Jul 192017

We’re a little over halfway through our spotlight of the Pedestrian Mall businesses. So far we’ve hit Red Line Cafe, Trolley Depot, Emporium 32, New England Dog Biscuit Company, Aroma Sanctum, Village Tavern, Modern Millie, Wicked Good Books, Village Silversmith, Pamplemousse, Polonus, Bewitched, Omen, and FreakyElegant.  We thought we knew already knew a lot about these local storefronts, but we have been learning SO MUCH this week!

Have we missed your favorite “best kept secret” on the Pedestrian Mall? We still have more to share, but we want to hear from you!

If you haven’t been following along, here’s what we’ve learned so far during our #pedmallspotlight:

Jul 122017

It’s that time of year again – the Best of the North Shore‘s annual awards have been announced, and our Salem businesses and events have risen to the top again! Check out this awesome list of Salem-based award winners, or check out North Shore Magazine’s website for a full list –  http://www.nshoremag.com/bons-2017/.

Alfresco – Sea Level (Editors’ Choice)
Bacon – Back Alley Bacon (Readers’ Choice)
Bakery/Bread – A&J King’s (Editors’ and Readers’)
Indian– Passage to India (Readers’)
Italian – Firenze Trattoria (Readers’)
Kid-Friendly – Kokeshi (Editors’)
Mexican – Howling Wolf (Readers’)
Mussels – Turner’s Seafood at Lyceum Hall (Readers’)   
New Restaurant (Casual Hangout) – Kokeshi (Editors’)
Pizza – Bambolina (Editors’)
Raw Bar – Turner’s Seafood at Lyceum Hall (Readers’)
Seafood – Turner’s Seafood at Lyceum Hall (Readers’)
Small Plates – Bambolina (Editors’)
Sushi – Opus (Editors’), Koto (Readers’)
Vegetarian – Life Alive (Editors’ and Readers’)

After-Work Drinks – Opus (Readers’)
Bar – Opus (Readers’)
Brewery – Notch (Readers’)
Cocktail – Opus (Readers’)
Distillery– Rumson’s Rum (Editors’), Deacon Giles (Readers’)
Winery– Mill River Winery (Editors’ and Readers’) – Salem Farmers’ Market vendor!

Bake Shop/Pastry – Caramel Patisserie (French, Editors’), A&J King (Readers’)
Candies – Ye Olde Pepper Candy Companie (Editors’), Harbor Sweets (Readers’)
Chocolate – Harbor Sweets (Editors’)
Dessert – Sea Level (Editors’), Caramel (Readers’)

Books­ – Wicked Good Books (Readers’)
Cheese Shop – Cheese Shop of Salem (Editors’ and Readers’)
Clothing, Women’s Upscale– J. Mode (Readers’)
Gifts – Peabody Essex Museum Shop (Editors’)
Makeup Selection – Rouge Cosmetics (Readers’)
Yoga Apparel – Yoga Sakti (Editors’)

Gourmet Market – The Cheese Shop of Salem (Readers’)
Personal Chef Service –  Fine Food + Cooking, J. Ricardo Sanchez (Editors’)

Arts Festival – Salem Arts Festival (Editors’ and Readers’)
Community Walk/Run/Bike– Witch City 5K (Editors’)
Family Hangout, Indoor – Peabody Essex Museum (Readers’)
Festival (Fall)– Haunted Happenings (Editors’ and Readers’)
Festival (Spring) – Salem Film Fest (Editors’ and Readers’)
Museum – Peabody Essex Museum (Editors’ and Readers’)

Barbershop – Paxton (Editors’)
Bed and Breakfast – The Merchant (Readers’)

First Date – Opus (Readers’)
Girls’ Night Out – Opus (Readers’)
Late Night Nosh – Howling Wolf (Readers’)
Movie Theatre– CinemaSalem (Readers’)

