My friend Linda at Galaxy Bookshop dreamed of having a restaurant next to the store, a place for folks to have dinner before an author event, or have a beer afterwards. They started the process in 2003, and eventually opened Claire's, named in honor of one of her customers.
Linda and I were recently corresponding, and it turned out that Emeril was in town, filming an episode for the Planet Green network. She told me a whole bunch of folks were going to watch the episode (which featured Claire's) at the restaurant.
Hardwick has not just had a TV show (actually more than one show, I watched a news report on this town that has taken eating local to a new level), but a whole book. Don Hewitt's The Town That Food Saved: How One Community Found Vitality in Local Food has just been released, and we're really excited about it.
Here's some more info on the book:
Over the past 3 years, Hardwick, Vermont, a typical hardscrabble farming community of 3,000 residents, has jump-started its economy and redefined its self-image through a local, self-sustaining food system unlike anything else in America. Even as the recent financial downturn threatens to cripple small businesses and privately owned farms, a stunning number of food-based businesses have grown in the region--Vermont Soy, Jasper Hill Farm, Pete's Greens, Patchwork Farm & Bakery, Apple Cheek Farm, Claire's Restaurant and Bar, and Bonnieview Farm, to name only a few. The mostly young entrepreneurs have created a network of community support; they meet regularly to share advice, equipment, and business plans, and to loan each other capital. Hardwick is fast becoming a model for other communities to replicate its success. The captivating story of a small town coming back to life, "The Town That Food Saved "is narrative nonfiction at its best: full of colorful characters and grounded in an idea that will revolutionize the way we eat.
Next time I visit Boston, it's time for a road trip, don't you think?
More on Galaxy. Howard Frank Mosher discusses his event on March 2nd, at Galaxy in his blog piece, "Why I always launch my book tours at Galaxy Bookshop." We're hosting Mr. Mosher on Wednesday, April 21st, 7 PM.