The Toadstool Bookshops invites you to a new tradition:


Heard enough about Cyber Monday? – that Monday after Thanksgiving when everyone is said to start their online Christmas shopping and the news is filled with reports of how many billions were spent at websites, and no doubt, resulting in another giant jump in sales. Well enough of that!

“Shift Your Shopping” and join the Toadstool Bookshops for Cider Monday! Cider… made from squished micro soft apple products. Delicious! Stop in for a free cup, maybe a snack, see some real people and have a good time checking out what’s in our stores. It’s sure to be a heartwarming experience.  We can promise no crashing websites, our “servers” won’t be overloaded and we bet they will even smile at you!

Cider Monday – soon to overshadow Cyber Monday as THE shopping event of the year. You read it here. If you have a store we hope you too will celebrate Cider Monday. If not, do stop in, and thanks for shopping locally.

Transition Keene Advocate recently compiled a page highlighting the Sharing Economy in Keene, NH

Their summary: A sharing economy is an economy of access to rather than ownership of physical and human resources.

The Sharing Economy uses tools like Crowdfunding, Time Banks/Time Exchanges and Makerspaces.

View Keene’s Sharing Economy Page and, in the spirit of sharing, please pass it on to others!


From  November 1st to December 31st, Monadnock Buy Local is joining the Shift Your Shopping Movement.  Ready to Shift Your Shopping?

If you are on Facebook, go to the Shift Your Shopping 2014 event page and click “JOIN” – Show your friends and family that you are shifting at least 10% of your holiday purchases from non-local businesses to locally owned businesses.

Learn more about the Shift Your Shopping Campaign at ShiftYourShopping.org.


  • Rebecca P. of Keene pledges to shift 80% of her holiday shopping to locally-owned & independent businesses like the Monadnock Food Co-op, Ted’s Shoe & Sport, Creative Encounters, Your Kitchen Store, Hannah Grimes Marketplace and the Knitting Knook.
  • Georgia C. of Keene pledges to shift 100% of her holiday shopping to locally-owned & independent businesses.
  • L. Sieverts of Nelson pledges to shift 25% of her shopping to her favorite locally owned businesses including the Hannah Grimes Marketplace.
  • Lisette N. of Fairhope, AL (!) pledges to shift her shopping to her favorite locally owned businesses.
  • Marcia D. of Keene pledges to shift 80% of her shopping to her favorite locally owned businesses including Hannah Grimes Marketplace, Everything New England and all businesses on Main St. Keene.


  • Missy B. of Westmoreland pledges to shift 100% of her shopping to her favorite locally owned businesses including: Jayelay Jewelers, Sta-Fit for Women, Cheshire Gardens, Of Moose & Mountain, Toadstools Bookshop, The Monadnock Food Co-op, Cheshire Horse and Long Ridge Farm.
  • Janet H. of Jaffrey pledges to shift 100% of her shopping to her favorite locally owned businesses.
  • Tina B. of Laconia pledges to shift 45% of her shopping to her favorite locally owned businesses including: Sunflower Natural Foods and Trustworthy Hardware in Laconia and Monadnock Food Co-op in Keene.
  • Jacqueline K. of Troy pledges to shift 50% of her shopping to her favorite locally owned businesses including: Sugar and Spice in Troy, Miller Brothers Newton, Toadstool Bookshops, One Stop Country Pet Supply, Ingenuity Country Store, Life is Sweet, Ye Goodie Shop, Ted’s Shoe and Sport, Monadnock Food Co-op and Blueberry Fields.
  • Betsy F. of Keene pledges to shift 45% of her shopping to her favorite locally owned businesses including: One Stop Country Pet Supply and Blueberry Fields.
  • C. Shanahan of Harrisville pledges to shift 65% of her shopping to her favorite locally owned businesses including: Mayfair Farm in Harrisville, Sta-Fit in Keene, Tracie’s Community Farm and Toadstool Bookshops.
  • Gail F. of Spofford pledges to shift 30% of her shopping to her favorite locally owned businesses including: Toadstool Bookshops, Your Kitchen Store, In the Company of Flowers, Mayfair Farm, Harrisville Design, Dilly’s, Penelope’s, Urban Exchange and Ye Goodie Shop.
  • Nancy Ann B. of Surry pledges to shift 25% of her shopping to her favorite locally owned businesses including: Cheshire Quilter’s Guild, Wren’s Nest, Hannah Grimes Marketplace, MB Massage Studio, Your Kitchen Store, Port Authority and Toadstool Bookshops.
  • Jen R. of Keene pledges to shift 100% of her shopping to her favorite locally owned businesses including: Toadstool Bookshops, Monadnock Food Co-op, Black Squirrel, Hannah Grimes Marketplace and MORE!
  • Gabrielle S. of Keene pledges to shift 20% of their shopping to their favorite locally owned businesses including: Toadstool Bookshops, Monadnock Food Co-op and Dilly’s for Kids.

