Oh, Fire Cider. Where to begin?
Let’s start in the Fall of 2011. My friend, Gina, asked me to be a judge at Hancock Shaker Village’s Harvest Festival farmers’ market, which basically involved wandering through the shortbread and local honey, trying to take myself very seriously. Sadie helped, trailing along after, whispering about this and that product over my shoulder, peering at my scribbled notes.
I found Amy, Dana and Brian at their little card table, sandwiched on either side by the cloth-wrapped soaps and homemade jams and jellies one usually finds at such a market. I was drawn right to the table for so many reasons–that there were three people under 40 I did not recognize (laugh if you will, but anyone who’s grown up in a small town will understand) and they had this relaxed and glow-y rockstar effect going for them. They were surrounded by little bottles with the most amazing label, and yes, yes, I’m a sucker for a good label. And in the air around their stall, I could pick up notes of ginger, and lemon, and… was that horseradish? Whatever it was, it all came together to create a sort of tractor beam that pulled me in. I was transfixed.
“Try some Fire Cider?”
Dana poured me a little shot, and without even asking what it was, I knocked it back like a freshman trying to impress the cool kids at a party she has no business going to. I didn’t hesitate. I didn’t smell it first. I just drank it down.
When I caught my breath again? I swear, my cells were humming so much I was pretty sure I could fly if I had the balls to try it. And I almost did. But my kids were there, and I didn’t want to set a bad example. So I did the next best thing, and I gave Fire Cider the blue ribbon. They earned it, fair and square.
After that, it seemed like everything was Fire Cider this, and Fire Cider that. People started bringing it over instead of wine when I invited them over for dinner. Everyone seemed to think they had discovered it first, and I guess in our own ways, we all did. It’s technically a drinking vinegar infused with all sorts of spices and herbs, and a shot every day will cure whatever ails you- really. But then, mixed into other ingredients, it becomes a secret weapon in recipes. Here in the Berkshires, Fire Cider cocktails popped up on every restaurant menu. There were salad dressings and meat marinades a whole lot of recipes in between. And all along, this little local business has been growing–you can find their Fire Cider all over the Northeast and beyond. We even saw it on the shelves of a hip little coffee shop in Denver, and we couldn’t quite contain ourselves.
“We know them! That’s from where we LIVE!”
“Cool.” The Denver hipster was unmoved, but we kept going. We told him about Amy and Dana and Brian, and about how they’ve grown this wonderful little company, and how excited we were that these bottles had traveled so far. That’s the thing about supporting small local businesses, spreading the word, and feeling proud as they grow. Buy a bottle, talk about it, give one to a friend, see Dana at a party and tell him how much you love it–all these little actions make a difference, and you can have a direct impact on the growth of the business. And when it’s a great people making such a great product, it feels so good to help it grow.
I’m pretty excited that Fire Cider is one of the first official sponsors of this site. I love having that bottle over in the sidebar. And today, to celebrate, those rock stars over at Fire Cider are giving away an 8-ounce bottle of Fire Cider, a rock star T-shirt, and a shot glass to one of you. All you have to do is leave a comment telling me about a local business you love right where you are. I’ll choose the winner on Sunday, February 9. In the mean time, let’s have a drink.
Fire Cider Maple Toddy
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 ounce Fire Cider
1 ounce Scotch whisky
3/4-1 cup hot water
Combine the lemon, maple syrup, Fire Cider, scotch, and 3/4 cup hot water in a mug. Taste, and add a bit more water if it’s too strong.
(Visit Fire Cider’s website here)
I want to send a huge thank you to Amy, Dana, and Brian for helping to support the site. Remember- you support them, and that helps me too! So thank you. And yes, if you’re interested in sponsoring the site, I have spaces available in the coming months! Let’s talk. I’d love to have you here.
We are fairly new to Colorado, so are still discovering local small businesses. A friend owns Nizo Wear nursing bras that I wish were around when I was in that stage of life. And Justin’s nut butter is so tasty!
