Sources We Depend On
Our Local Suppliers
We are proud to carry these locally sourced products. Scrool down for profiles of some of these great local producers.
We Stock Local Grocery Items
Our grocery selection is ever-changing, offering not only the basics, but also unusual, artisanally produced specialty foods. We carry conventional groceries and a wide array of organic items. We offer as many locally grown and locally produced products as possible, including:
Bo’s Dog Food Bones
Bear Meadow Apiary Honey
Tessier’s Sugar House Maple Syrup
Zawalick’s Sugar House Maple Candy
Local/Regional Wines & Beers
We stock several local and regional wines. Contact these wineries to learn more, or better yet enjoy a weekend drive and pay them a visit. We also stock beer from quite a few local and regional breweries as well as some small-batch, artisanally produced beers.
(April 18, 2012) The mercury flirted with 90 earlier this week, and many Hilltowners found themselves drawn to the Old Creamery and an icy cold scoop or two of Bart’s Homemade—ice cream, that is.
In 1976, Hobart D. Smith opened Bart's Homemade Ice Cream in downtown Northampton. Everything in his shop was made from scratch with the finest quality ingredients available. His super-premium ice cream earned kudos throughout New England and in some national publications. A few years later, when Bart was ready to sell, he would only consider a buyer with the same passion for excellence. He knew he found that commitment in Barbara Fingold and Gary Schaefer, two social workers looking for new careers. In the early days, Barbara and Gary churned out the ice cream in a small two-and-a-half-gallon batch freezer.
When they opened Bart's Ice Cream of Amherst in 1981, they realized that they needed a larger ice cream–making facility. Their search ended when they purchased Snow's Nice Cream Company in Greenfield. Snow's, a reputable, small, family-owned business, had been making ice cream in Franklin County since 1910. With Snow's ice cream facility, the possibilities for Bart's were unlimited. Barbara and Gary could now make and sell both brands on Snow's delivery route, supply the two stores, and make Bart's available throughout the Connecticut River Valley. Over the past three decades, Barbara and Gary discovered that besides their love for great ice cream, they are passionate about giving back to their community. They found that by giving to their customers, everyone thrived. Bart's Homemade has given 1% of its gross sales to many charities and fundraisers. Barbara and Gary contribute their time to important community boards that are working to support a healthy life for all citizens. Bart's is committed to supporting organizations that are working toward eliminating environmental and social problems.
(April 4, 2012) As Creamery shoppers know, variety is the spice of life. That goes for coffee, too. Last week, we profiled Indigo Coffee, and this week we showcase another great coffee supplier to the Creamery, Dean’s Beans. The Creamery is delighted to carry Dean’s coffees in whole beans and freshly brewed.
All of Dean’s whole bean specialty coffees are certified organic, fair trade, and kosher, and are roasted in small batches at its beanery in Orange, Massachusetts. These certifications ensure that the planting, care, harvesting, and processing of the beans is done in conformity with international standards for the health of farmers and their environment, as well as the high quality of the bean. The vast use of pesticides in coffee production has serious impact on the ecology of the coffee-growing world and the health of farm communities. Additionally, Dean’s is committed to buying only shade growncoffees, which supports healthy environments for coffee growers and protects critical migratory bird habitat.
Besides only roasting organic coffees, Dean's Beans only purchases beans from villages and importers that are committed to working toward better economic opportunity, improved health, and nutrition in the villages. Dean’s promotes local empowerment and self-reliance through its Fair Trade purchases and its work with local grassroots development and human rights groups. Dean’s purchases beans from small farmers and cooperatives, largely made up of indigenous peoples working hard to maintain their culture and lifestyles. It does not buy beans from large estates and farms. “We've been there, and have seen the conditions of chronic poverty and malnutrition within which these farms produce those other coffees,” reports Dean.
The company also sponsors projects in the United States with disenfranchised communities such as Native Americans, the homeless, the disabled, and many other groups trying to improve their lives and that of their communities.
Dean’s a founding member of Cooperative Coffees, Inc., the first roasters’ cooperative created to buy Fair Trade coffee directly from farmer co-ops and make it available to any small roaster who wants to participate in the Fair Trade movement. Dean’s is also an active member of the Fair Trade Federation, an international organization of dedicated Fair Traders.
(March 28, 2012) Founded in 1989, Northampton-based Indigo Coffee an independent artisan roaster dedicated to the enjoyment of coffee through the preservation of the traditional art of coffee roasting and a fanatical quest for quality from origin to roast to cup.
Indigo Coffee is committed to being a responsible member of the communities it belongs to. The company contributes to the fundraising efforts of local and regional nonprofit groups as well as to social, economic, and environmental programs in the coffee-growing regions through memberships and involvement with Coffee Kids, Grounds for Health, and the International Women's Coffee Alliance as well as through its Organic and Fair Trade certifications. By participating in Mass Energy's New England Greenstart program, 100 percent of Indigo Coffee's electricity purchases are from renewable energy sources.
