Shop the Catskills for True NY ArtisanshipAug 06, 2013
We’ve got the goods for you: busy bees and pretty paper, all of which comes from a really special place known as the Catskills. It’s time to stock up on Wishbone Letterpress’ coasters and crowns — key essentials for any good party — and Catskill Provisions’ artisanal maple and honey products (made by, of course, only the best bees). Read on for the real story behind these products to find out what exactly makes them just so good. Catskill Provisions isn't so unlike the bees she oversees in the 700 hives she manages around New York State in Delaware, Sullivan and Manhattan counties. A former magazine publisher, Claire's beekeeping was a mere hobby until she realized how happy the mesmerizing process made her. Transferring to her apiaries the work ethic that made her so successful in publishing, it comes as no surprise that Claire's products are carried in the finest epicurean establishments and, now, on the NYSOM Marketplace. The company was built on its two seasonal varieties of raw Wildflower Honey: The Spring medley with its hints of clover, apple and pear blossom, and the Fall flavors of chestnut, maple and asters. Claire has added to her line with Maple Syrup tapped by a fifth-generation maple farmer from over 2,000 of his Catskills trees. Incidentally, the Sugar Maple is the State Tree; it doesn't get much more "New York" than that. The maple syrup is boiled down to make Maple Sugar that can be used as cocktail rimmers to garnish the honey- and maple syrup-based drink recipes she's crafted. With Claire's full range of small-batch products you can indulge from morning till night: Brunch of pancakes or waffles from the organic mix (of wheat grown and milled in NYS), happy hour cocktails, chicken marinated in any of the three Marinades, followed by dessert of Chocolate Honey Truffles. Are you salivating yet? Claire may be a single worker bee, but she's making the most delightful, ambrosial products for our benefit, fit for a queen. Wishbone Letterpress. Smock, one of the first brands we ever carried on our Marketplace, is one-third of the Boxcar Press/Bella Figura/Smock trifecta. It just so happens that Boxcar Press (located in the Central New York) makes the printing plates used by Wishbone Letterpress (located in the Catskills/Hudson Valley); birds of a feather really do flock together. Danielle and Joe were born and raised in the Catskills and have set up shop in Ulster County, where they both attended the Community College. They believe in investing in their community and in supporting other small New York businesses. In addition to their work with Boxcar Press, they also source some of their paper supplies from Mohawk Paper, located in the Capital-Saratoga region. Their process is very intimate. Using presses made between 1912-1960, Danielle (implementing additional skills learned at the School of Visual Art in NYC) and Joe design each of the products they manufacture, and feed every single piece of paper through the letterpress with their own hands. They have distinguished themselves from the competition by offering high-quality, beautifully-decorated products of whimsy -- and every occasion in which Wishbone Letterpress pieces are used is all the more memorable for it, especially if celebrated with those various and dear friends.