Oh, I love this story! Stories like this are why I love eating locally; it feels great to hand your dollars over to lovely people for a lovely product. It’s hard to choose just one, but probably my favorite local ‘business’ is my CSA farm, Ryder Organics. Betsey Ryder farms the land from the house that her great-grandfather built, and I was one (of 10!) of her first CSA customers the first year she started the program. Now, the CSA is capped at 100 people and there is a waiting list. It’s been wonderful to watch it grow.
wonderful! wonderful!! i love helping the little guy too! the big guys are taking over the world and it’s time to revolt!
my husband and i support a local small dairy in their cheese making venture. it’s a first in this area – a CSA for cheese – and we are so proud and happy to be a part of their start up. Monforte Dairy cheese rocks!
I could name a dozen local businesses I love and support, but perhaps the one I love
the most is Wasik’s cheese shop in Wellesley. The cheeses and prepared and imported foods are first-rate, but it’s the Wasik family that makes
a stop there feel like a visit with a dear friend. A dear friend with impeccable taste and tremendous connections!
I get my Fire Cider at River Valley Market in Northampton, MA. I had my first sample of Fire Cider there and I have been hooked! I love using it with some olive oil as a tangy spicy but delicious salad dressing. My youngest son who is 8 loves it as well! Great stuff!
Courtney Collins says
So happy to have discovered this site! I, too, have been on the Fire Cider bandwagon for the past few years because it knocks the hell outta whatever sore throat or sniffles comes my way (and with two tiny mini-me’s, there’s a lot of germs). My fav local store here in central Vt is called Chef’s Market – a family owned and operated year round farm stand that promotes not only local food, produce, and artisans, but also socially conscious companies and products. Last week I was talking with one of the folks there and she asked me, “what would you like us to carry that we currently don’t?” and right away I answered: Fire Cider!
Kristy Rustay says
I landed on your blog because fire cider keeps popping up everywhere for me … Firest, my mom bought me a bottle for Christmas, and I have been healthy all season. Soon after that, one of our authors posted a similar recipe for a cure-all cider concoction (I work for Storey Publishing, “books for country living”, basically a publishing company for any type of DIYer), then one of my fb friends suggested I “like” the Fire Cider page on fb, and just today I saw this post shared on fb, so now I am here.
I would love to win more Fire Cider! The local shop I would like to give a shout-out to is Pateez Boutique – a great little clothing boutique in downtown Pittsfield MA owned by a long-time family friend: http://www.pateezboutique.com/
awe fire cider
liquid bang wakes up my cells
feet dance while mouth grins
i just tried this extraordinary elixir two days ago and then i come to find out, minutes after my first shot, enthusiastically asking where i could buy a bottle, that my favorite local business, milk and honey in salem, ma sells it. felt like i won a decent lottery. not only do they sell this amazing tonic but they carry loads of other quality items, bulk yummies, heartfully prepared soups and sandwiches, produce…the list goes on and on. all sold by the lovely people that work there. such a gem of a place.
Fire Cider is amazing and I am so happy to have found it! My mom actually gifted me a bottle, and I love it way it tastes – plus it has made me feel better after getting a cold, it really clears up my sinuses. It’s amazing stuff! I have yet to try it in a bloody mary but can’t wait to 🙂 My favorite local shop in NY where I live is Crossroads, it’s a locally-owned shop that’s got great local food and natural wellness products that I love.
I love our local CSA in Easthampton MA, Mountain View Farm. They have such a great range of veggies and fruit. Love the ability to go out in the field and pick your own veggies, herbs and wild flowers. They also have local products for sale like cheese, eggs and grass fed meats. Best of all the staff are the best!
I love Basic foods in Hoboken NJ, its got funky organic stuff, not sure if if has Fire Cider, but I tried the stuff once and loved it ! would love to get some more!
Sue P says
Here in lil’ ol’ Torrington, CT, we have Holly’s Oatmeal. Holly’s Oatmeal has grown from a local staple to nationwide (and perhaps beyond!) Her oatmeal is 100% natural ingredients, no GMOs, additives or preservatives. She also donates to charity, and this quote is taken from her website: “Holly’s Oatmeal proudly supports the Connecticut Food Bank and Feed the Children by donating over 200 lbs of oats and 600 lbs of fruit in 2013.” (BTW I am not affiliated with Holly’s, just love her oatmeal!) 🙂
We love our local breweries in our town! It’s so nice getting a growler of locally-brewed beer. I would love to try some Fire Cider! I have been sick a lot this winter, and it looks like it would help.
