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  • November 22, 2020 6:41 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    From your Thanksgiving meal to your New Year's Eve celebration, Shop Indie Local by purchasing more of your holiday gifts and celebration needs from your friends and neighbors -- locally owned business owners.  

    This week is a super busy one for the Shop Indie Local movement as we celebrate Plaid Friday, Small Business Saturday, Artists Sunday, Cider Monday and Giving Tuesday.  Due to COVID-19, our celebrations may be smaller in scale (or move online), but the spirit of Shop Indie Local remains strong -- thanks to all of you!

    Shop Indie Local Online

    We recently launched TLC Monadnock Mercantile, a regional online marketplace featuring a diversity of products and services from locally owned businesses. Our virtual store compiles gift ideas, gift cards and restaurant take-out options all in one place. Best of all, it is free for locally owned businesses to participate.  Fifty-four businesses have added products and services to our mercantile, representing some fabulous gift ideas for your loved ones.  Many thanks to Monadnock Food Co-op and Savings Bank of Walpole for sponsoring TLC Monadnock Mercantile. 

    Shop Safe, Shop Online and Shop Indie Local

    Plaid Friday

    Wear plaid on Friday, November 27, to show your support for our local economy and commitment to buying local this holiday season. Plaid Friday celebrates the diversity and creativity of local and independent businesses. It’s a fun and enjoyable alternative to the big box store “Black Friday” consumer frenzy.  So, plan to wear PLAID all day on November 27.

    Twenty locally owned businesses will serve as Plaid Friday Hubs this year.  They pledge to photograph you decked out in plaid and answer questions about Plaid Friday.  

    Find a Hub Near You!

    Plaid Santa

    Deep Roots Massage in Keene will host a video call with Santa Claus, live from his workshop!  From 12 p.m.  – 3 p.m. in Gallery Alley next to the Colonial Theatre on Main Street, kids of all ages can visit with the big man himself on the big screen.

    If you can’t make it to a hub, be sure to take a selfie of yourself decked in plaid and share it with us on our Facebook Page and tag it with #plaidfriday.  We will add photos from you and our hubs to our annual collage, celebrating all who wore plaid and showed their support for locally owned businesses and our local economy.

    Some businesses will offer specials on Plaid Friday.  Aloha Keene will offer 20% off gift certificates, General Store at Doodle Eats in Jaffrey will give you a free Doodle Pie with each order over $25, buy a Deep Roots Massage gift certificate for massage online and get 10% off, plus Deep Roots will donate 10% of all holiday sales to the Monadnock United Way  and make a purchase at the Monadnock Food Co-op dressed in plaid and get a free $5 co-op gift card (one per customer; while supplies last). 

    View MORE Plaid Friday Specials

    Small Business Saturday

    While Plaid Friday overshadows Small Business Saturday in our region, we encourage everyone to celebrate this event, too.  One way to participate is to play Shop Small Bingo. No matter how you get involved, every little bit makes a big difference.

    Download Your Bingo Card

    Artists Sunday

    New this year! November 29 is Artists Sunday, an art shopping movement of more than 2,500 artists and organizations coming together to encourage consumers to shop with their favorite local artists and makers during the holiday season. Think of it as Plaid Friday but for the arts!

    Find Local Artists

    Cider Monday

    Instead of Cyber Monday, a day when online merchants offer special deals, we invite you to Cider Monday.  On November 30, stop in for free cider from participating Cider Monday businesses, including Monadnock Food Co-op in Keene.  The co-op will offer free pints of Champlain Orchard Cider, one per person and while supplies last.  Also, if you choose to shop online, choose local too! 

    Learn More About Cider Monday

    Giving Tuesday

    A global generosity movement, Giving Tuesday encourages you to give any way you can.  Organizers share, “Whether it’s making someone smile, helping a neighbor or stranger out, showing up for an issue or people we care about, or giving some of what we have to those who need our help, every act of generosity counts and everyone has something to give.”

    Learn More About Giving Tuesday

    Locally, Eyeworks in Keene will launch its 12 Days of Giving promotion on Giving Tuesday.  From November 30 – December 15, 2020, EyeWorks will donate $25 to the Monadnock Food Co-op Farm Fund with every pair of glasses sold.

    “I can’t imagine more heroic work than raising good food for a community. It’s hard, and it’s uncertain, and all too often, it’s taken for granted. That’s why this year we’re so pleased to support the Monadnock Food Co-op Farm Fund,” said Dr. Barton Higley of Eyeworks. “We know high-quality, nutrient-rich foods are key to good health — something that’s important to all of us. We’re honored to take part in cultivating a healthy local farming economy.”

    The Monadnock Food Co-op Farm Fund, created in partnership with the Cheshire Country Conservation District, supports local farmers by increasing sustainable food production and wholesale sales to contribute to a thriving local farm economy.

    Learn More About EyeWorks 12 Days of Giving

    Shop Indie Local Sponsors

    A big THANK YOU to this year's Plaid Friday, Cider Monday and Shop Indie Local sponsors: Aloha Keene, Cheshire Horse, Deep Roots Massage, Food Connects, MoCo Arts, Mon Amie Fine Jewelry, Monadnock Balloon Store, Monadnock Food Co-op, One Stop Country Pet Supply, Owl & Pen, Phoenix Farm, Steele’s Stationers, Ted's Shoe & Sport, Toadstool Bookshops in Keene and Peterborough, and The Works Café.

    Together, we're generating ripple effects that create new jobs, charitable contributions and community prosperity.  Thank you for supporting the Shop Indie Local movement.

  • November 14, 2020 10:28 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    From Orchard Hill Breadworks

    Many of you contributed to last year’s community funded stone mill project here at the bakery, and it has been our pleasure to work with the Mill Hollow heritage association to put together a presentation about the bakery, the mill and our role in the wider community. Please join us on December 1st at 8 to see this presentation for yourself and participate in the live Q & A!

    Wishing you all a good day.


    Breaking Bread: Orchard Hill Breadworks Stone Mill

    Tuesday, December 1, 2020
    8:00 - 9:00 p.m. EDT
    (via Zoom)

    A Sense of Place continues to explore the stories, history, and qualities that make Chase's Mill and Mill Hollow unique. Join us for a filmed tour of Alstead's Orchard Hill Breadworks and interview with its founder, Noah Elbers. It will be followed by a live Q & A.

    Noah’s presentation will feature the bakery’s new stone mill and highlight the growing nationwide movement of artisan bakers who’ve chosen to work directly with the farmers who grow their grain.

    The event is free and is open to all, but you need to register to receive the link to the webinar.

    Register here!

    Noah Elbers believes that good food and happy, healthy communities go hand in hand. Bread was first baked for sale at Orchard Hill in 1997, but the story of this place begins in 1972. Noah’s grandparents purchased the land and buildings that are now Orchard Hill Farm and Breadworks. In the early years, it was merely a late 1700s farm house and a dusty barn which sat at the center of thirty some acres of fields and forest. Since that time, three generations have planted orchards, tended gardens, built homes, launched a school and community center, and helped a bakery grow and flourish.

  • November 14, 2020 7:55 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Artist Sunday is November 29, the Sunday after Thanksgiving

    The Local Crowd (TLC) Monadnock will join with the Artists Sunday alliance to promote local artisans and craftspeople on Artists Sunday, a new celebration on November 29, 2020, the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

    Shop Art at TLC Monadnock Mercantile

    Shop Arts at Small Works Big Impact Show

    Discover Artists & Creative Businesses at Monadnock Arts Alive

    Artist Sunday, falling between Plaid Friday, Small Business Saturday® and Cider Monday, is a day dedicated to encouraging individuals to shop with artists and give something special, unique, and hand-crafted this holiday season. TLC Monadnock appreciates the culture artists create and the impact they have on their local community and economy.

