Jul 082015

BONS 2015Another week, another set of votes by you the customers of North Shore businesses & events. You have spoken again; this week we present the Best of North Shore survey by North Shore Magazine which indicates we must be doing something right in Salem MA. Over 30 top awardees!

Scan down the alphabetical list (typed up by our own tireless Kylie Sullivan, Executive Director of Salem Main Streets – TY Kylie!) to find your favorite dining choice, business or service. Perhaps you’ll see a place you’ve wanted to try but never have. Now’s as good a time as any! And congratulations to all the merchants & business owners, managers and staff!

62 Restaurant & Wine Bar – Best Italian – Editors’ Choice
Most Romantic – Reader’s Choice
Best Donut – Editors’ Choice

A&J King – Best Bakery, Bread – Editors’ AND Readers’ Choice
Best Bake Shop, Pastry – Readers’ Choice

The Barking Cat – Best Pet Boutique – Editors’ Choice AND Readers’ Choice

CinemaSalem – Best Movie Theater – Editors’ AND Readers’ Choice

The Cookie Monstah – Best Cookies – Editors’ Choice (tied) * Note – not Salem based, but a staple of the Salem Farmers’ Market

Finz Seafood & Grill – Best Seafood, Prepared – Editors’ Choice (tied)

Gulu-Gulu Café – Best Beer Menu – Readers’ Choice

Harbor Sweets – Best Confectionary – Readers’ Choice

2014_Guide_CoverHaunted Happenings (city-wide event) – Best Festival, Fall – Readers’ Choice

Hawthorne Hotel – Best Hotel – Readers’ Choice

Landry & Arcari – Best Rugs – Editors’ AND Readers’ Choice

Life Alive – Best Vegetarian – Editors’ AND Readers’ Choice

Mahi Mahi Harbor Cruises – Best Charter Boat – Readers’ Choice

Melita Fiore – Best Bake Shop, Pastry – Editors’ Choice (tied)

Mighty Aphrodite Maternity Consignment – Best Maternity Clothing – Editors’ Choice AND Readers’ Choice

Milk and Honey – Best Gourmet – Honorable Mention

Mud Puddle Toys – Best Toy Shop – Editors’ Choice AND Readers’ Choice

North Shore Boot Camp (at B&S Fitness) – Best Boot Camp – Editors’ Choice

Olde Main Street Pub – Best Pub Food – Editors’ Choice (tied)

Opus – Best Sushi – Editors’ Choice Best After-Work Drinks, Readers’ Choice

Passage to India – Best Indian – Readers’ Choice

Paxton – Best Barber Shop – Editors’ Choice

Peabody Essex Museum – Best Museum – Editors’ AND Readers’ Choice Best Tourist Attraction – Readers’ Choice

Roost & Company – Best Home Décor – Readers’ Choice Best Gifts – Editors’ Choice (tied) AND Readers’ Choice

Rouge Cosmetics – Best Beauty Products – Readers’ Choice Best Makeup Selection – Editors’ Choice (tied) AND Readers’ Choice

Salem Willows – Best Family Hangout – Editors’ AND Readers’ Choice

Salem’s So Sweet (joint event by Salem Main Streets/Salem Chamber of Commerce/Destination Salem) – Best Festival, Winter – Editors’ AND Readers’ Choice

Scratch Kitchen – Best BBQ – Editors’ Choice

Sea Level Oyster Bar – Best Seafood, Prepared – Editors’ Choice (tied)
Best Waterview Restaurant, Year-Round – Editors’ Choice

Tavern in the Square – Best Sports Bar – Readers’ Choice

Tri-City Sales – Best Kitchen Appliances – Readers’ Choice

Turner’s Seafood at Lyceum Hall – Best Seafood, Prepared – Editors’ Choice (tied) AND Readers’ Choice

The Ugly Mug Diner – Best Breakfast – Editors’ Choice (tied)
Best Brunch – Readers’ Choice

Witch City 5K (organized by Salem YMCA) – Best Community Walk/Run – Editors’ AND Readers’ Choice

Ye Olde Pepper Companie – Best Confectionary  – Editors’ Choice (tied)

Yoga Sakti – Best Yoga Studio – Editors’ AND Readers’ Choice
Best Yoga Apparel – Editors’ Choice AND Readers’ Choice

Readers’ Choice Awards are those establishments who received the most votes through the open, online voting system. Editors’ Choices were selected by the North Shore magazine internal team and based on research / site visits. Voting was conducted February 1st through March 1st, 2015.

Changes This Year

While regional and national chains have been allowed in previous years to qualify as nominees, this year only local organizations and locally owned franchises were qualified to be nominees. Also, businesses with multiple locations were recognized by their specific location. For example, if a business had locations in Salem, Peabody, etc. then each location would have its own nomination process.