Leah Madsen says
I love Fire Cider. And I love City Feed, a local shop in my neighborhood of Jamaica Plain in Boston. City Feed is like a new generation of general store where you can buy everything you need while stopping for an impromptu chat with one of your neighbors. They have delicious sandwiches too, like their popular Farmers Lunch with pickled green tomatoes, cheddar and granny smith apple. Wish I had one on my plate right now!
I have several local businesses that I love here in H-town:
House of Coffee Beans
I make sure to shop all the Farmers Markets near me. That is how I got to taste Fire Cider at SOWA OPEN MARKET.
What a terrific blog, so glad I clicked the link. I am hooked onFire Cider, I love the product, I love the way they produce it, I love just eveything about it. I found it locally at The Nature Exchange in Stoneham, though I want to get the half gallon size, which I believe is only online. So glad I ‘discovered’ this product!!
Michael Schneider says
> “a local business you love right where you are”
This gives me the opportunity to pimp a product that I only discovered a few months ago, and now use every day: Sandia Soap’s Turquoise Trail Essentials piñon lip balm, handmade with New Mexico beeswax and New Mexico piñon. Fabulous, fabulous stuff.
I go out of my way to buy lip balm that’s mostly beeswax–it’s harder to find than one might think–and I gave up on Burt’s Bees when that company was purchased by Clorox. (I don’t know that their product changed, I just couldn’t get enthusiastic about it any more.) Mountain Ocean’s Lip Trip is as hard as a crayon. I’d been using Zambeezi, made with fair trade organic beeswax from Africa, but local is even better.
If you can find it, try it. It’s like a little bit of New Mexico for your face every day.
We are loving DBS – Decatur Bicycle Shoppe. We recently moved back to our hometown and have made some seriously wonderful friends! I also love Coffee Connection as most of my friends have worked there at one time or another! Love supporting local businesses!
Kristina Wagner says
There is a store in my area called Country Treasures & Thrift. The place is awesome!
Ooh, sounds super intriguing! I’ve never heard of fire cider, but anything that works in a hot toddy is clearly right up my alley, so I’d love to give it a try. I am sitting in my favorite local business right now–my coffeeshop of choice, Dana St Roasting. You have to love the kind of coffeeshop where the roaster sits and works right out in the open. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!
About as local as we can get my favorite small local business is Solid Rock Masonry. The owner installed our masonry heater recently and we cannot say how much we love it and how it is changing our cooking: real bread, slow cooked soups, roasted sweet potatoes.
I’d love to try fire cider, I’ve not seen it here in MN yet.
This sounds right up my alley!
I haven’t yet tried drinking vinegars but am so intrigued.
Here in Toronto, there’s a great local coffee scene and one of them is this little place called the Common. Best coffee in the city!! They also make amazing lattes and mochas, using local (Ontario) organic chocolate milk!
Suzi Banks Baum says
Oh. What a whole lot of local businesses to love in the Berkshires- like yours! Right now, I really love Maiden Flower Farm run by Georgene Poliak and Dave Long over in Housatonic, verging on Great Barrington. I miss their raw honey, which they have run out of for the season. I can buy their meat products at our CSA, Indian Line Farm. I know I am preaching to the choir, but that little farm is a highlight in my life. xo S
Helen Symons says
I have worked with Craig Fear a certified nutritional therapist(Fearless Eating) and he has helped me with a problem with heartburn. In this month,s flyer from River Valley Market there was an article about Fire Cider so I went and got a bottle as Craig had told me about the problems you can have when you aren’t getting enough acid in your stomach. I,ll let you know how it goes! Thanks for your blog, I enjoyed it. Helen
I absolutely love this product! I do a shot or two daily and more often if I feel a sniffle coming on. I actually look forward to drinking it!!
We purchase our Fire Cider at Berkshire Organics in Dalton, MA. This is an amazing store and everyone that works there is just wonderful. They sell all local and/or organic produce and do produce basket deliveries right to your front door! And you can order any of their groceries for delivery as well. Their market is full of all natural and organic products from dairy and meat right down to cleaning and beauty products. Everything is non-GMO. I get the deliveries and also shop in their market, and of course I go in for my weekly refill of Fire Cider! They are expanding their market and will have a local cheese counter, a local bakery and freshly prepared foods available as counter service and take-out by a well known local chef. We love Berkshire Organics and we are so grateful to have a store like this right around the corner!
After reading this, I can’t wait for Fire Cider to hit the West coast, it sounds like fun!