    "Spending your dollars with artists, makers, and other creatives supports our local economy," shared Jen Risley, TLC Monadnock Program Manager. "Give more this holiday season by making sure your purchases support artists and other locally owned business owners."

    Artists and creative economy organizations from across the country are participating in Artists Sunday, representing a full range of art, hand-crafted items, and performances. The diversity of artisans allows consumers to ‘shop art’ this Artists Sunday and give something personal and meaningful this holiday season.

    TLC Monadnock will celebrate Artists Sunday as part of the Shop Indie Local movement growing throughout North America. From November 1 to December 31, Shop Indie Local encourages residents to choose local and independent businesses for more of their holiday purchases.

    Are you an artist interested in participating? Contact us today!

    About Artists Sunday

    Artists Sunday is the nationwide movement dedicated to supporting artists and recognizing the impact they have in enriching our lives, communities and the economy. The powerful new effort is designed to make the Sunday after Thanksgiving the most profitable day of the year for artists. Supporters include individual artists, economic development agencies and non-profit organizations across the country. To learn more about Artists Sunday artists, partners, sponsors or involvement in promoting commerce with artists, please visit

  • November 07, 2020 5:29 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    New Hampshire Businesses, Farmers, Entrepreneurs, Nonprofits, Community Initiatives:

    • Do you have an incredible project just waiting to happen?
    • Want to grow your organization, our community, and the local economy, but don’t have access to capital?

    The Local Crowd is a rewards-based crowdfunding program that helps communities invest in local businesses, entrepreneurs, nonprofits, and initiatives that are mission-driven social enterprises.

    If your organization contributes to the community and could use a lift, apply to be part of a Route 11 Corridor cohort of campaigns.

    Vital Communities is partnering with The Local Crowd Monadnock to bring local investment and capital access to the Route 11 Corridor of New Hampshire thanks to funding from USDA Rural Development.

    Submit a proposal for 2021 crowdfunding campaigns if your business/organization:

    • Is based in Claremont, Newport or the Kearsarge Region
    • Has a project with a budget under $10,000
    • Has a simple, achievable project that will generate excitement in your community (Your proposal can be part of a bigger project, but it should have stand-alone value)
    • Has a project that will create an economic and/or social benefit to your business and the community
    • Is able to invest time to build a successful fundraising campaign

    Sample project ideas: Farm infrastructure, renewable energy installation, community garden or art project, vehicle to expand nonprofit service, capital to launch a new rural enterprise, food business equipment

    Submit your project proposal by December 1, 2020

    The Local Crowd Upper Valley will select up to eight projects to participate in this crowdfunding cohort, based on the potential of each project to positively impact their local economy and community. Selected proposals will launch their campaigns in 2021, with support and guidance from The Local Crowd Advisors.

    View Campaign Guidelines

    Submit Your Proposal

    The Local Crowd Details:
    You (project/campaign creator) will need to:

    • Form a Campaign Team to actively promote your fundraising project
    • Work closely with the The Local Crowd team to leverage training, marketing, and community outreach tools
    • Adhere to the keys of success promoted by The Local Crowd platform:  YOU share with your personal network. YOU make it happen.

    You will receive:

    • Support from the The Local Crowd team to run a successful funding campaign
    • Access to business development support from project partners including NH SBDC and SBA
    • Marketing and outreach support to spread the word about your project
    • Free Crowdfunding Readiness Assessment ($85 value)
    • Funds raised via the crowdfunding campaign for the designated project (less platform and credit card fees)
    • Opportunity to reduce platform fees if you meet campaign milestones

    Learn more at or contact

  • November 05, 2020 7:36 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    The Local Crowd (TLC) Monadnock is partnering with Vital Communities’ Local First initiative on Route 11 Corridor Businesses project.  We're looking for proposals from experienced digital marketing firms/professionals.  Please view the full RFP here.

    Proposals are due by 5:00 pm on Monday, November 16, 2020.


