Like-Minded Businesses

Granulated Honey: What Causes Honey To Crystallize?

by Celeste Apiaries, (hives located behind Simpson Spring, Easton, MA)

The honey bee collects pollen and nectar from many different plant sources. Nectar contains a high percentage of water which the bees evaporate in the process of making honey. Honey is composed of dextrose, levulose, water 92%, the other 8% , various sugars.... When honey contains high levels of dextrose, it will granulate more quickly.

The temperature of the honey will also effect crystallization. That can cause problems for winter storage if you are a beekeeper and plan to sell honey throughout the winter. If you have ever tried to bottle crystallized honey, you'd know, it's difficult.

After harvesting our honey it is put into our bottling tank which keeps the honey just warm enough to prevent crystallization. We never filter our honey, and the temperature is never any higher than it would be if it were in a bee hive on a summer day. This makes our job a little easier and keeps our customers happy and sweet throughout the winter months.

Celeste Apiaries Honey is available for purchase 6 days a week

at the Simpson Spring Marketplace.


A Minute with Laurie Hepworth of Edible South Shore

You'd be hard-pressed to find a bigger supporter of local business than Laurie Hepworth, the innovative publisher of edible South Shore & South Coast

We always love when we get to work with Laurie and were happy to have had a minute to ask her a few quick questions about edible South Shore and where she likes to shop.

[Great shot of Laurie and her partner Michael Hart at left. Note the fantastic t-shirt here...]

Finish this sentience: Our publication is created with...

LAURIE: Blood, sweat, and beers!

There are a lot of big fans of eSS out there. Can you tell us one thing your readers might not know about the publication?

LAURIE: We test and eat every recipe. No photo tricks are used. What we shoot (with the camera), we eat.

Can you describe edible South Shore & South Coast in just three words? 

LAURIE: Mission-driven, thoughtful, inspirational

Do you, personally, shop local? Where do you like to shop?

LAURIE: Yes, as often as we possibly can. You’ll find us enjoying locally owned grocery stores, restaurants, bookstores, garden centers, breweries, and wineries.

Blackbird Farm (Smithfield, RI)

The Marketplace is proud to carry Blackbird Farm products in our everyday store.

The goal at Blackbird Farm is to raise the highest quality meat at their farm in Smithfield RI to supply to the local market. They only raise 100% Angus cattle and 100% Heritage Berkshire pigs and applying meat quality genetics to their herds to produce superior quality meat.

Raised with only the best intentions in the most professional way from the farmer and most important the animal. The animals are fed hormone-free, antibiotic-free and non-GMO feed that is ground and mixed on site to be over seen to ensure our animals are only fed the best.

The cows are also grass fed and have beautiful pastures they graze on while the pigs have half acre wooded pens where they can naturally root.

Blackbird Farm is a family run farm and everyone has an import job to do to keep everything running and together. The farm is what the family loves to do, it's an enjoyment that was able to be turned into a business.  

The Bouthillette Family loves being able to supply beautiful healthy meat to the local market and knowing that the meat is appreciated and enjoyed for all the hard work put into it. They value and appreciate every customer for supporting their farm! 

More about Blackbird Farm at

Go Natural with Piper Dee

Piper Dee Naturals has been a staple of our Simpson Spring Marketplace since nearly the beginning. Piper Dee Naturals embodies our values in every way, shape and form. They strive to provide customers with a quality product, made from real materials. They are forthcoming and transparent about product ingredients and believes that educating their audience and providing real value to them is the best way to build a lifelong customer.

All of Piper Dee Naturals products are created with simple, all-natural ingredients such as olive oil, cocoa butter, beeswax, hempseed oil, and essential oils. Every product is paraben-free, sulfate-free, and formulated specifically for people with sensitive skin.  

We recently caught up with Piper Jornales, owner and creator of Piper Dee Naturals to ask her some of our favorite “like-minded business” questions:

Please tell us one thing your customers might not know about your products?

Piper: We use essential oils not just for their aromatic benefits, but more so for their therapeutic benefits in order to help your skin and body heal on the inside as well as outside. For example, our "Clearing & Cooling Congestion Relief Salve" contains menthol, eucalyptus, and peppermint essential oils. Eucalyptus in particular is a wonderful detoxifier and expectorant, which makes it a great essential oil to use when fighting a cold or the flu.

Give us 3 words to describe your products:

Piper:  Simple, Natural, Soothing

Give us 3 words to describe your business:

Piper: Fun, Creative, and Satisfying

Do you shop local?

Piper: I personally shop local as much as I can. The Marketplace at Simpson Spring is one of my favorite places to shop because of its selection of meats, yogurt, all-natural snacks, and of course the amazing water and hand-crafted soda.

Find Piper Dee Naturals everyday in our Local Goods Marketplace and stay tuned to our blog for a series of useful and informative articles from Piper Jornales.

Dolce Cupcakes

Dolce Cupcakes of South Easton, MA is one of the Marketplace’s longest running and most beloved vendors. Offering delectable hand-crafted treats including cookies, cake-pops, whoopie pies, larabars and, of course, gourmet cupcakes, Deborah Fayne, owner and chief baker at Dolce Cupcakes makes all of her products from scratch! “Our products are created with special attention to quality ingredients, unique flavors and the love of sharing our family recipes with everyone.”

Dolce Cupcakes also offers cooking and baking classes for school-aged children. Her students learn basic meal preparation skills and how to bake and decorate from scratch.

We caught up with Deb recently to ask her a few questions about Dolce Cupcakes and why she supports local business:

Can you tell us one thing your customers might not know about your treats?