Jun 082017
Step right up to the greatest show on Earth! Well, at least the greatest one on the earth that Salem, MA stands on – as our annual Salem Farmers’ Market returns bigger and better at 3-7 pm in Derby Square, today and every Thursday through October 12. Now in our ninth year, we are continuously working to bring new ideas and added benefits to the market while presenting the quality and variety of vendors you have come to expect.
New this year, we have two tables that will feature a storefront business – including many of our favorite success stories, like Jodi Bee Bakes and Far From the Tree. Salem, as many of you know, is filled with a lot of great brick and mortar companies that produce local food. We wanted to make sure they got a little face time too! You’ll only see each of these businesses once a month, so make sure to check in and see what they’ve brought.
And speaking of face time, here are today’s vendors that you can meet face to face and talk to about their items for sale. 
Today’s List of Vendors for June 8 :
West River Creamery
Cauldron Fermented Foods
Salem Soapworks
Honey Pot Farms
Pour Man’s Coffee
1643 Meadery
All Fruit
Gibney Gardens
Eva’s Organic Butcher Shop
Maitland Mountain Farm
Fishwives Specialty Foods (aka Mandy’s Wicked Chowdah)
Long Hill Farm
When Pigs Fly
Shine Jewelry
Jodi Bee Bakes
Grant Family Farm
Grammy’s Bakery
A&J Lobsters
Clark Farm
Rowands Seafood
Heavens Harvest Farm
Valicenti Pasta
Bare Cheek Beauty
Wally’s Vegetables
Kicking off this year’s music series, is Salem’s own Julie Dougherty! Julie has been rocking the music scene for a long time now, and is a favorite here in the city. 
SalemFive is the sponsor for today’s Market, and we are incredibly thankful for their continued support.
Of course, this is all just the beginning of something much bigger – the Farmers’ Market will be on Derby Square every Thursday through October 12, with a different mix of vendors every week!  Follow along at http://salemfarmersmarket.org/ to stay in the loop on the latest.
Apr 232017

Poetry is a bouquet, and just as a bouquet of flowers may be filled with colors, shapes, and scents, so to is a poem a blend of words, rhythms, and sounds. This will be evident May 5-7th when the 9th annual Massachusetts Poetry Festival welcomes many of America’s most admired poets to a celebration of Massachusetts’ lively contemporary poetry scene in historic downtown Salem, MA

The Mass Poetry Festival offers nearly 100 poetry readings and workshops, a small press and literary fair, panels, poetry slams, and open-air readings. Panel topics range broadly from The State of Poetry, poetry and gender, poetry and aging, book publishing, and children’s poetry.

Of special note, on Friday, May 5, MPF will host a “Student Day of Poetry” in which 300 high school students from across the Commonwealth study with acclaimed poets and instructors to discover their own unique voice.

Throughout the weekend, you are also invited to absorb the thoughts and expressions of acclaimed poets such as: Pulitzer-prize winner and former U.S. Poet Laureate Louise Glück, Guggenheim fellow Eileen Myles, Kazim Ali, Andrea Cohen, Cornelius Eady and Rough Magic, Ross Gay, Rigoberto González, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Emily Pettit, Tom Sleigh, and Dara Wier.

For a full breakdown of the schedule go to the MPF site.

As example of the diversity:

Friday from 1:15- 2:15pm at Old Town Hall (second floor) 32 Derby Square, a relatively new genre of music known as Post Rock will be combined with poetry and in so doing create “Post Rock Poetry.” Grounded in 1980’s and 90’s indie rock music, it is primarily instrumental, guitar, base, drums, and keyboard, with few lyrics. Typically, post rock pieces are lengthy and may contain, “… repetitive build ups of timbre, dynamics and texture.” (Wikipedia, 9/11/2016.) Because Post Rock seldom has lyrics, it lends itself to the creation of Post Rock Poetry that can explore the quest for a peace, understanding, and rising above hostilities and misfortune. In short, it rings with hope.

