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Pick up items like Squamscot Cream Soda at Route 102 New Hampshire’s Finest Marketplace. Emelia Attridge photo.




Route 102 New Hampshire’s Finest Marketplace

Where: 225 Derry Road, Litchfield
Visit: facebook.com/nhfinestmarket




Finest market on Route 102
Litchfield marketplace all about NH products

09/18/14



 Farmers markets are great, but they’re not available every day, year round — which is what prompted Elisa Badeau and Kimberly Goodwin to open Route 102 New Hampshire’s Finest Marketplace in Litchfield earlier this summer. 

Badeau said she loved visiting farmers markets but wanted to be able to buy her favorite products at any time, not just a certain afternoon. Specifically, Badeau was searching for local vendors’ products for a gift basket business. Both Badeau and Goodwin found themselves looking for more natural products and an intentional shopping experience. 
“I had to go out of my way. Shipping was not feasible to get the product that I wanted,” Badeau said. “I just realized there needs to be one central location.”
Unlike a farmers market, the store has its merchandise arranged not by vendor, but by product. There are sections of the store organized with a variety of health and beauty products, from lotions to natural deodorants and toothpastes, coolers with fresh produce, locally raised beef and dairy and shelves of spices and seasonings. The inventory also includes organic flowers, handmade birdhouses, jewelry, pet accessories and more.
“Only New Hampshire businesses are featured in the store, and there are about 90 vendors to date that we’re featuring. We don’t limit any type of category,” Badeau said. “They [customers] don’t know what to expect until they come inside. We have people that are just passing by; we have people that have traveled over 30 miles to come for raw milk.”
In addition to gifts and food vendors, Route 102 New Hampshire’s Finest Marketplace carries prepared foods from local restaurants. Badeau has started working with another contact in Litchfield who will organize bistro-style items with ingredients sourced by local farms.
“Ultimately that’s what I wanted, so we can have a complete exchange from a farm-to-table sort of approach, as natural as possible,” she said.
She’s also thinking of new ways to help local vendors, both large and small, to market their products, including researching the process of licensing a commercial kitchen space within the building. Vendors also visit the store with events where customers can try samples and meet the small-business owners.
“I like that exchange of the farmers markets, so we always welcome product owners to come in, to sample, meet the individual, the story behind the product, and the creativity,” Badeau said. “I found that’s where I really appreciated meeting businesses at farmers markets.”
Badeau is still making gift baskets, but now they’re filled with New Hampshire-made products from her own store.
“We want to be that, let’s call it a year-round farmers market,” Badeau said. “That’s the piece that we really want to spread is to give back locally, for everybody to understand that we’re working as hard as possible to put the funds into the pockets of businesses that want to grow, that have those challenges because they may still be working that full-time job.” 
 
As seen in the September 18, 2014 issue of the Hippo.





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