Do you have any idea how many amazing products are made by your neighbors, right here in the Granite State? I still don't know the answer, despite living and breathing New Hampshire-made products for the last 11 months as chief shopkeeper for a new online store called GoShopNH.com.
Since last May, I have been meeting artisans from across the Granite State and recruiting them to sell their wares through GoShopNH.com, where we only sell items designed, assembled or manufactured here in New Hampshire. Just when I think I have met them all, a new artisan with a new product comes across my path.
You can meet many of those artisans featured on GoShopNH.com at this weekend's Made in NH, Try It & Buy It Expo at the Radisson in Manchester. The 19th annual show begins Friday at 1 p.m. and runs through Sunday afternoon. While you are there, make sure to stop by New Hampshire Union Leader Booth 316 to pick up a free shipping coupon for GoShopNH.com.
The best part of my GoShopNH work is hearing the stories of how the products first came to be. Many, like Tom Trayer's Camp Mix, were kind of an accident. The popular seasoning blends got their start on a camping trip when Trayer, trying to save space in his camping supplies, dumped a bunch of seasonings together.
I actually dressed my Thanksgiving turkey with nothing but olive oil and Original Camp Mix last year, and I know I am not alone in my Camp Mix addiction. At GoShopNH.com, we ship the Hollis-made product all over the country with the help of fulfillment partner Alternative Logistics, LLC in Nashua.
You can meet Trayer and check out Camp Mix at booth 207A this weekend. You can also hear stories about local products every other Tuesday morning at 8:20 a.m. when Jack Heath and I interview these artisans on the NH Today radio show on WGIR10-AM and WQSO-FM 96.7.
I am so impressed by the hard work GoShopNH.com artisans put into growing and promoting their businesses. They are proud of their products and determined to make them successful. Many attend dozens of shows like the Made in NH Expo every year. And while staffing a booth may appear easy, you should try smiling and being cheerful to hundreds of strangers for three days in a row. It is exhausting.
So, as we like to say at GoShopNH.com, "Support your neighbors. Buy local," this weekend, and be sure to say "hi" to our artisan friends, some of whom are listed below.
Laurie and Beth at Talk it up Tees will be unveiling a new shirt design for boat lovers at Booth 212.
You can also meet Trina and Bill from Little Acre Gourmet Foods in Booth 102B and sample their delicious whole seed mustards and gourmet ketchups.
If you have little boys in your life, you will love the witty Man in Training T-shirt collection sold by Collette and Meredith at Booth 101.
Jackie and Martha will be selling whimsical Knock on Wood Birdhouses.
Learn about the beautiful American Bead Collection from Pamela, Brandon and Brad at Booth 207B. These are similar, but superior, to the other add-a-bead bracelets because they are made right here in the Granite State with bedrock from these United States.
Gavin, Mary and Clarissa from Swineheart's Signature Sauce will be introducing three new barbecue sauces and four new spice blends at Booth 305, continuing their theme of "Celebrating the Regional Flavors of American BBQ and Beyond."
The Made in NH Expo is a production of Business New Hampshire Magazine. It runs Friday from 1 to 8 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $9 for adults, $8 for seniors, $3 for children 2 to 12 years old and for anyone in a stroller. Children under 2, without a stroller, are free.
Bagels and Biscuits 5K
Sure there are lots of 5K races out there, but now there's one for you and your pooch! The inaugural Bagels and Biscuits 5K will be held Sunday, April 6, at 9 a.m. at Derryfield Park. Dogs and their owners can run or walk the 5K course and support Temple Adath Yeshuran and the Animal Rescue League. Kids 10 and under and their dogs race for free if they register prior to race day. Youths 11 to 19 are $20 and 20+ is $25 with pre-registration. There will be prizes, fun, food, games and crafts. Registration starts at 7:30 a.m. and free hats will be given to the first 150 recipients. Visit www.bagelsandbiscuits5k.com for more information.
NH365.ORG Event of the Week
Let's hope for spring temperatures and clear sidewalks for National Walking Day Wednesday. My friend Audra Burns, with the local American Heart Association office, said walking has the lowest dropout rate of any exercise program. Seems like a great way to start getting fit.
Interested? You can kick off your new exercise regimen and meet some new walking buddies at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at Brady Sullivan Plaza for a group walk around the city.
Among the 100 people already expected are Erin Fahleau from WMUR, Dan McKenney, president of Merrimack Mortgage and chair of the June 7 Heart Walk, and Mayor Ted Gatsas.
If you do not live or work in or near Manchester, think about organizing a walk in your area. Visit www.heart.org/nationalwalkingday to download a toolkit.
More fun fitness events can be found every day at NH365.ORG
If you have an interesting item for Scene in Manchester, write to Scene@UnionLeader.com.