May 202015

Salem Main Streets is pleased to announce a new brand and look! The local nonprofit, focused on the continued revitalization of downtown Salem, is updating its previous black and white logo of a building for a more modern, bold, and colorful vibrant look.

“When Salem Main Streets was first established in 2001, it was based on a traditional Main Streets model of historic preservation, so the building in our old logo made good sense,” says Kylie Sullivan, Executive Director of Salem Main Streets. “Salem Main Streets has evolved significantly since then. The current model is more dynamic, is more people-focused than building-focused, and, most importantly, is about creating a sense of place and identity. We needed a flexible new look to reflect that change.”

The logo and brand extension was created by local designer Elissa Von Letkemann. “Working with the Salem Main Streets staff and committee members on this was a fun challenge. The experience of being in downtown Salem is different for everyone, so the new logo had to communicate and support a sense of place while not focusing too heavily on any one aspect such as landmarks, restaurants, or otherwise.” Von Letkemann explains that the friendly, positive colors are meant as a nod to the culinary, historical, arts, and commercial destinations in town, while the map locator icon works double-duty as an exclamation point.  Salem Main Streets’ materials and websites will be transitioning to the new brand over the next few days.

Salem Main Streets’ mission is the revitalization of downtown Salem as a vibrant, year-round, retail, dining, and cultural destination through business retention, recruitment, and the promotion of the downtown district.  SMS produces and supports multiple community events and initiatives throughout the year, including the Salem Farmers’ Market, Salem Arts Festival, Salem’s So Sweet, and the October Information Booth. SMS operates thanks to the generosity and partnership of the City of Salem, the Salem Chamber of Commerce, Destination Salem, and many other local business sponsors and community volunteers.

The Salem Main Street Initiative is a preservation-based, volunteer driven strategy for commercial district revitalization. The Initiative is modeled on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s National Main Street Program. Main Streets works because it involves all interested stakeholders in the downtown and provides a comprehensive strategy of work, tailored to local needs and opportunities of the community.

Dec 102014

HolidayCan you remember a simpler time when holiday shopping was a simple stroll through friendly hometown stores and not a race through impersonal, giant, crowded malls? We do. And we are bringing that back.

Salem Main Streets is introducing a Holiday Stroll on Saturday, Dec. 13th to encourage residents to shop local and enjoy their downtown during the holiday season. Over 40 downtown retailers have committed to staying open until 8 pm on the 13th, and most will be offering special holiday discounts, promotions, and yummy refreshments all day.

How’s that for customer appreciation and “small town” ambiance.

A full list of participating retailers is available for your use.

In keeping with our goal of this being a total community effort, Boy Scout Troop 83 will be running a gift-wrapping station on Derby Square throughout the day, and will be joined by Troop 24, which will be selling wreaths in part to benefit the restoration of the Arch on Salem Common.

And while we are promoting all things Salem for Dec. 13th, don’t miss the Pickering Wharf businesses’ Winter Walk of the Wharf, including a stroll with Santa from 1-4 pm.

But that’s not the only event we have to make your trip worth your time. To add that extra bit of spice to our holiday gift to shoppers, Main Streets is once again conducting the Salem Holiday Window Contest, which runs now thru Dec. 13th.

Over 40 downtown businesses will be participating in the annual Holiday Window Contest, and this year the public can vote on their favorites at a participating business, or online at These retailers go all out to do up their windows to entertain you, and if past entries are any indications (and they are!), we have many, many creative minds— and a couple of far out ones, as you would expect from Salem, MA. A full map of participating windows can be found here.  Voting ends on Dec. 13th.

And one more thing. Creative Salem is giving us an extra promotional boost (…thank you, John…) with a related photo contest. For your chance to win a Creative Salem prize pack (valued at $150) take a picture while you are strolling through town or looking at store windows. Share it on social media (Twitter, Instagram, Vine); use the hashtag #salemwindows when posting! Winner will be chosen on the 14th.

Shop, vote, take pictures, find bargains, chat with friendly sales people. All courtesy of your downtown merchants of Salem, MA.

