April 2019 Volume 5 . Issue 5 golocalmagazines.com
local with a flair knock it out of the park april showers bring may market
Itâ€™s a party at
the eclectic peacock
2 GO LOCAL APRIL 2019
new this month APRIL 2019 . VOLUME 5 . ISSUE 5
THE ECLECTIC PEACOCK
It’s a birthday party down at The Eclectic Peacock in Enfield, and everyone is invited. If there’s anything owner Audrey Poynton enjoys, it’s a celebration and a smile on the faces of every person who walks through the door of the Palomba Drive location. This month, Audrey is celebrating one year of being the owner of “a unique boutique.”
GO ON, YOUR SAY
SUFFIELD GARDEN CLUB
From The Editor 15 Minutes Of Fame May Market
APRIL 2019 . VOLUME 5 . ISSUE 5
GO LOCAL PICKS
it’s a party at
kNOCK IT OUT OF THE PARK
local with a flair
Cool Stuff Just Outside Your Door April Happenings The Eclectic Peacock Corkum’s Baseball
Easter Fun Without The Waste
Put Your Thinking Caps On
7 Springtime Outings
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FROM THE EDITOR . STEPHANIE TROMBLEY EDITOR
Spring is finally here. As I opened the windows of my apartment and baked a lemon lavender cake this month, there was definitely a spring in my step. While April may bring showers, I am looking at this from a glass-half-full perspective: at least April doesn’t bring snow. The season of spring is riddled with imagery of awakening and new beginnings. Last year, this was the time that I was hired on to the Go Local staff. Last month, I focused on the great coworkers I have had the pleasure of working with in the last year. This month, I’m focusing on the great people I have met out in the field. I couldn’t possibly begin to name every person or mention every story that I have been told over the last year. I’d need a whole separate publication for that. However, I can say what I have learned that’s truly stuck with me and made an impact on my life. Alpaca socks help keep your feet warm. Bamboo toothbrushes help reduce plastic waste in the ocean. Throwing an ax at a target is oddly therapeutic. Stuffing goes great on a sandwich. If life gives you apples, throw a festival. There’s something really cool about standing under an arch made out of books. Sometimes you have to stop and smell the roses. Reindeer do exist (and they’re not related to unicorns.) There’s something calming about being surrounded by crystals and good people. And Jessica Vogelgesang (who truly does a million things in Connecticut!) will likely be a friend long after my time with Go Local is up. All I can say is thank you. I look forward to meeting more of the great people of Massachusetts and Connecticut. I’m happy to have added everyone in this issue to my list of wonderful people I have met. Audrey from The Eclectic Peacock is operating a unique boutique with a dash of her bubbly and original personality. Cristine from Flair is on a mission bring profits back to makers. Chris Corkum of Corkum’s Baseball is making sure baseball is fun for everyone and the Suffield Garden Club is bringing beauty to their beloved town. I hope the welcoming of spring finds you well and that you find your happiness in family, friends, experiences or the great outdoors this month. Whether you celebrate Easter or not, I hope you take the opportunity of the sunny weather to get outside and do something fun. Whether it’s an egg hunt, outdoor concert, or even jumping rope… spring is all about fun in the sun. 6 GO LOCAL APRIL 2019
MANAGING EDITOR G. Michael Dobbs
QUALITY CONTROL Carolyn Napolitan
Beth Thurber, Manager . Leigh Catchepaugh Elizabeth O’Donoghue . Susan Bartlett
Barb Perry, Manager . Amy Allen . Kim Barba Lisa Nolan . Paula Dimauro . Scott Greene Nancy Holloway . Jeanette Grenier . Matt Mahaney Greg Pudlo . Victoria Owen
Leo Pilares . David Hosmer
THE GO LOCAL COMMUNITY
CONNECTICUT EAST WINDSOR • ELLINGTON ENFIELD • SOMERS SOUTH WINDSOR • STAFFORD SPRINGS SUFFIELD
MASSACHUSETTS AGAWAM • EASTHAMPTON EAST LONGMEADOW • FLORENCE HAMPDEN • LONGMEADOW NORTHAMPTON • WEST SPRINGFIELD WILBRAHAM
A CREATION OF
CONTACT US! 280 North Main Street • East Longmeadow, MA 01028 Tel: 413.525.6661 • Fax: 413.525.5882
GOLOCALMAGAZINES.COM Send local story ideas to our Editor, Stephanie Trombley: firstname.lastname@example.org
STEPHANIE TROMBLEY is the editor of Go Local Magazine and is preparing for a big Easter dinner with family.
Feels Like Home
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BECAUSE EVERYONE DESERVES THEIR 15 MINUTES OF FAME
What is your favorite Walking outside or hiking in springtime New Hampshire activity?
Hikes and playing baseball and golf
Going out to get ice cream
Reading in my hammock
Walking my dog outside
Brenna Sigfriedt Who is your She has inspired biggest me to follow inspiration? my dreams.
My parents, they are motivating and inspiring.
My friend Ashley, who is battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Equal parts my mom, Shakespeare, Poe and my dog
All of them!
Peppermint Stick ice cream
Chocolate chip cookies
Sour Patch Watermelon
Ice cream, hands down
Ben & Jerry’s ice cream
What has been your biggest accomplishment this year?
Completing my 100th class at Pure Barre
Getting my new job
Getting into graduate school with a full ride scholarship
Keeping the same Chapstick until it runs out
Eating better and going to the gym
Applying for jobs
What movie did you most recently see in theaters?
A Star Is Born Absolutely amazing!
On the Basis of Sex
Five Feet Apart
Goo Goo Dolls
Walk the Moon
I’m a good cook. People always want me to make guacamole!
Playing the recorder with my nose!
