After a career working on humanitarian missions in war-torn countries, Luther Whiting-Collins needed a break. While living in New Hampshire, he stumbled on a listing for a Newport home and was charmed. He and his wife, along with their dog Lucy, decided to put down roots in the City by the Sea.
After such a high-stress job, the idea of building community appealed to Whiting-Collins. He originally entertained opening an eatery with a focus on high-protein options near a gym, but realized “muscle milks tasted awful.” A neighborhood cafe had a better vibe, so he opened Lucy’s Kitchen, named after his pup, to offer delicious, healthful food to the lower Thames neighborhood. Items like smoothies, yogurt bowls, specialty toasts, pastries, coffee, and seasonal drinks are on the menu. “It’s hard to find good vegetarian options, so it helps to fill that niche, while being great food that everyone can enjoy,” he says. Newport, LucysOfNewport.com
Teddy’s Candy Bar & More, which opened in September, is a 1,100-square-foot wonder world of sweet treats. Chock-full of every candy imaginable, Teddy’s carries kids’ favorites like Swedish Fish and peanut butter cups as well as nostalgic candies like Mary Janes and Laffy Taffy for the kids at heart. Local candy makers are represented with patties from Seacoast Sweets and truffles and bars from Hauser Chocolatier. They can even craft custom gift baskets.
“There’s so much negative energy in the world. I wanted to do something joyful,” says owner Kim Borges Nunes of the impetus to open Teddy’s doors. You could call joy her life’s mission. In 2015, she founded a non-profit in her dad’s name, the Teddy Borges Foundation to do acts of kindness for the community like bringing food trucks to first responders or dressing up as the Grinch and going door-to-door with gifts during the Christmas season. Riverside, Facebook: TeddysCandyBarAndMore
“I’m fascinated by spirits,” says Adam O’Brien, a self-proclaimed whiskey obsessive who founded O’Brien and Brough. The Unity Park distillery aims to both distill their own whiskey and serve as a blending house, which takes different distillates from other whiskey makers to blend and barrel-age into a unique spirit. The Scotch industry has a tradition of blending houses, and, according to O’Brien, they served as an integral part of the U.S. whiskey business before “it got totally blown up by Prohibition.”
O’Brien and Brough opened with one blend – a rye whiskey – with more arriving in time for the holidays. While you can enjoy their whiskey neat, they offer an assortment of cocktails, including seasonal selections like a hot toddy and hot buttered whiskey. “We want to create an atmosphere that's welcoming for people to come in, ask questions, and have some really great whiskey.” Bristol, OBrienAndBrough.com
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