Business

How Groceries Became A Part of the Menu

As grocery stores become centers of stress, with lines of customers forming outside of their doors, the City of Somerville decided to pass an order allowing restaurants to sell groceries on April 18. The choice is meant to relieve several different pressures from the Somerville community. “This is a good example of how in a […]


The ‘Death Zone’ For Harvard Square Businesses

It’s a little unnerving to see what are usually the busiest spots in the city so sparsely occupied. But with the spread of COVID-19 and a state- and nation-wide quarantine in effect, this is a new normal in Harvard Square.  On March 11, Harvard University and other local colleges like MIT, Lesley University, and Cambridge […]


Veggie Galaxy Raises $15,000 for Staff

For Adam Penn and Katherine Tanner, the married co-owners of Veggie Galaxy, the decision to shut down operations on March 14 happened almost literally overnight. “We were open on a Saturday night—this was kind of when things were ramping up early, in terms of the virus and people’s perceptions of it—and we were still pretty […]


Students Launch Volunteer Service to Help Small Businesses

In 2019, Cambridge-based student Daniel Wang helped a local barber build a website. Since then, he has been interested in connecting students with small businesses in need of support—but hasn’t always known how to put this idea into practice. That changed when the coronavirus outbreak began.  “When the coronavirus crisis hit, that was when I […]


Thank You for Getting Us Through March, a Plea for April

First and foremost, thank you to all who have donated to our March fundraiser, supported us on Patreon, shared our posts, read our articles, participated in #TheFrontStepsProject, and given us words of encouragement these past few weeks. Your support truly means the world to us, and is the reason we have been able to keep […]


COVID-19 Could Be ‘Armageddon’ for Small Businesses

In a business sector that’s famed for its tight margins, the owner of Olde Magoun’s Saloon is not mincing words about how bad things are right now. In fact, Greg Coughlin has one word for it: Armageddon  “The current situation is dire for the restaurant industry in Boston and Somerville,” Coughlin says. “Most restaurants won’t […]


Neighborhoods Collaborate On Grassroots Relief for Main Streets Report

It’s no surprise that small businesses are being hit—hard—by social distancing policies. Many have announced closures, while others have tried to transition to virtual models of their product. Some restaurants are temporarily shuttering, others are trying to lean on take-out and delivery—perhaps even for the first time. But a common thread throughout all of these […]


‘Everything Has Changed’: Breweries Move To Packaging

Remnant Brewing is trying to activate a new distribution model. Since the Somerville brewery’s taproom can no longer be open to the public—an effect of the novel coronavirus outbreak—management is moving to sell more packaged beer, which customers can pick up at the Bow Market location. Much of Remnant’s sales now come from their production […]


Somerville Delivers Gets Restaurants On The Same Page

According to Jessica Eshleman’s notes, the idea first went out from the Somerville Chamber of Commerce’s Dining & Nightlife Group last Tuesday: A joint effort to create a web page linking to all of the city’s restaurants that were offering delivery and take-out during the COVID-19 pandemic. To say the idea got traction would be […]


‘That was very fragile’: J.J. Gonson on Closing ONCE Somerville, and Refocusing on Cuisine en Locale

“I’m really sad,” says JJ Gonson, president and “proprietrix” of Cuisine en Locale—a Cambridge-founded, Somerville-based personal catering and delivery service that focuses on fresh and local ingredients. “I miss my staff.” A few weekends ago, she and that staff were hosting an event at ONCE Somerville, the two-room event hall that’s also part of her […]



La Brasa’s Daniel Bojorquez is ‘still in shock’

A couple of weeks ago, chef-owner Daniel Bojorquez and his staff at La Brasa and Fat Hen were excited. For all that was going on with the coronavirus, there was reason for optimism: They were on the verge of spring, graduation and wedding season was imminent, everyone could feel the energy. Then things started changing […]