For additional info, contact Kylie Sullivan, Salem Main Streets Manager, at 978-744-0004 or

Nov 122014


The Salem Winter Market is back and better than ever!  The Winter Market will run Thursdays from 3 pm to 7 pm, Nov. 13th through Dec. 18th (no market on Thanksgiving). Brought to you by Salem Main Streets, the City of Salem, and the same amazing team of volunteers who brought you the Salem Farmers’ Market, the Winter Market returns to its old home this year down on Artists’ Row, in between Front Street and New Derby Street.  The buildings along the Row will be chock full of all kinds of produce, spices, pasta, baked goods, jewelry, soaps, and much, much more – just in time for the holidays!

This year’s Winter Market will see the return of many of your old favorites (including Grant Family Farm, Long Hill Orchard, Salem Spice, Salem Soapworks, Mandy’s Wicked Chowdah, Shine Jewelry, Valicenti Organico, and Wolf Meadow Farm), some of your more recent favorites (Stillman’s, Jodi Bee Bakes, Auntie Elsie’s, and Far From the Tree Hard Cider), and some brand new friends (including SeaSalt Design, Sugar Coated Heaven, All Fruit Inc., New England Dog Biscuit Company, Green Phoenix Threads, and Witch City Wicks).

One important thing to note this year is that not all vendors will be there all weeks, so each week will have a different array of goods to offer.  We’re starting a little smaller the first week with only two buildings, but each week will grow and expand a little more.  See the full list of vendors and dates here.

Be sure to join us every week for the all the local quality, variety, and whimsy that you’ve come to expect from the Salem Farmers’ Market!  (Seriously, did you notice that you can make your own turkey centerpiece using the poster?!).




Oct 092014
Fridge Pickles

Garlic Dill pickles ready for the fridge

“Playing With Your Food” is a weekly post highlighting a few of the many great uses for the wide range of produce and artisan food at the Salem Farmers’ Market, a Salem Main Streets project.  The Salem Farmers’ Market takes place every Thursday from June 12 to October 23 from 3 pm to 7 pm on Derby Square.  While we can never predict exactly what our farms will be able to bring each week, we do our best to reflect some of the fun items we’ve found recently and what’s likely to be available for the upcoming week.  Hopefully this will give you a few new ideas to play with, and inspire you to try some new things at the market.

The fall weather is upon us!  For many people, that means baking, roasting, and other warm, aromatic tasks.  As for me, I pickle.  Now, I understand that most people do their pickling and preserving in the summer, but much like the grasshopper in the fable, I am sometimes too happy enjoying my fresh produce during the summer to plan ahead for the winter.  But with the first crisp in the air, I suddenly panic about all the wonderful produce I’ll be missing in January and start pickling everything in sight.

That said, I’m unreasonably suspicious about my ability to can pickles.  I don’t actually trust myself and refuse to believe that they’ve sealed correctly.  For this reason, I tend to stick with fridge pickles, where no canning is required – but it does mean that they’re not “shelf stable” so you’ll be sacrificing fridge space.  Here are a few of our favorites:

Garlic Dill Pickles

Radish Pickles

Carrot Pickles

Apple Pickles


Prep for Winter - Potato Leek Ravioli with Pickled Carrots

Pickled carrots with Valicenti Organico’s potato leek ravioli – one of those ideas that shouldn’t work, but absolutely does!

Oct 032014
Witch Living Statue 10-19-13

You never know who you’ll meet during the Biz Baz…

Street fairs are a welcome sight in Salem; walkers and vendors chat, joke, shoot the breeze, bargain, and in most cases seal a deal. This weekend the Chamber of Commerce presents its annual version, the Haunted Biz Baz, October 4 (10am-8pm) & October 5, 2014 (10am-6pm).

Booths will be lined up essentially along the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall walking path, as well as down into Derby Square.

What will you find? What won’t you find? Arts, crafts, jewelry and a great deal more. It’s a bazaar! It’s also a weekend. Weather looks to be co-operating with partly cloudy/partly sunny skies, mid to low 60 degree temperatures. That translates into a fine day trip forecast.

There will, of course, be food vendors along the route. Plus there are all the brick and mortar restaurants that line our main roads and streets. And afterwards, you can always check out the diverse, eclectic and just plain strange offerings of the merchants in Salem’s Downtown District.

Of course, if you need some directions or advice, our Info Booth volunteers are ready and willing to help answer your zaniest questions!  Stop by the intersection of Essex St. and Washington St. any time between 10 am and 6 pm on Saturday or 1 pm and 5 pm on Sunday for some friendly assistance.


Info Booth ambassador Paula is ready to help!