Jul 052015

logoNorth Shore customers were recently asked to vote on their favorite businesses for the annual (20th this year!) Wicked Local Reader’s Choice Awards. Salem placed very nicely in a number of the categories, especially businesses in the Downtown District.

There were far too many categories (75!!!) and winners to list in this blog. Easier to provide you with links to pages that carried the results and you can focus on specific areas of interest to you.

But, before you click on the links for the list, some legal provisos… Reader’s Choice ballots were published in January & February…. winners were verified by an independent firm hired to tabulate votes & results… the survey was conducted as a reader poll and not as a scientific research poll.

In other words, it was for fun but there’s more than enough weight to tip the scales to attract your interest to visit the Salem businesses mentioned.

  • This link will take you to Salem “Local Services” category (Dentists, Dry Cleaners, Auto Repair, etc)
  • This link is for Salem “Local Shopping” (Consignment Store, Furniture Store, Bookstore, etc)
  • This link is for Salem “Local Flavor” (Restaurants, Bakeries, Ice Cream Shops, etc.)
  • This link is for how Salem-based businesses placed over-all in the “Regional” categories.

Congratulations to the winners, Gold, Silver, Bronze, #1 Choice and Honorable Mentions.

Jun 092015

No sooner does the energy of the Salem Arts Festival fade from Derby Square / Artist’s Row area than the Salem Farmers’ Market moves in with just as much fanfare, sounds, sights, colors and characters. This Thursday, from 3-7 pm you can get fresh with a veggie, fruit, etc. at Derby Sq on Front St. — rain or shine.

A farmers’ market allows growers the opportunity to market directly to consumers without having to deal with a food broker; they can also explain to customers how the food is grown and even advise on preparation. It’s a win/win.

That is especially true this year as we have a bumper crop of farms that will be delivering diverse produce.

SFM1Clark Farm
Gibney Gardens
Grant Family Farm
Heavens Harvest Farm
Honey Pot Farm (new!)
Long Hill Orchard
Maitland Mountain Farm
Wally’s Vegetables

But, as has been said before, this isn’t your grandmother’s Farmers’ Market. It’s produce and more.

Things You Can Eat (or drink)
A & J Lobsters
All Fruit, Inc. (new!)
Auntie Elsie’s Oatmeal Crisps
Cookie Monstah
Far From The Tree
Fishwives Specialty Foods
Jodi Bee Bakes
Grassy Roots (new!)
Milk and Honey
Mill River Winery
Rowand Seafood
Stillman’s at the Turkey Farm
Sweet Lydia’s
Valicenti Pasta Farm
When Pigs Fly

Other Things To Bring You Joy
Teas, Herbs & Spices : Just Herbals (new!); Salem Spice

Jewelry: Heritage Handmade

Bed, Bath, Home Products: Salem Soapworks

Plus music. Don’t forget the music. Everything from folk to rock, Celtic tunes, sea shanties, and classical to name just a few. Keep checking this list as we constantly update the performance schedule.

The Salem Farmers’ Market participates in SNAP and accepts the EBT card. SFM is still looking for volunteers to help with set up and break down of the market. Click here for more info.

Salem Farmers’ Market is a Salem Main Streets project in partnership with the City of Salem, the Salem Chamber of Commerce, and Mass in Motion Salem.


Apr 262015

TommyGagnon1Who are the “best of the best” when it comes to business & community activity over the past year in Salem Ma? The Salem Chamber of Commerce asked residents to select from 36 nominees in six categories. Over 1900 people responded.

Awards were handed out at the 93rd annual Celebrate Salem Awards Dinner, on April 22at the Peabody Essex Museum.

2014 Businesswoman of the Year: Brandi Dion – B&S Fitness Companies & CrossFit IronSpider

Businesswoman of the Year is a Chamber member who has demonstrated excellence in business practices throughout the year and has demonstrated a sincere commitment to Salem.

B&S Fitness Companies’ goal is to improve the quality of life and health for every customer through innovative and effective fitness programs. CrossFit IronSpider is a fitness community dedicated to helping everyone achieve their individual goals within an inspiring group setting. In addition to fitness programs, B&S offers event management which raises and donates over $50k each year to non-profit organizations.

2014 Businessman of the Year: Paul Van Ness – CinemaSalem, Salem Film Fest, The Cabot, Van Ness Creative

Businessman of the Year is a Chamber member who has demonstrated excellence in business practices throughout the year and has demonstrated a sincere commitment to Salem.