Bicycling Means Business

Originally posted in the Monadnock Shopper News

Parking – it’s an issue that many downtown communities face. To many, the answer lies in increasing the number of parking spaces for cars. Some communities, however, are discovering a better answer: increase parking spaces for bicycles.

Not only do bicycles take up less parking space, more and more studies show that bicycling actually boosts revenues at bike-accessible businesses. This is great news for local governments tackling the issue of parking — great news for business owners looking to boost their profits — and great news for those of us who love to bike.

One study in Bern, Switzerland found that businesses made more profit per square meter of bike parking ($9,900 per year) than car parking ($8,800). How can this be? While bicyclists tend to buy smaller amounts than those who arrive by car, they shop more often and spend more each month compared to those who commute by car.

Individual business owners in our region are working to encourage bicycling at their workplace. “We at Filtrine have tried to make wellness a part of our culture.  We have had a wellness program for over 20 years,” shared Peter Hansel, President of Filtrine Manufacturing Company based in Keene.  “Biking to work contributes not only to the health of the individual but also to the community by reducing traffic, air pollution and fossil fuel consumption.  We have a bike rack at our facility and would like to see it more heavily used.”

What’s happening collectively in the Monadnock Region to make biking mean business?

Rack It Up! Program

The Monadnock Region Transportation Management Association (MRTMA), a coalition of businesses, organizations and individuals building a sustainable transportation future for the Monadnock Region, launched the Rack It Up! Program this summer. This cost share program partners with businesses and organizations to bring bicycle racks to locations throughout Keene to encourage more bicycling. There were six participants in the first round of the Rack It Up! Program: Monadnock Food Co-op, Savings Bank of Walpole, Southwestern Community Services, Keene Housing, Community Kitchen of Keene and United Church of Christ.

“In downtown Keene, where convenient on-street parking is sometimes scarce, my hope is that Keene’s downtown businesses will embrace the establishment of more bicycle parking,” said J.B. Mack, Principal Planner at Southwest Region Planning Commission.  “It offers customers the ultimate convenience to park right in front of stores, and it is a much cheaper and efficient alternative than using scarce real estate for vehicle parking.  Many bicycles around town are equipped with storage design solutions and can easily transport their store purchases.”

Learn more about MRTMA and the Rack It Up! Program: monadnocktma.org/.

Bicycle Benefits Program

A national program called Bicycle Benefits encourages more people to commute by bicycle by offering discounts and other incentives to bikers every time they visit a member business. Participants show their Bicycle Benefits sticker affixed to their helmet and instantly receive a reward for biking. Member businesses in Keene include Prime Roast (offering 25 cents off any coffee drink), Brewbaker’s Café (offering 10% off) and The Works (offering 10% off). The Monadnock Food Co-op is in the process of becoming a business member, too. Learn more at bb2.bicyclebenefits.org/.

In addition to the Rack It Up! and Bicycle Benefits Program, there are many more opportunities to make bicycling mean business in our region. Here are some examples:

Bicycle Friendly Business Program

The League of American Bicyclists created the Bicycle Friendly Business (BFB) program to recognize businesses that encourage their staff and customers to bicycle. The program provides technical assistance to participants and resources to help promote business accomplishments.

So far, 480 businesses have received the BFB designation but there’s only one BFB in New Hampshire: USDA Forest Service Lab in Durham. Let’s see if, together, we can encourage at least one Monadnock Region business to apply during the next BFB application period. The deadline is January 15, 2015: bikeleague.org/content/businesses/.