Deb: If I have to name just one thing, it would be that our recipes are from my own family and friends. Some of them are from my mother's old tin recipe box that was given to me when she passed away. It gives me great comfort when I open it to take out stained recipe card with its tattered edges from years of baking and read a recipe that was written by's bitter sweet sometimes.

Give us 3 words to describe your business:  

Deb: Homemade, delicious, traditions.

Do you shop local?

Deb: Yes, I shop local! I personally, buy many things, such as water, soda, honey, nuts, and meats at the Simpson Spring Marketplace, too, just to name a few.

6 Unique and Locally Inspired Holiday Gifts

We know you have been invited to a Secret Santa or Yankee Swap holiday party and that you have probably waited until the last minute to grab a gift. Or maybe you are in need of the perfect host / hostess gift. There’s not a better place to pick up a unique and thoughtful gift than Simpson Spring's Marketplace! Whether it’s for your office holiday party, your neighbor’s Christmas soirée or your Aunt Betty’s open house, you can give a nice local gift that won't break the bank. Here are five gift ideas that will make you the star of the show.

  1. Pick up some of Deano’s sauce and tri-color tortellini, in your favorite seasonal flavors. Located in Somerville, Deano’s has been making family recipe pasta and sauces for over 40 years. We have many varieties available in the store for the gift of a full belly.
  2. Also check out our locally roasted coffee selection featuring Boston Common Coffee, and Red Barn Coffee Roasters. Nothing says “happy holidays” like a bag of locally roasted coffee, and several different varieties are available at the marketplace. Coffee is the most essential part of any Christmas morning.
  3. Is there someone sweet you need to buy for? How about some honey stuff? At the Marketplace you'll have more than enough choices to make a honey-sweet gift. Our honey products are made from local companies and local bees including Celeste Apiaries, which are located behind Simpson Spring, Jenny D's Bees, Queen Bee Honey Products and Products of the Hive. Our vast selection includes candles, soaps, balms, lotions, salves and of course, pure local honey. Local honey is the best honey and you can't get more local than these. So, unless you have an apiary next door, this is as good as honey can get.
  4. Give a gift that is new and unique like some sweet almond coconut butter from Essentially Coconut, located in Rhode Island. These flavored spreads are made from the meat of the coconut and are delicious on bread, crackers or all by itself. Come in a pick up a jar. Leave a sandwich for Santa!
  5. Create a custom wellness basket. At our Marketplace we are lucky to have several health & beauty vendors, including Piper Dee's Naturals who will work with you to design a custom gift sets in cute ready-to-give packages. Piper suggests a Winter Survival Kit with Congestion Balm, Congestion Shower Cakes, Hand to Heel Balm, and Silky Lip Balm. Or, make a Teacher's gift set with Nail Butter, Muscle and Joint Relief Balm, and Silky Lip Balm. 
  6. There is no better treat that a hand-crafted, locally made soda which, lucky for you, come in all the colors and flavors of the holiday. Our lemon-lime and raspberry-lime sodas look like classic red and green Christmas lights. Or, if you like your taste a little bit crisper, our flavored seltzers, like our festive Cranberry Sparkling Spring Water, are perfect on their own or as mixers for your favorite cocktails. Mix up a six-pack for under $10. Or fill a locally made wooden crate with some nostalgic, old-fashioned flavors for just $45.

Sophia’s Greek Pantry


A few months back, I stumbled upon the best greek yogurt in the whole world. Really. The first time the rich, silky, probiotic filled treat touched my tongue… let’s just say it was one of those “had to have it” moments. Now we travel back and forth from Sophia’s weekly, bringing back up to 100 pounds of yogurt to sell at our everyday Marketplace.

Sophia Skopetos has always made her own yogurt since she was a teenager and now it is one of Massachusetts secret gems. Using a recipe that she learned from her grandmother, that combines a perfect amount of sheep and goat’s milk (not cows), she creates a magnificently thick and tangy greek-style yogurt that is so unlike the candied fruit infused yogurts found in your local box store, it feels wrong to call them the same thing.

While you can always grab some of Sophia’s yogurt, (it comes in many seasonally inspired flavors, but is always available in plain, honey-vanilla, honey-coconut and honey-blueberry, you can also grab it while visiting Sophia’s Greek Pantry, an authentic Greek specialty store with two locations, in Belmont, Somerville and Lowell. Fans (like us) travel from miles around just to visit. Sophia’s Greek Pantry also offers a variety of Greek and Mediterranean-style products and imports including Greek coffee, olives, cooking oils, pasta, breads, books and gifts as well as their own homemade baked goods and pastries from their on-site pastry chef! Sophia’s Greek Pantry also boasts an extensive catering menu.

Stop by our Marketplace for Sophia’s Greek Yogurt, available 6 days a week!

Why We Love Edible South Shore

edible SOUTH SHORE & SOUTH COAST is a seasonal magazine that celebrates the abundance of local foods in Southeastern Massachusetts. They believe that our food choices make a difference to our health, to the health of our planet, and to our enjoyment of life. 

eSS covers news of our region’s farmers, brewers, food artisans, chefs, home gardeners, and others who have a dedication to producing and using sustainably produced, local, seasonal foods. 

The folks from edible South Shore have often been guests at our Saturday Marketplace Events and we always have the latest copy of their magazine available at the Spring.

If you are not already a fan, you will want to read eSS if you:

  • Eat delicious, locally grown, seasonal foods
  • Would like to get to know the people who grow, produce, cook and sell those foods
  • Love seasonal recipes featuring your favorite locally found ingredients
  • Are interested in learning more about what’s available in our region in terms of great dining, day trips, food events, festivals, books, and food products.