I have a couple favorite local restaurants,, and dearly love my CSA, but my favorite local business is sadly no longer local to me, since I left the city, but Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco is where my heart will always land.
Hannah M. says
There’s a wonderful little grocery store in my neighborhood called Open Produce. I think it was founded by some recent graduates of the university of Chicago, and they stock a lot of local/organic produce and other local products. They’ve even started using the store as a sort of mini-gallery for local artists 🙂 It’s a tiny, friendly, lovely store. (openproduce.org is their website)
One of my very favorite places on earth is a small store in Grand Rapids, MI (which might be my favorite place on earth, actually) called Global Infusion. It’s a locally-owned, fair-trade store with a HUGE wall of built-in bookcases with every kind of loose-leaf tea and spice that you can imagine, beautiful, hand-crafted jewelry from all over the place, handmade ceramic mugs, and cards, and the best chocolate bars you ever sank your teeth into. They also have a small coffee bar with the most delicious house-made chai latte I’ve ever had. I unfortunately live about 45 minutes outside of Grand Rapids now, but it’s a non-negotiable for me and my husband to pop into Global Infusions whenever we’re in town. It’s pretty much the best.
Megan C says
My friend Barb introduced me to Fire Cider and now I’m hooked. I was able to find it at It’s Only Natural here in Middletown, CT. It’s a really great healthy food store, and they also have a pretty good selection of natural bath and body products and gifts. Plus they have a postal counter, too, so it’s really a one-stop-shop!
Kristina T says
Oooo… sounds so intriguing! I haven’t yet tried drinking vinegars, but am anxious to try! 🙂 My favorite local shop is Mirador Community Store in Portland, OR. They have all of the really good/essential kitchen gadgets! They also carry every imaginable size of mason jar … Love!
Monster Librarian says
I live in a little town in NW Ohio and miss miss miss the wonderful food culture of the Berkshires, that was until I discovered this wonderful little restaurant not too far away called The Mustard Seed. I eat there every chance I can and have even been able to being some of my friends from Gould Farm there too!
This place has saved my sanity in my most homesick moments:
One of my favorite local businesses in the DC area is an amazing food truck called Stella’s Popkern. They make the most delicious salted caramel and cheddar popcorn mix.
I love finding local goodies! My favorite local produce spot is Freedom Farms (I became friends with one member of the family after working together and then suddenly they had a TV show about them. “Farm Kings”). =)
I want to try Fire Cider now!
I support quite a few local businesses but the one I am loving is my own– http://www.recipesack.com. I make meal kits which include all the necessary grains, beans, spices, etc., along with step-by-step directions to make the meal.
Kelli S says
If I had to pick one local business to song about it would be our local bakery, Ohlin’s. The cinnamon maple buns are the best!!
Cynthia Holt says
Farmacy Herbs on Cemetery Street in Providence. It is a tiny little set in a hill. It’s full of jars of herbs and all the ingredients you need to make herbal concoctions and the containers to put them in. They have classes and are really nice people to boot! It’s where I get the ingredients for the tea from your cookbook that I drink all the time now.
Well, let’s see…Small Valley Milling is my source for locally grown spelt (backflips for locally grown, organic grain!) and Miller’s Natural Foods, an Amish-owned natural foods store, is my favorite Lancaster Co. grocery. I’m going to see if they’d consider stocking Fire Cider. Sounds like a cure AND flavor-all.
Karen Wiemokly says
Esselon Cafe in Hadley, MA. is my favorite local business…in the summer you can lounge in the comfy Adirondack chairs on the patio with a cold Berkshire Brewing Co. brew or a strong iced coffee…in the winter you can hunker down in the cozy inside space for some honey ginger lemon tea or a mug of strong, fresh ground coffee. the offer healthy offerings for breakfast, lunch and dinner! I have spent hours there working there on my photographs or reading…I have always felt welcome to stay as long as I’d like. The music on the patio in the summer is another reason to make your way to this inviting, wonderful cafe.
There is so much amazing local products here in Asheville, NC! One of my favorites is Lusty Monk Mustard. Best mustard. Ever. Fire cider sounds pretty special though!
Stacy Herrick says
I live in Sykesville, MD and we have a little candle company, called Unwined in our town. They collect empty wine bottles from local restuarants and the county recycling facility, cut them down and fill them with all natural soy wax, making yummy scented candles. Bought some for Christmas gifts this year.
