Family patriarch Nordy Rockler opened the doors of his first store in 1954 to supply his fellow craftsmen with knowledge, friendly advice, and a large selection of tools for at-home woodworking projects. Now, the chain of retail outlets brims with more than 20,000 tools and specialized woodworking equipment. Next to a steely rainbow of hinges, casters, and screws, a supply of lumber and exotic hardwoods provides planks for building tree houses or just leaving around as a warning to uncooperative trees. The tenor buzz of power tools operated by newly knowledgeable guests drifts from educational sessions on operating equipment and woodworking.
The logo for the International Cryptozoology Museum is a coelacanth, one of the science's great success stories. Believed to have gone extinct 65 million years ago, a specimen of the armored fish was caught off the coast of South Africa in 1938 and identified by museum curator Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer despite its false mustache. In the optimistic spirit of that amazing discovery, the International Cryptozoology Museum displays exhibits profiling such mysterious creatures as Sasquatch, the Loch Ness Monster, and the Jersey Devil, along with lesser known beasties such as the Dover Demon, the Montauk Monster, and the Fiji Mermaid.
Distiller Ned Wight can trace his heritage through a long line of distillers, starting with his great-great-great-grandfather John Jacob Wight, who ran the Sherwood Distillery in Hunt Valley, Maryland in the 1850s. The family business shuttered in 1958, and the legacy seemed lost to the annals of time. That is, until Wight?a former brewer at Allagash Brewing Co.?moved the operation and opened New England Distilling in Portland. Wight has filled his distillery with a blend of new and old-fashioned equipment, from a custom-built traditional copper pot still to barrel racks salvaged from his ancestral distillery.
Wight's spirits, like his distilling process, are an exercise in creative fusion. Each spirit's unique flavor comes from New England grain combined with recipes from around the world. This trio of craft spirits includes Gunpowder Rye, a spicy Maryland-style whiskey caramelized in the copper pot still, Ingenium Gin, a Dutch-style sipping gin made with exotic Southeast Asian botanicals, and Eight Bells Rum, crafted with Caribbean molasses and aged in bourbon barrels. Their unusual characteristics?and Wight's unorthodox operation?have earned praise from publications such as Maine Magazine.
As detailed in the Portland Press Herald, Arcana Acupuncture, a holistic healing center and boutique, soothes the soul with something as complex as alternative medicine and spiritual workshops or as simple as sparkly original jewelry. The spacious lobby's green accent wall, exposed brick, and babbling fountain establish a bohemian yet modern atmosphere that continues beyond the gold curtains to private, soundproof treatment rooms that allow guests to retreat from the everyday with acupuncture, massages, and life-coaching sessions. After a workshop in aura hygiene and a tarot-card reading that reveals an impending decrease in fortune, guests peruse the boutique. Owner Kate Hebold handpicks its items, which include zodiac pocket watches, light-up steampunk cog rings, local crafts, and books.
What began as a casual collaboration between two artistically inclined friends during a party, turned into a paper goods empire committed to elegant products that respect the environment. Beginning with Catherine's calendars and Annie's note cards, the two combined their print resources and 30 years of collective design experience to launch their eponymous line, now sold in stores across the nation. Annie's and Catharine's designs grace the pages of calendars, journals and notepads, and fine art card sets, which make great gifts for creative friends and discerning cork boards. All their products are crafted in the United States from recycled materials or paper, and a portion of the proceeds benefit the duo's favorite philanthropic organizations.
"Sustainable Food News has proven itself to be the number one media outlet covering the organic and sustainable food industry," says Stonyfield Farm chairman Gary Hirshberg. "No other media outlet shows its level of understanding, professionalism and leadership." Hirshberg isn't the only one to sing Sustainable Food News' praises. Executives from companies including Earthbound Farm and Organic Valley also laud the news source, which focuses on the latest happenings in the organic and natural food world. Each day, subscribers receive an e-newsletter with a variety of articles that touch on topics such as genetically modified foods, organic certification, and natural food. They also have access to more than 20,000 archived stories on subjects ranging from ethical practices to ways to increase local food production.