Jars on Vacation – Western Massachusetts Version

June 1, 2011(updated on April 24, 2023)
iced coffee in a jar

Every year since we’ve been together, Scott and I have gone off on a Memorial Day Weekend vacation. The last three years, we escaped to Lancaster County, PA for a bit of clean air and green views. I was always particularly charmed by that destination because Lancaster happens to be a hotbed for home canning (we have the Amish and Mennonite communities to thank for that).

so many jars!

This year, instead of heading west to Lancaster, we pointed the car towards Northampton, MA. Some of our dear friends moved there from Philly back in March and we felt it only right to scope out their new digs and help them break in their guest room. Happily, the Northampton area did not lack for jars. Here’s just a bit of what I spotted.

jar utensil holders

These first three photos were all taken at The Roost, an amazingly wonderful cafe at the corner of Market and Bridge Streets in Northampton, MA. They use jars for everything there, which I love. They also happen to serve seriously good coffee. We stopped there for a brief rest after parading through multiple used bookstores (for Scott) and junk stores (for me) and my only wish was that I could have stayed a bit longer. I long for a cafe like this one to open in Philadelphia. I couldn’t find a website for Roost, but here’s a blog post from a neighboring shop (Sticks and Bricks) about the design and construction of the cafe.

jars at the co-op

Jars ready to be used for bulk purchases at the Brattleboro, VT Co-op. They were pre-marked with the tare to make it easy for the cashiers.

herbs at the Co-op

Jars filled with herbs for sale at the Northampton Co-op. How great that they’re using some vintage bailing wire jars.

Marisa gets some maple syrup in a jar

And finally, a bonus photo by Scott, of me dispensing bulk maple syrup into a pint jar at the Brattleboro, VT Co-op. As you can see, it brought me great quantities of joy.

Okay, so maybe not quite as many jars as in Lancaster, but still, more than you might otherwise think.

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30 thoughts on "Jars on Vacation – Western Massachusetts Version"

  • Hey, you were at my local co-op! I have so many jars of bulk goods from there in my pantry 🙂
    Hope you enjoyed your time in the Pioneer Valley and environs.

    1. I LOVED the Pioneer Valley and my Subaru was quite pleased to be in the company of so many of her brothers and sisters.

  • I had breakfast with my son in Vancouver BC this morning – at a very funky mexican restaurant called Bandidas Taqueria. Nummmy food indeed, and what really caught my heart when we first sat down were the two pint canning jars with fresh water that the waiter brought us when he brought the menus. the jars were DIFFERENT kinds of pints, too.

    1. Because we were visiting friends, we weren’t too active in searching out the co-ops, they just sort of appeared on our itinerary. But I do often to basic Google searches for local co-ops when I’m planning to visit a new place.

  • I love these jars and love that cafe. Can I grab a pint of maple syrup too? 🙂

  • Great photos, Marisa & Scott! Sounds like a great time and hunting for jars seems to be a great hobby/past time/obsession! Love that photo of the stainless steel shelves, counter and jars! Looks so clean and shiny! Sounds like a wonderful holiday to get out to new food places!

  • if it were wintertime you would have seen college students with various liquid refreshments in jars! while i was up there for school jars were the cup of choice!

  • I went to school in Western Mass, and I am a very fond of Northampton. Glad you had a nice weekend away and found plenty of jars, too!

    1. There were either three or four varieties of maple syrup available for bulk purchase. The rest of those taps are for honey and cooking oils.

  • Now I know who’s hogging all the jars! I can’t find used ones here in Tulsa to save my life. 🙁

  • it looks like a lot of fun marisa! strangely enough i am heading to brattleboro vermont to meet up with 8 gallons of cream on friday – in the parking lot at the co-op. i’ve never been but it looks like i need to have a look around while i’m there! 🙂

    1. You should definitely make a point of stopping into the co-op. A particularly wonderful bulk section.

  • My sister lives in Easthampton MA and goes to the Roost often. Now that I’ve seen your pictures I can’t wait for her to bring me there the next time I visit her! Gorgeous pictures!

  • How fortunate you are to be able to travel to places like that!! I love the old bailing jars too and am COMPLETELY GREEN with envy over the bulk syrup! Lucky girl!!! =]

  • Hey, so cool to see pics of my local (Brattleboro) coop on your blog! I’ll think of you next time we pass the maple syrup while shopping…

  • Looks like an awesome vacay! But you should come back to Lancaster soon – it missed you! 🙂

  • My favorite knife is the Cutco French Knife. It’s hefty, and makes chopping vegetables a breeze. I used it pretty much every day and don’t think I could live with out it!

  • Love this post, and love the jars. A few years back I had a yard sale and mentioned to a lady that I was an avid canner. Imagine my surprise when the next morning there was a huge box of canning jars, some vintage, in my driveway. Canners love to share!

  • Glad you enjoyed your trip! Next time you’re in Northampton, email me, I live right down the road!