Last Summer, while vacationing at the Cape, a stranger helped to rescue our 6 year old son from a dangerous situation. It turns out that the “stranger” was actually from the same small town and I am a firm believer that she was a Heaven-sent guardian angel that day. We nominated Pamela Murphy, of the Agawam Fire Department, for a Hometown Hero Award from the Western Massachusetts American Red Cross, and she will be honored for her selfless act of heroism on March 17th. Amber Wakely, Editor of Go Local Magazine, tells the whole story perfectly here in her “Hometown Hero” article in the March 2017 issue. Pam, we love you, thank you and salute you! Here’s the link, find the story on page 41-42.

https://www.flipsnack.com/7BFD6B7EFB5/go-local-march-2017.html

You can also check out WWLP’s coverage of our hero here

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It’s March and we’re celebrating all things Irish here at Cooper’s. One of our most popular products by far is the Inis perfume we carry in store. It’s a unisex fragrance that is manufactured by Fragrances of Ireland.

According to the company:

A sparkling, clean unisex fragrance that captures the coolness, clarity and purity of the ocean, Inis the Energy of the Sea is a favorite around the world. Inspired by the beauty and energy of the wild western coast of Ireland, Inis (the word means ‘island’ in Irish) instantly refreshes and brings a happy feeling.

Fresh, clean and energizing, top notes of lemon and marine bring a fresh feeling, like sunshine on your face, heart notes of lily of the valley are like a soft summer breeze on your body, while base notes of sandalwood and clove give an earthy warmth like sand between your toes.

We carry Inis perfume/cologne, body lotion, hand cream and gift sets. You’ve undoubtedly smelled the fragrance in the shop before. It’s very distinctive and someone is usually wearing it while shopping or working. It’s not only a great product but I appreciate the fact that Fragrances of Ireland is committed to protecting the ocean and the environment.

How could you not want to support a company whose core ideology is “to inspire and uplift and make people happy through their senses. To promote an understanding that we are all connected and we should all strive to make a better world.”

While there are many reasons I love this product, my absolute favorite thing about Inis is how it reminds me of the beach. Some of my favorite family memories have taken place on the beaches of Cape Cod. How about you? What is your favorite beach? Use the comments field below to share your favorite seaside escape and you’ll be entered to win an Inis Discovery Set which includes a 0.5 fl. oz. Inis the Energy of the Sea Cologne, 2.9 fl. oz. seaweed-enriched Revitalizing Body Lotion and Refreshing Shower Gel, and a 1 fl. oz. Nourishing Hand Cream ($29 Value). One winner will be chosen on Friday, March 10.

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Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 stick butter (softened)
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1-1/4 cups buttermilk

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda together. Set aside.

Mix softened butter, egg, raisins and buttermilk together.

Mix in the dry ingredients.

Divide the dough in half. Put each half in a greased 8-inch aluminum pie plate.

Bake 50 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven.

Glaze:

  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Mix well and drizzle over slightly warm bread.

Enjoy!

Vendor Spotlight: Aranware

February 18, 2017

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Created in Ireland. Created for everyone.

This is the tag line of Aranware dishware made by Kara Irish Pottery. And it’s so true. I love the versatility of the Aranware collection. Its pieces can be added to any dinnerware collection seamlessly.

As you know my mission here at Cooper’s is to encourage the shop local movement so of course I love the fact that the US Headquarters for the company is right here in Massachusetts — in Methuen. Kara Irish Pottery is also a woman-owned business. Two cheers.

Aranware was created by Ann Mullan-Karakatsanis who grew up in Ireland and first came to the US in the 1990s to participate in a Boston College program aimed at developing Irish entrepreneurship.

According to the company’s website:

The name KARA is derived from the Gaelic word Cara meaning friend and the beginning of Ann’s family name Karakatsanis. Working with her former employer Ulster Ceramics and Carrigaline Pottery in County Cork Ann designed and developed the Aranware Tableware Collection which combined a rich heritage with a unique look. The embossed intricate patterns have changed little over time. Aranware has become a popular Collection with customers across the US and whilst aiming to keep it Irish made Aranware Tableware pieces are today both Crafted in Ireland and made of bisqueware (unglazed pottery that has had its firing) in the heart of the potteries in Stoke-on-Trent.

The cosy cablestitch sweater has long a wardrobe staple of rugged fashion traditionalists. Named for the famous Aran Isle stitch patterns, the serving pieces offer the same sturdy practicality as their predecessor, while trading on the popularity of classic creamware. And just as neutrals are the foundation of every wardrobe, the dishes offer simple styling on their own, plus lots of opportunity for dressing it up by mixing with colourful pieces.

I feel that the Aranware pieces are too beautiful and functional to be kept in a cabinet. I’ve given many pieces as shower gifts; and they are always a hit. They go from oven, to table, to dishwasher and clean up is a breeze. I swear, the finish is like Teflon, nothing sticks. And, they are durable! You don’t have to worry about chips and cracks, Aranware is meant to be used. The serving bowl is not only utilitarian on any dinner table, it also makes a beautiful centerpiece with a few pieces of fruit, a tall candle or florals. The tea cup and saucer set are durable enough for daily use, but also lend an elegant touch to any hutch display. But, I think my favorite piece is the pitcher. I have had it filled with a floral arrangement and sent as birthday or sympathy gift to many an Irish friend.