The Old Creamery carries Indigo Coffee in both beans and freshly brewed cups.
(March 21, 2012) The Old Creamery is proud to carry Just Soap, soap and shampoo bars made with bicycle power! Yes, that’s right! Bicycle power! Well . . . actually . . . human pedal power.
Just Soap founder Frederick Breeden, a biking enthusiast and environmentalist, pondered the time-consuming stirring required to make handcrafted, all-natural soap, while he spent hours stirring his soap by hand. Ah-ha! He found a bicycle builder who turned his vision into a one-of-a-kind bicycle-powered soap blender! The bicycle drives a belt that turns a blade in a large stainless steel vat, where saponified olive, coconut and palm oils, essential oils, and organic herbs and spices are stirred until thickened. The mixture is then poured into wooden frames to set. It is cut into bars a few days later, and the bars are allowed to cure for two months to ensure a long-lasting bar.
Made in nearby Ashfield, the soap is never tested on animals, is biodegradable, is unwrapped to reduce environmental impact, , and is affordable. Many of our customers (including Alice and Amy!) say it’s the best soap they’ve ever used. The bars last a long time, the soap has good sudsability (yes, that’s a new word), and they don’t leave a soapy residue. Just Soap makes every effort to conserve energy and resources.
Shire City Herbals
(March 7, 2012) “Whoop that cold with a belt … of Fire Cider!” is the slogan for Shire City Herbals’ elixir based on the traditional New England cure-all of apple-cider vinegar and honey. You can get a “belt” of Fire Cider at the Old Creamery for $1.50, or buy a take-home supply in 8- and 16-ounce bottles.
Shire City Herbals was founded by holistic health coach and herbalist Amy Huebner and her husband, Dana St. Pierre. They explain that their Pittsfield-produced Fire Cider came about as an extension of their own self care. They have been making, testing, and using tinctures and herbal creations for the past five years, and their formulas are meant to complement and support a healthy lifestyle.
Fire Cider takes the old New England vinegar-honey tonic and spices it up “with a synergistic blend of immune-boosting, health-enhancing, pathogen-fighting roots and fruits,” all organic or “wild-crafted,” including oranges, lemons, onions, horseradish, ginger, garlic, turmeric, and habanero pepper.
Its makers say their tonic not only helps prevent and alleviate colds and flu, but acts as an expectorant; an anti-inflammatory; a digestive aid for such common problems as heartburn, gas, and bloating, as well as sluggish digestion and Candida overgrowth; an aid to optimal cardiovascular function; and for many as a treatment for high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
That’s not all: Fire Cider has become the “secret” ingredient in all sorts of culinary adventures: salad dressings, marinades, dips, barbecue sauces, and even cocktails. You can get a sampling of recipes at Shire City Herbals’ website.
If you’re interested in other herbal formulas and health counseling, or you’re just curious, visit Amy’s health coaching site. And if you like the artwork on Fire Cider bottles, consider a journey to the artist’s website.
(April 11, 2012) Creamery-goers snapped up lovely egg-shaped beeswax candles from the counter last week as spring swept into the Hilltowns! These candles, and others now carried at the Creamery, are made by Sunbeam Candles, an Ithaca, New York-based company that prides iteslf on making six lines of earth-friendly, handcrafted soy wax, beeswax, and aromatherapy candles. Check out Sunbeam's beautiful candles at the Creamery soon. You may find they're irresistible.
Sunbeam seeks out the purest ingredients available and always uses 100% unbleached, lead-free cotton wicks. And that's just the beginning. Its shop is covered in solar panels. The company composts its waste, reuses and recycles all wax, supports local business, carpools, and pays its workers a living wage.
Sunbeam Candles runs off a 3,520-watt solar electric (aka photovoltaic) system built from sixteen 225W SunPower solar panels and one 3.2kW SunPower grid-tie inverter. This system ties directly to the utility grid--no batteries--and generates roughly 10 kWh per day or 3,750 kWh per year of pollution-free electricity. The panels slow Sunbeam's electric meter on sunny days when its wax melters are running full-tilt, and stops the meter on sunny days when usage isn't as high. What electricity Sunbeam doesn't make is bought from companies producing 100% wind power.
Sunbeam reuses wax; uses 100% post-consumer-waste, chlorine-free paper products; reuses office paper; and shreds paper waste and uses it and expired local newspapers as packing material. Recently, the company announced that it is shipping all packages "carbon neutral," essentially contributing to offset the climactic impact of each of its package deliveries. This is a new program through UPS (click here to learn more) at no extra cost to Sunbeam's customers.
Ingredients in Sunbeam's products include pure beeswax, nontoxic plant-based dyes, pure essential oils, and non-GMO soy wax.
Every year, the company donates part of the proceeds from the sale of its Candle for Peace to Doctors Without Borders, Love Knows No Bounds, and United for Peace and Justice.