Celebrating 4th of July in Roslindale Village

We’re looking forward to the holiday weekend, and these local shops and restaurants have 4th of July specials and menus – check out our holiday roundup:

  • Birch St House & Garden will be open on 4th of July – stop by to check out new deliveries of vintage decor and locally-made jewelry, or stock up on summer hats for kids and gardening supplies.
  • Tony’s Market will be open extra hours Sunday, July 2nd and Monday, July 3rd. They expect to hit record sales for sausages, so call ASAP! Ask about other barbecue items and sandwich platters.
  • Craft Beer Cellar has new summer shipments, as well as keg services for your summer parties and cookouts! And this Thursday, they’re hosting a New Belgium Brewing tasting from 5-7pm.
  • Become a member at LYFE CYCLE this holiday weekend and save! Sign up before July 5th using promo code independence10 and get unlimited RYDES for $89.10/month or RYDE & LYFT for $143.10/month. They are also offering two weeks unlimited for $30 to new students.
  • Blue Star Restaurant will be open on 4th of July – their hours are 7 am – 3 pm daily, and they are located at 11 Corinth St. Plan ahead and bring cash – they don’t take credit or debit cards!

Backyard Stomp Featured Post

Attend the Backyard Stomp

Come show your love and support of the RVMS Farmers Market at the Backyard Stomp fundraiser on July 22nd! Socialize with friends and neighbors under the stars in one of Roslindale’s most beautiful private gardens while enjoying local food and listening to the incredible music of Boston’s best Afro-pop band, Kina Zore! This family-friendly event is open to all. Tickets are $10 (children are free) and all proceeds will benefit your favorite neighborhood farmers market!

Guest Post: Why Target Wants Roslindale

The following blog post is a guest post by Roslindale resident Carter Wilke, who was president of the Board of Roslindale Village Main Street from 2007-2011, currently serves on the RVMS Advisory Board, and is co-author of Changing Places: Rebuilding Community in the Age of Sprawl.

By Carter Wilkie

City sidewalks are under retailed, and suburban highways are over saturated. That’s why a retail war is being waged across the U.S. for the loyalty of urban Millennial shoppers (the children of the Baby Boomers). This contest pits Amazon Prime on one front and Target on another.

Old style suburban malls have already lost the battle. Wal-Mart and other big box retailers are too far removed from this valuable urban demographic to have much of a chance. Whether Amazon or Target wins will shape the retail landscape in city neighborhoods for years to come.

Read a financial report on the health of retail real estate, and you will see analysts declaring the death of outdated shopping centers. Sears, the anchor store of many lower grade malls, is reportedly ready for bankruptcy protection, after losing too much business to catalog clothiers, category killers (think Best Buy for appliances or Lowes for home improvement) and now Amazon Prime.

Amazon is an empire that strikes fear into the heart of every retail business in America large and small, even Wal-Mart, the big box behemoth that is struggling to compete with Amazon for online purchases. Wal-mart has an edge on the ground, with its vast distribution network of stores that have killed off mom and pop retailers and traditional main streets in rural towns. But Amazon dominates online, where the next generation of consumers will spend more money. The winner of this retail war will be the brand that crafts the best “omni-channel” retail strategy — a fancy marketing term for “bricks and clicks” — the best online presence anywhere, backed by the best local distribution network everywhere.

Having bricks and clicks to reach Millennials who live in cities is the reason Target has targeted Roslindale. A presence in zip code 02131 will give Target a beachhead to capture Millennial spending power in Boston, along with its urban format stores in the Fenway and Central Square, Cambridge. Roslindale is filling rapidly with 30-somethings and their young and growing households. These two-income urban families don’t have time or energy to drive to suburbia to shop as much as their parents used to, especially in an age when the convenience of Amazon Prime is only one click away.

To compete with Amazon Prime, Target’s smaller urban stores will become nodes in a new model to capture online shoppers. Click on Target’s web site, make your purchase, and it will be shipped to your neighborhood store for delivery. Want to make a return? Skip the post office and take it to Target, where the retailer hopes you will spend more money on your return visit.

What does this mean for city main streets? For one, it means Target will offer merchandise in categories not currently captured by local retailers other than dollar stores: housewares, clothing, sporting goods, toys and baby supplies — the kind of goods that urban shoppers must drive to shopping centers, or go online, to buy. Target claims to give local managers flexibility to adjust the retail mix to suit area demographics. A location with lots of young families can expect aisles stocked with baby supplies.