Adding any piece of Aranware to your kitchen is like having that favorite Irish knit sweater in your closet…you reach for it time and time again.  You know it will look great with any outfit and last for years to come. A true classic. #shoplocal #madeinireland

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chocolatesWe’ve been proud to carry Abdallah Chocolates for a few years here at Cooper’s. Not only because they are incredibly delicious, but because they are made right here in the USA and Abdallah is a fourth generation, family-owned business (being a second generation shopkeeper, I’m a little partial to stories like this). The confectioner was started in 1909 in Minneapolis, MN by Albert Abdallah.

According to Abdallah:

[Albert] understood, as a newcomer to this country, he would have to create a product that was so high in quality, that its success would be guaranteed. The ambitious Lebanese native along with his new Swedish bride, fair and beautiful Helen Trovall, would soon tirelessly supply their growing demand for his fine confections. Again and again, a new recipe would be perfected. Together, the family has fought back through bankruptcy as a result of the great depression, rations during World War II and a devastating and fiery explosion that destroyed their business in 1965. footer_background_imageAlbert’s recipes, perseverance and optimism has inspired a lineage of family candy makers through the evolution of this great country that he had risked everything to be a part of.  Using the same wholesome and pure ingredients, intricate small batch candy-making techniques and even some of the same copper kettles, we honor the courage and passion for excellence of family generations before us. We are proud to offer to you, these classic confections.

Who doesn’t love a good comeback story? Continuing on a family tradition is no easy task most days, but it’s always worth the effort. I’m so proud to help support American businesses like Abdallah.

Today, the company is owned by Karen and Steve Hegedus who proudly carry on the tradition of exemplary quality. Their truffles are unbelievably good. I also appreciate the fact that these chocolates come in beautiful packaging ready for gift giving.

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We just received a shipment of chocolate bears, heart-shaped boxes, truffles, pecan grizzlies and sea salt caramels (oh, my). We only stock Adballah chocolate at Valentine’s Day and it always goes quickly so stop by and grab yours today!

#familybusiness #madeintheusa #delish

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Tom and I became friends 15+ years ago when I was first tipped off about his creative talent as a florist. At the time, he was located just a mile from Cooper’s. He instantly became my florist of choice because he did flowers like nothing I had ever seen before! I think we also connected as we are both artistic and visually driven by all things beautiful.

In 2012, I was surprised and delighted when Tom told me that he was looking to downsize from the house that his business was in, and he asked if I had room for him within Cooper’s. Even though I had no idea where I would put him, I blurted out “yes!”  I knew that the marriage of our two businesses would be a match made in Heaven.

Tom, and his sidekick Barbara Ann, took our 400 square foot stockroom and transformed it into the most incredibly inspiring flower boutique you can imagine. And now, I can’t imagine Cooper’s without Floral Concepts by Tom. He has been such a resource for display ideas and visual merchandising that Cooper’s found a whole new ka-pow in how the store looks and feels.

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Tom is a wealth of knowledge on so many levels that have made him an expert in all things floral and plants. In collaboration with Cooper’s, Tom has held workshops and seminars on mini fairy gardens, terrariums, gardening and more.

Many Cooper’s customers walk into our shop through the flower shop, just because it makes you feel so good! I am constantly asking them what is this? What is that? He has variations on flowers that I’ve never heard of, let alone seen. They build them into masterpieces that they create for every occasion. Whether you need a $10 pick me up for a friend who’s having a hard time, an arrangement to express your condolences or a full-blown, white gown, 400 guests wedding. Trust me, this is the place. Call Tom (413)786-2622, or even better..stop in his shop for a big dose of inspiration.

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Grey is naturally a neutral; however, the color has so many shades it’s a very versatile neutral which can brighten up any room. From light grey to platinum to charcoal this color is anything but blah.

We’ve been having so much fun unpacking all of the new curtain styles here at Cooper’s. There are so many lovely grey hues highlighted in the new styles, it’s got me thinking about how else to incorporate this color into home decor.

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A few tips from Better Homes and Gardens Magazine:

  • Grey rooms can be dynamic and exciting.
  • Combining shades of gray is a subtle way to give any room character.
  • Dress up any room with gray stripes for a fresh look.
  • For a more graphic look, use hues with stronger contrast, such as a medium gray and pure white.
  • Gray is the perfect bridge between black and white.

grey-collage

  • Break up large expanses of white with gray to create visual interest while maintaining a clean, neutral aesthetic.
  • Different shades of gray can be used to make a chic and sophisticated space.
  • Chameleon-like gray tends to adapt to its environment.
  • Using varying shades of gray helps diffuse the hue’s cool tendencies to create a softer look.
  • Use gray to define your style and put personal collections on display.
  • Use nature as inspiration when working with grays.

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Even if you usually only consider bolder colors when accessorizing your home, give grey another look. Incorporating this neutral into your home adds a classic touch. #ifounditatcoopers