Shop Like an Urban Local: Farmer’s Market Tips You Don’t Know … Yet.

{ What are your Saturday plans?! Check out your local Public Market + come back with a haul like this. Shout out to Heather Saffer + her frosting empire, better known as Dollop Frosting! }

FARMER’S MARKETS

The Rochester. Public. Market.

AND EVERYTHING YOU DON’T KNOW.

I think by now — in this age of Farm-to-Table, Save Money, + Organic/Local Eating — we all know:

It’s the whole: haggle, baggle { bring your own tote }, shop around, find a tomato-guy spiel. Done + done. So whether you’re an O.G. of the underground or a Late Bloomer, I’m going to share some tips you might not know.

The pay-off?
Guaranteed, you will have more fun + find more value.
You will become 1 with the experience of your local Public and/or Farmer’s Market
.

Last Saturday, I walked to the Rochester Public Market. I bought over 1 lb of locally raised ground beef, 1 dozen locally raised free range eggs, 5 lemons, 1 bunch of kale, 1 pint of cherries, 4 sweet potatoes, 1 eggplant, + I had a free tasting of locally made O’Begley’s whiskey … all for $23. Best part? I made friends + had an adventure doing it. Here’s how:

  1. Off the Beaten Path. Take the Road Less Traveled. Urban living, or not, chances are most of us live within walking distance to our local farmer’s markets. If so, don’t just walk — Explore.
    • Live a Little. I live in the NOTA section of Rochester, which means I’m probably .5 miles away from at least 5 ways to get to the Rochester Public Market. Taking the straight-and-narrow is just too damn bland.
    • Free Stuff. Last Saturday, I discovered 2 different Little Free Libraries on 2 different side streets. I even took a book!
    • Pretty Sites. I also imbibed the sites of quirky houses, colorful gardens, + cute cobblestone paths.
  2. Don’t be a Wallflower. Be Part of the Community. At the Public Market, you are family. Shoppers, farmers, sellers, buyers: it’s one big family festival of sights + sounds, tastes + smells.
    • Step Out. Crowds can overwhelm me, so last Saturday I was very guarded at first. Which is just fine! But so many cool things happened once I opened my face to the sun.
    • Talk to Strangers. I complimented a young lady on her gorgeous locks. As I walked away, she shouted to back to compliment my crazy curls! We both felt thrilled. Right after, another passerby chimed-in — That was really nice! — when she saw me pick up a stray piece of litter that swooped in front of my feet. Talk about friendly.
    • Support our Troops + Community. On the way out, I met a Vet who was giving away paper Poppy’s in request for a donation. He was sweet, funny, + he served our country. What can be more fulfilling than that?
  3. Be Curious, Not Cheap. You Don’t Always Have to HaggleThat is right. You don’t. Especially if you don’t feel comfortable, and especially if prices are already super low. Instead …
    • No Middle Man. Ask questions. Did you know that the woman who supplies all of Wegmans with their eggs has a stand at the Public Market?? Yup. She and her 700,000 { ! } chickens sell lots of eggs, including free-range, for near-half the price you’d find at the super market.
    • Local Meat. Same story for local meat from local farms. After asking some questions on quality, locality, and prices from the people at Heiden Valley Farms, I left with 1 fresh package of never-frozen, locally raised 80/20 ground beef. At these prices, it should be the only type of meat I eat. { Life goals. }
    • Seasonal Produce. Not every single last fruit + veg at your local public/farmer’s market will be from your surrounding area. And that’s okay! But, if you ask the right questions — you’ll discover that this California Kale will soon { 1 month } be replaced by locally grown NYS kale that was recently planted.
  4. Enjoy Yourself. Make Grocery Shopping Fun. The Rochester Public Market can do this. And yours can too. In fact, most public markets are more like festivals than they are chores. That’s because:
    • Brunch. You can grab gourmet, fresh coffee along with breakfast sandwiches and other brunch dishes for quick + for cheap.
    • Dine Solo. It’s super easy to still have a meal and some downtime, even when you are alone. Last Saturday, I grabbed a latte + a chair so I could sit + read before beginning my shopping spree.
    • Free Tastings. If your market is anything like ours’ here in Rochester, there’s going to be wine + liquor, and it’s going to be free. This past Saturday I tasted O’Begley’s locally made Poitin + Whiskey for the 1st time. It was great. And it was cool to learn about the product from the distiller, himself!