Then Friday evening, two of the finest poets writing today— the award-winning Ross Gay and Aimee Nezhukumatathil— will present from 7:30–9 p.m. in the Atrium of the Peabody Essex Museum.

Saturday afternoon will feature a musical performance by Cornelius Eady and his band Rough Magic, blending poetry and music at the Peabody Essex Museum. Headline poets Andrea Cohen, Tom Sleigh, Kazim Ali, and Rigoberto González will read throughout the day at the Peabody Essex Museum, celebrating the diversity and common threads among us all.

Saturday evening will feature award-winning poet and novelist Eileen Myles, 7:30–9 p.m. at The Bridge at 211. After her reading, she will be interviewed by WBUR’s celebrated host Christopher Lydon. Eileen Myles demonstrates the extraordinary possibilities of poetry to reveal the personal and political experiences of American life.


  • Peabody Essex Museum, 161 Essex Street
  • Hawthorne Hotel, 18 Washington Square
  • Old Town Hall, 32 Derby Square
  • Museum Place Mall, 1 E India Square Mall, New Liberty Charter School, Rooms 1-4 (on second floor)
  • The Bridge at 211 (Universalist Unitarian Church), 211 Bridge St
  • Howling Wolf, 76 Lafayette Street

From the beginning, the goals of Mass Poetry have been to “support poets and poetry in Massachusetts, to build new audiences for poetry, and to make poetry more accessible for those who need it most—often those who have the least access to it.” By bringing it to the streets and venues in Salem Ma, accessible to residents and visitors, the poetic bouquet of words, rhythms, and sounds can be enjoyed by so many more. You are invited to be among them.

Admission is $20, and $7 for students & seniors; an additional $10 service fee is charged for all workshops.

For additional info on The Massachusetts Poetry Festival, contact January Gill O’Neil at january@masspoetry.org.

(Photo courtesy of Creative Salem)

Jan 212017

Don’t tell your Valentine where you are going February 10th. Make it a big surprise. And it will be when he or she sees all the chocolates and wine delights within Colonial Hall at Rockefellas as part of the 15th annual Salem’s So Sweet Chocolate and Ice Sculpture Festival kick off party.

This luscious tasting event runs from 6:30-8:30pm; sponsored by St. Jeans, it features wine and chocolate samplings from premier Salem restaurants, stores, and sweet shops, as well as music by Molly Pinto Madigan.

Easily considered the highlight of the early Salem Ma social season, Salem’s So Sweet Chocolate and Ice Sculpture Festival kick off party usually sells out quickly, with tickets priced at only $30 a person.

It is a great romantic event if you wish to keep to yourselves, or a lovely opportunity to mingle with other aficionados of chocolate in its many forms and uses. And don’t forget the opportunity to sample an unlimited variety of wines!

It of course is not the only event for Salem’s So Sweet

This year, we have a record-breaking 25 beautiful ice sculptures that grace downtown Salem starting February 11. Some of the themes for this year’s ice sculptures will include the Queen of Hearts, Cinderella’s Carriage, a goat named Bella and more – plus an actual ice bar on Rockafellas’ patio!

A map can be found in the brochure (available in shops around town) during the festival and online at www.salemsosweet.com. Be sure to make plans for a special evening stroll on Saturday, Feb. 11, from 5 pm to 9 pm, when the sculptures will be illuminated by Retonica!

The Salem Trolley will offer trolley rides around the festival route weather permitting on February 11 & 12 from 12 pm to 4 pm for only $2 an adult (free for children).

Many downtown businesses will offer chocolate samplings and sweet discounts around downtown Salem all weekend in celebration of Valentine’s Day. Check to see who is participating in the “Sweet 10% Promotion” – make a full-price purchase at one participating downtown business and get 10% off your purchase at the next participating business! Offer is good Feb. 11 and 12 only, some restrictions may apply. In addition, many of Salem’s finest restaurants and retailers will be offering their own luscious chocolate and love-inspired specials and events.