CinemaSalem is more than a film-lover’s movie theater; it’s also a café, an art gallery, an art house, a live music venue, and a home Salem Film Fest, one of America’s largest all-documentary film festivals. Van Ness and a group of investors recently acquired The Cabot in Beverly, MA. Van Ness Creative is a full-service film and video production company

2014 New Business of the Year: The Ugly Mug Diner

The New Business of the Year award is given to the best new business that opened in 2014.

The Ugly Mug Diner is a twisted American Diner in the heart of Salem. A foodie haven, serving beer, bacon and espresso, with a soda jerk, hand cut fries, and biscuits with red gravy.

The 2014 Excellence in Retail Award: Milk & Honey Green Grocer

The Excellence in Retail Award showcases the outstanding achievements of Salem retailers and will be awarded to the retailer that applies superior knowledge, creativity and industry know-how to develop innovative strategies, and contributes to the growth of the Salem retail sector.

Milk & Honey Green Grocer is the local grocery store for people who care about the environment, community, and sustainability. Offering residents of the North Shore carefully selected products of the highest quality.

The 2014 Community Service Award: Creative Salem

The Community Service Award is awarded to a member or organization who has an outstanding record of community service and volunteer participation.

Creative Salem celebrates the city of Salem as a hub of creativity, providing contemporary tools for local creative professionals to find and connect with new audiences while encouraging them to apply their skills to help solve challenges facing the community.

The 2014 Long-Term Achievement Award: Jim & Nancy Hurrell (Salem Trolley, Pirate Museum, Witch History Museum, Witch Dungeon)

The Long-Term Achievement Award is given to a business that has achieved 10 or more years of success in the community.

Witch History Museum: The stories of 1692 told through a historically accurate live presentation and tour. Witch Dungeon Museum: An award winning reenactment of the trial of beggar-woman Sarah Good – from the original transcript of 1692. Salem Pirate Museum: The unique and little-known history of New England sea-robbers comes alive at the Pirate Museum. The Salem Trolley provides visitors with a narrated one hour tour and all day shuttle service through beautiful and historic Salem.

This year, winners received an original wood sculpture created by Tommy Gagnon of Boston Woodturning.

For more information on the event or the Salem Chamber please visit www.salem-chamber.org or call 978-744-0004.

Mar 052015

If you’ve never shopped at Salem’s scenic Pickering Wharf (hard to believe), then make March 6th your First Friday there, as the merchants have gotten together to revive the First Friday concept (and even if you have shopped there, you’ll want to make the trip this week).

First Friday is a “stay open later” theme held on the first Friday of a month to entice shoppers with bargains, entertainment and an opportunity for merchants & shoppers to get better acquainted.

Pickering WharfWhile there was no First Friday last year, in previous years it had encompassed the greater Downtown District. David Bowie of Salem Spice (one of the stores at Pickering Wharf) explains “I thought it seemed like a good vehicle to kick-start the 2015 year; so I sent a note to Pickering Wharf merchants to suggest that we start it up again as a local, rather than city-wide, initiative. It seems to be taking root. ”

Just look at all the participants this month. And note the discounts if you bring a receipt from another store on Pickering Wharf!

Clever Diva: 10% off with receipt from another Pickering Wharf merchant or restaurant!

Crafters Market Candles & Gifts: 10% off, 15% off with receipt from another PW merchant or restaurant!

Edward John Home Decor: 10% off!

Enchanted Shop: 10% off, 15% off with a receipt from another Pickering Wharf merchant or restaurant!

Finz Seafood and Grill: 10% off with a receipt from a PW merchant or restaurant! (excludes alcohol)

The Happy Sunflower: 15% off non-sale items and 50-75% off clearance items!

Hedrington’s: Sales, Snacks & SPIRITS as well as a Spring Preview!

The Joyful Artisans “Supernaturals”: 20% off original price on clothing, 10% off jewelry, a raffle for a pair of custom made earrings and FREE snacks and goodies!

Longboards Restaurant & Bar: 10% off with a receipt from a Pickering Wharf merchant or restaurant! (excludes alcohol)

Ocean Chic Boutique & Waterbar: 10% off any full price item and 20-50% off winter items!

SalemSpice: 10% off all purchases, and FREE cider for the day!

RJ Coins and Jewelry: FREE watch battery installed while you wait with any purchase of $10 or more! (limit one per person)

Adds Bowie, “Most of the merchants will offer, at a minimum, 10% off as well as in-house specials. Some merchants will also have entertainment, refreshments, and some give-aways. The restaurants have graciously offered to provide 10% off meals (no alcohol) if you show a receipt from a PW merchant. Salem Film Fest is also joining in the fun and we are offering that same 10% off if you show a receipt from Salem Film Fest.”

First Friday festivities begin at 5pm with most stores remaining open until 9 pm. Entertainment. Bargains. Actually talk to someone in a store before you purchase an item. Definitely skip driving to the mall on this Friday night.