by 4Squares Residential Group in Partnership with Judi 411
Spring marks change and new beginnings. This month’s Meet Me in Medford guest Clare Flaherty, is embarking on a new adventure herself: Trove Green Provisions, a one-stop-shop for eco-friendly cleaning and sustainable living products. We spent time with Clare recently to learn about her journey to Medford, what she loves about living here, and her involvement in the Hillside business community. What drew you to Medford? You are originally from England, yes? What brought you to the States and Medford in particular? I did it all for love! I met my husband, who is originally from Medford, in college. I was an exchange student at Keene State College in New Hampshire, and we met through a mutual friend whom my husband was visiting. He and I hit it off and continued to date while I was here. I finished my degree back in England, returned to the States on a work visa, and started my career at a production company in Downtown Boston. And then we got married. My husband was born and raised in Medford, and while we lived near the New Hampshire border for many years, we are now living in the house he grew up in. When my in-laws decided to downsize from their Medford home, we bought it from them and have lived in the Hillside neighborhood ever since.
What do you enjoy about your Medford neighborhood? Why do you continue to choose Medford as your home? I love how walkable the whole neighborhood is. I have access to coffee up the street and then woods and the Mystic River down at the bottom. It's also a pleasant walk from Hillside into Medford Square via South Street. There's also a sense of community. People live and work here. It's not a bedroom community where people hang their hats and venture elsewhere for work and play. There's great energy in this part of Medford, and I like the ebb and flow. The students bring a vibrancy, but I also love the summer months, when it's a little quieter. The only downside is how busy Winthrop Street has become, but I've noticed the traffic calming speed bumps on South Street, and I'm hoping we get more of the same on Winthrop. I'd say the best part of Hillside is the business community. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner options are all close by; you can get any meal here. You can also get home projects done by popping into Hillside Hardware, buying beer or wine at the Hillside Wine and Spirits, or getting a facial at the Page Aesthetics. I'm excited about becoming part of Hillside's business community because I am already a regular at many local shops along Boston Avenue.
Yes! Tell us more about Trove Green Provisions, your retail store for eco-friendly skincare and home living supplies! Trove has been a dream in the making for about four years, but its roots run much deeper. Coming from a long line of farmers, my parents and grandparents taught me to be self-sufficient early. My parents instilled in us that if you're going to have a hobby, make it something you can use yourself or give as a gift. I've been making bath and skincare products for years, which I eventually turned into my first business, Elsecar by the Sea.
I've been selling my natural bath and skincare products online, at local craft fairs, and at the Medford Farmer's Market right down the street, for 8 years now. As time went on, I started noticing more people talking about wanting and using natural products and the conversation turning to reducing chemicals in our homes. At the same time, I saw the trend of refilling stores take form across Europe and in England. I'd see companies pop up on my Facebook and Instagram feeds, all of which offered eco-friendly body and home care products in refillable containers.
And that's when I realized: people need the solutions to address climate change to be tangible, so why not help people start with a tiny change, reducing plastic by refilling containers and choosing low waste products. Trove began as an in-home business, and the retail space on Boston Ave is opening on April 22nd, on Earth Day. We're creating an inviting space with a treasure trove of eco-friendly personal care and home cleaning products that allow you to create a sustainable lifestyle. Our products come in refillable containers, so you can bring them back again and again to refill. If one person replaces one plastic bottle a year, we prevent 7,000 bottles of plastic waste. Small changes. Big impact. I'm excited about creating a community space where people can come and learn and talk about green issues and access products that will allow them to live a lower-waste lifestyle.
What are your favorite spots around the city? For folks new to Medford, where are the "hidden gem" spots you enjoy? We have a new puppy, and we go for daily walks around the Mystic River. Sometimes we head down South Street and then back up Mystic Valley Parkway, but our favorite is walking out toward West Medford along the river near Duggar Park. It feels like such a world away. My husband fishes and takes his boat to the Upper Mystic Lakes, another treasured spot for our family. We are huge fans of Wright's Pond in the summer and have been taking our children there since they were small. Again, as a business owner, I'm always amazed at how many family-owned businesses we have in Medford. There are so many Mom-and-Pop-owned businesses, particularly in Hillside. Each neighborhood has pockets of family-owned restaurants. Early in the pandemic, we made a concerted effort to support our local food businesses, and we zoned in on spending as locally as possible, and it wasn't that hard. We've enjoyed so many types of cuisine, and it's been great to become a "regular" patron of local businesses. If your best friend told you they were considering a move to Medford, what would you tell them? I am forever asking my friends to move here! It's close to nature and accessible to so much. It's cosmopolitan; we have people from many backgrounds from all over the world. We're close to Boston, but we have our distinct flavor here in Medford.
I love that we are so close to the airport because it makes it easy for my family to visit from England. When my parents visit, they stay at the hotel in the Square. It's a short drive to get them, and in good weather, it's a beautiful walk by the Condon Shell to our home in the Hillside.
For families, I say that the schools are good. Our children are happy here, we have had such wonderful teachers each year, and we've received tremendous support for our child with special needs. The growing Recreation Department is also a great source of family fun. Most importantly, people here are kind. I find that there's little to no pretentious behavior here. In Medford, we've found a community where we can live, work, and play.
4Squares can think of no better way to celebrate Earth Day than to join Clare on April 22nd for the opening of Trove Green Provisions! You can also order products online at www.trovegreenprovisions.com Like what you’re reading here? Want to know more? Sign up for the 4Squares Medford Newsletter and tune in to more conversations with great Medford neighbors!