If you’re going to Shop Local, might as well do it like a Local. Which means laying down roots, having fun even if there’s no sun, falling in love with your City and Community, + saving a ton of green.

#RochesterPublicMarket.

#shoplocal.

The Call of Shop Local Seduces.

{ City View at the Strathallan … on my 31st birthday! }

HEY FRANDS

shop.local.

HOW I’VE MISSED YOU

The call of Shop Local is something like the Call of the Sirens — all of the intoxicating, none of the danger: and at the end of the journey — you just can’t stay away. 

BESL has been on sabbatical for over 1 year! Shop Local, on the other hand: anything but. Since I’ve been absent, beautiful, bountiful, + incredible Buy Local Shop Small Support Local blogs, initiatives, events, businesses, camaraderies  — you name it — have abounded.

here are just a few:

*(585) Mag

*Sir Rocha Says

*Explore Rochester

*Exploring Upstate

*Harts Local Grocers

*HypeBooth

*IRocPolkaDots

*RocGirlGang

*The Rochesteriat

*Transit Apparel

*Yelp Rochester

Why did BESL cease? For many reasons. But, quite frankly, while BESL absolutely did { and will continue to } promote Shop Local — BESL truly focused on Barbara Ellen’s Shop Local. Not Rochester’s. It’s true! No shame. No worries. And so, as we Take 2, BESL will stay true to her roots by honing the true spirit behind her namesake.

Our newest chapter explores just that:

Barbara Ellen’s Adventures with Everything Shop Local

So let’s get down to business. And let me be completely transparent. { Because Barbara Ellen don’t got pasty, pale skin for nothing … } . Here is the plan:

Structure: Post once/week. { To start. Hey — gotta start somewhere. }

Promotions: Instagram + Twitter, for now. { Let’s have some fun! Follow me: @babsiell. }

Content: 2 main themes —

  1. Adventures of Barbara Ellen Shopping Local. { Yas. }
  2. And Barbara Ellen’s Spiritual Journies. { Because, above all else, this is the heart + soul of it. }

Goal: BESL has the same exact goals as the tenants of Shop Local. To:

  • Share
  • Explore
  • Express
  • Sustain

Can’t wait to take some wild + fancy free Adventures with all of you.

To the SIrens.

To #Roc.

To #shoplocal.

Shop Local Rochester: Merry Merry – Food + Drink + Play!

{ Left to Right: Archimage bad ass key chain, Abundance, Roc Brewing, + Hart’s. }

FOOD

look good

DRINK

feel good

TOYS

#Roc the holiday

#shoplocalroc

{ HAPPY HOLIDAYS! It is officially The Holidays. What better way to keep that flame alight than … to finish your holiday shopping!? Be it stocking stuffers + last minute gifts or snacks + party menu meals … Shop Local in Rochester, NY has you covered. }

I heart that Hart's is in The Holiday spirit.

I heart that Hart’s is in The Holiday spirit.

Last minute. Final touches. Do any of the following describe you??

  • Need stocking stuffers!
  • Buying last minute gifts
  • Finishing the holiday menu

Whatever you have left – these final days before The Holidays are critical. Best part is – they can also be simple! This past weekend, I traipsed around 2 compact, navigable, + diverse #Roc neighborhoods. Both have an incredible, quality selection of:

  1. food
  2. beverage
  3. gifts
  4. toys
Enjoy urban scenes while you eat deliciously prepared foods at Hart's.