I’m going to have to keep any eye out for Fire Cider in our area.
My favorite local business is our CSA, Clarion River Organics, which consists of several Amish family farmers located about an hour north of where we live. They have a few non-Amish wranglers that negotiate credit card payment and email alerts, but it truly is a small cooperative that gives me the best organic produce I could ask for.
joselle merritt says
I love Coffee Bandits, right here in Merced. It is owned by a local faculty member of UCMerced and his wife. They employee locals (many are students) and host lots of local poetry and musicians. They also have local artists display their works including jewelry.
Without a doubt, Fire Cider is an amazing herbal remedy that everyone must try – or make themselves!
The discovery of health benefits of Fire Cider as a folk medicine have been passed down – freely – from generation to generation, through families and communities in many cultures across the world.
We herbalists couldn’t be happier that Shire City is marketing their recipe to the masses so that more and more people become familiar with this age-old potion. What you may not be aware of – and what brings great sadness to those of us seeking to keep healthcare in the hands of the people – is that these folks have trademarked the words “Fire Cider” as if it were their own invention. By doing so, this small business has behaved as a large company by taking legal action against the hundreds, or thousands, of us – other “little guys”making and selling our own recipes. It would be as if you made a cheese pizza and I made a cheese pizza … but then I trademarked the word “pizza” not legally allowing you to sell “pizza” again.
Currently, there is a very large movement within the herbal community to have this trademark revoked – taking “Fire Cider” back from this ownership (that did not invent it – or name it) and giving it back to the people where it belongs.
Sincerely – we wish all the best for Shire City in the success of their business … to operate fairly and with the highest ethics of marketing a product they produce well … but did not invent.
Thank you, I was about to write something along those lines but you did it so beautifully 🙂 Here’s a bit more info on the movement .
Thanks, Sophie! FREE FIRE CIDER! 🙂
I was going to mention this too, especially if the topic is small business. My favorite place to buy bulk herbs and herbal remedies here in Denver had to relabel all their fire cider because this company has already asked etsy to take action against people who use “their” term.
Exactly – and that us the problem. Aside from herbalists having to rename the Fire Cider they have been selling for FAR longer than Shire City ever was, there is the very fact that Fire Cider has been copyrighted in books, teaching manuals and course handouts as far back as the 1990’s … but don’t quote me, it may even be the 1980’s. The point isn’t stopping Shire City from marketing their VERSION of Fire Cider … but to correct their opinion that they ‘own’ Fire Cider … which is simply absurd. Thanks for your contribution, Sarah!
In fact, Sarah – you may wish to pass this link onto your favorite herb supplier in Denver … if you (or they) haven’t seen this circulating already.
As part of our movement, we are petitioning to have the trademark revoked – and I believe we are over 5k signatures at this point. Some even from other countries – further proving this is a widely shared practice. Please feel free to sign it yourself – and pass along! You needn’t be an herbalist to sign … just simply a person who care to keep time-honored traditions from being monopolized. Thanks again!
Jeannie Dunn says
Thank you Doreen. You said that so eloquently! I totally support a company who spreads the love of fire cider… as “Shire City Fire Cider”. “Fire Cider” Trademark, preventing other herbalists from using, no!
Heather Fuller says
After your fantastic description checked the Fire Cider website and found out that they sell it in the cafe I go to every Saturday after yoga. That would be Sherman’s in Union Square in Somerville which is a fabulous local business.
But my favourite, exportable, local businesses are CUPPOW – especially the BNTO canning jar adapter and Taza Chocolate. Taza has the best factory tour and I am not just saying that because you get unlimited samples…
Lisa M says
We have several great local businesses but my fave is our natural foods co-op (Roanoke, VA). When I’ve had a tough day I go by there just to wander the aisles and soak in the atmosphere, and yes, I always buy something 🙂 If its been a while since being there I tell my husband I need a “co-op fix”.
Never heard of fire cider… interesting!!
Fire Cider sounds incredible! We have a company here called Bittercube that makes small batch bitters. We have a sample box of all 6 flavors. That makes for a fun Saturday!!
Love urban moonshine’s vt made and sourced bitters. Original bitters have been my everyday companion since December, and my tummy is feeling great! Another great herbal and yummy medicine.