What is your favorite sweet treat?
If you could travel any- Australia, where where in the I was born world, where would you go? Who is your favorite artist/band?
John Mayer And I will be seeing him this summer!
Do you have a secret/ I’m an excellent baker. unusual talent? 8 GO LOCAL APRIL 2019
If you consider I can irritate my siblings in three crying on demand a talent…yes. words or less.
I’m really good at scooping ice cream.
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April Showers bring May Market ! STEPHANIE TROMBLEY DAVID HOSMER
f you ever go for a drive around Suffield, it’s likely you will see some of the work completed by the Suffield Garden Club. The group is responsible for helping keep historic Suffield in tip-top shape. By planting trees and flowers, the team ensures that residents can call a beautiful town their home. The Suffield Garden Club is responsible for maintaining the plant life in places such as the center of town, the monument, the gazebo, the library, two islands and the Suffield sign. In order to make it all happen, the Suffield Garden Club counts on fundraisers like the upcoming May Market to make sure they can continue to purchase everything they need to continue to plant around town, fund scholarships and complete community services. Go Local sat down with Suffield Garden Club members Rita Chmura, Joyce Zine and Joanna Mahoney to talk about the work done by the Suffield Garden Club and to discuss their upcoming May Market, which will be hosted on Saturday, May 11 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Phelps-Hatheway House Barn in Suffield. “We’ve been very active in town doing many activities and 10 GO LOCAL APRIL 2019
plantings around town. May Market is our biggest fundraiser. We depend on the May Market to fund a lot of the scholarships and activities that happen in town,” Rita shared. The Suffield Garden Club was established in 1934 and closely follows the club purpose: “The objectives of the Club shall be to stimulate the knowledge and love of gardening and the art of flower arranging; to aid in the protection of trees, plants, and birds; to encourage civic beautification and to instill a respect for the environment.” “The purpose really summarizes what our club is about,” Joyce said. The Suffield Garden Club participates in a number of activities that bring the joy of gardening to the entire community. The club visits nursing homes such as the Parkway Pavilion Health & Rehabilitation Center in Enfield and The Suffield House in Suffield to teach residents floral arranging. The club supplies the flowers. “It’s always amazing when you go into one of these sessions that all the residents of these nursing homes are totally involved with putting together a beautiful arrangement that will be placed on
their dining room tables for them to enjoy for weeks. The way it is arranged is beautiful,” Rita said. The Suffield Garden Club also supplies the public library with a weekly floral arrangement, a reminder to the town that the garden club is present all over Suffield. “It’s always been nice to have the library display our arrangements,” Rita shared. The Suffield Garden Club also works with Suffield youth to bring a love for horticulture. “We have a junior’s program where we go into the schools and work with other programs. We’ve done projects with the Brownies and the Scouts. We’ve been involved in after-school programs. We truly enjoy working with the youth and elderly,” Joyce said. It’s not only flowers and plants that keep the Suffield Garden Club busy. “Presently, we’re doing a lot with the trees in town. There’s a tree project going on and one of our members works at the Bartlett Tree Experts. He’s putting in a lot of effort to make sure the trees on the main street stay in good shape,” Rita said. Joyce added, “Main Street is a historic district and the garden club started planting dogwoods there about 75 years ago. We have replaced many that have died over the years. We’ve been maintaining the dogwoods. We’ve also gotten grants over time to plant other trees. We use money that we’ve raised at our fundraisers.” Rita smiled and shared, “We’re kind of all over the town.” This is where the club’s big event, the 42nd May Market, comes in. The free event contains separate booths from paid vendors and club members. About 25 vendors purchase space at the annual event and garden club members occupy about nine spaces. “We have a close affiliation with the Hatheway House. It works out to be a very nice relationship,” Rita said. Guests can expect to find items such as collectibles, specialty plants, garden and household tools, locally grown flowers and hanging baskets, geraniums, crafts and home décor items. A feature item this year will be the Spear Head Spade, a garden-
ing shovel that has been popular at the May Market in the past. Hungry guests can enjoy pies, cakes and cookies at the event. Vendors will be on site selling items such as heirloom garden plants, herbs, honey, preserves, home and garden décor, artwork and crafts. “It’s a great place to buy Mother’s Day gifts,” Joyce shared. The May Market is just one of the reasons why Rita, Joyce and Joanna said they enjoy being involved in the Suffield Garden Club. “I just love being involved with the town. The garden club makes the town pretty. There’s so many things that we do in town that people really are not aware of, but we do it. We are out there behind the scenes working. I think people are really appreciative of that,” Rita said. “Because the majority of us are gardeners and have that love of horticulture, we have that commonality and that really helps to build a nice comradery. We really enjoy working together for the greater good. We’re all contributing to our community and doing something we love to do at the same time,” Joyce shared. Rita added, “I love the educational part of it, too. Every meeting we have, we learn something because we have these great speakers. The educational aspect is phenomenal.” “That’s my favorite part of every meeting, it’s that speakers come in and we learn something every single time,” Joanna said. The Suffield Garden Club is always seeking new members. To join, please contact Membership Chair Connie Murray at 607591-9256. The club meets formally October through June. The club meets informally in gardens and in town during the summer. In the case that April showers spill over into May, no worries. The dedicated members of the Suffield Garden Club host the May Market in rain or shine, so make sure May 11 is penciled in on your calendar!
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! RECIPE SUBMITTED BY SUSAN BARTLETT
MOROCCAN-SPICED CHICKPEA AND SWEET POTATO STEW
Fragrant spices and colorful vegetables punctuate this exotic stew that satisfies all the special diets at your table! This vegan, gluten-free medley is so hearty and delicious, even carnivorous folk will enjoy it! Serve as a side with Easter dinner, or as a main course over rice or couscous.