Enjoy urban scenes while eating deliciously prepared foods from Hart’s.

Here is what I found to help fill you with jolly + joy:

MONROE AVENUE

ARCHIMAGE | 668 Monroe Avenue, 14607 | TOYS + GIFTS
Archimage, which was bustling on Friday afternoon, is nestled in the Oxford Mall (between Oxford + Goodman Streets on Monroe Avenue). Convenient off-street parking is located just off Oxford street! (Turn right if heading toward Monroe.)

  • ToysStep away from the Big Box store. Step into Archimage. You will find it. You will probably find more than one of it. And it will be well received. By child or adult.
  • GiftsBe it – jewelry, clothing (including baby clothing!), scarves, socks, candles, journals, instruments, speciality books, novelty items, soaps, trinkets, ethnic, natural, upcycled, handmade, unique. … Whatever it be, Archimage has.
  • 1-Stop-ShopThe entire store is a gift shop. Find your gifts + your cards + your wrapping papers here. { Find your happy place here. Truly. }
Wall upon wall of toys for the kid in everyone!

Wall upon wall of toys for the kid in everyone!

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK

{ BONUS: Also visit – Aaron’s Alley. Huge selection of unique gifts, i.e. Gods ‘N’ Gladiators Roc T’s. Buy some thrift/vintage for yourself! }

ABUNDANCE COOPERATIVE MARKET | 62 Marshall Street, 14607 | FOOD + DRINK + GIFTS
Abundance, tucked off of Marshall Street { after Owl House } and with its own parking lot, is my go-to, small grocery store. I love their products, their deals, their mini-market + cafe, and that I always find every single thing I’m looking for, even if it is different or new!

  • FoodAn abundance of sales! From Abundance Sails { deals until January 6, 2015 } to Coop Deals … make your holiday happy + healthy, while giving back directly to our community.
  • Drink. Ideal for non-alcoholic beverages. Looking for a the local refreshment? Ouzon Soda is pristine, locally made, + refreshingly unique! What about the naturally sugar-free soda pop? Stevia options abound.
  • Gifts20% off stocking stuffer sale until Christmas Eve – Wednesday, 12/24! Abundant options include: hats + mittens, glass water bottles { my personal pick }, hand cut soaps, an alluring array of bath + beauty, and so much more!
Locally Made hand salve made by Rochester Roots!

Locally Made hand salve by Rochester Roots!

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAMBLOG

{ BONUS: You should know – Abundance sell items that are solely: Non-GMO, Natural, Fair Trade, Local, Organic, and/or IPM. }

EAST END

ROC BREWING | 56 South Union Street, 14607 | DRINK + GIFTS
Roc Brewing is 1 of 2 bars in Rochester I can confidently walk into, without anyone else, grab a pint, and drink. Which is exactly what I did this past Friday. The doors open at 5pm. On Friday, I walked in at 5:03 + the bar was packed. Talk about holly, jolly, + merry. Roc Brewing #Rocs it.

  • DrinkNine–nine–beers on tap when I arrived. Glutinous Maximus is gluten-free { and has a 7.1% ABV, holler } + it satiated by taste for the beers I’ve missed so much. Buy any of these beers for someone you love. They will respect you for it. And probably love you back. { Though I make no promises on matters-of-the-heart. }
  • GiftsWhich leads us to … The Greatest Gift Deal of the Century. { Kid not. } The Holiday Grumbler Special. That’s 2 Roc Brewing pint glasses, 1 empty mini-grumbler, + a gift certificate to have that grumbler filled on-tap … for JUST $22!!!!! Oh – then there are the T’s + the hoodies, the glasses + the art. Also ask about the Mug Club. { Which might be kicked … as in full! }
  • Unwind This past Friday, I learned that:
    • Roc Brewing now serves food!!!!!!
    • Roc Brewing serves the best gluten-free beer I have ever
    • Roc Brewing is doing a fundraiser for Verona Street Animal Society { which involves coloring books, it’s only $2, and you know I participated } Roc Gives Back in so many other ways, too.
An entire wall of gift ideas, for every occasion.

