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

Sep 052015
2015-09-02 13.35.18

HausWitch, 144 Washington Street


Ah, Labor Day weekend.  Traditionally a time to enjoy the last gasp of summer, the last barbecue, the last day at the beach.  It’s also traditionally a time when many people spend the long weekend painting, unpacking, and otherwise transforming a new house into a new home.

Whether you’re moving into new digs, finally getting around to some upgrades, or attending a housewarming, our downtown Salem businesses have everything you need to get settled.  We did a little homework this week, and here are a few ideas we found:


Witch City Thrift Consignment & Thrift (301 Essex Street) is the place to start for everything you need… and everything you didn’t think you needed!  Need plates?  Got ’em.  Need chairs?  Got ’em.  Need some funky odds and ends to decorate the walls?  Got ’em.  Need a Victrola?  ….Yup.  Just don’t be confused when the locals still refer to it as “Jerry’s”.

Newcomer HausWitch Home + Healing (144 Washington Street) is the brain child of Erica Feldmann, a micro-budget decorator who wants to help you “bring the good vibes home.”  HausWitch offers unique and affordable ways to add something special to your new space, from clever little hanging shelves, to beautiful napkins dyed with turmeric, onion, and basil, to bunches of sage meant for “smudging“.  HausWitch is also known for their HausCraft Spell Kits, careful selections of objects and meditations in a house-shaped box, intended for specific situations in your home (we recommend “Co+Habitate” to help smooth out the edges with new roommates).

Next up, a visit to Kan.del (inside Museum Place Mall) gives a solid reminder that candles can truly be works of art in addition to transforming a new space with scent. Another new kid on the block, Kan.del’s products range from the earth-conscious (like the rareEARTH and “Rescued Wine” lines), to the exquisite (check out the incredible beeswax “busts” of composers and dogs), to the uniquely Salem (including candles inspired in memory of individual Salem Witch Trials victims) – and of course, they will all make your new home smell fantastic!

Last but not least, we took a trip to Roost & Company (40 Front Street), who’s ever-changing offerings are always creative and beautifully displayed.  From to gag gifts (especially good for anyone who’s been moving boxes all day), to cookbooks (for when you can find your kitchen again), to beautiful everyday items (why should shower curtains be ugly?), you can always be sure to find the perfect house-warming gift at Roost.

But don’t stop there!  You can also find great finds for a new home at Edward John Home Decor, Hedrington’s, the Pickering Wharf Antiques Gallery, Pamplemousse, and many, many more.  Our local businesses want to help you call Salem, MA home as much as we do, so go explore!


Aug 092015

“The creative process is something where you sometimes limit yourself— but other times you let it grow. You have to let it do things that seem a little uncomfortable to find something new.”

Words and thought process from Diane Hoffman, owner of Diane Hoffman Textile Shop on Artists’ Row.

But make no mistake about it, she is in control of that entire creative process. Design, printing, and sewing.

Diane Hoffman Textiles is a one-woman textile business. All products are hand printed and made by hand with locally sourced and recycled material. Silkscreen and stamp printed woven (cotton and recycled feedbags) materials are sewn into tote bags, clutches and chic duffels. — many with interior designs! It’s that extra step which makes her work special and not easily comparable to items at department stores.

“If you want your cat on a bag, I can do it for you,” Diane explains. “I can turn orders around quickly because I am not ordering from far away places.”

She’s been here for three months focusing on hand printed textiles and knits, featuring rescued pets and farm animals from New England.

Diane HofShe tries to bring past and present together. She shows us a toile, (Toile de jouy is a fabric originated in France in the 1760s. The original patterns usually depicted pastoral scenes). It has a donkey within the pattern but she added a larger version donkey to bring it to the forefront as part of her creative process to find something new.

“The more things I can add, the more connections I can make between the ideal world and the real world, will help keep up the idea of rescue animals and farm animal that are in need of a lot of upkeep to raise. We need to bring this to the public’s attention so as to not let animals become something we humans use but not respect.”

Her current project on t-shirts and bags is doing road dogs and cats. If nothing else, Salem has plenty of cats, and you can’t go a day without crossing paths with several people walking their dogs.

Diane Hof -1“I am doing one right now of Slinky. He is a little dog that wears a pirate’s hat.”

Also in keeping with her thoughts about doing “things that seem a little uncomfortable to find something new,” she holds community print demo sessions on Thurs 4-6pm.

“We try to get people to come & do artwork. And I think the work they do is quite good.” But the materials are the interesting element. An upcoming session will use not paint but powdered graphite (which has an oily feel) and stencils.