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, garlic and ginger. Cover and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the coriander, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add the sweet potatoes, green beans, chickpeas and tomatoes. Stir in the broth and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to low and season with salt and pepper to taste, add cayenne if you like more heat. Cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Uncover, stir in the parsley or cilantro and lemon juice, and cook for 10 minutes longer. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Serve hot.
1 tbsp. olive oil 1 large yellow onion, chopped 1 large carrot, chopped 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced 8 ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger 1 tsp. ground coriander 1 tsp. ground cumin 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg 1 (15.5 oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained 1 Â˝ cups vegetable broth Salt and freshly ground pepper Few pinches cayenne pepper optional 2 tbsp. minced fresh parsley or cilantro 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
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go local picks
COOL STUFF JUST OUTSIDE YOUR DOOR
GLASS BOTTLED MILK OAKRIDGE DAIRY • ELLINGTON, CT WWW.OAKRIDGEDAIRY.COM
Fresh Oakridge Dairy milk is now available for delivery in Ellington through The Modern Milkman. Here’s how it works: customers choose a box and customize it to their needs. The subscription is automatically renewed 4 days prior to your next delivery. Receive your box delivered to your home in insulated packaging. You can leave empty glass bottles at your doorstep for recycling! Their milk is something consumers can feel good about. Oakridge Dairy cows are never treated with rBST and every eight hours, the parlor is shut down for a 1-hour cleaning. Visit their website for more information!
HAND-PAINTED WOOD EGGS MOMMACRAFTS413 • EASTHAMPTON, MA ETSY.COM/SHOP/MOMMACRAFTS413
Theresa Price of MommaCrafts413 on Etsy makes it easy to celebrate a sustainable and dairy-free Easter this year. Price creates hand-painted eggs, sold in sets of six and in your choice of colors, made to match your holiday décor. She also offers the option to add a word on the eggs. Colors can also be mixed and matched. Why not try these for an Easter egg hunt or at the center of the Easter dinner table this year? Alternatively, white eggs would make for great kitchen décor year round.
16 GO LOCAL APRIL 2019
POETRY DAY PERFORMANCE SOUTH WINDSOR PUBLIC LIBRARY 1550 SULLIVAN AVENUE • SOUTH WINDSOR, CT
Join the South Windsor Public Library on Sunday, April 28, 2pm for a performance by Hungrytown to celebrate Poetry Day. Admission is free to this event. Ken Anderson and Rebecca Hall are Hungrytown, a Folk duo from West Townshend, Vermont. Hungrytown has toured worldwide for over a decade and have released three albums. Enjoy tracks such as “Highway Song,” “Rose Or The Briar” and “On The Other Side” in the comfort of the local library.
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BLANEY BROTHERS Murphy’s Pub, 664 Suffield Street April 27, 9p.m. – Have a bite to eat, a cold brew and a performance by The Blaney Brothers. Enjoy the acoustic duo performing in old time Celtic and Appalachian playing styles.
5TH ANNUAL EASTHAMPTON BOOK FEST Easthampton City Arts, Easthampton April 13, 9a.m. – Easthampton Book Fest is a city-wide festival celebrating literary culture in the Pioneer Valley through forums, workshops, exhibits and events. Throughout several venues in Downtown Easthampton, guests will enjoy author talks, workshops, performances and more. For more information, visit easthamptoncityarts.com/eventsfestivals/easthampton-bookfest/
EAST LONGMEADOW, MA
ARBOR DAY FEST Heartsong Yoga, 264 North Main Street April 28, 1p.m. – Enjoy a Sunday afternoonat Heartsong Yoga hosted by Tamarack Hollow Nature & Cultural Center. Caribbean music with Trio Candela and Cuban dance with Miguel Periche featuring Daniel Cohen, Aimee Gelinas, Juan Basillio-Sanchez, Chris Hairston and “Zubie” on flute. Drumming by the Valley Rhythm Keepers, a youth tree art exhibit and tree activities with Tamarack Hollow and more! All ages are welcome. Free tree sapling with a donation of $10 or more. Visit tamarackhollow.com for more information.
SYRUP STAMPEDE 5K RUN/WALK Look Memorial Park, 300 N Main Street April 7, 10a.m. – Syrup Stampede is a 5K run/walk to benefit Empty Arms Bereavement. Prizes will be awarded for top male, female, youth runner and top fundraising individual. A pancake party is to follow. Register at syrupstampede.com
JONNY TAYLOR LIVE Gio’s Pizzeria and Lounge, 9 Allen Street April 19, 9p.m. – Partake in a great slice of pizza and unique music with Massachusettsbased performer Jonny Taylor. Acoustic music from a wide variety of genres and he is sure to perform music everyone can enjoy.
NORTHAMPTON PRIDE Downtown Northampton/Three County Fairgrounds May 4, 11a.m. – Northampton will celebrate their annual Northampton Pride Parade. The parade starts from downtown Northampton and ends at the Fairgrounds. LADY JANE ALBUM RELEASE The Parlor Room, 32 Masonic Street May 2, 7:30p.m. – Signature Sounds presents the Lady Jane album release at The Parlor Room. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at eventbrite.com/e/lady-janealbum-release-at-the-parlor-room-tickets-57137059483
WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA
J.R. MOORE 2019 TOUR Lattitude Restaurant, 1338 Memorial Avenue April 26, 7p.m. – Story Tellers Unplugged Series featuring musician J.R. Moore. Doors open 6 p.m. Tickets available at eventbrite.com. Tickets $10 in advance/$15 at the door.