Jeannie Dunn says
Love Urban Moonshine!
Betty Grebe says
I am a born and bred Mid-Westerner. I grew up in the corn fields of Illinois….literally. When I went to high school, it was a low flat building, and a water tower….in the middle of corn fields. So when a couple of years ago my husband said to me, “you want to move to Arizona”? I thought, why not?
I now can say I miss Illinois so much it hurts! I do love my adopted state, but it is so vastly different. Last year we moved into a new townhouse and I discovered the Red Mountain Cafe, just up the street. My little corner of Mid-Western Heaven! The owners are from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, not Illinois, but the flavors and feel is the same. There are so many Mexican eateries out here, and while there is nothing wrong with Mexican, it isn’t comfort food for me.
The truly great thing about the Red Mountain Cafe, is the Sour Cream and Raisin Pie! Oh My God! It is about 4 inches of perfectly browned meringue, and sweet and creamy loveliness! Whenever I am feeling homesick, I walk up the street and get a piece of home!
Susan Damschen says
I totally understand the feeling when you spot someone “new” in your town. I live in Plains, MT pop. 1074 at last count. However for being so small we have many self proprietors that bless us. Whistle Creek Pottery, Toni’s Tricks, Dog Hill Bistro just to name a few. I love the idea of a shot glass for their fire cider.
Nancy Zychek says
I live in Stratford, CT and my favorite local business is” Two Roads Brewery”. The owners started making their own beer in a renovated factory building. They kept the integrity of the building and give tours which include samples of their various brews. They have been very successful and have shared that success by giving back to the town in many ways and sponsoring many events. My favorite, this past summer, was called “Shakesbeer”, a beer festival held on the grounds of the empty Shakespeare Theater to help raise money and awareness to reopen the theater.
I love supporting local businesses. I think everyone wins. My favorite is a wonderful restaurant in Martines, California, called The Compass Star. Chef Rachel makes all of her charcuterie in house, sources most of her ingredients locally, and is just an all-around wonderful person. I look forward to many wonderful meals here in the future. Martinez is lucky to have her!
So many local folks! We should have a giant potluck!
I’m going to mention South River Miso which is right down the street from me. I don’t eat it, but am just glad they exist. I also love Our Family Farms milk, knowing it came from cows I might drive right past.
Yes to the potluck! I’ve always wanted to tour up there at South River Miso. I’ve heard it’s an amazing place to visit.
Combination tour/potluck? 🙂
I love to see how creative people are with local foods in the middle of winter. Just name the date and let’s do it!
We have the LaGrange General Store within walking distance of our farmhouse. Delicious food, wonderful owners, and they rent skis so we don’t have to scour the earth for reasonably priced ones every time kid’s feet grow mid-winter! That’s also where the Lady Fliers Thursday night rides base out of, so I can ride my bike to my ride, grab a beer and a sandwich with friends after and then bike home. Fantastic! http://www.backyardbikes.com/
I have fire cidered!!! I knew nothing of the company ( and loved reading about them in this post), but purchased a bottle online last year when my friend swore it cured everything!
My favorite small local biz in my area is Voss Bakery run by a great baker who makes the best key lime pie not even two blocks from my home!
how cool to have local businesses in your area like that and to know almost everyone in your town of a certain age. I support the local orchards in the area by picking my own fruit in season and buying their other produce.
Erin Anderson says
We have lost so many of our favorite local businesses in Eau Claire, WI in the past few years which is so sad. One of our favorites though is Elder Valley Kitchen/Sweet and savory. They make wonderful salad dressings, our favorite is raspberry poppyseed, and also have delicious baked goods at our farmer market. They have changed and adapted the past few years, but continue to have spectacular products. Would love to try fire cider!
um, hello, YUM?????
(pretty please, pretty please, pretty please….)
love the denver spot 🙂
I’d love to have a community like yours with plenty of local businesses and producers! My favourite in this corner of the world is Retrosaria, a knitting and sewing shop that has its own line of locally-produced yarns. Thank you for the giveaway!
Madison, WI, which I call home, is a little bit of heaven on earth for being surrounded by beauty and small farms and big dreams. I have a hard time picking my favorite of our abundant local awesome businesses. Ultimately, I tip my hat to Cress Spring Bakery for their grounding, gorgeous loaves of sprouted grain bread and for the granola, infused with orange, walnut and raisins and an addictive crunch only attainable by cooking it in their hand built wood-fired stove. Friends who moved to NY have it shipped to them! We order it in 5-lb bags delivered to our front door by the baker on Friday nights en route to his hockey game in town.