An entire wall of gift ideas, for everyone + every occasion!

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM 

{ BONUS: You should know – Roc Brewing has trivia for An Epic Trivia Extravaganza, from 5pm – 8pm Christmas Eve evening! }

HART’S LOCAL GROCERS | 10 Winthrop Street, 14607 | FOOD + DRINK + GIFTS
I Heart Hart’s. Hart’s Local Grocers will induce a nirvana-like state, and can best be described (by me) as a Wegman’s – Trader Joes’s – Specialty Market – Trifecta. This grocery, which rests just off East Ave on Winthrop St. and hosts its own off-street parking lot, is captivating. Mesmerizing. My only excuse for just having gone?? I get super excited for things I know I’ll heart … and so delayed gratification. I cannot wait to become a local in Hart’s Local Grocers! 

  • FoodDollop Frosting! I finally found it. As East Ave Wegmans has opted not to carry the gourmet, gluten free/dairy free/soy free/nut free/corn syrup free/organic frostings … I’m much, much elated to find that Hart’s does. Along with a myriad { understatement of the century } locally produced products. In fact, here’s a quick recap of the various food items I heart at Hart’s:
    • great gluten-free selection, along with accommodating other allergies
    • local items in isles + featured at the front, near the cash registers
    • all of your favorite, go-to brands
    • delicious sales
    • a cafe + a deli + a butcher + a coffee shop + a great place to sit, eat, + enjoy the #Roc views!
  • DrinkGet your craft brew here. And your favorite brand name, including a myriad of Rohrbach varieties. Especially delectable for picking up last minute host favors, party gifts, or regular gifts. If you can’t decide upon 1 local brew, check out Hart’s + let their selection entice and suede.
  • GiftsName a local food merchant in Rochester. They probably also sell at Hart’s. From Eat Me Ice Cream to Ouzon Soda to Hedonist Artisan Chocolates to Fuego Coffee to Coffee Connection to Dollop Frostings … that’s not even a fraction of your options. Hart’s is a 1-Stop-Shop, + it will mend any aching hearts you might have incurred throughout this holiday season. { This matter-of-the-heart, I do guarantee. }
Dollop frostings! Local products featured in the front + sold throughout the store.

Dollop frostings! Local products featured in the front + sold throughout the store.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAMNEWS & BLOG

{ BONUS: You should know – Hart’s features special Build-Your-Own Gift Baskets. Customize your own or buy one Hart’s made. What a great gift! }

Roc Brewing knows how to top { off } their Christmas tree.

Roc Brewing knows how to top { off } their Christmas tree.

As you finish your holiday shopping, remember to take a pic + hashtag #shoplocalroc to be auto-entered into the Shop Local Rochester Contest! { It’s best to post pictures to Instagram. When in doubt – also post to Facebook or Twitter. }

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL

Glutinous Minimus { I love that } gluten-free beer. INCREDIBLE.

Glutinous Minimus { I love that } gluten-free beer. INCREDIBLE.

So much love –

#happyholidays

#shoplocal

XO.

Shop Local Rochester: { Forget the Mall } 1-Stop-Spots for The Holidays!

{ “Look at that doggy in the window,” He’s real! Thread in the South Wedge. }

YOUR

#roc the holiday

ONE STOP

#shoplocalroc

SPOTS

{ Loud. Smelly. Crowded. Over Priced. Parking. … I don’t like the mall. Still, the 1 most common myth associated with #ShopLocal is this – It’s not a 1-stop-spot. Untrue! The proximity of diverse shops + merchants found while shopping local rivals any “convenience” the mall offers. Take this Holiday Bazaar + this South Wedge main drag as proof. }

The Yards Holiday Bazaar

10847193_903597892984726_1304375156146652477_o

local convenience

50-52 Public Market Way (above Cure at the Public Market – Facebook)

No to the Mall: What is so “convenient” about shopping at the mall??