SAGE KING DUO The Daily Pint, 2523 Boston Road April 26, 8p.m. – What better way to spend a Friday night than with good food, a delicious drink and a high-energy performance? Sage King has opened for acts such as Aaron Lewis, Hinder, David Allan Coe, Drowning Pool, Trapt, John Corabi, Mike Tramp and more. Don’t miss this diverse artist.
EAST WINDSOR, CT
GOING PLACES ART SHOW K. Simon Center for the Arts, 98 Main Street April 26 & 27, 6p.m. – “Going Places” will be an artist exhibition and opportunity to sell merchandise. The event is sponsored by Outbreak Skateboards, with a focus on showcasing artists with themes of urbanism, new contemporary, “art-post internet,” alternative, graffiti and graphic design. For more information, visit facebook. com/events/2036571476462505
MUSIC VIDEO BINGO Cold Creek Tavern, 175 West Road April 17, 8p.m. – Join Miss Klonk for a music video challenge. Miss Klonk will play music videos from numerous genres on the big screen, bringing a unique twist to bingo. Expect hits from the 70s to today.
THE MYSTERIES OF BELTANE BY GAYLE NOGAS Alchemistica Magick Emporium, 90 Pearl Street April 25, 6:30p.m. – Beltane is a celebration of the coming new life and growth that is born with springtime. This workshop taught by Gayle Nogas (former owner of Gayle’s Thyme) will teach the meaning of May Day, its history and the traditions associated with it. Guests will also create two crafts. This event costs $20 and preregistration is required. Registration is available at squareup.com/store/alchemistica_magick_emporium
COPPER HILL FARM POP-UP FARMER’S MARKET Copper Hill Farm, 144 Hall Hill Road April 27, 12p.m. – Visit the Copper Hill Farm store for a pop-up market. Numerous Ellington Farmer’s Market vendors will be in attendance. The rain date for this event is May 4.
SOUTH WINDSOR, CT
WINGMASTERS: ART ON THE WING Wood Memorial Library & Museum, 783 Main Street April 27, 2:30p.m. – Birds of prey have inspired artists from prehistoric times to the present day. This unique program is to allow audiences to draw birds from life. The presentation focuses on four live birds of prey. Cost is $15 per person and pre-registration is required. Visit woodmemoriallibrary.org/index.php/event/wingmastersnative-american-artifacts-birds-of-prey.
STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT
HAIR (THE MUSICAL) The Stafford Palace Theater, 75 W Main Street April 7-14 – Phoenix Theater Company brings the hit musical Hair to the Stafford Palace Theater. Stop by the theater to see what has made Hair a hit for decades. Tickets start at $22 and are available at www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1816873 GOLOCALMAGAZINES.COM 19
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it’s a party at
The Eclectic Peacock
! STEPHANIE TROMBLEY DAVID HOSMER
t’s a birthday party down at The Eclectic Peacock in Enfield, and everyone is invited. If there’s anything owner Audrey Poynton enjoys, it’s a celebration and a smile on the faces of every person who walks through the door of the Palomba Drive location. This month, Audrey is celebrating one year of being the owner of “a unique boutique.” Audrey dreamed up The Eclectic Peacock in 2018. While there may not be balloons or a cake, the shop contains just about everything else one can think of. To refer to the shop simply as a boutique would be a major understatement. Peacocks are known for their bright colors and ability to stand out from the crowd, and The Eclectic Peacock does just that. The location is full of unique décor and fashions just waiting to be brought home and enjoyed. When Audrey purchases items for the store, she only buys a few pieces and then will not purchase them again. There’s always something new on the shelves. For Audrey, who is currently in her 50’s, The Eclectic Peacock came after a different type of career. “I worked in corporate for 30 years. My first job out of college was actually selling gifts. I GOLOCALMAGAZINES.COM 23
enjoyed that for a couple years and then worked for the phone company for 25 years and then there was a lot of transition,” Audrey said. After leaving the corporate world, Audrey was seeking something different. “I said to my husband ‘You know, I really just want to do something fun. Something that I can get joy out of and other people can get joy out of.’ I’m big on clothes and I’ve always liked supporting local businesses. In my travels, I always shopped in boutiques and cool stores,” Audrey said. Audrey continued, “I’ve been very lucky and blessed in my life. I didn’t hate my career; I was just tired of it. Tired of the rat race of the corporate field. Constantly going, going, going and it doesn’t change and is never enough. What I did was good, but it was time for me to move on.” With a passion for all things unique on her mind, Audrey dived into the local business profession. “That was my goal. I started repurposing furniture and then selling it and then I reupholstered and did fun things like that. I said to my husband, ‘I want to open up a store.’ He said, ‘Go ahead,’ and here it is,” Audrey shared. Audrey is big on artisans, locally and globally. Her shop contains items from local artisans such as Oh So Pretties from Wilbraham, Sew Fetch from Greenwich and This Old Bird House from West Springfield. Audrey also includes items from places such as Southern California and Israel in her shop. “It morphed into clothing and gifts and I wanted it to be a really cool environment where you could just come in and just read about artisans,” Audrey said. While Audrey does include international items in the store, she said that over 80% of the shop contains US made items. “I try to get artisans in here that are either trying to launch their brands or trying to get the word out about their cause because I’m big on causes,” she said. Audrey is passionate about providing brands where a portion of the proceeds is donated to an important cause. “A lot of the stuff that’s in the store is for a cause. We have products where there is a donation to domestic violence or veterans, for example. Just giving back to the community. I always seek out those types of brands because I want to give back to the community and the environment and things like that,” Audrey said. Audrey said she prides herself on making sure there’s something for everyone in stock at The Eclectic Peacock. “It took me awhile to look at different companies. I brought in high-end brands too just for regular customers who like to have the high-end brands. I tried to bring in something that’s, price point wise, good for somebody that wants to spend $10 and good for somebody that wants to spend something like $400,” she shared. Audrey continued, “I just love it. It’s fun. I love when people come in and they’re just happy and enjoying it and they’re reading about the artist and how they got there or what the company’s about. It’s fun and I think people enjoy it.” For Audrey, being the owner of The Eclectic Peacock is not just 24 GO LOCAL APRIL 2019
about running a business, it’s about creating a welcoming and fun atmosphere for her customers. A visit to the shop is like a visit to Audrey’s own home. “I offer tea or a coffee or cider. I offer little snacks so when people come in, they can just feel like it’s at home. If they find something they like, then great. But if they don’t, it’s okay. At least they came in and enjoyed and saw what I had to offer. If they just tell people about it, that’s okay too,” Audrey shared. In addition to Audrey, customers are likely to meet one of her friendly staff members during their visit. Audrey said the girls that she works alongside have each brought special personalities to the store. “It’s so fun. I have a good group of girls working with me. In the beginning, it was just me all of the time,” Audrey said. “We have a single mom who comes in and helps and she loves it. I have a friend of a friend and she enjoys working because she wants to get out. She’s a mom and Saturdays are her getaway days. She used to live in New York and she was like ‘This store reminds me of a New York boutique and I just love to work here!’ They have passion about the business too, which is nice. It’s fun. We make it so fun.” she shared.
