Posts Tagged ‘Toadstool Bookshops’

Each year, Monadnock Buy Local’s Plaid Friday event attracts more and more community participation and media attention — both in our region and statewide. Studies show that our efforts are working! Independent retailers in the Monadnock Region experienced an average 10.8% increase in holiday sales last year — compared to a 4.8% increase nationwide for independents and a 0.9% decrease for chains.

 The efforts of Monadnock Buy Local to promote the benefits of shopping at locally owned businesses are certainly evident in our stores.  Many, many people told us they were doing all their holiday shopping locally.  Plaid Friday, Shift Your Shopping — I’m confident all this contributed to the 11% increase in December sales at our bookstore in Keene. ~ Willard Williams, co-owner of The Toadstool Bookshops.

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, over 250 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 2015 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 (14 sponsorship slots available)

  • Receive a quarter-page ad in our Plaid Friday insert in the Keene Sentinel (delivered to ~10,000 households)
  • Your logo will appear on our Plaid Friday webpage (viewed 750 times last year)

Tier 2:  $500

  • Your business will be mentioned in our Plaid Friday radio ads (2-4 sponsors highlighted in each ad)
  • Your logo will appear on our Plaid Friday Main Street Banner in Keene
  • Your logo and business name will appear on our Plaid Friday webpage (viewed 750 times last year)

Tier 3: $1,000 (4 sponsorship slots available)

  • Your business will be mentioned in our Plaid Friday radio ads (2-4 sponsors highlighted in each ad)
  • Your logo will appear on our Plaid Friday Main Street Banner in Keene
  • Your logo and business name will appear on our Plaid Friday webpage (viewed 750 times last year)
  • We will produce a 2 minute video highlighting your business for you to use however you wish to (similar to the videos produced for this year’s Independents Week)

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 every day.

Plaid Friday Collage

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The sixth annual Monadnock Buy Local Guide is out and features the Toadstool Bookshops.  This publication lists 163 locally owned enterprises by business type and promotes the positive benefits of supporting locally owned businesses in the Monadnock Region.  Guides can be found at Monadnock Buy Local members’ place of business and online.

“I’m excited for more businesses to join Monadnock Buy Local and feel the thrill of this movement,” shared Willard Williams, Co-Owner of The Toadstool Bookshops.  “Together we can do so much more.”

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

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Calling all Buy Local fans!  We need your help to push Monadnock Buy Local up and over the summit of 200 members by May 1, 2014.

How can you help? 

As you visit locally owned businesses, work with nonprofits and visit friends, neighbors and family members who own businesses, ask them, “Are you a Monadnock Buy Local Member?”  If they say yes, thank them profusely (hugs may be appropriate!).   However, if they say no, ask them if they have any questions about us.  To help you answer some of their questions, current Monadnock Buy Local members contributed their own answers:

What is Monadnock Buy Local?

Missy Blanchard of MB Massage Studio in Keene answered, “We are group of businesses who share a common business value — supporting the businesses of our friends, neighbors and community.”

We come together to encourage our community to “think local first” (and make locally-owned businesses their first choice), help our local economy grow, meet like-minded business owners and find ways to source more of our own products and services locally.  We are retailers, wellness providers, architects, bankers, chefs, farmers, grocers, artists and more – and we invite you to join with us!

How can it help my business/nonprofit?  Why do others join?

“Individually we are all always talking about the benefits of buying locally, but it’s often with those who are already convinced. By joining together, the members of Monadnock Buy Local have the opportunity to reach a much bigger group of people and, through our events and directory, get the attention of a growing community of people eager to support locally owned businesses in the Monadnock Region,” shared Willard Williams of the Toadstool Bookshops.  “We joined because we believe it is a necessary and effective way to keep our stores at their best, and, we hope, enjoyable places for locals to shop and as attractions for visitors.”

Peter Poanessa of Keene Signworx stated, “Joining with others to strengthen our local economy makes sense to me. I live here, I run my business here and my friends and neighbors live here. The last five years have been a reminder of how destructive giant businesses can be to us all. Strengthening the local economy is the only possible defense against such disruption.”

Missy added, “I joined to be a part of something that is positive and that celebrates the work and creations of our friends and neighbors.  Being a member has reframed my own shopping habits.  I more carefully choose where I spend my money and aim to keep a healthy percentage of what I spend at locally owned businesses.”