    Vital Communities’ Local First initiative is seeking proposals from experienced digital marketing firms/professionals to assist Local First members in the Route 11 corridor of New Hampshire. Small businesses suffering from the impacts of the pandemic require assistance with website, digital marketing, e-commerce, and/or social media services which will be accomplished through this program with one-on-one consulting and a virtual workshop.


    Many small businesses have had to shift business practices, sales channels, customer base, and marketing efforts in response to COVID-19. Our goal is to support small businesses with assistance to create, improve, or enhance their digital presence and build marketing skills so they can adapt to the changing economic landscape and increase business stability. This program is funded by a USDA Rural Development Rural Business Development Grant.


    Each small business is unique and requires marketing technical assistance that meets them where they are and provides help with their specific needs and challenges. The following represents the types of assistance businesses may require through this technical assistance program:

    • Marketing plan development
    • Website platforms, SEO, content strategy, etc.
    • E-commerce platform creation, integration, best practices
    • Social media training: best practices, content strategy, and digital marketing/advertising
    • E-Communications

    This program will increase the digital marketing skills and capacity of six businesses through targeted technical assistance. Business owners and/or staff will gain marketing skills and capacity and report increased engagement and/or sales within three months according to their self-determined goals leading to business stability (jobs saved) or growth (jobs created).

    This program will launch with a digital marketing workshop featuring the chosen firm/marketing specialist, open to any Route 11 corridor businesses. Workshop attendees can apply for 10 hours of cost-share one-on-one consulting time with the chosen marketing firm. Business will pay for 2 hours and Vital Communities will pay for 8 hours). Businesses may choose to procure additional services directly from the firm at its sole cost and discretion. Firms that respond to this RFP should demonstrate their ability to offer the marketing services listed above and their experience working with a variety of businesses and marketing competency levels.

    Technical assistance must be completed by May 1, 2021.


    Proposals must include the following items by the proposal due date. Please keep proposals as short as possible to allow for a quick evaluation process.

    • One page cover letter stating the proposer’s understanding of the work to be performed and why they believe they are well suited
    • Qualifications and related experience of staff assigned to project
    • Demonstrated experience and expertise in SEO, website platforms, developing marketing plans, working one-on-one with a variety of small businesses, understanding of available e-commerce platforms and e-commerce website integration, digital marketing and social media, including Instagram, Facebook, and Google Ads
    • A representative listing of current clients that we may use as references


    The available funds for this contract is $4200. The scope of work that these funds cover: a single virtual digital marketing workshop open to an unlimited number of participants, 8 hours of one-on-one digital marketing technical assistance for 6 businesses.


    When evaluating the proposals, we will use the following factors (in no particular order):

    • Qualifications and experience of proposer working with small businesses
    • Demonstrated current capability and capacity to perform this assistance
    • References for the individuals who will be assigned to this project
    • Locally owned New Hampshire business

    During the short evaluation process, Vital Communities may request additional information or clarifications from proposers. The most qualified proposer(s) may be interviewed by video conference. There is no expressed or implied obligation for Vital Communities to reimburse responding firms and individuals for any expenses incurred in preparing proposals in response to this request. Vital Communities, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to select one, several, or none, of the firms that respond to this RFP.


    Proposals are due by 5:00 pm on Monday, November 16, 2020. Proposals should be submitted via email to with the subject line “Local First RFP.”

    Questions about this RFP should be directed to Nancy LaRowe, Local First/Food & Farm Coordinator,

  • October 31, 2020 6:37 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    November 1-21

    Supporting local, supports you! 

    Local businesses were hurt by the COVID-19 shutdown. Food Connects is working to strengthen our local economy and bolster economic and community resiliency. Shop locally this November!

    Make a $10 purchase at any participating business and receive a sticker. Limit one sticker per business per passport. Once you have three (3) stickers, submit your card for a chance to win. Multiple passport entries are welcome!