Customers are often invited to join Audrey and her team for girl’s night festivities. “A group of girls could come in and have wine or champagne and snacks and they can just browse. Sometimes, I’ll do an event where there’s shopping for an hour and then we will have a psychic medium for two hours. It’s been fun doing that,” Audrey said. She continued, “It gives people an out to enjoy each other, I get to know people, and people are nice. If my regulars come in, I know them by name and it’s just really nice to get to know them.” Audrey quickly becomes a friend to her customers. “I’ve had customers come in here sad, telling me stories and when they left, they’d give me a hug and enjoyed the experience. When somebody leaves here happy, it makes me happy.” When it comes to being a local business, Audrey said she is happy to be a part of the community. ““People love supporting local businesses. They’re just super excited about it. They were excited when I came and they were like ‘Finally! There’s nothing in Enfield to go to. We don’t have to go to Northampton or West Hartford.’ It’s something that’s here.” Audrey continued, “I always try to bring in things that you can’t GOLOCALMAGAZINES.COM 25
find at TJ Maxx or Marshall’s, or even in some of the other stores that are in Longmeadow. I try to keep it different. The more we have shops like this, the better off our community is. I just think it makes a cozier community.” Audrey followed her dream, and she encourages others to do the same. “I always encourage people if they want to do it. Some people say, ‘Oh, I would love to have a boutique,’ and I say ‘You could! Just open one, there’s an empty spot right in the corner!’ So I always encourage them,” Audrey said. Overall, Audrey said she hopes her customers find something they never knew they desired in her shop. “When you come in here, I hope you have nothing in mind and you find things you love. Sometimes, I have clients who say they have so much, they don’t know what to get. I tell them to pick and choose what they like best. Once in awhile, it’s nice to buy that little thing to have that you want,” Audrey said. It’s not about the profit for Audrey, but feeling good. “I want everybody to enjoy something. For me, it’s not about the profitability; it’s about the enjoyment. I’m in my mid-50’s, so this is a second career of enjoying,” Audrey shared. Audrey continued, “I get enjoyment out of coming to work every day and doing something that I love. When people come in the door, I love the interaction with customers and just seeing them go through the process of buying something in the store and feeling good about it.” Next time you’re driving down Palomba Drive, make sure you stop by and celebrate The Eclectic Peacock’s birthday with Audrey and her girls. When it comes to shopping, it’s always a good time at The Eclectic Peacock. THE ECLECTIC PEACOCK • 74 PALOMBA DRIVE, SUITE J • ENFIELD, CT HOURS: WED. - FRI. 11:30AM-6PM • SAT. 10AM-5PM • SUN. 10AM-3PM 860-965-7911 • ECLECTICPEACOCK.COM
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f Chris Corkum had his own baseball card, it would be packed with stats. The Broad Brook resident has been playing the game since he was a child. Dreams of being a baseball player encouraged him to get outside and play. “I’ve been involved with baseball since I was about seven years old. I did the normal thing of playing Little League,” Chris shared. His history with the sport is expansive. Little League was the kickoff that led to playing baseball for Enfield High School and Providence College. He played in the Western Mass Tri-County League for over three decades before retiring in 2009. Chris has received awards such as the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Western Mass Tri-County League and the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pioneer Valley Umpires Association. In 2008, he became the first player in the 71-year history of the Western Mass Tri-County league to amass 1000 hits. Chris has also focused on a career in education, receiving a degree from Providence College in 1974. In 1977, Chris received a Masters Degree in Education and Recreation. He went on to
teach Social Studies at East Windsor High School. In his education career, he has received awards such as the 2004 East Windsor High School Student Council Teacher of the Year award and the 2005 East Windsor Walmart Teacher of the Year award. As if Chris wasn’t busy enough, he also works as an expert witness in baseball liability cases. Okay, so maybe all of these accomplishments wouldn’t fit on a small baseball card. But there’s no doubt it would be a collectible. While Chris has retired from playing baseball and teaching Social Studies, this doesn’t mean he has stopped interweaving his passion for the game and education. For 36 years, Chris Corkum has been the owner of Corkum’s Baseball, a business offering private lessons, camps and coaching clinics. Since 1984, Chris has enjoyed teaching local baseball players and coaches alike the skills that make for a fun game. Now in his 60s, Chris spends his time taking all of the knowledge and skills he has developed in the sport and trains players ranging from children to adults in the All-American pastime. But Chris has always kept busy. “I did three things full-time. I GOLOCALMAGAZINES.COM 29
was a high school teacher, I played baseball every night and we ran our camp 363 days out of the year,” Chris explained. As busy as running Corkum’s Baseball keeps Chris, he said he is thankful for his job every day. “I feel very fortunate that this is my work,” Chris shared. Corkum’s Baseball summer camps run from June to August in towns including Granby, West Hartford, Haddam, South Windsor, Stafford, Tolland and Longmeadow. Each summer camp is one week long. Mini-camps are two days long. This year, a mini-camp will take place on April 15 and 16 in Haddam/Killingworth and April 17 and 18 in Longmeadow. At the time of publishing, Chris said space was still available for the mini-camps, but he explained that space could fill up fast. “We usually have 65 players on average but last year, we got 95. We have to limit it for safety,” Chris said. The private and semi-private lessons that Chris offers help players improve their hitting, throwing, pitching and fielding skills. Chris personally instructs these lessons. During training, students can expect to practice skills such as fielding, throwing, hitting, pitching, catching, base running and game play. Students leave the program with developed sportsmanship skills and a broadened knowledge of gameplay. 30 GO LOCAL APRIL 2019
