Meet Josh and Adrienne Daly, Neighborhood Champions

Peace Dale Neighborhood Champions Adrienne and Josh Daly, on a bike trip to Green Line Apothecary for ice cream and shakes

Please enjoy this contribution from Neighborhood Champions Josh and Adrienne Daly, pictured above on a family bike trip to Green Line Apothecary for ice cream.

We love so many great businesses and organizations in our Peace Dale neighborhood, just a short walk from our home!

Jayd Bun: Awesome folks making the best, most creative authentic Chinese food around! Everything is amazingly delicious, but of course, the buns are a must!

Rock Spot Climbing: Located in the Pallisades Mill (right by Whalers Brewing, another awesome local business!) Rock Spot is such an awesome place for the whole family. Lots of birthday parties, camps, and drop-in opportunities to climb. Awesome, friendly staff.

FLATTS Smokehouse: A great neighborhood bar and restaurant. The meat eaters among our family love the pulled pork and brisket and the veg folks love the roasted Brussels salad! It’s also a favorite spot to meet up with a friend for a beer and see neighbors.

Jonnycake Center For Hope: They provide such valuable and vital services in our community and are based right here and know the particular needs of the community. They also did an amazing job renovating the old Peace Dale schoolhouse building into a beautiful and functional home for their services. 

Pump House Music Works: A local music venue that has reinvented itself several times and cemented its place in the community. (As its name suggests, its historic building and  location was once the pump house for the neighboring tri-pond area). They’ve created a really warm atmosphere and, as a musician, they have the best sound!

Meet Tuni Schartner, Neighborhood Champion

Wickford Village Neighborhood Champion Tuni Schartner

Please enjoy this contribution from Neighborhood Champion Tuni Schartner.

Wickford is a welcoming seaside village tucked in along Narragansett Bay in Southern Rhode Island with picturesque tree-lined streets filled with lovingly preserved historic houses and many unique owner-operated small businesses, with many owners also living in the village. The large harbor is an outdoor playground for many boaters, kayakers, paddle boarders, and even mermaids and witches! The merchant’s association, historic organization, and others work hard to bring fun family events all year long, such as Harbor Lights, the Horribles Parade, and Festival of Lights. Wickford is truly a village and my favorite place to live, play, eat and shop! Follow I Love Wickford Village on Facebook or Instagram to learn more.

Wickford Village recently won USA Today’s annual Reader’s Choice ‘Best Historic Small Town’!

We even have a Town Historian, Tim Cranston, that has written multiple books covering the history of Wickford.

Julie and Jack Kliever (who also live in the village) operate New Deal Horse & Carriage. They offer carriage rides from small intimate tours to larger group history tours — Eddie & Lenny are the best mascots!

Green Ink Boutique (background) has been in business for over 40 years and remains one of the many women owned/operated foundational businesses in town. 

There is so much ‘Local Love’ at JW Graham/YES! Gallery. Julie and Palmer Beebe are the heart of our village, and this family-owned business featuring so many amazing gifts by local artists is a MUST when shopping and visiting Wickford Village. Follow them on Facebook or Instagram!

Beauty and the Bath, purveyor of fine soaps and toiletries as well as many very fun gifts, has been making people happy in Wickford Village for over 35 years. Owner and Wickford resident Lori Lyons is a true community champion offering many locally-crafted products from soaps and lotions to honey. Her annual Pajama Party, the first week in December, kicks off our holiday season in town. She has been collecting pajamas for children in need for over 20 years, and this night is full of fun, food, and shopping while also focusing on the true meaning of the holidays and community.  From annual pictures with the Easter Bunny to just daily shopping, Beauty and the Bath is a beloved destination for so many. Shop online, follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

PLEASE come visit Wickford Village soon. I didn’t mention food but we do have some great spots like Alma’s, Shayna’s Place, Wickford on the Water, Tavern by the Sea, and Gardner’s Seafood!  

Much love from Wickford Village,


Meet Jenn Steinfeld, Neighborhood Champion

Neighborhood Champion Jenn Steinfeld

Please enjoy this contribution from Neighborhood Champion and great friend of Local Return Jenn Steinfeld.

Nestled between Route 10 and Mount Pleasant is the Valley Arts District, a corridor of relatively new (re)development along Providence’s Woonasquatucket River. Long an area for industrial production, the mill buildings and working history of this area made it a natural fit for artists. But while the former informal artist spaces like Fort Thunder have been displaced, there are still many working artists living and working in the area, and a crop of businesses that cater to them. Here are some of my favorites.

60 Valley Street is the mixed use development called The Plant, which is home to the bookstore/bar Riffraff. Their small space is packed with an incredible selection, they host writers talks and book clubs, and if they don’t have the book you want in stock, they can get it quickly! You can take your new books (or even one you’re considering, carefully!) to the bar and enjoy it with a cocktail or coffee. 

And if you find yourself peckish, Troop is located in the same building; I recommend the Street Noods! 

