Last Minute Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

#hellofromnoco If you are anything like me then you too have left your Valentines Day shopping until the last minute! Well, have no fear! I have compiled a list of amazing and heartfelt gifts that are carried at the North Country Showcase for nearly anyone in your life!

For the one who loves to be pampered

And really, who doesn’t? From Balsam Springs we have an amazing relaxing “Pure Romance” bath set. This includes one bath bomb, one heart shaped bath bomb, one bar of soap, one soap tray, and one hand and body lotion all in the Pure Romance scent already packed for you in a cute little reusable bathtub shaped bucket. All of this for $35. Balsam Springs also has other scent options available in smaller gift sets! (more…)

Local Foods an where to find them!

#hellofromnoco As you know from reading my last post (if not, please read it here: Happy New Year Post) I am not big on resolutions but I know that a lot of you readers are! And a lot of resolutions that were shared with me centered around eating better, getting healthier, and eating more local foods. They are admirable resolutions and something that is easily obtained by checking out our locally owned grocery stores. Nori’s which is owned and operated by two local residents and the Potsdam Food Co-op.  A food co-op, or cooperative, is a member-owned grocery store with the store owned and managed by consumer-customers who supply the capital and share in the profits by patronage dividends. Shopping at a food co-op and locally owned grocery stores are a great way to support your local economy and get some amazing, great, and local foods that you may not necessarily find in the big name grocery stores.

Nori’s, located at 138 Church Street (At the Corner of Church and Woodruff) in Saranac Lake, (http://www.norisvillagemarket.com/) is a natural food store, a deli, a health food store, a supplement retailer, a grocery store. They serve a delicious homemade dinner Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 4 pm to 6:45 pm. The day I visited there was a choice of chicken or tofu General Tso’s. I chose chicken and it came with homemade General Tso’s sauce, fried rice, broccoli, and winter squash Rangoon. It was absolutely delicious and I enjoyed it very much!  They carry a wide variety of products, mostly local, that you won’t find in other stores. My favorite find that day? R&G Cheesemakers’ (http://www.rgcheese.com) Cranberry Goat Cheese! It was sweet and a little tart with a hint of cranberry flavor, but not overwhelming. It was also a beautiful (and appetizing) pink color! My only problem was that it didn’t make it home! I opened it up to try and kept telling myself “just one more piece” until I found myself with an empty package! I was also impressed by their selection of pre-made foods (salads, sandwiches, and soups) and selection of essential oils and natural cold remedies (because we all know how useful those are this time of year!) If you are ever in the Saranac Lake area this is a MUST SEE!

The Potsdam Food Co-op, located at 24 Elm Street in Potsdam, (http://www.potsdamcoop.com/) is a member-owned cooperative in St. Lawrence County. They have a wood-fired brick oven bakery in the back of the parking lot that produces some of the most delicious loaves of bread, scones, and naan in the north country that they sell in the store (they have their baking schedule on the website as well). I HIGHLY recommend their cheese scones and the Kalamata rosemary flatbread.  They have a different lunch menu every day with a selection of soups, salads, and sandwiches that are listed on their website. They have vegetarian and vegan options and you can have the sandwiches and wraps grilled if you would like!  They have a huge bulk section full of rice, grains, and some sweets as well as prepacked bulk items that are at a discount then your regular packaged foods. But my absolute favorite thing (except for The Piggery Ancho Chile pork chops they sell in the summer…but that will be in a summer blog post!) about the Potsdam Food Coop is the community events that they host around Potsdam and in store to promote the feeling of community. They have a cheese of the month tasting on the second Thursday of the month each month, they have a wonderful new program called “Dinner’s in the Bag” and you can sample the month’s recipe on the first of each month and throughout the month there is a bag available with all the ingredients you will need along with a recipe, and they have community potlucks, baking contests, and other events throughout the year. And if you become a member (only $25 per year) you save 2% on everything with options to volunteer in the store or on the various committees for a larger discount and a larger sense of community!

Have a favorite place to shop locally? Let me know and I would be happy to check it out and promote it on the blog here! And as always, we want to hear from you! If you have a recommendation for a future blog topic or a question/comment please email me at jstrull@northcountryshowcase.com

 

Happy New Year Explorers!

Greetings and Happy New Year Explorers!

#hellofrom noco Who else is sick of New Year’s resolutions?! I know I am! They are always too lofty and I usually fail by February and I wind up feeling bad about myself. So this year I am making myself a New Year’s Intention and I challenge you all to do the same!

My intention this year is to shop small and local whenever I can. If there is a birthday or anniversary gift that I need to get I want to plan ahead enough to be able to go out and shop for it or order it from a local artisan instead of hopping on Amazon and having it delivered. Not only will this help stimulate the local economy but it will show my friends and family that I cared enough to go into a shop and pick them out something that I think that they would love.

So while I know that I won’t be able to do shop local and small for everything I am going to start my year with the intention of doing so at any available opportunity!

Starting right here in Massena I know my go-to shops will be a “no-brainer”! The North Country Showcase (https://www.northcountryshowcase.com/) has a HUGE variety of things. I challenge you to go there and not find a gift for anyone on your list! The Nest by 2 Mama Birds on Main Street in Massena (https://www.2mamabirds.com/) has a beautiful selection of handmade jewelry and handcrafted items like handmade soaps, knitwear, and handbags. And I don’t know about you, but when I shop, I get hungry! So while in Massena I always stop for a burger or a steak at Morley’s American Grill at 240 East Orvis Street (https://www.facebook.com/morleysamericangrill/). The atmosphere is so laid back and comfortable I always feel like I am going to a friend’s house to eat when I go there.

Heading over to Potsdam? Check out Grace Boutique at 78 Market Street (https://www.facebook.com/prettylittlegrace/) for a unique collection of products focusing on natural spa and body care as well as interior decorating and design. While in the North Country you can’t get away with not getting any maple products. This is why I recommend Maple Run Emporium at 49 Market Street (https://www.maplerunemporiums.com/) which features an eclectic mix of gourmet foods, cookware, home kitchen tools, bath and beauty care products, and an Artisan Gallery of original basketry, wood turnings, pottery, and paintings. And I would be remiss in not mentioning the BEST place to eat in Potsdam! That would be Soul Waffle at 57 Market Street (https://www.soulwaffle.com/) where waffles are for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert and oh so delicious!

There are many many MANY more places across the Seven Counties to shop and eat at and I will be featuring them throughout the year. Have a favorite place? Let me know and I would be happy to check it out and promote it on the blog here! And as always, we want to hear from you! If you have a recommendation for a future blog topic or a question/comment please email me at jstrull@northcountryshowcase.com

Black Friday and Small Business Saturday

#hellofromnoco I would like to take a minute to discuss the upcoming holiday. I know that not everyone celebrates and even those who celebrate all do so in different ways. There may be some fighting, hurt feelings, and in rare cases, some physical scars that take time to heal. That’s right, I am talking about Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year! The North Country Showcase is jumping on the bandwagon with some exciting offers. They will even be open extended hours and offering up some AMAZING deals! (more…)

Seven County Explorer Begins

Seven County Explorer Begins

#hellofromnoco We are the North Country Showcase. We are neighbors, friends, and family that came together to showcase the best of the best of the North Country. The idea started back in 2016 when a group of like-minded individuals got together to look at possibly buying the St. Lawrence Centre Mall in Massena, NY.  (more…)