At the same time, however, Target will try to capture more of the shopper’s wallet by offering groceries and medicines, as Wal-Mart does under one roof. This means more competition for local grocers and independent pharmacies. Some will bemoan the arrival of another chain. Others, like me, will remember our childhoods in the 1970s when every main street had its Woolworth five and dime. Some consumers will welcome the new retail competition. Others, like me, will continue to buy groceries at Village Market, the anchor store that brings more foot traffic to our sidewalks than any other business.  Without the Village Market, our district would be half empty.

The net effect of the new Target, I predict, will be to strengthen Roslindale’s retail economy by becoming another anchor store at the lower Washington Street end of the district. The challenge, and opportunity, for neighboring businesses will be how to lure Target shoppers into their front doors. 

Online retailing doesn’t offer local businesses that opportunity. Every purchase I make on Amazon Prime siphons dollars out of the community and reduces foot traffic on our sidewalks. Foot traffic is vital for mom and pop shops to thrive in a walkable main street district.

To attract that kind of foot traffic, enclosed malls are being turned inside out. Look at Legacy Place in Dedham and how it seeks to mimic a walkable main street environment, albeit in a sea of asphalt. Roslindale Village is the real thing, that rare kind of walkable place sought out by Millenials in the 21st century.

Amazon Books and Amazon Kindle killed off most of the independent bookstores in America. In the next retail war, Target’s urban format stores may be main street’s best defense against Amazon Prime. Consumers have choices of where to shop. Collectively, they will determine what our communities will look like in a generation. Your shopping habits, where you spend your money, will decide which places ultimately win in the end.

Neighborhood Happenings: Boston Cheese Cellar Hosts Neal’s Yard Dairy Event

Cheese Tasting with Boston Cheese Cellar and Neal’s Yard Dairy

On Monday, June 19th, Adam Shutes, the owner of Roslindale Village’s Boston Cheese Cellar, invited some of his most committed customers to be a part of a unique customer appreciation event: a cheese tasting with Neal’s Yard Dairy.

Neal’s Yard Dairy and its founder, Randolph Hodgson, were instrumental in the revitalization of traditional British cheese making in the 1980’s, and Adam, a Brit himself, was excited to welcome Karim Lahsinat from Neal’s Yard Dairy for this rare public event in Boston.

“Neal’s Yard Dairy is now a global brand and success story on what can be achieved when attention is paid to quality and not quantity,” said Adam.

Once a thriving industry, traditional British cheese making was devastated by WWII milk rationing. Neal’s Yard Dairy opened a shop in the Covent Garden district of Westminster in 1979 and worked with traditional cheese makers to preserve traditional cheese making, improve quality, and provide market access for cheeses like West Country Cheddar, Lancashire, and Cheshire.

“People have a preconceived idea no cheese is being made in the UK. After WWII, cheese disappeared,” and there was a “big push for big blocks of supermarket cheese, but traditional farmhouse cheese making continued,” Karim told the Roslindale residents gathered at the event.

Boston Cheese Cellar has the following Neal’s Yard Dairy cheeses: Cornish Kern, Keen’s Cheddar, Gorwydd’s Caerphilly, Sparkenhoe Red Leicester, and Colston Bassett Stilton.

Asked which he’s most recommend, Adam said, “It’s hard to recommend one over the other – they are all so different. The Stilton is just simply the best blue cheese available. I love the Keen’s too, with its grassy complexity, it’s what real cheddar should taste like.”

This event follows a string of exciting happenings in Roslindale: Opening Day of the RVMS Farmers Market, a vibrant street mural by WalkUP Roslindale, the RVMS Pride Picnic, and next — a spooky film screening by the Roslindale Film Series of the original Night of the Living Dead inside the Substation building.

Boston Cheese Cellar also hosts many events, from their cheesemaking classes to their monthly #AcousticOnMain music and small plates series, Sound and Provision.


Photos by Lara Kimmerer.


Team Adam Supports RVMS

Team Adam in Adams Park

“Roslindale Village has a lot more than just Adams.

It has the most dynamic farmers market in the city, a vibrant restaurant scene, an urban business district close by a world-renowned arboretum and a newly renovated historic substation poised to house a unique family restaurant operated by one of Boston’s stellar chefs.

At the center of all of this is Roslindale Village Main Street (RVMS), and that’s why Team Adam supports RVMS.”

– Adam Rosi-Kessel (WalkUP Roslindale), Adam Shutes (Boston Cheese Cellar), Adam Neves (kindergarten superness), Adam Rogoff (Roslindale Wants to Play), Adam Gaffin (Universal Hub), and Adam Hirsh (Exodus Bagels), pictured to the right in Adams Park, Roslindale.

Father’s Day Specials in Roslindale Village

Celebrate Father’s Day with Local Gifts and Goodies

Some of your favorite bakeries and shops have gifts and treats for this weekend’s Father’s Day holiday:

  • Fornax Bread Company is making hamburger buns and hot dog rolls for Father’s Day cookouts, and will have special Father’s Day-themed sugar cookies as well.
  • Also for cookouts, Tony’s Market Roslindale has sausages (but get orders in ASAP), as well as hamburger, steaks, lamb kabobs, grass-fed beef, ribs, and prepared platters and other foods for entertaining.
  • The RVMS Summer Farmers Market is full of food and drink vendors for fresh, local produce, meats, cheese, eggs, pasta, herbs, cider, and event seedlings and flowers.
  • Solera, A Shrine to Wine has gift certificates, plus a selection of wine recommendations based on your dad’s personality. Buy one bottle and get the second one 10% off.
  • Craft Beer Cellar Roslindale will have gift boxes, plus their usual wide selection of great beer, sake, wine and cider.
  • Birch St House & Garden has a selection of gifts for dads, such as fun socks, picture frames, 02131 money clips, barware, and more. 

RVMS + Compiled Feedback for a Small-Format Target

A Letter to Target Representatives from RVMS

Target Real Estate 
1000 Nicollet Mall, TPN-12L
Minneapolis. MN 55403

Re: Small-format Target store in Roslindale

Dear Aaron Hemquist and Mark Hokanson,  

Thank you again for proactively connecting with RVMS to ensure that there was an opportunity for feedback from and conversation with Roslindale residents and business owners. As you heard at the meeting, our community has a huge amount of love, dedication, and loyalty to offer in our business district – and this is what makes our neighborhood special.

We know and understand that the lease was signed and finalized for a city-sized Target to land in Roslindale at 4165 Washington Street (the Staples building) in March 2018, and that it will be approximately 17% the size of a regular-sized Target. As we stated at the community meeting on May 18, supporting our existing small business community continues to be the priority for RVMS. Our primary objective for the meeting was to allow our local business owners and residents an opportunity to provide Target representatives with direct feedback. Specifically, we appreciate Target’s willingness to solicit feedback and ideas for what kind of products and merchandise the Roslindale community wishes to see in the new store next year.

In the interest of keeping an open dialogue and providing that sought after feedback, RVMS believes there is a significant financial opportunity to provide products which are currently lacking in Roslindale Village to the community as a whole. Based on resident feedback from this meeting and from our small business owners, we advocate and request the following:

    • RVMS would prefer to see less emphasis on (or even elimination of) food and produce, and more emphasis on clothing, children’s items (toys, clothes, school uniforms, art supplies, diapers), party supplies, office and print supplies, and home and kitchen items. These product changes will better complement existing businesses in Roslindale Village and serve the needs of the greater community.


    • We ask Target to support the Roslindale community and be a good neighbor, which translates into:


    • Supporting efforts to enhance walkability and bicycle access for customers traveling to Target on the already congested Washington Street corridor.


    • Working with RVMS to install wayfinding signage on Washington Street that direct people toward the independent shops and services in our business district.


    • Providing a dedicated RVMS informational display space in the store to engage and attract Target visitors to Roslindale.


    • Actively participating within the Roslindale community either through event involvement, event sponsorship, or direct financial charitable contributions to RVMS.


    • Actively seeking out and hiring local residents for this store, as well as buying and purchasing materials locally.


We look forward to discussing our proposals with you in more detail, and to ultimately welcoming you as a productive, inclusive and considerate community member.

Roslindale residents and business owners made it quite clear during the meeting about their passion and engagement in the community. At RVMS we reflect this passion for supporting and advocating for our local shopkeepers.

Again, we appreciate the time you took to proactively reach out to Roslindale Village Main Street, for this very productive and informative neighborhood conversation and look forward to our ongoing interaction.


RVMS Board of Directors