Kylie S

Aug 172016

PEM PM Aug 2016

When the days of August fall to a precious few, unhappy memories of winters past resurrect themselves to create the “end of summer blues.” You don’t want to shovel snow again; don’t even want to think of it again. Cheer up. The Peabody Essex Museum has the cure! Coming up this Thursday, Aug. 18th is the next PEM/PM late night party, called simply End of Summer Blues.

The key word is “blues.”

The PEM invites you to come to the Museum from 6-9pm to enjoy local blues bands, be a part of the music with instrument making, and style yourself blue with denim art workshops. There will also be lawn games and backyard BBQ food while enjoying a selection of beer.

Let this celebration of the good times of summer help you moderate your perspective onto the good things of fall/winter. Special family visits. Pumpkin picking. Tree selecting and tree lighting. Snowman making. Ski trips. Holiday meals.  New Year’s Eve parties.

Summer into Autumn into Winter is inevitable . Just as is Winter into Spring back into Summer. Each season has a value and this Thursday, PEM invites you to celebrate the summer of 2016.

The Peabody Essex Museum is located at East India Square (161 Essex St) in Salem, MA. For more info, call 978-745- 9500 .

May 242016

We’re bringing the monthly Business Spotlight back!  Every month, Salem Main Streets will highlight a business in downtown Salem that might be relatively unknown, off-the-beaten path, misunderstood, or just plain cool. This month, we took a trip with our partner Creative Salem to answer a long-wondered question – what exactly IS a waterbar? Thank you to Creative Salem for the amazing photo-documentation – you can see their glossier version of this article here.

What: Ocean Chic Boutique & Waterbar
Where: 96 Wharf Street, Salem, MA
Owner: Erica Kirwan

When you step into Ocean Chic, it’s hard not feel like you’ve stepped into a mini-vacation. You stand a little looser, breathe a little deeper, and slow down a bit more.  And that’s no accident – owner Erica Kirwan has worked hard to make sure her own “little slice of heaven” on Pickering Wharf inspires a sense of positivity and relaxation. Celebrating its two year anniversary this week, many people are still discovering what makes Ocean Chic so special.

After a life in the corporate world helping other entrepreneurs make their dreams come true, Erica Kirwan was ready to slow down and make something that was distinctly her own.  From the beachy, bo-ho feel to the inspirational jewelry and art found around the store, the whole store reflects “all of my favorite things,” says Kirwan.  The city of Salem itself was also important in creating Ocean Chic, as a maritime community with a positive energy of its own that just felt right. Kirwan adds, “If I hadn’t found Salem, Ocean Chic wouldn’t exist.”

Kirwan defines her boutique as having “big brands you know, and local ones you’re going to love” – and it’s absolutely true.  Ocean Chic is the only boutique in town to carry some of the big-name brands common to high-end seaside communities, including Vineyard Vines and Lilly Pulitzer, but also carries smaller local brands as well as unique brands from the West Coast. The boutique is also one of the only places in town to buy bathing suits and other beach wear. Not sure what works for you, or planning a new vacation wardrobe? Ocean Chic also offers personal styling services, which also make for a great gift if you’re not sure what someone on your list might like.

But we all know that shopping can be a thirsty business! The waterbar at Ocean Chic is designed to refresh as well as being yet another way of encouraging shoppers to slow down and enjoy their time. After weaning herself away from the extreme amounts of coffee in her corporate life, Kirwan herself discovered how much there is to water.  From maple water to boxed water to coconut water lattes (for those who still need their caffeine!), there’s always something new to sit and sip at Ocean Chic.  Not sure if you’re going to like something? Consider asking for a flight!

Ocean Chic is open 7 days a week (sometimes less during the winter), online 24/7/365 at, and on social media via Facebook and Instagram. You can also join Ocean Chic on celebrating its second birthday this Thursday evening, 5 pm to 8 pm!




