When the Connors established their farm in 1904, they did so on land that already had 300 years worth of farming invested in its soil. At the time, the Connors ran a truck farm–meaning, rather than stuffing parsnips and carrots into mailing envelopes, they trucked all their crops to Boston to be sold. In the mid-1950s, the family adjusted to the changing times, and began selling sweet corn from a roadside stand right on the property. The new plan proved successful: visitors have flocked to the farm en masse ever since.
Today, with the help of its 140 acres of fertile land, Connors Farm continues to fill bellies with the freshest vegetables and fruits available. No, really: the family only sells corn on the day it is picked. In addition to cultivating a long list of crops–the farm produces tomatoes, strawberries, squash, and pumpkins, among others–the family maintains an equally lengthy index of family attractions. That includes an annual cornfield in fall, as well as a peach festival with music, hayrides, and face painting.
The working cornfield at Marini Farm embraces the festive spirit of autumn by wearing a different mask each Halloween season. The corn maze has featured farm-themed shapes, a giant bald eagle, and a pirate design that was featured in the Wicked Local Ipswich in 2010. The maize maze is designed to be both educational and interactive, with about 20 clue stations strategically placed throughout the labyrinth to help adventurers conquer the nearly 10 miles of paths. The maze is open during the day and remains open Friday and Saturday night for flashlight-lead escapades.
The smaller, less complex Finger Fortune maze delights younger adventurers, as do the apple cannon, jumping pillow, pumpkin patch, hayride wagon, and separate play area. For parents or guests staging a corn coup, the third-generation farm serves up a cornucopia of fresh veggies, bakery treats, and plants for purchase or for hurling at scarecrows creepily staring at them in the distance.
B&S Fitness Program is composed of four different fitness-related branches, all of which are overseen by cofounders Brandi and Steven Dion. At North Shore Boot Camp Company, Brandi and Steven, along with their staff, lead indoor and outdoor boot-camp classes at locations across Massachusetts. On the track, they coordinate marathons and triathlons throughout the year for B&S Event Management, and hit the races themselves as part of a running team called SpiderOne Racing. Since every team needs a home base, the duo also operates B&S Sport Science, a 10,700-square-foot facility devoted to research- and technology-based services such as ACL rehab and personal training.
For three decades, Boston Beauty's knowledgeable cosmetics experts have helped clients beautify their follicles, faces, and fingertips with products from top brands at six different locations. Shoppers protect hair from blustery winter weather with nourishing hair treatments, such as the Macadamia Natural Oil deep repair masque, or add some glitz to holiday styles with Bodyography lipstick, nail polishes from China Glaze, and earrings that play an unabridged reading of "Twas the Night Before Christmas." Products from beauty giants including Wella, Sexy Hair, Sebastian, Rusk, Babyliss, Bodyography, Agadir, Macadmia Natural Oil, and OPI round out the shop's extensive selection. Customers decorate and strengthen their fingernails with treatment and color from China Glaze, or sculpt and shine their hair with helpful hair-care or styling products.
Wolf Hill Home and Garden Center's retail roots stretch back to 1978, when the family-owned operation blossomed from seed to store in Gloucester. Since those first years, the center has expanded to a second location in Ipswich and continues to beautify terraces and terrains around the Boston area with high-quality plants, flowers, and decorative accents. Organic and synthetic products weave their vibrant vines around both stores, including natural and silk arrangements, which can be designed elegantly for formal occasions or outfitted with sweatpants for casual get-togethers. In addition to its thriving supply of landscaping products, Wolf Hill Home and Garden Center adjusts its inventory according to the seasons, such as patio furniture during spring months and firewood, fireplace accessories, and holiday decorations during winter months.