Discovering locally made products
The Adirondacks are filled with a wide variety of extremely talented artisans, crafters, tradesmen, and entrepreneurs and each offers up quality products & services that define our unique marketplace. Like the rest of the park, Tupper Lake has its fair share of locally made products that boast as much personality as the people who proudly stand behind them. So today, I thought it would be appropriate to explore the flavor of "Made in Tupper Lake!"
Spruce & Hemlock Country Store
8 Years in the Making...
Many are just starting to hear the rumblings of the new country store opening on Lake Street in Tupper Lake. But for Faith McClelland (and her family who have kindly been helping to store her accumulating inventory) this is something she has been looking forward to for the better half of a decade. Owning and operating her own country store has been Faith's plan & dream for a while now, and this young entrepreneur is on the path to making it come to fruition with this week's soft opening of the Spruce & Hemlock Country Store.
Last week I had the pleasure of visiting Faith in her new place, just as she began moving in the first of what will be countless loads of merchandise, equipment, and furniture that will make up the new Spruce & Hemlock Country Store. Anyone who knows Faith, knows that when she puts her mind to something it is not going to be done to merely 100%, because when Faith decides to do something her effort and energy will far exceed that. I do not doubt that Spruce & Hemlock Country Store will follow that same pattern, but let's start from the beginning...
This country store got its start with a single hand-built Adirondack picture frame. Back in 2006, Faith's first endeavor was making birch bark frames and selling them in local shops. She quickly realized there was a demand for them and that she had a budding business on her hands. With that success under her belt, Faith continued to refine her talents as she started specializing in rustic wedding decorations, personalized favors, and more. Over the years as her number of products and sales started to grow, so did her idea of expanding into a full retail shop. Today, that shop is coming to life.
From what I have seen so far, Spruce & Hemlock Country Store will offer a wide assortment of products to go along with Faith's rustic style of Tupper Lake made products. In addition to carrying ornaments, locally-made jewelry, glassware, knitted items, hand-crafted wood products, toys and more, they will also have two complete rooms of apparel including both graphic printed items and standard clothing merchandise. The store will also serve as an outlet to find other Tupper Lake made products from local companies like Stacked Graphics, CB Enterprises, Earth Girl Designs, ADK Bloody Mary Tonic and more. In other words, this looks as though it will be much more than just another "Adirondack Store," but rather a true country store offering up goods that both visitors and residents of Tupper Lake will be looking for.
Reflecting upon my recent visit with Faith, I can honestly say that the one thing she was not lacking was emotion when she talked about this new endeavor. What came through the most was her excitement and passion not only for the new store, but Tupper Lake in general. She and her husband, Andrew McClelland, co-owner of Stacked Graphics in Tupper Lake, seem thrilled to be able to offer one more service to the Town that they love and call home. I would like to wish her the best of luck and success with Spruce & Hemlock Country Store.
Spruce and Hemlock Country Store is located at 52 Lake Street in Tupper Lake. With a soft opening scheduled for this coming week, the store will operate daily from 9am-6pm - with extended hours for holidays and the summer season.
Want More "Made in Tupper Lake?"
Faith's passion for all things Tupper Lake, leads me to think about some of the other unique locally-made products that you can easily pick up while you are in the area (and some even in markets well beyond the borders of our small Adirondack town). Many come to mind, but here are some of the easily accessible items that I would recommend that you check out.
ADK Bloody Mary Tonic
With a recipe refined over years bartending at Trail's End Tavern in Tupper Lake, local native, Christine Marquis-Day, has in many ways turned ADK Bloody Mary Tonic into a signature drink for Tupper Lake. A little over a year ago, Christine started jarring up her Bloody Mary mix so people could enjoy it anywhere, anytime. Her operations quickly outgrew her local kitchen, and today ADK Bloody Mary Tonic is now being manufactured and distributed throughout the region and beyond. Conveniently it is also available on the shelves of most stores in & around Tupper Lake.
Raquette River Brewing
Producing small batch ales in their micro-brewery on Balsam Street in Tupper Lake, Raquette River Brewing is also quickly outgrowing their capacity and is currently expanding the size of their brewing operation. In addition to carrying up to 8 brews on tap at the brewery, their beer can also be picked up at local stores in 22oz bottles, as well as now being on tap in many area restaurants and bars.
Big Tupper Brewing (Coffee & Beer)
Big Tupper Brewing is another Tupper Lake brand serving up some awesome products that expand beyond our little corner of the Adirondacks. With both coffee and beer lines, Big Tupper Brewing has high quality products waiting to cap off both ends of your day. In the spring of 2016, they will be adding a beautiful new brew pub to the Tupper Lake mix.
The Leather Artisan
Childwold might have a different zip code, but that doesn't stop us from considering them part of the Tupper Lake Region. So, that being said, we would like to consider the Leather Artisan in Childwold, NY as part of the Tupper Lake local product scene. The Leather Artisan has been creating quality hand made leather items using the finest domestic leather for over 3 decades. One neat thing about this shop is that in addition to browsing through their selection of leather hand bags, wallets, belts, shoes and more, they also offer free tours of their workshop.
Talk about an iconic Adirondack item! I feel as though there should be some insightful quote about boat building that should start this one off, but nothing comes to mind that could do justice for the beautiful hand-built Adirondack Guide Boats that Robbie Frenette builds in his shop at Raquette River Outfitters. If you want to see some beautiful craftsmanship, then I highly recommend you navigate your way into this shop next time you are in the area.
Take a Local Shopping Tour...
As I review some of the many "Made in Tupper Lake" items available, I realize that if you truly take a moment and look, you will find that there is a nice variety of locally-made products available right here in our corner of the Adirondacks. If you dig a little deeper you will discover more woodworkers, crafters, artists and even a blacksmith, that each add their own flare to the Tupper Lake shopping scene. But more than that, many of these locations also offer a fun shop, studio or even tasting room for you to experience and explore while you are here. I invite you to take a local shopping tour next time you stay in Tupper Lake. Start with some retail therapy, take a break and grab a bite to eat, then round it off with a signature Tupper Lake drink to end the day.
This week in related Made In the ADK news: