Connecting Cambridge & Somerville to create a vibrant community.

Monthly Archives: March 2013

Hi everyone! Cambriville does Inman Square!

Here are the details:

Where: Bukowski’s Tavern, 1281 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA

When: Thursday, April 18th, 6:00-8:00pm

Why: To meet great new people and get to know our neighbors!

Bukowski's Tavern

Come join us for an evening of chatting with movers and shakers at Bukowski’s. Meet your favorite Somerville/Cantabrigians at Bukowski’s for networking with no agenda. Let’s get the creative and innovative juices flowing!

We’re looking forward to seeing you!

RSVP here or on Facebook!


A local revolution has come to the local revolution in the form of the newly rejuvenated leadership at both Somerville AND Cambridge Local First organizations. In 2012, Somerville Local First welcomed new Executive Director Kat Taylor Rutkin to the fold, while Cambridge Local First brought on Jaclyn Sinay.  And what an impact they have already made! Collaboration abounds, as they emphasize the fluidity of the borders between Somerville and Cambridge. They have hosted tables together at internship fairs and community events, and created the first collaborative Local Thirst in February at the East Coast Grill in Inman Square.  It was at the latter where we were able to meet up with these wonder women and grab a few words of wisdom, including some thoughts on what they are most excited for in 2013.

On the cross-border collaboration

What are you most excited about when you think of Cambridge and Somerville Local First working together?

Kat: “I’m excited to look at the things that Cambridge Local First is doing that we should be doing. There is so much happening around business development in Cambridge. I would like to look at their programming and bring it to the ‘Ville.”

Jaclyn: “We have done so much and there is still so much more we can tap into. I would like to work more with our artist community, as Somerville Local First has been able to do. They have also tapped into residents and begun to work with youth and families. There is a lot we can learn from each other.”

Both women spoke about the fluidity of the border – in many places you don’t even know if you are in Somerville or Cambridge.  As Jaclyn notes, “many of the Somerville business owners are Cambridge residents, and many Cambridge business owners are Somerville residents.” And Kat mentions how easy it is to collaborate because of the shared border. “I’m always looking for a way to grow without spending un-needed resources.” The Local Thirst, for example was an easy way to grow across the border without spending resources. Jaclyn reserved the bar at the East Coast Grill, assuming that 10-12 people would show up.  40 people later, and the ladies of Local First realized that there was a need – and it was an easy one to fill!

What’s next for Cambridge Local First?

Jaclyn envisions an organization that is constantly adding value for its members, with an ever-growing menu of services for local business owners.  She would also like to create an annual event that will tie the community in more closely with its businesses.  Residents can and should be more involved in growing the organization and Jaclyn intends to ask community members what they need from CLF to participate more frequently in the movement.  Also on Jaclyn’s hefty to-do list for 2013 is to figure out a way to engage even more businesses in Cambridge Local First, keeping in mind that small local business owners are very busy people.  Check out the Cambridge Local First website for more information on their initiatives and events.

And What About Somerville Local First?

Kat has already created a series of new events for Somerville, including the Local is for Lovers marketplace, and the Women’s Chapter.  These are two of the primary pieces of the SLF vision for 2013.  In addition to these new programs, she is excited to begin a robust fundraising season, where she can push funders to put more money into the local movement.  She has brought on two amazing new interns from Tufts University, and is interested in creating a taylored message for students to push the local movement to the thousands of university students in Greater Boston. Check out the Somerville Local First website for a full listing of programs and events.

On each other

According to Kat, Jaclyn has “an amazing energy and is cool to work with.”  It’s easy to continue on the collaborative streak when they are both working toward the same goal.  Jaclyn agrees. “It was as easy as reaching out to Kat and saying ‘let’s do it!'” And thus a great new partnership has emerged.  Bridging the consumer border between Cambridge and Somerville is a major step forward in building an even stronger local movement.

On the Movement

As the folks at Somerville Local First tout, local is for lovers, and it is certainly not going away.  Both Somerville and Cambridge Local First have the primary goal of finding a way for residents and community members to truly understand what local first stands for and to realize tangible ways that they can build local, sustainable economies.  Take it from Kat: “I want my son to grow up in a community where he knows the names of the vendors at the local stores.” And Jaclyn agrees: “Being a resident of the area for 9 years has allowed me to meet lots of local business owners – and to understand how important that is to building community.” It’s not just about business – it’s about building a vibrant community life as well.

Speaking of the Local is for Lovers event, Somerville Local First and Arts at the Armory have come together again to create a space for local and independent businesses, artists and crafters to sell their wares. The second Local is for Lovers Marketplace will take place from 11am-5pm on Sunday, April 14th at Arts at the Armory (191 Highland Ave, Somerville).  Cambridge and Somerville Local First members are highlighted and received discounted booth prices to join.

Your next purchase – make it local

So before you make your next purchase, look to the Somerville and Cambridge Local First websites and learn the names of the vendors where you will be going.  Help us to build a vibrant community with strong locally-owned businesses.