Am I eligible to become a member?

You can join if your business or organization is:

  • Privately held and not publicly traded.
  • Located in our community and 50% or more of the business ownership lives within a reasonable distance from the MBL footprint or in our state more than half of the year.
  • Based locally with no corporate or national headquarters outside the state.
  • Able to make independent decisions regarding the name and look of the business, as well as all business purchasing practices and distribution.
  • Paying all marketing, rent, and other business expenses without assistance from a corporate headquarters.

Where can I learn more?

See who else is a member in your town by visiting http://monadnockbuylocal.wildapricot.org/Directory and learn more about Monadnock Buy Local from them. Or learn more from Monadnock Buy Local at www.monadnocklocal.org or contact us at 603-283-5401, monadnockbuylocal@gmail.com.

It takes our whole region to help Monadnock Buy Local reach its membership summit. We appreciate your help and your individual commitment to supporting our amazing network of diverse businesses in our region, owned by friends and neighbors, and to strengthening our local economy.

Join with us today!

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With the launch of Farm, Food, Life, Kimberly Peck hopes to inspire people to think more about the food on their plates, who produced it, and how local it can be.

CollageBOOKemailKimberly Peck, a seasoned photographer who launched her farm photo-documentary series “Locally Known” in 2011, is pleased to introduce her newly published book, Farm. Food. Life: Photographs + Recipes Inspired by Local Farms.
The 86-page book is a visual narrative of 12 New England farms, focusing on the hard work that farmers undertake to produce the vegetables, dairy products, eggs and meat that people eat every day.

In addition to the photographs, Peck has included 12 recipes – one for each farm – that showcase a featured ingredient produced by each farmer, such as milk, chicken or vegetables. The book also includes 12 farmer profiles, complete with answers to five key questions: why do you farm; what is your biggest challenge; what is your favorite crop/product; what is your most under-appreciated product; how would you describe your farm in three words; and what is in your farm’s future. “Every farm is different – what they do and how they do it.  The book captures each farms’ unique characteristics,” says Peck.

KimberlyPeck_MayfairFarm1Peck strives to show readers not only the passion that farmers have for what they do, but also the hard work involved in producing real food on real farms in New England.  “I am in awe of farm life, the ever-evolving, deeply-rooted connection between human, animal and plant. Farms are part of the backbone of New England,” says Peck, “I am captivated by the historical tradition, as well as the passion and dedication it requires.” Peck hopes that the book will connect viewers to this chosen way of earning a living and providing sustenance to their communities.

Farm. Food. Life: Photographs + Recipes Inspired by Local Farms is printed in the U.S. on recycled paper and is available online, as well as the Toadstool Bookshops in Peterborough & Keene, NH. It retails for $22 and makes an excellent holiday gift.


Raised in a small Vermont town, Peck has been photographing the “messy, silly happy chaos called life” for more than 20 years and is passionate about documentary photography. Taking inspiration from such well-known photographers as Dorothy Lange and Peter Miller, Peck is drawn to farms and their down-to-earth approach to living.

KimberlyPeck_HandDrawnFarmIn 2011, Peck launched Locally Known, a project exploring local farms and community agriculture. Inspired by her artistic desire to create a visual documentary of hard-working New England farmers, Locally Known deepens the connection between local farmers, producers and consumers. Originally featured in The Monadnock-Ledger Transcript, Locally Known continues to evolve into an inspiring and creative exploration of local agriculture. In 2014, Peck plans to expand the project by photographing more farms in Vermont and Maine.

Peck’s photographs have been exhibited throughout New England, including the Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery, Griffin Museum of Photography, South Shore Art Center, and the Sharon Arts Center. Her work has appeared in Taproot, Monadnock Table, Yankee Magazine and Monadnock Living.

KimberlyPeck_ManningHillFarm1Peck photographs for a diverse range of clients including Taproot Magazine, Monadnock Table, Cherry Hill Designs, The Cornucopia Project, Little Duck Organics and the Monadnock Food Co-op.

When not at work on her next project, Peck is available for photographic assignments. For more information about Kimberly Peck, visit her portfolio: www.kimberlypeckphotography.com.
Kimberly Peck lives in the Monadnock Region of New Hampshire with her husband and three children.