Ice Sculptures Promote Fun

A full list of ice sculptures, participating businesses, and promotions is listed below and online, and will be available in brochures around town during the festival. Salem’s So Sweet is organized by Salem Main Streets and the Salem Chamber of Commerce, and supported by Creative Salem, Deschamps Printing Co., Destination Salem, Retonica, and Rockafellas. Visit our website for more events and details as they become available – www.salemsosweet.com – or follow our Facebook page for all the latest updates – https://www.facebook.com/salemsosweet.

Chocolate and Wine Tasting Participants

Adriatic Restaurant & Bar
Bit Bar Salem
Captain Dusty’s Ice Cream
Gulu-Gulu Café
Harbor Sweets
Hawthorne Hotel
Homewood Suites by Hilton Boston/Peabody
KOTO Asian Grill – Sushi & Lounge
Pirate Dog Brand LLC / Rumson’s Rum
Regatta Pub at Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites
Salem Beer Works
Turtle Alley Chocolates
Victoria Station & Vic’s Boathouse
Ye Olde Pepper Companie

Ice Sculptures

· Globe – Sponsored by The Journeymasters
· Han Solo – Sponsored by Gulu-Gulu Café and Flying Saucer Pizza
· Snowflake – Sponsored by Laura Lanes Skin Care
· Opening of Sophia Gordon Center – Sponsored by Salem State University
· Ice Bar – Sponsored by Rockafellas
· Champagne – Sponsored by Adriatic Restaurant & Bar
· Clock – Sponsored by Creative Salem, Hawthorne Hotel, and Retonica
· Cinderella’s Carriage – Sponsored by Maria’s Sweet Somethings
· Fish – Sponsored by Koto
· Green Tara – Sponsored by Coon’s Card and Gift Shop, Penelope’s Pet Boutique, and Tibet Arts
· Bella the Goat – Sponsored by Bella Research Group
· Lobster Love – Sponsored by Turner’s Seafood
· Salem Film Fest 2017 – Sponsored by Salem Film Fest
· Steampunk Heart – Sponsored by Emporium 32, Modern Millie, Pamplemousse, Salem Trolley, and Trolley Depot
· Winnie the Pooh – Sponsored by Museum Place Mall: A Sacred Place Wellness, Bada Bing Barbershop, Bewitched in Salem, Coldwell Banker, Essex’s N.Y. Deli & Pizza, Jodi Bee Bakes, Kan.del, Lotus Gifts, nAGLY, Omen, Pol onus European Deli, Primary Residential Mortgage, Remix Church, Thai Cuisine & Seafood, Village Tavern, Witch Pix, and Witch Tee’s
· Shoe – Sponsored by Peabody Essex Museum
· Arcade – Sponsored by Bit Bar Salem
· Ruby Slippers – Sponsored by Salem Witch Museum
· Bakery – Sponsored by Coffee Time Bake Shop
· St. Jean’s Sweet Savings – Sponsored by St. Jean’s Credit Union
· Queen of Hearts – Sponsored by Joliet Tea Company
· Mug – Sponsored by Notch Brewery & Taproom
· Waterfront Hotel – Sponsored by Regatta Pub at Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites
· Rumson’s Rum – Sponsored by Pirate Dog Brand LLC / Rumson’s Rum
· Candy – Sponsored by The House of Seven Gables and Ye Olde Pepper Companie

Sweet 10% Participants and Promotions

Army Barracks
Come and check out a unique Army/Navy store in Salem!

Bit Bar Salem
Buy one dessert, get another of equal lesser value free. 10% of all other food and non-alcoholic beverages. Offer valid Feb 10 – 12. Come in and play!

Salem’s ONLY Korean restaurant that offers Korean fried chicken as well as Korean entrees. Receive 10% off food with brochure.

Captain Dusty’s Ice Cream
Captain Dusty’s Ice Cream – Open April 1 thru November 1.

Coffee Time Bake Shop
Try our heart shaped triple chocolate cake, mousseberry cake, real hot chocolate and delicious real cream pastry.