Mar 312016


The Salem Arts Festival, held every year on the first full weekend in June (June 3-5, 2016), has become the first harbinger of summer in downtown Salem over the past seven years.  But a lot of work and fun goes into supporting the Arts Festival all through the spring, and there are plenty of ways for YOU to get involved right now!

  • Do you, or an organization you’re affiliated with, want to contribute your own small piece of art to a large-scale community-built public art project?  Move With Me, a collaborative public art project led by artist and architect Claudia Paraschiv, will feature a temporary installation of community-produced pinwheels over Front Street during the festival.  Student/artist/organizational groups can contact Claudia about participating, or individuals can join a pinwheel workshop any Tuesday evening in April.
  • Are you a business or individual who would like to support the festival? Sponsors who make a commitment by April 5 can get complimentary tickets to our amazing Fashion Show fundraiser!  Speaking of which…
  • Do you like FUN?!  Now in its third year, our annual Fashion Show Fundraiser is quickly becoming one of the hottest nights of the year. There’s no better way to show your support for the Arts Festival, and thanks to our fundraiser sponsor People’s United Bank, absolutely all proceeds from the evening go directly to supporting the festival in June.

Salem Arts Festival 2015 Photos by Creative Salem_4748

The Salem Arts Festival is organized by Salem Main Streets and a collaboration of Salem organizations which provide support for the festival, including the Salem State University Center for the Creative and Performing Arts, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem Arts Association, Salem Food Tours, and Creative Salem.

Mar 242016

We’re bringing the monthly Business Spotlight back!  Every month, Salem Main Streets will highlight a business in downtown Salem that might be relatively unknown, off-the-beaten path, misunderstood, or just plain cool. This month, we took a trip with our partner Creative Salem to get a sneak peek at an older business with a new vision. Thank you to Creative Salem for the amazing photo-documentation – you can see their glossier version of this article here.

RESIZED Melt Ice Cream collaboration with Salem Main Streets and Creative Salem_0468

What: Melt Ice Cream
Where: 60 Washington Street, Salem, MA
Owner: Christiana Kroondyk

Many locals got understandably anxious this winter when they saw brown paper on the windows of The Salem Screamery, a favorite ice cream parlor, but when we got the scoop (sorry, couldn’t help ourselves), the news ended up to be better than we could have anticipated.  After a year of operating the Salem Screamery, the current owner is finally transitioning the business over to reflect her own brand and vision. The results are simply delicious.

Salem resident Christiana Kroondyk isn’t afraid to do things a little unconventionally, with flavors or with business. Kroondyk first started dreaming about her own ice cream line during a 2009 vacation, when she visited an ice cream parlor with deliciously unconventional flavors and thought, “I want to do that!” She started playing with her own combinations at home a few years later, and came up with the concept of Melt as an artisanal ice cream line. The original plan was to start as a vendor at farmers’ markets and slowly develop the product over time – but when the chance came to buy the Salem Screamery last year, it was too good to pass up.

This definitely turned Kroondyk’s timetable around a bit – instead of establishing the product until she was ready for a storefront, she suddenly had a storefront before she had established her own product!  She made the decision to keep operating as the Salem Screamery for the first year, continuing to source from Bliss Bros. Dairy while learning the ropes of running a storefront business and slowly introducing her own, unique homemade flavors.  If you noticed new options popping up last year like pumpkin, sweet potato fluff, or anise with candied fennel seeds (!), you have an idea of where this is going.

RESIZED Melt Ice Cream collaboration with Salem Main Streets and Creative Salem_0501 RESIZED Melt Ice Cream collaboration with Salem Main Streets and Creative Salem_0539RESIZED Melt Ice Cream collaboration with Salem Main Streets and Creative Salem_0597







So what makes Melt different? Kroondyk’s vision for Melt has always included a strong focus on community and locally-sourced ingredients. Current flavors feature a number of ingredients from local, regional businesses, including coffee beans from Atomic Coffee Roasters (Salem), sea-salt brownie bits from Jodi Bee Bakes (Salem), chocolate from Taza Chocolate (Somerville), tea from MEM Tea (Watertown), nuts from That Nutty Redhead (Rockport), and candies from Sweet Lydia’s (Lowell).  The interior is open and inviting, including work by local artist Scott Froeschl (keep your eyes peeled for a mural coming soon). Last but not least, all ice cream is now made on-site in Melt’s beautiful, brand-new ice cream mixer! Kroondyk has also started making additional ingredients in-house, including homemade waffle cones.