I read your blog regularly, and live in Ireland. Fire Cider? Sounds good! I thought there would be a recipe for the same. I was disappointed. But, today, at theKitchn, there was a recipe for Fire Cider! WhooHoo!
Is this the same Fire Cider? Please write to theKitchn.com and put in a plug for your friends. Thank you and Slainte!
Thanks for posting this, Roz!
I LOVE FIRE CIDER! I discovered it at The Big E this past year, and have been giving it to my friends, as well! For my favorite local business, I submit: Get Baked, a fantastic bakery in Windsor, CT. The chef used to work up at McMurdo station, and she & her boyfriend now run this amazing place. Check them out, they’re on FB too! Get Baked CT!
We are a long way from Fire Cider’s area being in BC. However we love all things funky and hand made. One of our local favourites is Kootenay Alpine Cheese Co. They produce amazing organic cheeses plus organic milk, pork and beef. All ethically raised and insanely tasty.
Ooooo I haven’t heard of Fire Cider in over a decade! I had a friend who made her own, we loved it. Must go in search of more now that I’m all revved up about it again.
Here’s my favorite local (-ish, she’s 2 hours south of me) company. I met her at a show last month and her products are WONDERFUL, AMAZING, THE BEST!!! (Also, our names are similar, as are our “stories” so we hit it off immediately.)
If the link doesn’t work, look her up anyway:
Love your blog! Love fire cider, Rosemary Gladstar the herbalist in VT has a good recipe if you want to make it yourself, she was the first time I had heard of it years ago. My fav local business is Turtle Lane Maple Farm in N. Andover. A suburban sugar house, they tap trees all over the town and cook it down in there back yard. They let the public go and watch in the spring and make a wonderful high quality syrup which is also for sale in local small stores.
We have a plethora of local businesses that I try to support. My favorite is a local grist mill that grinds corn and flour. They make the most awesome grits, cornmeal, and flours. Yum!
Local businesses are great! We are lucky to have many here in central Ohio, but I think my favorite is Snowville Creamery. Their milk only comes from local cows who are grazed on grass; no added anything, and minimally processed. You just can’t go back to the gallon jug of grocery brand special, ever.
They also make incredible yogurt, amazing crème fraîche, and the creamiest whipping cream you’ve ever seen. (Which only comes in half-gallon containers.)
Margo, Thrift at Home says
I’m really out of it – never heard of Fire Cider. I’m very intrigued!
My favorite local shop is our ice cream store downtown. They use local ingredients and have at least 100 flavors (rotating) and it’s obvious they are having fun with it. It’s a happy place!
Here in the SF Bay Area we have many local businesses including CSAs, butcher shops, charcuteries, jam makers, ice creameries, healthy body products companies and so much more. But my favorite for many reasons is Three Stone Hearth, a Community Supported Kitchen and the first of its kind in the country. It was established several years ago as a worker owned cooperative, has an incredible mission statement that they have stuck to and “grown” over time (you can see it on their website) and have moved along from mostly all volunteers from the community doing the food prep and all other work to increasing the numbers of worker/owners all the while delivering the nutrient dense food, supporting local farmers and ranchers and other local businesses and being very environmentally conscious (returnable glass jars, etc.) A very awesome local business.
Where to start?! Grand Rapids, MI has so many great local businesses. Nourish Organic Market and Deli, Rowster Coffee, Love’s Ice Cream, Sip Organic Juice Bar. I think those cover everything a person could need.
Wow! How serendipitous is this post! I migrated to your site last week to check in on recipes and such and found myself instead staring at the lovely label on the right. Though I don’t usually click ads, this one caught my eye and, so, I read the Fire Cider story Was about to dust off my credit card and order, then noticed that my local natural foods store carries it (shout out to Nature’s Corner in NJ). Before I could get there, I chatted it up to see if anyone around has guzzled this would-be elixir, and finally made it to the store today. Fire Cider is SOLD OUT, but, thankfully, will be restocked. In the meantime, anticipation builds…
Jessie, Please read my post below about the Fire Cider controversy. Make your own or buy another brand. Boycott Shire City Fire Cider! What they’ve done in launching “their” product is wrong.
