While driving on Route 62 from Maynard, MA to Hudson, MA, my bestie and I both spotted an adorable building in Stow, MA with a big sign out front that read, "Nan's." High on spontaneity, we decided to pull into the parking lot and check it out.
Could this building be any more New England-looking?
The barn with the red trim was so charming and inviting.
We weren't sure what exactly we'd stumbled upon - was it a restaurant? A market? A boutique? It turns out, a little bit of everything.
As we pulled open the front door, the first thing we noticed was a small freezer with pints of ice cream from New City Microcreamery in Hudson. I knew instantly I was going to love this place.
Pro tip: they also have ice cream pies from New City in their larger freezer section.
Directly next to the ice cream was a wooden crate marked, "Champagne Secret Stash." I think I've found my people!
They also have a large selection of organic and biodynamically farmed wine. I learned all about that process when I worked on the PR team for Alit Wine out of the Willamette Valley in Oregon.
They even offer a wine CSA for pick up.
For the beer drinkers, they have a wall of craft beers where you can assemble your own four pack. That's pretty rare. You usually have to buy at least four cans of one type of beer. Here you can pull individual cans.
In the center of the space is a little gift shop. There are items for plant lovers, for kids, and a wall of cookbooks for budding chefs.
My bestie pointed out a book she thought I might like called Southern Girl Meets Vegetarian Boy by Damaris Phillips. I almost went home with it when I remembered . . . I don't cook.
Just beyond the gift section are the freezer cases. My bestie is gluten-free and we found a cornucopia of amazing GF options in the freezer, including deep dish pizza and portobello and gorgonzola ravioli.
At the very back, Michelle Barrett of Kind Goods in Maynard has her own designated area. I recognized it right away, because we had just been there about 30 minutes before!
On the lower level, there's a dessert section with cookies and chocolates. There's also a large counter where you can order drinks, smoothies, sandwiches, soups, salads, grain bowls and a bunch of prepared food items.
We decided to get hot drinks. A mulled cider for me, and the Caramel Apple Muffin latte for my co-pilot.
While we waited, we were eyeing their brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale salad with manchego cheese, apple and fennel salad, tomato and artichoke bisque, and a grilled cheese on sourdough. If I lived closer, I am positive I would be at Nan's multiple nights a week.
While you may not have an occasion to head to Stow, MA, it's worth a drive from Boston just to experience this food.
Nan's is super close to Honey Pot Hill Orchards, so perhaps when you go apple picking in the fall, you can add this as a stop on your drive.
To keep up with seasonal specials, follow @NansMarket on Instagram.