You may not have know that Claremont has so many stores tailored to people who love to cook (or just love to eat!)
Come on a journey with me and find out what this town offers.
Claremont Spice & Dry Goods Store
I have been a customer of this great establishment for a number of years now and they keep adding great products each time I go. The owner, David Lucier, and his wife, Ingrid, always make you feel so welcome and can give you great spice recommendations. They just added a recipe section to their website; I can’t wait for more. They both look amazing. It’s a relaxing experience to shop here: no rush, no one pressing you for a sale. You’ll only find top notch, friendly service.
Shopping here is a local culinary adventure. The spices are set up in alphabetical order so they’re easy to find. There’s also a container next to each spice so you can smell them, and boy was that eye opening the first time I tried it. Smelling the spice you get such a strong aroma, you know you’re getting a fresh product. I love how they come in small or larger bags so if you don’t need a lot, you can purchase the smaller bag. I always hated getting spices before because they were so expensive. Now I enjoy the experience.
You’ll find spices and blends you’re not used to seeing like porcini mushroom, organic mediterraean seafood blend, and madras curry blend to name a few.
You’ll also find local products like North Country Smokehouse meats, which is a recent addition to the store, maple syrup, teas, and fresh ground coffee. There’s more goodies too: jams, spice rubs, sauces, dips, cheese making supplies, and even essential oils.
A Thyme to Cook
Right next door to the spice store was a great store called A Thyme to Cook.
Ever had a product your bought and broke right away or you found was just not what it was made out to be? Well at A Thyme to Cook the owner, Leslie Marston, makes sure you get the most practical and quality products. You can see the types of products and brands she sells here. I have a baking pan and a silcon cookie sheet from here that I really enjoy. I asked if she had any recommendations for dish rags and she showed me a swedish cloth that’s hard until you wet it and you can put in the wash too; they come with pretty patterns too. I was sold! You’ll see brands you know like OXO and others you may not, which make the trip all the more an adventure.
This is a store you walk into and think, Oh this is cool. I could really use this! On the front counter I saw these little colorful dodads. I found out it was a tool to get stems out of strawberries or tomatoes. How cool is that? Right next to it was a scoop for taking out the stubborn pulpy insides of winter squash and other winter vegetables.
The fun doesn’t stop there. You can also see cooking demonstrations using the products in the store. Want to learn a new cooking skill, recipe, or how to use a product? Come to one of the demonstrations. I went to one on making crusts and tasted her cranberry pear tart with pecan crust — yummy! I got recipes and a sample too. You can also check out their store and gift shop in Rockingham, which is right next to their fabulous restaurant, Leslie’s Tavern. The tavern has great cooking classes too: cajun cooking, roasting, holiday hors d’oeuvres, and more.
Update as of August 2017: You should definitely check out this great store, which has since moved back to Rockingham. I will definitely miss this store! The Spice Store will be expanding into this location.
100 Mile Market
After a quick walk across the rotary from Tremont Square to Pleasant Street, you’ll find a cute cafe and the 100 Mile Market, for local goods within a 100 miles. You can find produce that’s been pickled, canned, and frozen by the owner, April and her family. In the summer you can find produce from local farms, and in the winter you can grab meals to go: baking rolls to warm, protein, vegetable, and starch.
You can find a refrigerated section of local meat and dairy any time during the year.
Want something to warm you up? They have great soups like carrot and parsnip with ginger and lime, french onion, or tomato basil. Serve it with some of their fresh bread. Looks tasty!
They also have local products and dry goods.
It you like to cook, like to experiment, or know someone who enjoys cooking: a trip to Claremont is definitely worth taking.