  1. Parking – excessively far.
  2. Finding your Car – a chore.
  3. Stores + Food – at opposite ends of 4 different wings.
  4. Loud Nosies – It’s loud, and some stores really smell!
  5. People – Inherent traffic laws of “left + right” seem not apply.

Yes to Shop Local: Shopping Local maximizes convenience while creating experience.

  1. Parking – Never more than 1 { 2 at most } city blocks away.
  2. Finding your Car – glance at street name + intersection: voila.
  3. Stores + Food – all in a row, and { as with bazaars } all in the same space!
  4. No Loud Nosies – played-out music + smells do not dominate the air waves.
  5. People – Joyfully + contently peruse shops and stands in merriment + harmony.
Hedonist ice cream shop has art for you to buy! { Madelyn Neva }

Hedonist ice cream shop has art for you to buy! { Madelyn Neva }

make your holiday light

SHOP

SHOP LOCAL ROCHESTER CONTEST

  1. Shop Local
  2. Photograph your purchase
  3. Post { Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter } + Hashtag – #shoplocalroc
Abode has endless gifting options.

Abode with endless gifting options.

top 3 reasons for 1-stop-spots

“small businesses work really hard to find really unique things,” -Ann Duckett, owner of The Little Bleu Cheese Shop

LBCS also sells local art + has tons of ideas for gifts!

LBCS also sells local art + has tons of ideas for gifts!

The South Wedge

One of the friendliest neighborhoods in Rochester, with some of the friendliest, most gracious merchants in tow.

This past weekend I stopped by Abode, Little Bleu Cheese Shop, + Hedonist Artisan Chocolates, all near the corner of Gregory + South. This is why 1-Stop-Spots like The South Wedge make Holiday Shopping better:

  1. Unique Gifts
  2. Hand Selected Quality
  3. Friendly, Amenable Service
  4. { BONUS: All of these businesses are women owned! }
95% vintage - 5% looks vintage. Abode.

95% vintage – 5% looks vintage. Abode.

ABODE | 289 Gregory Street Rochester, NY 14620 | FACEBOOK

Love Anthropologie? Me too … But. It’s at the mall, + the prices are exorbitantly high. { No way am I decorating my home with decor that exceeds my clothing/make-up/wine budget. } Enter Abode, owned + operated by Ariane Krenichyn + Amanda DeFisher, 2 women with a passion for design, a taste for mid-century, and an eye for local + vintage. At Abode, you will find:

{ BONUS: Find vintage pieces on Etsy! }

More versatile than an LBD. It's LBCS.

More versatile than an LBD. It’s LBCS.

THE LITTLE BLEU CHEESE SHOP | 684 South Avenue Rochester, NY 14620 | FACEBOOK

We simply love cheese,” reads The LBCS tag-line. And I simply love Ann. Owner Ann Duckett selects handcrafted, artisan cheeses from around NYS, the US, + the world to bring us and Rochester the very best. And she does so with love. Every single time I have ever brought LBCS cheeses to a party, a friend’s, a holiday occasion, or as a gift – that parchment packet of goodness has turned each occasion into a gracious celebration. At LBCS, you will find:

  • impeccable cheeses { that take your breath away } + the opportunity to sample
  • more gifts! locally handcrafted cutting blocks + granite blocks + mustards to Brooklyn made pickles to cookbooks and a myriad of unending accoutrements
  • convenience – LBCS is happy to deliver! { the beauty of buying from small businesses }

“At The Little Bleu Cheese Shop, we really get to know our cheese makers,” –Ann Duckett, owner of LBCS

Truffles + Clusters are just the beginning.

Truffles + Clusters are just the beginning.