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Confused about all the special days our Local Business Alliance is celebrating?  Some of them offer an antidote to the mainstream shopping frenzy, giving you a chance to celebrate and build our community instead.  All these events share the same goal of encouraging us to shift our holiday spending from big box chain stores to locally owned independent businesses.  Here’s a short description of each of them – participate in the ones that resonate with you:

Plaid Friday

Plaid-Friday-2013-2Wear plaid on Plaid Friday to show your support for our local economy and commitment to buying local this holiday season.  The day to wear plaid is Friday, November 29th and includes specials, raffles and more: www.MonadnockLocal.com/PlaidFriday/.

Some Monadnock Buy Local members are serving as Plaid Friday Hubs.  Hubs will photograph customers decked out in plaid and answer questions about Plaid Friday and Monadnock Buy Local.  Others are offering even more!  For example, Mayfair Farm in Harrisville will transform into a holiday bazaar as part of Plaid Friday, stocked with Christmas trees, locally made gifts and food. Joining them is Sarah’s Hat Boxes of Hancock, Holland Homestead of Hillsborough. and Kimberly Peck of Peterborough. The Mayfair Farm store is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, but Plaid Friday activities run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on November 29th. For more information, call 603-827-3925.

Small Business Saturday

American Express promotes Small Business Saturday as a day to bring attention to the impacts of small businesses while encouraging us all to “shop small.” This year, Small Business Saturday is on November 30th: www.shopsmall.com/. 

Cider Monday

mulled-cider_194That’s not a typo!  Instead of Cyber Monday, a day when online merchant offer special deals, the Toadstool Bookshops invite you to a new tradition, CIDER Monday. On December 2nd, stop in for a free cup of cider and browse their amazing selection of books: www.toadbooks.com/.

Giving Tuesday

Tuesday, December 3rd is a national day of giving back that encourages us to volunteer and donate to nonprofits. Nonprofits are a vital part of or local economy – this is the day to focus on them: www.givingtuesday.org/.

Shift Your Shopping

shift-your-shopping-2011-logoThink of Shift Your Shopping as the umbrella promotion, running from November 1st to December 30th, which all the days above fall under.

Why so many special days?  It’s hard to keep focused on buying local during the busy holiday season; these days remind you of your commitment.  Have you shared your commitment to shift at least 10% of your holiday purchases from non-local businesses to locally owned businesses known?  You can share your pledge today — with the world — on our website or Facebook Page.

Celebrate the holiday season with us — shift, give, and revel in all that we have in this amazing region, while helping us grow a more robust local economy and community. Happy Holidays everyone!

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Two great events to help you Shift Your Shopping this weekend:

34th Annual Monadnock Waldorf School Crafts Fair & Festival: Nov. 15 & 16

Shop for beautiful handcrafts by local vendors, books, art & craft supplies and holiday trimmings and more! Plus, watch a puppet show or hear a story told, make a children’s craft or dip a beautiful beeswax candle. Have you even been through a gnome forest? Here’s your chance! Then grab some lunch, buy a raffle ticket & bid at the silent auction.

Toadstool Bookshops Annual 20% Off Everything Sale: Now – Nov. 17

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On Monday, October 21, 6:00p.m. at Toadstool Bookshop in Keene legendary children’s book artist and author, Tomie Depaola, will talk about and sign his new book, Strega Nona Does it Again.

Tomie dePaola is the acclaimed author and/or illustrator of more than 200 books for children. He received the 2012 Original Art Lifetime Achievement Award given by the Society of Illustrators, and he is the recipient of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, given for a substantial and lasting contribution to children’s literature. He has also received the Newbery Honor Award for 26 Fairmount Avenue and the Caldecott Honor Award for Strega Nona. He was awarded the Smithson Medal (from the Smithsonian) and the Regina Medal (from the Catholic Library Association), and was designated a “living treasure” by the state of New Hampshire. He is the first author known primarily for children’s book writing to be awarded the Sarah Josepha Hale award, a prestigious distinction in writing by a New Englander. He lives in New London, New Hampshire.

Mr. Depaola will sign as many books as he can, including one of your books from home and other books purchased at the event.  The number will depend on how his wrist is feeling and the size of the audience.  Thank you for your understanding.

Each child attending will get a free ticket to The Cheshire Children’s Museum.

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