Down the river a bit at 1 Sims Ave is The Steel Yard, a community industrial arts studio that is also home to many arts businesses. Here you will find the Industrious Spirits Company, or ISCo, Providence’s first distillery since prohibition. In addition to their very fine tasting room, where you can sample their gins and vodkas, they have a lovely covered patio set up for year round enjoyment no matter the weather! Live music, pop-up food vendors, or bring your own treats to enjoy this gem. 

Right across the street you will find New Harvest Coffee (also with a very fine patio) and next door at 50 Sims, Revival Brewing and Lost Valley Pizza if you want a snack. Lost Valley delivers to the ISCo patio.

One of my favorite local businesses is K-Zao Studio, newly relocated to 49 Rathbone St. This full service bespoke tailoring studio caters primarily to the queer community and those who can’t find affirming clothing that fits. I got my first suit from them last year and it was a life changing experience; I immediately started planning for the next one. When I stopped by the studio to visit Bao and Atlas, they surprised me with the beginnings of the jacket for the 3 piece flannel suit I’ve commissioned for fall. If you’ve ever struggled to find tailored garments that fit your style, or to feel seen in your vision, I recommend checking them out. 

Our next Local Social

Local Social is August 24 at 5:30 p.m. at Hope & Main

Interested in local economies and investing? Come on out to our next Local Social at the Schoolyard Market at Hope & Main on Wednesday, August 24, at 5:30 p.m. The market features live music, vendors, and food and beverage trucks. You’ll meet some fun people, experience beautiful Warren, AND support a whole bunch of locally-owned businesses at once.

Hope & Main is located at 691 Main Street in Warren. It’s accessible by RIPTA #60 and just off the East Bay Bike Path. There is ample parking across the street in the Franklin Street parking lot.

Email for more information. See you then!

Meet Kate McGovern, Neighborhood Champion

Neighborhood Champion Kate McGovern

Kate McGovern is a champion for her neighborhood of Mount Pleasant. “In the center of this vibrant neighborhood at the corner of Academy and Chalkstone Avenues, you’ll find a beautiful new mural by AGonza on one side of the street and La Poblanita Market on the other,” she muses enthusiastically. “Our neighborhood businesses are a wonderful mix of old and new.”

Kate highlighted five Mount Pleasant businesses for Independents Month:

New garden gloves from Mount Pleasant Hardware
On Kate’s most recent visit to Mount Pleasant Hardware, she bought some new garden gloves.

Mount Pleasant Hardware has been “the Nuts and Bolts of the Community” for 99 years! Kate describes it as “a wonderful family business with the fourth generation now serving the community.”

Entry to Nubian Beauty Supply

Nubian Beauty Supply is the neighborhood’s newest small business, opened by Tanida and Tom West in February 2022. According to Kate, “Nubian has a terrific selection of hair care and beauty products.”

Awning sign of La Bella Boutique, Ropa Colombiana

“La Bella Boutique esta para servirle a usted y complacer su gustos tenemos estilo de ropas para todos.”

Cifuentes Upholstery sign

Cifuentes Upholstery, “a skilled neighborhood business,” has been in Mount Pleasant for five years. It is the place for all your upholstery needs: chairs, couches, car, boat seats, even pool covers.

Podmaska Insurance building

Podmaska Insurance is a family-owned business with more than 40 years of experience. “They can help you select the right insurance product for auto, home, rental, or business,” says Kate.

Meet Polaris, Neighborhood Champion

Polaris and Katrinkles

You might not have heard of Polaris MEP, but chances are good that you know a company they’ve helped. They’re a nonprofit organization that provides competitive business improvement programs to grow Rhode Island’s manufacturing industry.

“Our team got so excited about your plan to spotlight local businesses for Independents Month,” Marketing Manager Erin Read described. “Naturally, we have dozens of clients we think make their communities special.” Here’s one of Polaris MEP’s suggestions: Katrinkles, which makes buttons and tools for fiber artists.

Katrinkles team
That’s Polaris MEP Project Manager Nathan Bonds holding the sign in this photo with the Katrinkles team.

Katrinkles is an independent, female-owned business that provides crafters with high quality buttons and tools for their projects. The team at Polaris MEP loves working with Katrinkles “because they are a true community of creative employees whose creative products reach makers of all kinds.”

As true Neighborhood Champions, the Katrinkles team makes monthly donations to groups that are committed to social change, such as Color of Change and the NAACP. They source materials locally whenever possible, seek out and promote BIPOC-owned businesses, and welcome interns from The Met School.

So many good reasons to buy #MadeInRI!

Meet Phil Ayoub, Neighborhood Champion

Neighborhood Champion Phil Ayoub

Phil Ayoub is the founder and owner of Beau Tyler & the Sly Dog Co., ”style for good-hearted people and good-hearted pets.” Beau Tyler has been headquartered on Thames Street in Newport for the past two years, and Phil values his entrepreneurial neighbors. In this video, he introduces us to the Admiral Fitzroy Inn, Danielle’s Mouse Trap, Love Shack by Lola, Nitro Bar, Paw Addict, and Sunflower on Thames.