HEDONIST ARTISAN CHOCOLATES | 672 South Avenue Rochester, NY 14620 | FACEBOOK

Ice cream, sorbet, + chocolate to be, exact. Let’s be clear – this isn’t just any sweets shop. This is down-and-dirty gourmet. With almost a decade in the South Wedge, I wouldn’t expect anything less. Truly, Hedonist Artisan Chocolates, owned by Jennifer, lives up to the jovial + rascal-like implications of its name. … Food allergies, you say? Hedonist offers options, including dairy free! At Hedonist, you will find:

{ BONUS: All chocolates in-store last at least until Christmas. Hedonist delivers. And there’s a Goat Cheese Collection! }

A feast for the eyes. South Wedge window displays. { Hedonist. }

A feast for the eyes. South Wedge window displays. { Hedonist. }

This, your last weekend before Hanukkah ends + Christmas begins. Get your 1-Stop-Shopping done + look good, feel good doing it. #Roc the holiday and #ShopLocal!

#happyholidays

#shoplocal

XO.

Shop Local Rochester: Gifts from Mom { Sara Silvio – Jewelry is Art }

{ Sara Silvio Handcrafted Jewelry – Cosmic Orbit Earrings. }

MOM

DESERVES

sara silvio

THE

jewelry

BEST

#shoplocalroc

{ Mom always deserve the best of the best. Especially when it comes to gifts. Mom deserves timeless. Mom deserves elegant. Mom deserves beauty. … But let’s be honest – Who has time to shop for + find such perfection?! … You do. This holiday, don’t let time get in the way of giving mom a gift that takes her breath away. }

Sara Silvio Jewelry. Handcrafted from metal, glass, stone, + wire – local artisan Sara Silvio infuses every piece of custom jewelry with the same tender, love, + care our moms give to us. That’s why, I say, give mom Sara Silvio Handcrafted Jewelry!

From the work: i collection. { Ancient + Modern. }

From the work: i collection. { Ancient + Modern. }

adornment is a way to say we feel
confident, beautiful and comfortable with ourselves
.”

Take it from me. Two years ago, I attended my first trunk show at Peppermint to the joy of meeting Sara Silvio + her jewelry.

I knew they’d make my mom feel special.

WHY: Why is this notable?? My mom truly + honestly doesn’t love jewelry. She’s just not that kind of lady. Yet I still felt compelled to purchase a pair of drop stone earrings, handcrafted by Sara Silvio, because I knew they were special. SSJ emanates it.

Momsly’s favorite gift that year?? Sara Silvio earrings. What does Momsly still wear almost every single day, 2 years later?? Sara Silvio earrings.

{ Similar to the earrings I bought my mom! }

{ Similar to the earrings I bought my mom! }

{ At least } Three reasons set Sara Silvio jewelry apart from the rest + make it the gift to give mom this holiday.

Sara Silvio Jewelry
is Art.

  1. Time. If you’re crunched for it, do like mom – don’t sacrifice quality + thought! Moms always get us exactly what we want … and cook our favorite holiday meals, to boot. How?? Moms have secrete weapons. This holiday, Sara Silvio is yours. Browse her website for:
  2. Adornment, Elegance, + Emotion. Since the age of 8 + with travels through Ecuador, San Francisco, New York City, and more, Sara Silvio has practiced, honed, + perfected her craft. Silvio reveals how “The ritual, the emotion, the intention,” behind SS jewelry create more than sheer beauty. Sara Silvio Jewelry breathes purpose + life onto + within us.
  3. Availability. You can see + purchase Sara Silvio Jewelry in person. In fact, you can even purchase SSJ while ticking other gifts off your list, as well. Sara Silvio Jewelry is sold at:
Absolutely stunning.

Absolutely stunning.

Sara Silvio Jewelry

You wanna Look Good Feel Good this year + #Roc the holiday right?? { I mean – seriously – you want to win “best gift giver bragging rights”? … ‘Course you do. }

#sarasilviojewelry

#jewelryisart

#shoplocalroc

XO.