Coaching clinics are available for team coaches to develop skills in subjects such as practice planning, coaching philosophy, throwing, pitching, hitting and defensive play. As Chris described of the coaching clinics, “Learning by actually doing is the best way to learn and improve skills for both children and adults. At the conclusion of a coach’s clinic, so many times coaches will express that they have not had so much fun playing baseball since they were a kid. It is that feeling we want the coaches taking back to their teams and practices.” Chris explained that one of the goals of the coaching clinics are to help coaches better understand what it is like for a child to learn a baseball skill. “I want them to have the experience of what it’s like to be a kid and go through things for the first time,” Chris said. While camps are exclusively for youth players, Chris encourages baseball players of all ages to sign up for private lessons. “Last year, my lessons ranged from 6 years old to 55 years old,” Chris explained. The main goal of any baseball training conducted through Corkum’s Baseball is that players and coaches have a lot of fun doing it. “We want you to go for it. We want you to be carefree,” Chris said. Chris is also involved in the Western Mass Fall Baseball League.
Mark DiFranco of DiFranco Realty Inc. in East Longmeadow founded the league. Fall 2019 will mark its eleventh year. Chris chooses players from the students that come to the baseball training camp throughout the summer. The team is typically made up of players from Longmeadow, East Windsor, Somers and other surrounding towns. As Chris described, “It’s our favorite time of the year.” No matter where Chris’s career takes him, it’s evident that his love for baseball will never change. In a message on the Corkum’s Baseball website, Chris explained, “Baseball is one of the greatest lifetime companions anyone could ask for. The season itself plays out like a long running serial or soap opera whether it is the team you’re playing on or the major league team you are following. You can collect cards, read box scores or take in games at various ballparks stretched across North America. Numerous fine authors write books on the intersection of baseball and history. But most of all, baseball helps form connections between people of different generations, continents as well as the kids down the street. For all these good things to happen, we have to remember, ‘It has to be fun!’” For Chris, being able to combine a career in baseball with a passion for education is like hitting a homerun. Coupling his favorite sport with his passion for teaching, Chris said he is happy to make a difference in the community. “It’s like teaching school. You feel you have a hand in making the world better. You’re doing something that really matters.” The 2019 Longmeadow April Vacation Baseball Mini-Camp will take place at the Greenwood Community Center Field. Players age 7 to 12 are encouraged to sign up. The cost is $75 for Longmeadow residents and $85 for non-residents. For more information on signing up or to learn more about Corkum’s Baseball’s training, please contact Chris Corkum at 860-623-1027 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Have a Sustainable, Local Easter! Many ring in the start of spring with the Easter holiday. Children often receive baskets from the Easter Bunny. Eggs are colored and then strategically hidden. Families gather to enjoy a meal. Easter is an enlightening and happy holiday. While it can be a happy and vibrant holiday, it can also tend to be wasteful. Do you struggle to eat all of those colored eggs before their expiration? Do you find yourself vacuuming that cellophane basket grass for months after? Try some of the below methods to celebrate sustainably this year.
Eggs There are several swaps for traditional Easter eggs available. 1. Wooden eggs can be used in place of those plastic, non-recyclable eggs often used in hunts and for storing treats in Easter baskets. They can even become a fun craft idea for kids to paint with fun designs. See our Go Local Picks for a great example! 2. If real eggs are still your go-to tradition, try purchasing local eggs for your annual hunt! Massachusetts and Connecticut are packed with great small locations offering eggs fresh from their farms. Try D’Agata’s Family Farm in West Suffield or Granny’s Place in Agawam for farm fresh eggs. 3. Even dyes can be sustainable! Did you know many vegetables can be used to naturally color eggs? Turmeric can be used for yellow, chopped beets for pink, purple cabbage for blue and yellow onion skins for orange. 4. Have too many leftover eggs? Why not crack off the colorful shells and turn them into a delicious meal? Bring out the old recipe book or try creating something brand new.
Baskets A plastic basket may look pretty, but they often serve little purpose after Easter is over and cannot be recycled. 1. Plant pot Try filling a planter with Easter treats this year! Kids will be overjoyed to find gifts inside with the added fun activity of planting something in it for the summer once it’s empty. Container Crazy CT of Broad Brook offers lots of great information about pots and planting at containercrazyct.com 2. Try a bucket! While buckets may still be plastic, they can be used all summer to build sandcastles, carry gardening tools and store small toys.