I love Fire Cider – I wish someone in Central Illinois would sell it!
My favorite local business is, hands down, The Garlic Press here in Normal, IL. It’s a kitchen store/market cafe owned and run by four women who are absolutely incredible. Dottie, the owner, is fantastic! When I moved here 10 years ago I wanted to make pasta for a dinner party, but my atlas pasta maker didn’t make it out of the relationship that had just ended and was in another state. The Garlic Press sells them, but they were out of stock. So Dottie loaned me the store pasta maker (they do cooking classes) until the one I ordered came in. So generous. It floored me. I shop there all the time, have gotten to be good friends with some of the women who own the place, and can’t imagine my life here without it…. If you ever get to Bloomington/Normal IL, please come check it out!! (And let me know you’re coming!)
Our most favorite place in the whole world is a local bakery and cafe called Guglhupf. They use local, fresh ingredients, including cheese from right down the road and fresh meats. Plus, all their baked goods are made fresh every day. You just can’t beat a basket of warm crusty bread along side fresh creamy cheese.
Devon Hernandez says
One of my favorite local businesses is our local ice cream shop, Carmen and David’s Creamery, in Lancaster, PA. They make the best ice cream I’ve ever had. They use local ingredients as much as possible, including all of their milk and cream from a local dairy, and all chocolate from a local chocolate factory, Wilbur Chocolate. They serve local-made hot fudge and local pretzels for sundaes. They just got done hosting National Ice Cream For Breakfast Day the first Saturday in February which had a massive turn out, and they encourage patrons to show up in their pj’s. It’s such a fun place to satisfy your cravings. 🙂 thank you for the giveaway, I’ve been dying to try Fire Cider!
You don’t have to send away for it – just hop up to Radiance and get it from Sarah. She makes it herself – pretty much the same recipe, as all herbalist have been using for decades.
Kim G. says
I love shopping local. I actually have two favorite though. One is an ingredients store. I can buy all of my nut flours and rice and spice right here at Molly Bea’s Ingredients in Chesterton, Indiana. But honestly, where my heart lives at a local yarn shop. Sheep’s Clothing in Valparaiso, Indiana. The owner, Paula, feels like your best friend … as do each of the women who “work” in the shop. I put the work in quotes because you never feel as if these ladies are working … it feels like sitting down with good friends, knitting and a cup of coffee or tea!
jen l says
I love our food co-op. I worked there for years, and my favorite part of working there was seeing customers connect with one another. Often, old and new friends alike would stand there, chatting like one doesn’t see in a mainstream grocery store.
Buy your fire cider from a company with morals. Shire city herbals trademarked the generic term fire cider, then telling sellers of it they could no longer use the name, even though it pre-dates their usage. There are plenty of other sellers of the stuff, and plenty of free recipes for it. Shire City Herbals has semt the message that they want to act like a sleazy corporate entity, send a message that ethics matter, by not purchasing from them.
Was just reading about your workshop in the Rowe Camp and Conference Center’s catalog. I googled your blog and BAM can not believe you are talking about Fire Cider. I found it in my local specialty store. I was fascinated by the label itself and that it was in the raw food section, I had no idea what it was exactly. You have re-peeked my curiosity and with a recipe how can I not buy it and try it now ?!?! Thank you!
Oh yes- it’s wonderful! And I’m so glad you saw the Rowe catalog- I’m feeling so excited about that workshop with Marisa. I went to Rowe as a kid, too, and my kids go to the youth camps, so it’s a very special place for me.
Thank-you, Doreen, for bringing to light the issues surround Shire City Fire Cider. Their trademark should be revoked and I was very disappointed to see that Alana is endorsing this product on this blog. Alana, I’m not sure why you’re supporting the people who shamelessly trademarked a traditional herbal remedy they did not invent. Not only did they do this, but are bullying others who use the name to discontinue doing so. Why haven’t you commented on this controversy? You’ve responded to other posts but haven’t said anything about this important issue. You’re still supporting Shire City on this blog. Why? If you’re unaware of the controversy surrounding what the proprietors of Shire City Fire Cider have done, a great summary of the issue, as well as comments from herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, who invented the term “fire cider”, can be found at
Let’s try to look past their amazing label and look at the unethical choices they made when launching their “hip” product.