Her unit is #24 New Derby Street. Asked why did she want to open shop on Artists’ Row, Diane responds…

“I love this community. Very lively. Greats arts community. Salem is very aware of its past, but also very progressive. And the Farmers’ Market is here. All these parts. The idea is that you get inspiration from other artists, there is so much energy here on Artists’ Row.”

A good portion of it provided by Diane.

Silk screens to put ink on canvas, fabrics with a vintage feel, bold images on material like the type used for hats of old-time train engineers. These and more are what you’ll find at Diane Hoffman Textiles, open daily 11am-6pm (except Monday) and open until 7pm on Thursday. For more info, go to her website.

Jul 202015

Window Box 2015Windows have an artistic value beyond the utilitarian of keeping cold out and letting fresh air in. Walk down any street in Salem and you’ll see windows as the backdrop and support for creative & colorful flowered window boxes. To honor the businesses and homes that go the extra mile to help beautify Salem, the City has been holding an annual Window Box Competition since 1993.

Modesty aside, did you work hard on your window box design and placement? Then you deserve recognition and an award.  The Salem Beautification Committee, along with The Salem Garden Club and Mayor Kimberley Driscoll, have issued an open invitation for submissions.

Or if you are very creative, you’ve got time to make one very quickly for the Window Box Competition.

Wood of course is the traditional material with which to build a window box. But what kind of wood should be used? For example you might want to remove pine, which rots relatively quickly (and we do get a lot of rain & snow) from your options. And add cedar or redwood because of their rot-resistant qualities.

Of course people have gone away from wood totally with fiberglass, brick, metal, vinyl, and cellular PVC!

But time is running out! Registration for the Window Box Competition concludes Wednesday, July 22, 2015. Judging will take place July 25-31. Then the Awards Ceremony & Reception will be held during Heritage Days on Thursday, August 6th at 5:30 pm. in the garden of the Brookhouse, which is located at 180 Derby St.

For more information, rules and to register, call 978-619-5676. Or email: with the subject: Window Box Competition registration. Please include your name, street address and telephone number.

The mission of the Salem Beautification Committee is to assist the City in developing and pursuing initiatives that promote the beautification of the City.  The goal of the Committee is to create civic pride and to motivate the City’s diverse population to participate in the beautification process.

(Photo courtesy of the Salem Beautification Committee Facebook page)

Jul 152015

What did you do on the way to work yesterday? I took a live, guided, interactive tour of the Taj Mahal, followed by a walk through the streets of Dublin. All courtesy of an amazing new piece of social media technology called Periscope. And (weather permitting) you have the opportunity to see it in action as Salem Main Streets will be joining @SalemAMB in live streaming from the Farmers’ Market at approx. 5pm on Thursday.

Periscope, simply put, is a video of something going on, but it is live. And you the viewer can ask the film-maker questions in real time. It’s just like being there.

In the words of the developers, it was an idea of “discovering the world through someone else’s eyes. What if you could see through the eyes of a protester in Ukraine? Or watch the sunrise from a hot air balloon in Cappadocia? It may sound crazy, but we wanted to build the closest thing to teleportation.”

Periscope-screenshots-Periscope is available on iOS and Android devices. As it is owned by Twitter, announcements of live ‘scopes’ are issued on Twitter to all followers of that accompanying Periscope account. (You can also watch on your computer but there is no interactivity interface. Just copy/paste the link that appears in the Twitter promo).

By optimizing the Farmers’ Market for the initial broadcast, we are giving viewers in Salem, the North Shore — and anywhere in the world — the opportunity to ask vendors questions as we pass their tables.

Yes, indeed it is promotion for how great we feel the Salem Farmers’ Market is. But it will be enhanced by the interaction. Consider as we pass tomato baskets and someone from Ireland asks a question about which kinds of tomatoes are best with salad. Or someone in Los Angeles later remarks about the unusual aspect of lobsters at a Farmers’ Market.

If time permits, plans call for a second broadcast later in the evening of the PEM/PM party. We are strong supporters of the creative ways people express themselves in Salem through food, literature, art, music, etc. Periscope will be a way of not only “telling” people about it, but showing & interacting with them. What better way to display the community focus of the Peabody Essex Museum?

If you wish to see selected Periscopes (and we advise you while many are interesting, some are like a personal / vanity / diary / blog, and there are a few which are downright strange) go to Only live ‘scopes’ can be played.

There is no charge to download the Periscope app (here is an excellent tutorial) if you wish to follow us on our journey of promoting all things Salem to the world. To participate in Thursday’s pilot efforts, either follow @SalemAMB on Twitter for a direct link notification, or open the Periscope app and click on the “Map” or “List” options and scroll down looking for titles that refer to the Salem Farmers’ Market or PEM/PM.

(Source of image is from