    • Grand Prize (1): $1,000 Cash

    • 1st Place (1): $250 Cash

    • 2nd Place (3): $100 Cash

    • 3rd Place (4): Local Gift cards

  • October 28, 2020 5:40 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Online Marketplace for Locally Owned Businesses

    On November 1, TLC Monadnock Mercantile will launch -- a regional online marketplace featuring products and services from locally owned businesses. Our virtual store will compile gift ideas, gift cards and restaurant take-out options. It is free for locally owned businesses to participate! Please review our details for participating here.

    Why now?

    According to a survey run by Google this July, close to 75% of U.S. shoppers said they plan to shop and browse for gift ideas online this holiday season -- more than they did in previous years. Many also plan to shop more at locally owned businesses (66%), but finding those businesses online may prove difficult. An online marketplace that brings together multiple locally owned businesses in one place will meet shoppers' desires to shop safe, shop online and shop local.

    Check out TLC Monadnock Mercantile!

    Ready to Get Started?

    TLC Monadnock Mercantile is made possible by Savings Bank of Walpole and Monadnock Food Co-op.

  • October 25, 2020 5:18 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Even with a smaller budget, you can give more this holiday season. How? By joining the Shop Indie Local movement!  We’re purchasing more of our holiday gifts and celebration needs from our friends and neighbors -- locally owned business owners.  Please join us!

    Why Shop Indie Local?

    When you spend your dollars at locally owned retail businesses in the Monadnock Region, four times more money returns to our local economy than if you spend that same dollar at a chain store.  Spend a dollar at an independent business and 62 cents return to our local economy. (Spend it at a chain store and only 13 cents return; spend it at an online giant and only a couple pennies return.)

    Those 62 cents recirculate through our economy, generating ripple effects that strengthen jobs, charitable contributions and community prosperity.  If everyone shifted just 10% of their purchases from national chains to locally owned retailers, we would return $27 million to our regional economy annually. 

    Shop Indie Local and Give More (Fill in the Blank)

    Think about the people you love. Instead of stuff, what do you truly want to give them?  Perhaps it’s more hope, inspiration or connection.  Now, consider each person, place and thing that plays a part in growing, making and getting that gift to your loved one.  When you Shop Indie Local, you give more to everyone.

    For example, I want to give more hope to a dear friend.  I find a one-of-a-kind handmade lamp, one that I know will make my friend’s day a bit brighter.  The artist who made the lamp, closed out from their regular holiday events, feels a bit more hope that they’ll make it through 2020 and my friend feels more hope every time she clicks the lamp’s switch on.  What do you want to give more of this year? For ideas, please check out our new online marketplace, called TLC Monadnock Mercantile, officially launching on November 1.

    Give More Support: Monadnock United Way

    The Local Crowd Monadnock and Monadnock United Way are teaming up to strengthen our community.  Support Monadnock United Way’s Better Together: Building Equitable Communities in the Monadnock Region crowdfunding campaign on TLC Monadnock through November 13.

    Give today!

    Monadnock United Way and its partner agencies fight for children, education, and financial stability throughout our region.  With your support, we will lift up our region and make it vibrant in the face of hardship.

    Plaid Friday

    Wear 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 this year is Friday, November 27.

    Some independent businesses will serve as Plaid Friday Hubs.  Hubs photograph customers decked out in plaid and answer questions about Plaid Friday and Monadnock Buy Local.  In addition to hubs, some members will offer special events to thank you for stopping in.  Stay tuned for more specials.

    We will add all the photos taken to our annual collage, celebrating everyone who wore plaid to honor the day.  Check out our gallery of over 400 pictures from past Plaid Fridays.

    Meet Chuck the Chinook

    Here’s a gift that we received shortly after last year’s Plaid Friday.  Chuck the Chinook and his owner, Dan Brown, volunteered to inspire more participation in this year’s Plaid Friday event.

    Chuck’s interest in Plaid Friday peaked after seeing last year’s poster highlighting another Keene-based dog named Chloe, owned by Cheryl Belair from The Insurance Source. Chloe was stoically sitting outside of Prime Roast Coffee Roasters on Main Street, sporting a plaid coat complete with plaid ear coverings. Chuck was smitten.