There’s no place like Newport in the summer. ☀️🕶⛵️When you’re enjoying all that the Ocean State has to offer, buy local!

Meet Caitlin Mandel, Neighborhood Champion

Neighborhood Champion Caitlin Mandel

According to Bristolian and Neighborhood Champion Caitlin Mandel, “It’s a perfect month to focus on Bristol, Rhode Island, as it’s home to the oldest Fourth of July Celebration in the country! About a month before the 4th, the town’s citizens start decorating their homes with patriotic decor and walking around with big smiles on their faces shouting, “Happy Fourth!” to anyone they pass. It was very hard to narrow this list down to just five businesses, there are so many great local finds in this town!”

Thanks, Caitlin, for sharing just a few of your favorites. You know what to do, Rhode Island.

“The Beehive Cafe was founded in 2007 and features a delicious assortment of coffee, tea, and bakery items, as well as a full menu of seasonally inspired breakfast, lunch and dinner choices. The Beehive Cafe is right off the East Bay Bike path and is a great spot to refuel.” 

Bristol Looms

“Owned by my good friend and talented local artist Maya Cordeiro, Bristol Looms makes handwoven textiles for the home such as napkins, blankets, table runners, and rag rugs. Maya is known for her unique color combinations that are often inspired by the natural landscape.”

Papa Joe's Wrap Shack

“You will find this great sandwich shop on the corner of Bradford and Hope St. in downtown Bristol. The hilarious crew slings delicious thin crust pizza and inventive wraps, often to a soundtrack of Death Metal. Don’t forget to try The Bristolian, a wrap that features calamari and hot pepper rings.”

Paper, Packing, and Panache

“Paper Packaging Panache has a thoughtfully-curated assortment of stationary, gifts and toys for children. This store has never let me down on a last minute gift run!”  

Borealis Coffee at Unity Park
  • Unity Park (ha! I snuck in five more for the price of one 😄)

“One of the hottest new spots in Bristol is Unity Park, a collective of local businesses on Wood Street that is repurposing the industrial spaces that were once home to a Rubber Mill. Unity Park just opened in the past year, and features Brick, a high end pizza restaurant and Pivotal Brewing, which is a great place to hang out with friends. But as a former staff member of Hope & Main, I am most excited to see three Hope & Main members set up shop in town, including Fieldstone Kombucha, Borealis Coffee, and Basil and Bunny.”

Meet Sarah King, Neighborhood Champion

Neighborhood Champion Sarah King (Cumberland)

Sarah King of Cumberland shares three small businesses from her beloved Cumberland:

Front door of Apothica Cafe
  • Apothica Cafe, 3 Dexter Street, Cumberland

Apothica Cafe is LGBTQIA+ owned by Eddy Sandoval and Christian Torres, who also live in town. They are an apothecary-inspired cafe serving locally roasted espresso (from New Harvest Coffee Roasters of Providence) and crafting delicious vegan food options by partnering with local bakers like A&J Bakery, the Donut Shack, and Creature of the Veggie Patch. Oh, my!  

  • You.StudioSpa, 9 Whipple Street, Cumberland

Owned by Lizzy Choquette, You.StudioSpa prioritizes accessible massage and self care. Lizzy offers a variety of services including therapeutic massage, facials, body scrubs and treatments, and waxing. Says Sarah, simply, “She’s amazing!”

Colonial Bakery
  • Colonial Bakery, 185 Broad Street, Cumberland

Colonial Bakery has been in Cumberland for nearly 110 years serving delicious Portuguese pastries and breads. Yes, that’s right: 110 years. The bakery was opened by the Gonsalves family in 1914, and they spent 80 years making family recipes until the family sold the business to the Mello family. “With the help of long-time employee Albertino Duarte,” Sarah noted, “the Mellos fell in love with recipes, baking, and the business. They’re keeping it alive for a new generation.” Lucky us.  

Thank you, Sarah, for being a Neighborhood Champion! Rhode Island, get out there and explore Cumberland.

Meet Kate Lentz, Neighborhood Champion

Kate Lentz: "We're committed to buying local and supporting Rhode Island independent bookstores. They are essential members of our community."

Kate Lentz is the director of the Rhode Island Center for the Book, a statewide organization devoted to promoting personal and community enrichment by celebrating the art and heritage of reading, writing, making, and sharing books.

Kate and her team are true Neighborhood Champions, working everyday to spotlight all of Rhode Island’s unique independent bookstores. She reports, “We’re committed to buying local and supporting Rhode Island independent bookstores. They are essential members of our community!”

Check out Kate’s video with Amy Van Keuren, bookseller and store manager of Charter Books in Newport. As Amy notes, “Bookstores can curate their collection to their community, so we can give you personalized recommendations the way an algorithm will never be able to.” A Neighborhood Champion herself, Amy gives a shout-out to Closet Revival in Newport and Different Drummer in Wickford.