Contact these movers and shakers to get more involved in the local movement.

Kat Rutkin, Executive Director, Somerville Local First 

Jaclyn Sinay, Executive Director, Cambridge Local First 

Jaclyn (left) and Kat (right) at Local Thirst

Jaclyn (left) and Kat (right) at Local Thirst

Welcome to our first Around the Block post, featuring Inman Square in Cambridge. We’ll highlight old haunts and new places, but we know we can’t cover every spot. So if we are missing your favorite place, let us know!

Inman Square is a great example of both Somerville and Cambridge – it’s fun, funky and multicultural. Sitting right on the border of Somerville and Cambridge, Inman Square is home to the first Legal Seafoods and S&S Restaurant where a movie theater once stood. Inman is home to gems like Stellabella Toys, Olé & OlecitoRyles Jazz Club, Rosie’s Bakery, City Girl Cafe, 1369 Coffeehouse, Bukowski Tavern and much more. For more info about the Square, check out the Inman Square Business Association (ISBA), an active group of local business that puts together great annual events such as Inman Square Movie Night, Shop Inman by Moonlight and others. For a photo gallery of our stops in Inman Square, click here. 

Boutique Fabulous
Address: 1309 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, M.A.

Cambridge & Somerville!

Cambridge & Somerville signs!

Since 2003, Boutique Fabulous has been delighting Inman Square with fun and unique gifts, clothes and specialty furniture.  Need something for a baby shower? Check. Wedding shower? Check! A 60s outfit for your Mad Men party? Check. Your boyfriend who wants brain ice cubes? Boutique Fabulous has it all! The coolest feature – Somerville, Cambridge signs for your home and your own Inman Square T-shirt. Next time you are in the Square, stop by and say hello.

Christina’s Spices & Specialities
Address: 1255 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, M.A.

There is always an ongoing debate about whether you like Christina’s Ice Cream versus Tosci’s, but one thing we think we all can agree on is Christina’s Spices and Specialities selection. Whether you are looking for Anson Mills’ grits, black salt or ash noodles (something Pardis grew up with) – Christina’s has it! And get psyched for their new addition coming soon to Inman Square – Christina’s Baking Annex (a purveyor of quality pastry and confectionary ingredients). This new store will be located in the old Oona’s Outpost at 1297 Cambridge Street.

Inman Oasis
243 Hampshire Street, Cambridge, M.A.
Take a serene little path off Hampshire Street and you will get to Inman Oasis. Inman Oasis offers both message therapy and hot tubs in a Feng Shui designed wellness center that provides the ultimate in relaxation. Check out the spa’s website and social media feeds for monthly specials and discounts on the community hot tub!

Puritan & Company
Address: 1166 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, M.A.

Cauliflower Soup

Cauliflower Soup

One of the new hot spots in Inman Square is Puritan & Company, the new restaurant from James Beard semi-finalist Chef Will Gilson. The menu is new england seasonal cuisine, featuring an oyster and charcuterie bar, with starters that include homemade sausage and other hearty meals.

There is a large bar and the drink menu features a nice selection of local beers from Somerville Brewing Co, Bantam Cider and Cottrel Brewing Co. Oysters are $3 piece, starters range from $11-$15, entrees from $17-$29. Reservations are recommended. Puritan & Co is open Tuesday-Sunday, opening at 5:30 p.m.

Clover Food Lab
1075 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, M.A.
This Clover location is known to many as Clover HUB. A key part of the operations of all the Clover locations, Clover HUB is the commissary or prep kitchen for many of the food trucks and also is a pick up location for the CSA Program that Clover started for its customers. Clover HUB, similar to the Harvard Square location, has a beer license and features local beer like Pretty Things and Berkshire Brewing Company. Right next door, Clover has constructed a little shop for local purveyors to sell their items on a seasonal basis. Right now, grab a pickle from local Grillo’s Pickles.

Hub Bicycle
1064 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, M.A.

Inside a Hub Bicycle

Inside Hub Bicycle

Hub Bicycle is a woman owned bike shop catering to great service and quality products. Whether you are looking for new gears or an awesome Bern helmet, Emily the owner and her staff are happy to help. Next time your bike is in need of a tune up, make sure to come to Hub Bicycle for all your needs.

Trina’s Starlight Lounge
3 Beacon Street, Somerville, MA
Trina’s Starlight Lounge is one wonderful Somerville restaurant to get 2012’s “Best in Boston” hot dog, take in the 1st ever Industry Brunch on Mondays, or to just wind down after work with a delicious cocktail.  Just over the border in Somerville, Trina’s has some of the best comfort food in the area.  But don’t take our word for it – stop by anytime from 5pm-1am and get delicious brews, fried chicken (some of the best in the country, we’re told), or some delicious mac and cheese. Kitchen’s open til midnight for all you late night ramblers.