The latest Natick, Mass., business news:
Park Street Ice Cream now accepting cards, going year round
After 42 years, Park Street Ice Cream on the Natick Common is no longer a cash-only business. It is now accepting a variety of credit cards, as well as apps such as Apple and Google Pay.
The other big change at Park Street is that rather than closing down for the season as usual in October, the business plans to stay open year round. “It will be a play-it-by-ear situation as we’ve never done so in the 42 years we’ve been in business,” Vitale says. “We may have shortened hours or close certain days of week as we go into the winter months.”
The business recently adjusted its hours as we head toward fall, opening at noon most days (11:30am on Saturdays) and closing at 8pm on all but Friday and Saturday, when it closes at 9pm.
Not so fast on those Natick cannabis delivery companies
Natick is hitting pause on negotiations with a couple of cannabis delivery outfits—Trevor Express and Your Green Package—in light of new state legislation that changes how municipalities interact with such businesses. These two firms have been angling to enter host community agreements with Natick since earlier this year.
The new state legislation signed into law by Gov. Charlie Baker in August is designed to address equity concerns for businesses in this field, and also affects how much communities can reap in “impact fee” payments from such firms, and for how long. The state’s Cannabis Control Commission applauded passage of the law, while a trade group for municipalities has reservations about what its impact could be on existing and future agreements with cannabis businesses.
Natick has already welcomed marijuana-focused firms to town that offer medicinal products and project testing, while two recreational marijuana firms —Redi in Cloverleaf Mall and ReLeaf on Rte. 9 west—strive to open sooner than later (ReLeaf is thiiis close to getting its Site Plan & Special Permit approved by the Planning Board… on to Sept. 14 for that).
Natick Select Board member Michael Hickey said during the Aug. 24 board meeting (about 19 minutes into the Natick Pegasus recording) that the legislature made “some fairly broad-based and significant, far-reaching type changes to that whole statutory, regulatory scheme…and the attorneys and others in the industry are still trying to get their hands around the implications…there’s going to be guidance coming out.”
The changes could affect Natick’s approach to entering into agreements with cannabis-focused firms, Hickey said, so the negotiation team he is part of for the town has decided to “hit pause” and have Natick’s special cannabis council present on the changes to the board and public most likely in September.
From there the board, as the licensing authority for entering host agreements, could decide “whether this changes our thinking… whether to do it all, whether to just kind of continue with what’s left of our flexibility under host community agreements, or something in between, and go from there. It really isn’t just a continuation of where we’ve been.”
Conscious Beauty Collective opens in Natick Mall
We attended the swank opening of a Natick Mall pop-up, Conscious Beauty Collective, devoted to the beauty and wellness of its customers, as well as the empowerment of women-owned indie brands, which often struggle to get a foothold in the hyper-competitive beauty industry. The Collective will be in the mall until the end of 2022 to capture the busy foot traffic of its first-floor space across from Nordstrom’s, as well as the holiday shopping market.
Conscious Beauty Collective founder Lynn Power got the crowd of about 30 well-groomed, beautifully dressed pretties pumped up with a psych speech before inviting each to speak a little about their brands. “It’s all about good for you, good for the environment, and also about helping each other. We’re indie brands, it’s tough, we know what it’s like to build a beauty business. It’s not for the faint of heart, but dammit, we’re doing it and we’re making change,” she said as attendees sipped sparkling water and let out a string of exuberant who-hoo’s.
Our swag box, which looked like it was assembled by either a straight-A geometry student, or an award-winning Tetris player, or both, held enough responsibly packaged and developed products to keep us pampered for months. For you beauty junkies who have been searching for hard-to-find brands, you can now get your hands on revitalizing hair products from The Art of Natural Blends; body butter by NRL; skin care by Buffalo Gal, Avoila, Hear Me Raw, Beauty Zana, H. Honeycup, Six Gldn, Empress Naturals, and Green Bee Botanicals; eyelash serum by Lash Spell; all-purpose balm by Ouli; aluminum-free charcoal deoderant by Cleo Coco; and so much more. Massachusetts residents that represent at the Collective include Lynn Power with her brands MASAMI and Isle de Nature; Jaime Brown from Swedish Jealousy; and Chris Hobson and Michael Jordan of Rare Beauty Brands.
The over two-dozen vendors want to make every square inch of you positively glow with good health—from your scalp to your toenails—with products that have been developed with non-toxic ingredients, and keep you informed with transparent labeling.
Economic Development Committee reconvenes
Natick’s Economic Development Committee next meets on Sept. 8 from 8:30-10am via Zoom.