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Central Massachusetts Continues Expansion With Queen’s Cups

56 Water Street, formerly Bucky's, will be the new location for The Queen's Cup, which is anticipating opening in June.

The culinary universe in the Heart of the Commonwealth is constantly expanding, and when places like Queen’s Cups look to open in the city, it reaffirms the momentum from 2016—with the introduction of new favorites such as deadhorse hill, Lock 50, Bull Mansion, Figs & Pigs, Brew on the Grid, British Beer Company and more—doesn’t appear to be slowing down.

The Queen's Cup's owner, Renee King, posing with talk radio host Jordan Levy
The Queen’s Cup’s owner, Renee King, posing with talk radio host Jordan Levy

Having signed a lease last week, work is already underway to transform the vacant Bucky’s Building on Water Street (right next door to Lock 50) into something sweet—a new home for Millbury’s Queen’s Cups. “Moving to the Canal District is a dream I’ve had for years now,” says Renee King, owner of Queens Cups. “The businesses are booming; the atmosphere is friendly and the growth is going to continue.” Queen’s Cups originally opened in 2012 but has since outgrown its Millbury location having tripled their sales and reached over eleven thousand followers on Instagram, making this move a major component to their continued success. “There is a need for dessert in the Canal District and we want to turn into a destination for desserts at night. I loved Café Dolce and I feel that there is a need for something similar in the city again,” says King. The new location is expected to open this summer.

Jon and Alicia showcasing their new location on Plantation Street in Worcester, MA
Jon and Alicia showcasing their new location on Plantation Street in Worcester, MA

While Queen’s Cups is setting up a sweet future in the Canal District, Alicia’s Homemade will be creating a whole new future for the Plantation Street neighborhood. “Our new space on 12 Aitchison Street is going to offer up a little bit of everything and really embrace the homemade style,” says Alicia Haddad, co-owner of Alicia’s Homemade. Over the last five months, Haddad and partner, Jon Dahl have implemented a master plan to stir up some homemade love for a neighborhood in need of a local shop. “Everything we are selling will be part of the shop small concept. We will have granola and coffee from local sellers, alongside brands like Elk Creek Maple Syrup and of course, Alicia’s Homemade,” says Haddad. “We are in a great space and can’t wait to open the doors at the end of February.” In the space previously occupied by the Fourth & One Club, Alicia’s Homemade is looking to make waves in 2017 and remind everyone what Worcester has to offer.

The Pie Store, Table Talk Pie's retail storefront, on Green Street in Worcester, MA
The Pie Store, Table Talk Pie’s retail storefront, on Green Street in Worcester, MA

Having opened the same day that Queen’s Cup officially purchased their space, the Pie Store—the retail outlet for Worcester’s Table Talk Pie—opened after months of renovations to their Green Street space. The space offers a spot for beverages and, of course, pie. Overlooking Crompton Collection, the Pie Store offers a glimpse into Table Talk Pie’s history as well as offering their first grab and go retail service.

Chef Nemeroff cooking in the Ceres Bistro kitchen
Chef William Nemeroff is joining B.T.’s Smokehouse in Sturbridge.

Worcester’s evolving food hub is creating exciting change throughout Central Massachusetts, so it’s no surprise that Chef Bill Nemeroff, recently the culinary director and chef at The International, is boldly moving to B.T.’s Smokehouse to work with owner Brian Treitman. “It has been a dream of ours to work together for years, as we are good friends and the time just seemed to be right,” says Chef Nemeroff. “Now we will push each other to challenge ourselves every day.” Just when we thought B.T.’s Smokehouse couldn’t get any better, they add Chef Nemeroff to the equation and we hear expansion may be in the future.

With Chef Nemeroff putting his culinary skills to the ultimate BBQ test, Table Talk Pie’s opening the Pie Store, Alicia’s Homemade creating a new home for herself and Queen’s Cups moving to the Canal District, we can only imagine what more will come of the Culinary Capital of New England in 2017!

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Great Places in Central Massachusetts for Holiday Gift Ideas for the Foodie on Your List

111 Wine Dinner Table Set Up

It’s that time of year again, time to find holiday gifts for everyone on your gift list. We know shopping for some people is easier than shopping for others….but if you have a “foodie” on your list, well that may be the most difficult task of all. Sure you can give gift cards to their favorite restaurant but if you need something a little more unique, we’ve assembled our Great List of Holiday Gift Ideas for the Foodie on your List to help you out. Hope this helps!

As with all our Great List articles, we will concentrate our efforts on locally-owned, Central Massachusetts establishments. We are lucky to have so many local farms, way too many for us to list but our friends at Central Mass Grown lists them by town so take a look at their site for something close to you. Many of these farms are open right through the winter and they have lots of fresh, specialty items that would make wonderful gifts.

Got a BBQ lover on your list? Shop online at Alicia’s Homemade for interesting and tasty barbecue sauces, rubs, seasonings, hot sauces and more. Trust us, one won’t be enough so we suggest to buy a variety, assemble a gift basket of your own and give it as a gift!

Looking for something very unique? The Grafton Country Store, Bolton Orchard, Ed Hyder’s and the St. Joseph’s Abbey Gift Shop all have loads of specialty items that will certainly fit the bill.

Chef’s Best dinners from Mass Foodies is another great gift for someone who enjoys a unique dining experience. This dinner series gives a chef carte blanche to create his or her best dishes without hesitation and serve to an intimate group of diners. Programming at these dinners also includes a Q&A and an open discussion with the chef about their own personal journey within the food industry.

Here are a few more gift ideas in and around Central Massachusetts that the Foodie on your list will certainly appreciate.


Pecorino is filled with food and food related items, wine, cheese and so much more you will have a hard time deciding exactly what to buy. How about the Italian Dinner tote filled with wine, pasta, sauce and a whole lot more? Or a Do-It-Yourself Cheese Making kit….or an organic box of chocolate or cheese slates, utensils, and more.

Lock 50’s Chef Tasting Menu

OK we said let’s go beyond gift cards but believe us, this is way beyond just a gift card. Give the gift of incredible tastes when you purchase a Tasting Menu dinner at Lock 50 for that special Foodie on your list. Available every night, Chef Tim Russo creates a series of ultra-creative dishes, not on the regular menu. The guest does not know in advance what dishes are coming beyond that the experience will progress from starters through main course dishes to dessert. It requires the guest to be confident in the Chef and show a willingness to go beyond their normal eating comfort zone….and it is perfect for the Foodie on your list.

Worcester’s Best Chef

Worcester’s Best Chef is celebrating its 10th year and is an obvious choice for the Foodie on your gift-giving list. They can enjoy samplings from some of the area’s finest Chefs, vote for their favorites and watch an Iron Chef-type cook off at the end of the evening! And this being the 10th anniversary, WBC is bringing back many of the winners of past years for a very special event your Foodie will love!

111 Chop House Wine Dinners

Today wine dinners have become more common and are a nice way for both wine experts and novices to enjoy food, wine and the company of others. 111 Chop House has a series of seasonal wine dinners each featuring the wine of a different vineyard, country or region paired perfectly with a menu developed by their Executive Chef. Awarded Wine Spectator’s prestigious “Award of Excellence” every year since 2001, expect a wine dinner at The Chop to be special. These ticketed events can be purchased in advance and given as a gift to a food loving person on your list.