Cool Stuff Happening Over at Elmer’s While Rob Lies Around in Bed All Day and People Have to Bring Him Soup!

Notes from Nan: The Campaign Heats Up!
BY HF Contributing Writer, Nan Parati


(Male voice in ominous overtones):

Last week Rob Taft made allegations that Nan Parati was loose with her change.

Rob Taft said that he was “used to dealing with change.”

Well Rob Taft has seen a change all right: Rob Taft went from being a healthy, up-right walking man to a weakling, stricken with the flu. Rob Taft lies around in bed all day and people have to bring him soup. What kind of leader lies in bed all day? A weak leader, that’s what kind.

(Female Cheerful voice):

Nan Parati has had to work all of Rob’s shifts for him for the last two days and no one sees that trend changing! She’ll probably have to work all his shifts for him all the way through February 5th, which incidentally, is voting day!

Vote for Nan Parati for President of the United States! Because, as Rob Taft found out, some change isn’t good!

I’m Nan Parati and I approve this message.


Hey guess what! For Valentine’s Day we’re going to have a special Thursday night dinner on February 14th! (We’ll also have our regularly scheduled dinner on Friday, February 15th, but without the added love.)  Our Valentine’s Day Dinner will be Reservation Only.  Call us at (413) 628-4003 to make your reservations.


Dinner THIS Friday night is going to be centered on Citrus—we want you to not only be healthy, but we also know that citrus just makes people happy! (That’s a scientific fact, you know! I just tested it by eating a Clementine, and I am MUCH happier now than I was when I was writing about Valentine’s Day!)

So, for our mid-winter dinner this week, we’re serving:

  • Grilled, and Marinated
  • Lemon Chicken Breast over
  • Roasted Cauliflower & Olive-Couscous Salad with a
  • Salad of Fieldgreens, Oranges and Goat cheese with our Elmer’s-Made Salad


Because Rob is sick (and just lying around watching movies all day) we have no Grocery Talk with Rob this week. But here’s something we have:


Back in November, I attended a conference that was organized by leaders in the Natural Foods Industry. (You may wonder why in the world I was invited? Because I own Elmer’s, that’s why! Elmer’s is getting ready to organize a hostile take-over of Whole Foods Market. You may notice some changes around here afterward. — Hey look! Eating Clementines makes you a lot funnier, too!)

Anyway, they did invite me and I learned some pretty great things.

One of the speakers was Chris Jordan, a photographer who photographs American consumption. (Not the kind where you cough a lot and die—the other kind where you buy a lot of stuff and throw it all away and then, ultimately die because there’s no place on the planet to live.)

To see what he does, go to and look at his photography exhibit called, “Running the Numbers, An American Self-Portrait.” It’s truly shocking.

Here’s one of his pictures:

(c) Chris Jordan

It’s of plastic bottles. It depicts how many plastic bottles are used in the United States every five minutes: 2 million.

What Chris does is to find out the statistics about American waste habits and he photographs that many of something to show us in pictures what we’re up to. (He photographs a certain number of bottles, then uses Photoshop to put together a photograph that shows the total number of discarded items. In this case, this is a picture of exactly 2 million plastic bottles. At his website he shows you the close-ups so that you can see each individual bottle.

Here’s another good one that relates to us; this is how many plastic bags are used in the US every five seconds: 60,000.(c) Chris Jordan

So, ever since I went to the conference, I’ve been trying to figure out how we can sell everything we have here at Elmer’s without using any packaging whatsoever (Hold out your hands and we’ll give you some milk . . . ).

And so far, we still need some packaging. We thought about not selling water in bottles anymore, but some people really want to take water with them when they’re hiking and things, but here’s something we can do:

Bring your Nalgene (or other water bottle) with you and we will fill it up for you, no charge for that. Sure it’s great to sell water, but we think it’s better to take a few of those plastic bottles out of the horizon. Some people have suggested we print canvas bags with the Elmer’s logo on it and encourage people to use those instead of paper or plastic bags. I thought about doing that, but that would mean manufacturing more crap in the name of ecology, and I think there may be too much stuff manufactured already. So, I think better would be for you guys to just bring canvas bags from other stores with you and use those, instead! We do recycle paper bags, already and are trying to use fewer and fewer paper bags anyway. We do still have some bags, in case you forget to bring a bag, but we support people bringing their own as often as they can!

