I’m a homegrown girl. There’s just no two ways about it. And, as a small business owner on Cape Cod, I have always been a proponent of buying local whenever possible. To sustain our native economy, it only behooves us all to frequent local markets, support local missions, and promote local vendors. Lately, there has been a movement underfoot to “buy fresh, buy local”. That groundswell initiative extends from seasonal fruits and vegetables, to fish, meat, and poultry, and even to jams, jellies, honey, and dairy products. Recently, a new word was coined to embrace this new philosophy: localvore.
A localvore is a person committed to eating and learning about foods grown locally. Edible Cape Cod, a local magazine that is part of the Edible Communities publications, is dedicated to being a resource that makes eating, growing and enjoying local abundance an everyday pleasure. Published quarterly and complied from articles written by resident contributors, the magazine focuses on the many inspiring individuals who are–often against seemingly insurmountable odds–supplying the freshest, local foods, and supports those organizations that make Cape Cod a better place to live and eat well.
But food is not the only thing produced locally that enhances the Cape Cod lifestyle. Having just returned from the Boston Gift Show, I am reminded of many local businesses that offer homegrown goods and locally made products that enjoy a world-wide reputation, many of which I plan to carry in my humble little gift shop at the Inn for my guests to enjoy this year. Let me introduce to just of few of them.
Cape Cod Potato Chips: Made in Hyannis, but known world wide, and deservedly so; they are Rich’s favorite chips. Offering free tours of the Cape Cod Potato Chip factory on Breed’s Hill Road between 9 AM and 5 PM daily, Monday through Friday.
Barnstable Bat Company: Makers of the bat used by the Cape Cod Baseball League as well as some major league teams. Made of white northern ash, the bats bear the Cape Cod logo and start at around $40 for an adult bat and $30 for a youth bat. For $5 more you can get it engraved. The company is located at 40 Pleasant Pines Avenue in Centerville. The showroom is open Monday through Friday and some weekends in summer.
Cape Cod Metal Polishing Cloths: Famous the world over, these cleaning clothes were developed by an antique brass restorer living in Dennis, MA. The clothes, which are packaged in a distinctive tin, are sold nationwide, in Canada, and Europe.
Cape Cod Lavender Farm: Follow the signs from Route 124 in Harwich to a little oasis down a long windy dirt drive for an olfactory adventure you won’t soon forget. Here on this family-run lavender farm, are handmade soaps, oils, lotions and candles, all scented with lavender grown on the premises.
Honeycomb Hollow Candles: Specializing in hand rolled honeycomb and solid beeswax candles since 1995, these candles are far superior to candles made from paraffin, as they burn longer, are smokeless and dripless, and have the delightful aroma of honey. Available through their website only.
Cape Cod Beach Chair: Specializing in the design, manufacture, and sales of distinctive beach chairs and beach products, Cape Cod Beach Chairs are the highest quality, most comfortable, unique, and stylish beach chairs on the market. Perfect for the beach, boat, pool, camping, outdoor concerts, or sporting events.
Green Briar Jam Kitchen: A “living museum” where visitors can view the cooking process first-hand. The jam kitchen prepares jams, jellies, relishes and pickles the “old fashioned way” in the turn-of-the-century kitchen. Green Briar’s sun-cooked preserves are cooked slowly and gently in the oldest commercial solar-cooking operation in the country. Jam-making workshops are offered to the public throughout the year and prticipants take home what they make plus a recipe booklet.
Chatham Jam and Jelly Shop: Offering the largest variety of homemade preserves on Cape Cod, each batch is cooked in nothing larger than a 12 quart pot. Featuring over 150 varieties of jams, jellies, butters, and chutneys, the proprietors use an abundance of local products including wild beach plums, beach roses, garden mint, blueberries, blackberries, elderberries, wine raspberries, peaches, pears, cranberries, concord grapes, wild grapes, wild cherries, and tomatoes.
Summer House Natural Soaps: A family-owned and operated business rooted in a 200-year-old house and barn, Summer House soaps are made in small batches using the cold-process method. The batters are mixed by hand and poured into wooden molds, which are wrapped in blankets for three days. After the soap sets, the bars are cut, cured for three weeks, and wrapped in beautifl handmade papers.