We consider ourselves good citizens of Westchester. We try to promote local shops on our website. We tell you about great new restaurants and reliable standbys. Our goal is to give you ideas about how to get up and go with your kids.
But I’ve got a New Year’s resolution of my own: Shop local. More often. Because what would the character of our villages be without unique shops and restaurants?
I know the chain stores are cheaper, but I’ve developed some wonderful relationships with local shopkeepers in the small towns across Westchester. What makes our region special are our villages and the mom and pop shops that have managed to stick it out in all of them. Obviously, we can’t always buy at small independent shops, but it’s easier to do than you think. Here are some ideas of what you can get locally. If we can get even one of you to shop locally more, we’ll feel like this website is fulfilling a greater purpose than we even intended. This is a small list, but it’s a start.
Honey, Jam, Granola and other Speciality Foods: Blue Hill Cafe at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills
It’s wonderful to spend a few hours at Stone Barns walking the trails and visiting the animals. While there, pick up a few sundries at the well-stocked cafe in the courtyard. I can vouch for their jams — plum and raspberry are my favorites — and their honey tastes like a summer day.
Pet food and supplies: Aardvark Pet Supplies and Bark & Meow
Forget Petco. There are a bunch of great pet shops throughout Westchester, but I’m particularly loyal to Aardvark Pet Supplies in Pleasantville or Bark and Meow in Tarrytown. The owners of both shops are incredibly helpful and always quick to offer advice on everything from the right food for your pet’s digestive system to a durable chew toy.
Year-Round Farmer’s Market: Pleasantville Farmer’s Market
There’s no reason to stop heading to farmers markets this winter. The Pleasantville Farmer’s Market moved indoors to Pleasantville Middle School and plans to be as big and comprehensive as the market in summer. Think: local meats, cheeses, vegetables and more. Every Saturday from 9am to 1pm.
Local Cheese Selection at Plum Plum Cheese, Pound Ridge
Not only does Plum Plum Cheese have a fine selection of cheeses from across the world, but you can find numerous cheeses produced right here in the Hudson Valley. This shop is worth a special trip. You won’t leave without a hunk of something stinking good.
Children’s Books: Little Joe’s Books and The Voracious Reader
Forget Barnes and Noble, which, I’m sorry, has become a toy and music store. Support the real book shops in our county. Womrath Books in Bronxville has a lovely children’s aisle and Pleasantville’s Village Bookstore has a well curated adult selection as well as a small children’s book aisle. But our crown jewels are Little Joe’s Books in Katonah (a loft of kids books above a coffee house) and Francine Lucidon’s The Voracious Reader, which will charm you into dropping a wad of cash on extra special books.
Fair Trade Coffee: Black Cow Coffee Company
Their roasts aren’t exactly grown locally, but it’s always nice to support a local coffee shop serving up world class coffee beans. Choose your favorite blend, and the always-nice barristas will grind them up for you! Locations in Pleasantville and Croton.
Do you have ideas for where to buy local foods, toys or clothing? Drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.