Melt Ice Cream opens its doors on Thursday, March 24th, and will be open SEVEN DAYS A WEEK: for now, 1pm – 8pm on Sunday – Thursday, 1pm – 9pm, and Friday – Saturday.  Stop in to treat yourself and support a great new local business!

RESIZED Melt Ice Cream collaboration with Salem Main Streets and Creative Salem_0458

Jan 242016


For those new to Salem and the work of Salem Main Streets, there’s a frequent misconception that life must get quieter for us after October. We do our best to laugh politely when we hear this from friends and family, as nothing could be further than the truth!  Little do they know that we have been planning for months for Holiday Happenings, a collection of events and initiatives celebrating downtown Salem that keep us going non-stop from mid-November through New Year’s Eve.

We’re often so busy looking forward to the next season that we often neglect to celebrate what we’ve just accomplished.  As we prepare for our Annual Meeting on Tuesday night, we wanted to take a quick chance to recap all the different pieces that made up Holiday Happenings 2015 for Salem Main Streets – you’ll see what we mean about going non-stop:


  • Wreaths and Ribbons – to add to the festive atmosphere, we hung over 100 wreaths around the downtown (this year with lovely white lights, thanks to the City of Salem’s Electrical Department!), and a squad of 25+ volunteers spent a beautiful November morning lugging ladders around and covering the downtown in red ribbon.
  • The Holiday Tree – our holiday tree on Lappin Park is always a perfect example of the collaborative spirit of Salem, and this year was no exception. From the hours the City’s Department of Public Works donates in helping to decorate, to the community partners who help with selection, delivery, and donations for the tree, to the hundreds of tourists who give donations to Duchess Gigi in October specifically for the tree, and of course, one beautiful, locally-grown and donated tree!
  • Santa’s Arrival and Tree Lighting – due to a logistical snag, we re-combined these two popular events on the Friday after Thanksgiving, and we are so glad we did!  We have never had such a crowd (see picture at the top of this post), and it was truly an incredible way to welcome in the season.
  • Small Business Saturday – Main Streets teamed up with the Salem Chamber and 40 downtown businesses this year to help promote shopping small and local the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and despite the less than ideal weather, the city was packed with happy shoppers all day long. It also marked the beginning of a month-long partnership with the Boy Scouts, who sold wreaths and wrapped gifts out of the Info Booth as a fundraiser.
  • Salem Winter Market – we tried something new this year, and decided to move our winter extension of the Salem Farmers’ Market to one weekend day a month, rather than a weekly weeknight through November and December. It seems like you all approved – we saw over twice as many people in those two days than we did for the entire winter market season last year!
  • Holiday Window Contest – our annual holiday window contest between downtown businesses returned with a vengeance, this year with a social media component where shoppers posted pictures of their favorites.
  • Festive Friday Nights – we are constantly trying new ways to encourage downtown shopping, and this year we encouraged over 30 downtown retailers to commit to staying open until 8 pm every Friday in December. We gave it kind of a trial run this year, but we are looking forward to hearing from businesses whether we should expand on this in future years.
  • New Year’s Eve – and last but certainly not least, our New Year’s Eve LAUNCH! event was bigger and better than ever, with over 700 attendees during the two hour event and a “greener” countdown this year with beachballs and paper whirligigs and airplanes to replace the less environmentally-friendly balloons we’d used in the past.

Phew!  No wonder we’re just getting around to recapping it now!  But what was it all for? Why does Salem Main Streets DO all these things in the first place? Join us for our Annual Meeting on Tuesday night at Ames Hall at the YMCA at 5:30 p.m. and find out!