Grass Plastic Easter grass may make for quick basket filler, but the hundreds of tiny shreds of plastic are both messy and non-recyclable. 1. Yarn Especially for those who crochet or knit, yarn is always in abundance. Why not fill the bottom of a basket with colored yarn to create a bright pop of color that can still be used for crafts? Stop by Northampton Wools at 29 Pleasant St. in Northampton or Knitting Criations at 60 Springfield Rd. in Somers for large selections of vibrant yarn. 2. Ribbon Colored ribbon is another item crafters have no shortage of. Try mixing an array of ribbons to make great filler! 3. Fabric remnants For those who sew, sometimes you end up with pesky fabric pieces that seemingly have no purpose. However, if cut into shreds, fabric can easily fill an Easter basket. Alternatively, leave the fabric bunched up for use later. 4. Newspaper and Magazines Not that we are encouraging destruction of your copy of Go Local, shredded magazines and newspapers make for great basket stuffing that can later be recycled!
Animals Each Easter, chicks and bunnies are given to children as pets. While the idea may seem sweet, oftentimes, these animals are difficult to care for and may not be a good fit for the family. 1. Petting Zoos and Farms Rather than purchasing an animal, why not pay them a visit in their homes? Many expert farmers in the area care for chicks and bunnies and welcome visitors to come say hello.
GOLOCALMAGAZINES.COM GOLOCALMAGAZINES.COM 37 33
Frankie’s Firehouse Restaurant located on Main Street in Somers, CT was part of a “Mitten and Hat Giving Tree” started by Frankie and Amy Desso. Together they were able to donate over 250 pairs to surrounding shelters to those in need this past January 2019.
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This coming April and May, Frankie’s will be putting out donation boxes in different locations in Somers to collect items for toddlers and preschool age children such as diapers, shampoo, clothing, pacifiers, etc. for those families in need that serve our country. We are hoping to collect more than 300 items!
For more info call 860.849.6771
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hen you have a bright idea, sometimes it is that first step that can be the most daunting. Cristine Levitre is no stranger to this. Her next adventure all started with a phone call. Cristine is a jewelry artisan, creating handmade pieces that include gemstones from the late 1800s-early 1900s. She was involved in several shows and felt there was an unfair gap that made it difficult for makers to succeed. “I kept thinking that it shouldn’t be this hard. I had a lot of ideas, but I was too busy making my own living to do them. A few years ago, I had the thought ‘I need to do something.’ The political climate is so bad and people are so depressed. And I actually thought ‘if we all elected ourselves president and we had the freedom to do whatever we wanted, what would I do?’” Cristine said. What was Cristine’s first course of action in her personal oval office? A phone call to Thorne’s Marketplace in Northampton. “I asked them for a store and they said yes. I thought, ‘Man, this being president stuff is good!’” Cristine said. In 2016, Cristine’s goal was to open a holiday pop-up shop that would house several local makers. Artisans were invited to display their products. Instead of paying an outrageous fee to be featured, Cristine offered makers 80% of the profit from sales of their products. This is how Flair was born. “It totally changed my attitude about trying new things and taking a risk. I learned a lot in terms of the fact that you can’t create a store overnight. I mean, you can, but you can’t create
36 GO LOCAL APRIL 2019
a cooperative. You can’t pull strangers and say ‘let’s play well together’ because everybody is so different,” Cristine said. At the conclusion of 2016, Cristine decided to rent a booth at a show in Boston for the 2017 season. After a tumultuous experience, Cristine knew it was time to take her craft back home. “I said to myself, ‘You know, I think it’s time to go local,” Cristine said. Cristine met Nick Behrens, a maker in his twenties who sold wooden boards under the name Behrens Boards in March 2018 at the Whitingham Maple Festival in Vermont. The pair became friends after being booth neighbors and quickly exchanged their big ideas. Keeping connected through the spring and summer, the friends decided to amplify Cristine’s business pursuit of 2016 and make it bigger. In 2018, Cristine joined forces with Nick to create a holiday popup shop at a storefront located at 18 Center Street in Northampton. The shop housed items from over 30 local vendors. The popup shop met all holiday shopping price points, from $5 to over $1000. Paintings, photography, chocolate and jewelry, among other items, packed the shelves of the storefront. The shop began with just simplicities, such as fixtures made from plant stands that Cristine personally owned. Cristine also sells her handmade jewelry in the store. “It was the same kind of belief of bringing it back to local. It’s not the customer’s responsibility to walk into a store and think something is handmade when it’s not. If people walk into here and have a question, I want to be able to have all of us answer it from a human perspective,” Cristine said. Cristine and Nick knew they wanted to offer artists something
that was atypical of the industry. “Artists are never given anything, they’re always asked questions like ‘Will you donate?’ or ‘Will you stay late and clean up?’ It’s really crazy. So we decided we would turn it around and basically tell artists ‘We like your work, we want you in the shop and you don’t have to do anything.’ We offered to give them 80% of the revenue, which is unheard of. They didn’t have to do any work in the shop,” Cristine said. The work put in by Cristine and Nick paid off. “One of the most exciting moments is watching somebody come in and looking at work that wasn’t ours even and purchasing multiples. Somebody came in and bought six mugs. Nick looked at me and I looked at him, and we both got these big smiles on our faces. It was as exciting as if we had sold our own work,” Cristine said. The shop opened for the holiday season on Nov. 15, but Cristine decided not all good things must come to an end. “We were open for the holidays and I decided I didn’t want to start fresh next holiday, I wanted to see if we could make a go of it year-round,” Cristine said. Cristine shared that it was tricky and a different process to keep the shop up year-round. “The way to keep the shop open was to reach out to part of the group and basically ask people who felt they wanted to keep it open to contribute to the rent for three months to get through the wintertime. Once people know we are here, they are so excited that we are here, it’s just about getting them off of that main street,” Cristine said. While Nick has since separated from the business to pursue other opportunities, Cristine is thankful to have joined with him to create the now blooming business. “He was the best business partner I’ve ever had. He totally renewed my faith that a potential business partner does not have to be anything like you. You
just have to have the same values to work together. We decided we weren’t going to make a cooperative; we were going to pull a shop together on our own. No financial help or asking for help from anybody. And we did,” Cristine shared. Cristine said she does admit that making the move from Thorne’s Marketplace, located on Main Street to Center Street, which is a side road, has had an impact on foot traffic to the location. “We had to take turns going out and handing out postcards. People immediately came in once they knew we were here. It was a slow go, but we realized that people want to buy local,” Cristine said. Cristine said she feels that shopping local has a unique transparency that isn’t typically found in big box store shopping. “If you pick up, for example, the glasses with confetti designs that we sell, I can tell you everything about the maker like how he started, where he fell in love with glass and how having a baby influenced some cheerful new designs. I think that’s the thing that Nick and I both loved: introducing a customer to a maker,” Cristine said. Cristine continued, “Purchasing something became more than buying a product. You’re buying a little bit of getting to know a neighbor.” When it came to diving into her dream, Cristine said realizing that there may be bumps in the road is important. “I think if you want to do something, no journey is ever completely straight without any bumps. You can give up or you can find solutions and then get excited,” Cristine said.