Coon’s Card and Gift Shop & Penelope’s Pet Boutique
Visit our Green Tara Ice Sculpture display and stop inside to get a piece of chocolate for you and a treat for your pup!

The Coven’s Cottage
We will be serving hot chocolate and sweet refreshments from local shops!

Receive 10% off any full price purchase February 10th- February 12th. Curtsy features gifts for the home, jewelry, accessories, baby, fine sleepwear, and contemporary women’s fashion.

Finz Seafood & Grill
Come see how sweet Finz can be! Daily chocolate specials on the menu and behind the bar.

Harbor Sweets
10% off your purchase on February 11 with this brochure. (Closed Sunday, Feb. 12.)

Hawthorne Hotel
Enjoy a 10% discount at the Tavern or Nat’s when presenting this brochure.

Homewood Suites by Hilton Boston/Peabody
New and existing Hilton HHonors members receive 10% or more off hotel rates

House of Seven Gables
Visit us for cookie decorating (12pm – 3pm), crafts on Sunday, guided museum tours, and Valentine shopping in our Museum store.

J. Mode
Receive 10% off any purchase February 10th- February 12th. J.Mode receives contemporary sportswear daily from Bailey 44, Three Dots, Ecru, Johnny Was, and Nicole Miller.

Jodi Bee Bakes
Join us on Sunday, Feb 12 from 1pm – 4pm for our 2nd Annual “Bee Indulgent.”

Jolie Tea Company
Free chocolate-dipped madeleine with purchase; Queen of Hearts High Tea by reservation; 10% off on loose-leaf tea.

Keamy Cosmetic Centre
Enjoy 10% off all Botox and fillers to celebrate Valentine’s Day (valid 2/11 only).

KOTO Asian Grill – Sushi & Lounge
Salem’s So Sweet 10% promotion for dinner menu only, includes take-out and dine-in.

Laura Lanes Skin Care
Treat yourself or loved one to a facial or massage, and check out our new certified organic lip balm.

Maria’s Sweet Somethings
Take a dip at our fountain of chocolate, sample sweets, enter to win a Valentine gift basket, jelly bean counting contest, and gummy bear contest. Find us on Facebook!

Notch Brewery & Taproom
It’s the debut launch of our Milk Stout! 10% off all non-beer items.

Chocolate & Wine tasting Saturday & Sunday February 11th & 12th 2pm – 4pm!

Peabody Essex Museum,
The Museum Shop will be sampling chocolates from Harbor Sweets.

Regatta Pub at Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites
Enjoy 10% off all food and stay! Cocoa rubbed baby-back ribs w/chocolate BBQ sauce, peanut butter balls, & bourbon 5 layer chocolate cake specials.

RJ Coins and Jewelry
20% off all fine jewelry including Frederic Duclos, Roman Glass, and our new Dog Fever line!

Salem Witch Museum
Show this ad and receive 10% off our newest t-shirt featuring Rhinestone Ruby Red Slippers and wording “there’s no place like Salem!”

Sea Level Oyster Bar & Kitchen
Make a full-price purchase at one of the participating business and show your receipt to get 10% off at Sea Level!

Tibet Arts & Healing
Visit our Green Tara Ice Sculpture display and stop inside to get the free lesson for self-healing with singing bowl.

Trolley Depot
Gift with purchase of $25 or more, plus our annual indoor sidewalk sales for Sweet Deals!

Victoria Station & Vic’s Boathouse
Mention “Salem’s So Sweet” to server to receive a complimentary Ghirardelli chocolate mousse!

Ye Olde Pepper Companie
Offering coupons for 15% off to all who stop by our table at the Chocolate and Wine event, good February 16th – February 28th.

Tickets to the Salem’s So Sweet kick off party are $30 a person and can now be purchased over the phone by calling 978-744-0004, online at www.salemsosweet.com, or in person at the Salem Chamber of Commerce, 265 Essex Street, Suite 101.