Protected Bike Lanes

Creating lanes just for bicycles also means business. According to the New York City Department of Transportation, retail sales on Ninth Avenue increased 49 percent since protected bike lanes were installed. Protected bike lanes use planters, curbs, parked cars to create a buffer between bicyclists and moving cars and instills a greater sense of safety for both bikers and drivers.


Finally, to have bicycling really mean business in our region we need our city and town governments to adopt best-practice cycling policies like Complete Streets, Road Diets and Open Streets. ChangeLab Solutions has an excellent resource called “Getting the Wheels Rolling” describing all these bicycle friendly policies. You can download a copy at http://ow.ly/BybsO.

Are you ready to make bicycling mean business in the Monadnock Region? Talk to your co-workers and the business owners you know about implementing the programs, projects and policies that encourage more of us to bicycle. Let’s get those bike wheels rolling!


The Future of New Hampshire’s Food System needs YOU

If you spend your professional or civic life focused on food or the food system, please attend a regional gathering to connect with others and shape our network and strategy. All are welcome.

Attend a regional gathering in your area to

•    have the opportunity to shape a state-wide Food Strategy to better our food system
•    learn about trends, data, challenges, and innovations in our food system
•    network with others doing work in the food system
•    and identify some actions for reaching our food system goals

In its fifth year, Monadnock Buy Local experienced a 15% growth in membership.  This movement now includes 151 business owners, representing 23 towns and well over 1,000 jobs throughout the Monadnock Region.

The new 2014-2015 Monadnock Buy Local Guide, listing all 151 local enterprises by business type, has been distributed.  Buy Local Guides can be found at each members’ place of business.

Locally owned businesses in communities with Buy Local efforts experienced a 7% increase in revenues last year.  That’s triple what independent businesses in communities not served by such efforts saw.  Efforts like ours are making a difference.

Studies find that when money is spent locally, up to three times more of that money recirculates through the local economy generating more jobs, charitable contributions and other community benefits.

Get more connected to our efforts, sign up for our monthly Fan E-Newsletter today!

Each year, Monadnock Buy Local’s Plaid Friday event attracts more and more community participation and media attention — both in our region and statewide.  We’re looking for help from Monadnock Buy Local members early this year to make this season’s celebration is the biggest ever.

 I participated in Plaid Friday for the past few years and it’s just wonderful. While half the nation was fighting for parking spaces and spraying each other with pepper spray at the mall I strolled along beautiful Main St. in Keene, and found great buys on some really beautiful and unique gifts at nearly every store.      ~Nancy W.

Plaid Friday, the Friday after Thanksgiving, is a day when community members dress in plaid to make their support for locally owned businesses and community visible, reinforcing their own commitment while giving others a reminder to think local first.  Last year, close to 300 residents committed to wearing plaid.  Wearing plaid, a fabric with unique colors woven together into a larger pattern, represents us — the many diverse independent businesses and organizations that together form the tapestry of a strong local economy.

Your sponsorship of our 2014 Plaid Friday Event will raise awareness of the importance of supporting locally owned businesses in our region, inspire more of us to shift our holiday spending to independent businesses and show our region your dedication to the local economy movement.  Please consider sponsoring this year’s Plaid Friday event at one of the three levels below:

Tier 1: $150
- Your business name will appear on our press releases and Plaid Friday webpage (viewed 800 times last year)

Tier 2:  $250 (10 sponsorship slots available)
- Receive a quarter-page ad in our Plaid Friday insert in the Keene Sentinel (delivered to ~10,000 households)
- Your business name will appear on our press releases, Main Street Banner in Keene, and Event Poster
- Your logo will appear on our Plaid Friday webpage (viewed 800 times last year)

Tier 3: $500SOLD OUT!
- Your business will be mentioned in our Plaid Friday radio ads
- Your logo will appear on our Plaid Friday Main Street Banner in Keene, Event Poster and new Plaid Friday Shopping Bag
- Receive a quarter-page ad in our Plaid Friday insert in the Keene Sentinel  (delivered to ~10,000 households)
- Your logo and business name will appear on our press releases and Plaid Friday webpage (viewed 800 times last year)

Ad space is limited, so please pledge your sponsorship soon.  All sponsorship pledges are due before October 1st.  Please contact us if you have any questions and thank you for all you do to support our local economy everyday.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,982 other followers

%d bloggers like this: