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Brought to you by Groton Local First

As busy as people are, they might not have time to stop and find out what’s actually inside the stores they pass by every day. So Groton Local First has done some exploring of its own and uncovered dozens of products and services that you might not expect to find at five of the town’s stores.

We encourage you to take a look at the choices that exist right in your home town. Save gas, support Groton’s businesses, and always think local first!

1) Blackbird Framing, 491 Main Street, Suite E — Did you know that Blackbird Framing is about a lot more than just framing? You’ll find pretty stained glass picture frames, botanical prints, even lamps and mirrors for your home decorating needs. The store also offers calligraphy and engraving services. Another nice surprise: Each guest is personally greeted at the front door by Lucy the dog. http://www.blackbirdframing.com.

2) Clover Farm Market, 9 West Main St., West Groton — Did you know you can find everything you need for a Mother’s Day picnic right at Clover Farm? Bread, imported olives, cheeses, salami, wine and homemade whoopie pies for dessert. Oh, and even the Adirondack chairs to sit on, in pretty pastel colors. Speaking of desserts, Clover Farm is becoming known for its Squanicookies, a store recipe of oatmeal, pecans, cranberries and chocolate chips. Another surprise: Italian foods just like you would find in the North End, two-foot-long bucatini pasta, homemade Sicilian gravy and many others.

3) Moison Ace Hardware, 143 Main St., Groton — Did you know that your local hardware store recently added Carhartt clothing, a highly recognized name that’s popular for both casual wear and work around the house? Another nice surprise: You don’t have to leave Groton any more to purchase Benjamin Moore paint. Moison Hardware also carries a huge selection of Sterilite products, which are made right in Townsend. And while you’re there, you can also get your propane tank filled.

4) Natural Market, 148 Main Street — Did you know that this gem of a store has its own deli, making small batches of healthy, homemade soups, salads and sandwiches every day? Also, it recently added a large section of organic produce, far more than you’ll find at a chain supermarket. Another surprise — for all those people who are being diagnosed with celiac disease — a wide selection of wheat- and gluten-free products. Aside from products, the market offers monthly classes — the next one is a cooking class to be held May 20 and 27 from 6:15-7:30 p.m. http://www.thenaturalmarket.com.

5) noa jewelry, fine handcrafts & gifts, 157 Main Street — Did you know that noa features the jewelry and handcrafts of 165 local artists — and that many are from Groton and the surrounding towns? That’s more than Sharon Arts Center and almost as many as the N.H. League of Craftsmen’s Annual Fair! Another surprise: The store has a professional jeweler doing jewelry and watch repair, everything from resetting diamonds to fixing broken clasps. In its back room, noa has an adorable selection of baby items, all handmade, and cute children’s gifts and jewelry — even funky toys from Kikkerland and kids’ musical instruments from around the world. http://www.noagifts.com

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