indulge in unnecessary kitchen gadgetry, but I do need to replace some stuff every once in a while (smashed candy thermometers, for example) and The Concord Shop hasn’t let me down. The selection is extremely practical without being stodgy. Besides, it’s the cutest little store you’ve ever seen. My pictures don’t do it justice. It’s small, square-footage-wise, but it would take a serious time commitment to peruse the entire inventory bursting from the hand-labeled jars and bins, and hanging from the ceiling.
I got the idea to approach owners Meghan and Bob Prestidge about teaming up because of all the unsolicited inquiries I get everyday from people asking me to cover products on my blog that have nothing to do with my blog at all. Like: I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter. Huh? Who told them to take the butter out of my butter? Put it back! That got me thinking. What if there were a place—a magical place—where all the stuff in the store were stuff I wanted and would happily buy if given half a chance and some cash? AND it was supporting a small, local, family-owned business. Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Naturally I figured it wouldn’t work out. I mean, they'd probably turn out to be jerks, right? Well, they’re not jerks!!! They're soooo nice, in fact. And somehow I was able to suppress my own jerk-like tendencies for the whole length of the meeting, so I think we were all happily surprised!
Our evolving partnership goes something like this. They let me borrow some of their stuff for my photos (plates, bowls, random utensils), and I let you know when the stuff is theirs. That might give you a much-needed break from seeing the same white plate in every single solitary picture I post. It might also give me some creative inspiration. Furthermore, if I see something that I like in my travels to the shop, I might mention it here. Like the amazing potholders and smock-style aprons they carry, which are handmade by a friend of theirs in Quebec. And the rectangular French tart pans I covet. And the paring knives with bright, citrus-colored handles that match my kitchen curtains. And who doesn’t dream of having their very own pizza peel instead of sliding their pie onto the baking stone with parchment paper and just letting it burn away!! I’m telling you, this store is a gem.
So this is what I think. The next time you’re in the Concord area, stop by. Surely you’ve snapped all the handles off of your wooden spoons by now. Or make a special trip to Concord Center. There’s also a wine and cheese shop, toy store, and book store all within a block, and mere minutes away are the year-round farm stores of Codman Farm, Verrill Farm, and Pete and Jen’s Backyard Birds. Know that when you’re supporting The Concord Shop, you’re also supporting this blog. And if you’re not in the area, please patronize your own local businesses.
Now back to work, people!