Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Art's Specialties—Open and Delicious!

I thought to myself, If they have smoked salmon cream cheese, I will be in a happy place. I walked in to Art's Specialties, the new specialty food shop that just opened on Nason Street that I had been hearing so much about.

The man working immediately stepped forward to welcome me. I asked about the cream cheese. Smiling, he pointed it right out to me. I picked up the package to inspect it. "To Die For" was the brand name, and before I even had a chance to ask, he confirmed what I had heard. "That is made right here in Maynard over on Main Street." People had told me that. How could I not have known? Can you believe it? This stuff gets sold all over the place, but had not been sold right here at home. I suppose it's because we never had the kind of place that would carry it. Now we do.

I walked through the shop, more and more delighted with every step I took. Alessandro let me sample some jelly. Among basic flavors, you could get beer jelly and wine jelly, which I tried. They were good, and I could see gifting them to someone I like. Then I sampled some lemon pepper olive oil. I could smell the lemon. The oil was tasty and light.

Other things you'll find: tea in bulk, a wall of hot sauces, spices, olives, appetizer sausages, prosciutto, cheeses, specialty vinegars, Mexican chocolate, bulk nuts, crackers, and more. I hear that they're going to try and get a bread supplier, so we might also have crusty loaves in our futures. Price wise, this is a specialty shop with many imported items, so don't expect discount store prices.

After gathering up a handful of items, I made my way to the checkout, where Alessandro (the manager) and I chatted for a bit. This is such an important part of any Maynard transaction for me. Yes, I'm there to buy something, but I'm also there to be part of something, part of the community, I guess. He held up his end beautifully.

Things I would suggest for them—tasting events! A vinegar tasting event—teach me about vinegar. Same for olive oil. A hot sauce tasting would be challenging, but might be amusing.

You can keep track of them on Facebook, but you should really just make your way downtown. If you're reading this blog, it's likely you live here in Maynard, so you're not much more than a mile from their door.

Right now, the store hours are Monday through Saturday 10:00–8:00, Sunday 12:00–8:00, but once they've been here for a little bit they'll probably tweak their hours.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for sending the photos of some of their very special items and olive oils and vinegars, my favorites.
      Alessandro is especially knowledgeable and helpful in sharing his love of the foods. He has a very good depth of information on the wines as well. Because he is from Italy, he has insights into the various imported
      food products as well as love for food and wine. A must stop for foodies and those just learning.

  2. Is this on Main Street or Nason Street? Their website says Nason and your article says Main.

    1. Thanks for the catch! I've made the change.

  3. I'm confused about who makes the cream cheese! :-)

    1. There's a business (To Die For Cheeses and Spreads) that is located on Main St., but it's behind the other businesses. I think if you take River St. from Main, and then take a left after the cleaners, you'd find it back there. It used to be the location of a catering service. Was it Currier and Chives???