    So, he and Dan dreamed up an annual pet photo contest, a fun way to educate people about Plaid Friday. We made Chuck the inaugural winner to get things started. “He now thinks of himself as an Economic Stimulus Chuck,” joked Dan. “As a sort of an Ambassa-dog, Chuck hopes everyone will join the Monadnock Plaid Friday gala, with the tag line: Wearing plaid gets a discount, ties optional.” Stay tuned for more Plaid Friday pet photo contest details!

    Chinooks, the official state dog of New Hampshire, were bred as sled dogs in Tamworth, NH, by Arthur Treadwell Walden in 1917. Walden was an arctic explorer and sled dog driver. As an official state dog, Chuck takes none of our New Hampshire businesses for granite.  As big Buy Local fans, Chuck and Dan love Plaid Friday.

    Why did Dan pick the name Chuck? “So, a person can enjoy chucking the chin of Chuck the Chinook,” answered Dan. “Chuck’s official AKC name is Forever Greene Moses Fisk. He was born to a mom from Vermont and a dad from here in Cheshire County.”

    Plaid Friday Sponsors

    A big THANK YOU to this year's Plaid Friday sponsors: Aloha Keene, Cheshire Horse, Deep Roots Massage, Food Connects, Monadnock Balloon Store, Monadnock Food Co-op, Ted's Shoe & Sport, The Toadstool Bookshops and The Works Café. Own an independent business?  It’s not too late to jump in and participate.  Contact us today at  Also, please stay tuned for updates in our next Shopper News article.

  • October 17, 2020 8:38 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Shop Indie Local Kick-Off Event on November 27

    For the eleventh year, independent businesses and community members in the Monadnock Region will celebrate Plaid Friday the day after Thanksgiving. This year's event falls on Friday, November 27, 2020.

    Learn More: Plaid Friday 2020

    Individuals will wear plaid on Plaid Friday to show support for the local economy and their commitment to spending more of their dollars at locally owned businesses this holiday season. Last year, nearly 500 community members pledged to participate in Plaid Friday.

    "After a decade of urging people to get out on Plaid Friday and visit their favorite locally owned businesses, we need to proactively plan for whatever COVID-19 throws at our community next month," said Jen Risley, TLC Monadnock Program Manager. "We're planning for all our usual activities -- while adding new virtual ways to participate. (Stay tuned for details!) We want to keep our movement strong and our community safe."

    About Plaid Friday

    Plaid Friday celebrates the diversity and creativity of local and independent businesses. It's a fun and festive alternative to the "Black Friday" consumer frenzy perpetuated by big box stores. This event originated in Oakland, CA to bring back the times when shopping for friends and family was a pleasurable and leisurely activity.

    Many locally owned businesses will serve as Plaid Friday Hubs, photographing customers decked out in plaid and answering questions about this event.

    View Plaid Friday Hubs

    Some participating businesses will offer specials to honor the day and thank community members for their support. Specials will be posted at

    About Shop Indie Local

    Plaid Friday is part of the Shop Indie Local movement growing throughout North America. From November 1 to December 31, Shop Indie Local encourages residents to choose local and independent businesses for more of their holiday purchases.

  • October 13, 2020 5:10 AM | TLC Monadnock (Administrator)

    Join the fun and support our local restaurants by playing Peterborough Restaurant BINGO!  Starting this weekend (10/9), pick up your BINGO cards at participating restaurants and play to win some cool Peterborough swag. Every $10 purchase per visit earns a stamp on your card. Every completed card wins a prize and is entered for larger prizes. 

    Participating restaurants: Aesop's Tables & Events, Beepa and Lulu's Restaurant, Thai Cafe, De Olla Burritos, Harlow's Pub, Kogetsu at boiler house, Nature's Green Grocer, Nonie's Restaurant & Bakery, Pancho's Pizza, Post and Beam Brewing and Waterhouse Restaurant. Dine-in, take-out, gift cards and merchandise all qualify. Restaurant BINGO runs through the end of the year.

    For more, email

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