And here’s something new and cool we’re doing: Shampoo and Conditioner in Bulk! We sell the Kathy’s Family line of skin-care products that is made right over there in Plainfield and, beginning next week, we will have her Prairie Therapy Shampoo and Conditioner in bulk to sell! Bring in your own container (or hold out your hands) and we’ll fill ‘er up and charge you accordingly! Not only organic, not only local, but in bulk, as well! Whole Foods Market, we’ll crush you yet! (I’m just kidding. We like Whole Foods Market.)

So there we are.


At Elmer’s we’re re-upping our Sunday Afternoon Interesting Talk Series. These are talks given by local people who know a lot about what they’re talking about. They are on the dates specified below, are free to anyone who would like to come and begin at 3pm.

Sports Talk with Howard Bryant on Sunday, February 10th.
Not only is Howard one of Ashfield’s most recent new residents, he’s also a senior sportswriter for the Washington Post, and appears regularly on the ESPN programs The Sports Reporters and Outside the Lines. He is a regular contributor to NPR on Saturday morning’s Weekend Edition with Scott Simon. His books are “Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston” and “Juicing the Game: Drugs, Power and the Fight for the Soul of Major League Baseball.” He doesn’t only know baseball, but all sports, and his talk will be the Sunday after he returns from covering the Super Bowl.

Then, get down to business with Money Talk with John Perkins
Ashfield Resident John Perkins CFP® is a fee-only Certified Financial Planner (CFP) with Compass Planning Associates. He has been awarded the CFP® designation from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. He has also completed the Financial Planning Association Residency Program. John is active in the financial planning community, including the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) and the Financial Planning Association (FPA).

Sunday Feb. 17th: Knowing Your IRAs – pros & cons
This talk will discuss the different types of Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), who is eligible, how much you can contribute, is this my best option, what type of investments should I use, tax deductibility and more.

March 9th: Do you Know What & How Your Planner Charges
There are three main compensation models in financial planning, Fee-Only, fee-based and commission. If you are not familiar with exact differences between these, and you are interested in working with a financial planner or already are, it is in your best interest to know. We will discuss the three different models, the different share classes (A, B, C, etc.) that indicate how a planner may be receiving compensation from you and the expense ratio that all mutual funds have & how much the can differ widely.

March 30th: Organizing and Simplifying All of Those Accounts
Many people have numerous accounts, including IRAs, 401ks, 403b and many other types of accounts at various providers. I am a big believer in simplifying and organizing accounts into the fewest places possible to achieve your goals, with the account services & features you need and with the fewest account statements as possible. We will discuss different providers, such as Fidelity, Vanguard, TIAA-CREF, Schwab, T. Rowe Price and online savings accounts. Life is too short to be digging through a handful of statements, mailings and emails each month from all those account providers.

And then there’s Mardi Gras! Again!
This year we’re having our ball the Saturday after actual Mardi Gras itself (although that’s probably not too big a deal up here) with Eilen Jewell and her band! Elmer’s has moved into the bigger-time with Eilen and her band and the event will be held at Ashfield’s Town Hall, upstairs. If you don’t know her, her style is blues-country and just great. Kind of a road-house style with a guitar player who reminds you at times of Dick Dale and his surf guitar style of the 60s. You can dance, or you can just listen and tap your feet. It’s gonna be great! It’s Saturday night, February 9th at Ashfield’s Town Hall from 7 – 11 pm. ($)

For dinner we’ll be serving that night (right at Town Hall)

  • Our Crawfish Pasta
  • Muffulettas (Sandwiches—both meat and vegetarian)
  • And Shrimp Etouffe!
  • Call us at 628-4003 for details!

See you around and everywhere!

Big Elmer

3 Comments on “Cool Stuff Happening Over at Elmer’s While Rob Lies Around in Bed All Day and People Have to Bring Him Soup!

  1. Thank you. I left a message at the store for Nan. If you here from her please give my email to her.

  2. Hi Sondra,

    Visit Elmer’s website at I’m sure you’ll find a phone number there and can call the store to get in touch with her.

  3. Hi I am trying to get a hold of Nan Parati.
    I am a designer and I would like ti speak to her about my graphics. Can you help me get intouch please? Thank you Sondra

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