Meridian Industrial


2024-02-01 | Payton North


It’s February – and we all know what that means. Grocery store aisles, pharmacies and home goods stores are all flooded with magenta, blush and scarlet hues. Heck – even pet stores have Valentines Day themed toys and treats. Coffee shops come up with love-related beverages. Restaurant’s theme dinners.

While yes – Valentine’s Day is a “holiday” based around consumerism – I don’t see anything wrong with a little celebration of the people you love. Even if that’s simply in the form of telling someone you appreciate them or hugging them a little tighter. You do not need to spend a ton of money on a bunch of goodies and treats to get your point across.

Around this time of year, I begin to plan my annual girl’s weekend. Each year in May or June I host my closest girlfriends for a weekend – there are about six to eight of us depending on who can attend. I always take about five months to plan the event out – I love hosting. As my social media pages were loaded with marketing for Valentines Day and “Galentines Day,” (the female-friend focused version of the holiday,) I thought of how much I appreciate the group of women I am surrounded by. I’ve been friends with some of the girls since elementary and middle school, with a few I’ve become close with in the past 10 years. Each one of them is compassionate, smart, hardworking and genuine.

This past year has been a tough one. I’ve leaned on each of them at one point or another – whether it be for a listening ear, advice, a shoulder to cry on or as a distraction with a fun night out.

So, I thought – what better way to theme our girl’s weekend than around love – our love for each other. We will be celebrating “Galentines Day,” in June. Silly? Yes, probably. But why not offer a little thank you to the friends who have continually picked me up when I’m down?

If you are like me and you’re thinking you could take this month as a hint to show your friends a little love, we’re featuring some great businesses in Go Local to help you do so.

Just this past weekend I went with a friend for breakfast and coffee at Saw Dust Coffee House in Sturbridge, where we plopped down at a table for four and a half hours catching up. Saw Dust’s atmosphere is warm and inviting, and the food offerings are delicious. We both ordered avocado toasts for breakfast, and later went back to the counter to order pastries. Saw Dust was the perfect venue for us to enjoy each other’s company without feeling pressure to get up and head out after an hour.

Looking for a more traditional means to say you appreciate someone? Consider stopping into Marueen’s Sweet Shoppe for the most delicious treats. I’ve purchased Maureen’s chocolate covered Oreos on many occasions, and let me tell you, they do not disappoint. She has some seriously decadent Valentine’s Day-themed treats that anyone would love, and the freshness and quality her shop provides is second to none.

If sweet treats are not your friend’s interest and you’d rather have a casual bite to eat – head right on over to Aurora’s Pizza, which is so much more than pizza. Specializing in Guatemalan meals and specialty pizzas, there’s something for everyone on Aurora’s menu between their salads, bowls, grinders and breakfast offerings.

If you’re short on time and want to send a note to someone near or far to let them know you’re thinking of them – look no further than picking up a specialty card from the folks at Guild Art Supply, Big Wheel Press and Pierce’s Frame Shop. The storefronts have much to offer with cards, but also sells plenty of supplies such as markers, paint brushes, fountain pens and items of interest to those who enjoy crafting as well as fine art.

February may be the traditional month to spread love, but I am looking forward to showing appreciation to my friends and family this month, and in the months to come.

Thank you for reading,
-Payton North, Executive Editor

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