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The Yankee Express

Find the joy in the journey

Go Go Goat Mowers team at home in Upton. (Courtesy of Go Go Goat Mowers website)

By Christine Galeone
In the past year, there’s a saying that’s been popping up a lot. You’ve probably already spotted it on t-shirts, mugs or placemats. And it’s easy to see why it has become so popular. “Find the joy in the journey” resonates with many of us.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic started more than a year ago, most people have been on some sort of rocky journey. The same can also be said about most small businesses. But, along those journeys, there has been joy among the rocks. Recently, in Grafton, several small businesses and nonprofits have been finding that joy and sharing it with their customers.  
Next month, Community Harvest Project, the non-profit farm that supports hunger relief in Massachusetts, will share its joy in having its annual flower festival return to be an in-person event. “Carolyn’s Garden Summer Flower Festival” will be held on Saturday Aug. 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at its farm located at 37 Wheeler Road in North Grafton. Included in the $10 admission fee (free for kids unde age 10) will be five free flowers and a day of flower arranging workshops, music, food, kids’ crafts and tours. Visitors can also purchase professional brief photography sessions from Carolyn Tay of Sparkz Photography. The festival, which honors the memory of CHP’s development manager Carolyn Ambrose, helps fund the nonprofit’s mission “to engage and educate volunteers to grow fruits and vegetables for hunger relief.” 
While the Grafton Farmers Market has provided joyful shopping experiences for many, it is now doing so at a new location. It has moved to the grounds of the Grafton Municipal Center at 30 Providence Road due to renovations planned for the Grafton Common. Although it has moved, it will still be open every Wednesday from 2 p.m. to 6 through September.
One restaurant that’s found a fun way to share its happiness with customers and small businesses is the Grafton Grill & Crust. The restaurant, which is located at 10 Bridge Street in North Grafton and serves American grill cuisine, will hold a “Shopping Under the Stars” event from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. on Sunday July 25.  Singer Ron Jendrysik will provide live music, and there will be cocktails, ice cream and wood-fired pizza for sale while people can shop various local vendors under the restaurant’s tent. There will also be a raffle.     
Last month, two stores celebrated milestones. Off the Common Antiques Marketplace a multi-artisan, multi-vendor shop, located at 4 Worcester Street in Grafton, just celebrated its 4th  anniversary. The shop sells beautifully restored furniture, farmhouse style items and other antiques, in addition to new handmade items from local artisans. And Paisley Boutique, located at 40 North Main Street in North Grafton, celebrated its 7th anniversary. The shop, which also has stores in Mashpee and Hudson, carries affordable boutique style clothing and accessories in classic and contemporary styles. 
A business that will soon be celebrating a milestone is Koopman Lumber. The hardware and paint store, which carries a wide variety of items for the home and backyard, is located at 82 Worcester Street in North Grafton. It was founded 82 years ago by Pete Koopman.  
Dr. Mary Ellen Curran Rancourt, an audiologist, is enjoying her business’s third summer in South Grafton. Hear Joy Audiology, which opened in July 2019, at 43 Main Street, offers a variety of hearing services and products for all ages (including infants). The services include hearing aid evaluations, pediatric audiology, immittance testing and tinnitus consultations. For appointments or more information, you can visit the business’s website,       
Finally, what could be more joyful than a herd of friendly goats? Willard House and Clock Museum, which is located at 11 Willard Street in North Grafton, recently hired such a group through Go Go Goat Mowers. The museum, which has clocks displayed in captivating period room settings in the 1718 Joseph Willard homestead, the 1766 Benjamin Willard Clock Manufactory and its three modern galleries, contracted with the Upton business in order to reduce its invasive plants and unwanted overgrown brush in a green, safe and effective way.  And it also seems to make the well-fed goats quite happy.  
“Find the joy in the journey” has become a popular expression for a reason. Whether that means stopping to smell the flowers or celebrating milestones, it’s nice to know you can find some in Grafton. 
Contact Christine with your business news items at [email protected]