38 GO LOCAL APRIL 2019
Cristine recalled the first time she saw her previous location at Thorne’s Marketplace. “He said, ‘Cristine, let’s go look at your store,’ and at that moment, life changed. It felt real, real and scary,” Cristine said. As Flair continues to grow, Cristine is looking to the future and the larger opportunities that the shop could hold. “Part of the larger plan is to offer workshops for the community, provide support and information and opportunities for local artisans and the public to become an active part of Northampton’s arts community,” Cristine said. Cristine said Flair would always be about sticking to their mission statement: “Support local makers and buy local — the fairest trade of all.” Flair will be launching a Kickstarter campaign to help with operating expenses. “We receive no funding and are driven solely by the important of supporting our many talented makers to earn a sustainable income locally and to provide more local economic opportunities,” Cristine said. Cristine continued, “We have done a great job of supporting our local farms over the years and the time is right for extending that support to all of our talented local makers.” Currently, Flair is open Thursday through Saturday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m at 18 Center Street, Northampton, MA. To contact Flair, please email email@example.com. Cristine said, “If anyone is inspired to jump in and offer support of any kind, it would be gratefully welcomed.”
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The Final Countdown
7 Springtime Outings
Finally, the sun is out, the grass is green and only a light sweater is necessary to enjoy the outdoors.
Welcome the month of April with fun events for all ages!
EARTH DAY & 50TH ANNIVERSARY
DENNIS POND, 5 ICEHOUSE ROAD STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT Join the Stafford Conservation Commission on Sat., April 27 from 10am-1pm for Earth Day and the Commission’s 50th anniversary. Dust off your bell-bottom pants and rainbow beads, the Commission will be hosting a hippie costume contest! Admission is free.
OF FOREST & SEA SHOW
EASTWORKS WEST END 116 PLEASANT ST • EASTHAMPTON, MA Fri., April 19 at 8pm. See a night of Germanic, Slavic and Nordic traditional culture, folk and fairy tales through dance and music. Event is the spring fundraiser for the Faces of the Goddess research trip to Southern Italy in summer 2019. Tickets are $20 until Apr. 17, and $30 at the door. Advance tickets at luminaradance.com
EASTER PANCAKE BREAKFAST
100 BIDWELL ROAD • SOUTH WINDSOR, CT Enjoy a breakfast of pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, juice and coffee on Sat., April 13 from 8am-11:30am with the South Windsor Jaycees and the Easter Bunny at Nomad's Adventure Quest. Free activities such as crafts, photos and face painting. No registration is required and admission is free. Donations are accepted to benefit Hartford Bags of Love. 46 GO LOCAL APRIL 2019
VERNAL POOLS AT LAUGHING BROOK
793 MAIN STREET • HAMPDEN, MA Join naturalist Kevin Kopchynski on Sat., April 20 from 10am-11:30am to observe animals such as salamanders and wood frogs, egg masses and more. Member cost is $5 and nonmember cost is $7. Register at massaudubon. org/program-catalog/arcadia/62462-vernalpools-at-laughing-brook.
FLOWER POT CLASS
EAST WINDSOR PARKS & RECREATION 25 SCHOOL STREET • EAST WINDSOR, CT Create a one-of-a-kind decoupage ceramic flower pot on Thurs., April 18 from 5pm-7pm using tissue paper and mod podge. This activity is suitable for children of all ages. Children will also receive a bag of dirt and seeds to plant inside the pot. Cost is $15 per student.
EARTH DAY FAIR
ENFIELD TOWN GREEN • ENFIELD, CT Celebrate Earth Day in Enfield on Sat., April 13 from 10am-5pm with eco-friendly vendors, live music and entertainment, food and more. Meet Captain Planet, the Planeteers for story time and Khalypso the mermaid. This event is free to the public with a suggested donation for the Enfield Food Shelf.
HERITAGE PARK • EAST LONGMEADOW, MA ELREC.RECDESK.COM Join the community for the free (East Longmeadow residents) event on Sat., April 20 from 10am-12:30pm! Activities such as DJ entertainment, children’s crafts, pictures with the Easter bunny, food trucks, face painting and a magician will be offered! Bring your own basket for egg collections. Pre-registration is strongly suggested.