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Independent Thoughts: Doughnuts, deli, pizza — new offerings hit town

by | Mar 20, 2024 | Featured, Featured: Features

Earlier this month, we learned of the plans for the building that previously housed Hopkinton Drug — a mixed-use development including retail and residential units. And proposals have emerged for the redevelopment of the Center School property.

While we wait to see what will happen with these two plans, there have been a few other business changes in town as winter fades away.

At the Hopkinton Square plaza (adjacent to Price Chopper), The Donut Stand Cafe opened March 1 in the location previously occupied by Bison Burger. While known for its craft donuts, The Donut Stand Cafe also features a deli that serves sandwiches and other items using locally sourced ingredients. Plaza co-owner Chuck Joseph reports that the cafe — which also has a location in Southborough — has been very popular in its first couple of weeks.

Next door, Quattro Restaurant continues to operate in the corner spot of Hopkinton Square, although there have been rumors that the Italian eatery isn’t expected to remain long. Joseph said Quattro has a lease until the end of the year.

If Quattro should leave, perhaps it would make for a good fit for Mazi Kitchen and Bar, which had been located on Pond Street in Ashland but recently closed. Mazi was run by the same family that owns Hopkinton’s Bill’s Pizzeria (and The Buckley Kitchen & Bar in Framingham). The family also owned the building that housed Mazi and reportedly received a “too good to turn down” offer from JPMorgan Chase, which plans to open a branch office there.

Or maybe the Hopkinton Square location could be the site of an Indian restaurant. Health Director Shaun McAuliffe last year said he was talking with a few Indian residents who had been operating (illegally) out of their home kitchens and encouraging them to open a traditional restaurant.

In the downtown area, Domino’s Pizza has opened its doors at 70 Main Street, joining Bill’s Pizzeria and Blue Square Pizza to give us three pizza places within a 1,000-foot stretch of Main Street.

In the non-food category, Athletic Strength Training, a small fitness facility owned and run by Hopkinton High School grad Mike Peshler, is relocating to 42 Main Street at the end of this month.

“Our goal is to create the best possible gym environment for your workouts, right in the heart of town,” announced Peshler, a well-respected strength coach who has operated out of various locations as well as providing individual and team instruction over the past 15-plus years.

The new location, behind Central Public House and next to Chef’s Kitchen — the address is Main Street, but the entrance is accessed via Walcott Street — previously was occupied by Greige & Blooms, a home decor store that is giving up its physical location but retaining an online presence.

Yellow Bag cleanup April 6

The Hopkinton Sustainable Green Committee is organizing the town-wide Yellow Bag Day cleanup this year, picking up on the efforts of last year’s organizers, Jeff Barnes and Mike Boelsen.

Volunteers will stop at the Town Common between 9 a.m. and noon on Saturday, April 6 (rain date is the following day) to pick up large yellow garbage bags. They’ll be assigned an area of town to clean. After the trash is collected, the bags will be left in designated areas for the DPW to collect them on April 8.

“Our committee is working with Jeff and Mike this year, and we hope to get even more people participating,” shared Sustainable Green Committee member Linda Chuss. “Their motivation was to get the town looking spiffy in advance of the [Boston Marathon]. Our committee likes that, too, but more importantly we also want to help educate the community that litter is more than an eyesore — it can directly and indirectly harm wildlife and us. You’ve seen pictures of birds with plastic rings around their necks, or a dead seagull with a stomach full of plastic bottle tops, etc. The debris can also contaminate lakes and lead to clogged storm drains, resulting in flooded areas.

“And moving a little beyond litter, we want people to think about the harmful effects of the pesticides and herbicides used in their own landscaping, which also run off into our water resources and wreak havoc there. We’ll provide a handout with links for information on the issues and alternatives.”

Chuss credited Sustainable Green Committee youth member Ella Nel, a senior at Hopkinton High School, for suggesting the project as a way to work more directly with people in town.

“So much of what we do on our committee is behind the scenes,” Chuss shared. “This is a way for us to let people contribute to a green cause and relish the results and appreciation.”

The committee’s goal is to get 100 volunteers, to coincide with the 100th start of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton. Groups — churches, neighborhoods, clubs of any kind — are invited to participate and select an area where they have an affiliation. As an example, employees from RoslinCT have expressed an interest in taking an area on South Street where its offices are located. And the HHS Environmental Action Club will focus on the school campus.

Those interested in participating should email HopGreenMA@gmail.com for more information.

Mass Audubon photography contest winner

This photo by Hopkinton’s Cheryl Rose was named a grand prize winner in Mass Audubon’s photography contest. PHOTO/CHERYL ROSE

Resident wins photography competition

Congratulations to Hopkinton’s Cheryl Rose, who was named one of the grand prize winners of Mass Audubon’s annual statewide photography contest, Picture This: Your Great Outdoors.

According to Mass Audubon, more than 5,000 images were submitted by hundreds of photographers of varied abilities, from across the commonwealth and beyond, all documenting the natural beauty of the Bay State.

Rose was recognized for her image of a colorful (and carnivorous) sundew plant. Also known as the “flypaper plant,” the sundew traps insects with its sticky, dew-drop-shaped glands. Sundews can be found in wetlands such as those found at Mass Audubon’s Waseeka Wildlife Sanctuary in Hopkinton.

“I’ve always loved taking photos of insects and learned that if I looked down rather than up, I could discover an entire new world of nature,” explained the 68-year-old Rose, who began taking photographs right after high school. “And from insects, I moved onto plants. Just so many colors and shapes!”

A Mass Audubon member since 1988, Rose also serves as a volunteer steward at Waseeka, helping to keep trails clear and clean — while also carrying her camera in case something catches her eye.

“But a lot of time, it doesn’t matter if I take a good photo,” she noted. “Just being out in nature, watching things, hearing things … it means so much.”

Rose’s image won in the plants and fungi category, 18-and-older age group, and she received a $250 gift card along with recognition in the Mass Audubon member newsletter. This marks her third win in the competition, as she was awarded first place in 2019 (plants and fungi) and honorable mention in 2017 (landscape).

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