by Terry Vandewater.

Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean the bees stop buzzing.

With over 50 towns and cities in our readership area, our news items cover Bristol, Plymouth, and parts of Norfolk counties, and there are plenty of newsworthy happenings ready for exploration in our Southeastern Massachusetts locavore community.

Congratulations Are in Order

Pickle lovers can cheer that online ordering is back at The Pretentious Pickle! Formerly operating in downtown Plymouth, The Pretentious Pickle! is now building a new kitchen in Pembroke and is happy to be offering its loyal clientele and newcomers alike over 30 pickled items. From pickles and other pickled veggies to dill pickle popcorn and pickle lip balm, we’re very happy that The Pretentious Pickle! and its online ordering is back. In their words, “Peace & Pickles.”

Congrats to one of eSEMA’s contributing writers, Zack Lamothe, who penned the recently published Distilled in Boston: A History & Guide with Cocktail Recipes. With the craft distilling industry experiencing a rebirth, Zack takes us behind the scenes, and guides us through industry’s history, processes, and techniques while introducing us to distilleries in Eastern Massachusetts. Cheers, Zack!

Appetit recognized 24 best new restaurants in 2023 and lucky for us, one of the winners is North Quincy’s own Rubato, a Hong Kong-style comfort food eatery. The former owner of Contempo Bakery handed the restaurant down to her son and daughter-in-law and a few months later, Rubato was born. Congratulations on such an awesome honor and way to represent eSEMA-land!!

New 2 the Hive

The winery located in Bridgewater is a well-kept secret. As a local “Farmer Winery,” Bob and his family have been making high-quality varietals and custom blends for people who enjoy a glass or a bottle of fine wine without the pretense sometimes associated with such an activity. If Bob’s Winery FB page is any indication, Bob seems to have quite the following from many locales. Check out

Great Moves!

Name, Different Owners Though keeping its original name, Cultivator Shoals, located in the historic (1792) Benjamin Tabor House, is now operating under new ownership (restaurateurs who own Cork and Carmines in New Bedford) and with the exception of a few tweaks here and there, the transition appears to be seamless. Always known for its high-quality cocktails, Cultivator Shoals has added some kick-ass bar food and opened an outdoor eating/drinking area with heated igloos to enjoy those tasty libations and fun menu. Yes, I said igloos—sign me up!!

Another establishment that has changed hands, but not the name, is the Red Rose Irish Pub in Jackson Square, Weymouth. The brother & sister team of John Garvin and Julie Garvin O’Rourke, who were former employees are now the new owners (and continued employees) of the Red Rose Irish Pub. All the former employees stayed on and are ready to serve you a pint and an authentic South Shore Bar Pizza. The tradition continues.

New(Z) 2 Us

With a passion for baking since a child, Jessica Gemma is bringing “something of Italian authenticity” to Middleborough and the surrounding areas. The Italian Gem Café, a new Italian café and coffee shop offers customers roasted focaccia, bomboloni, and authentic Italian recipes; recipes that Jessica learned as a young girl when she often visited her family in Frosinone, a town south of Rome. That’s amore!!

One of the very few canneries in the county, Island Creek Cannery recently opened a 10,000-square-foot operation at 38 Blackmer Street in New Bedford. Both the parent company Island Creek Oysters and New Bedford’s Mayor Jon Mitchell heralded the new operation for both its historic connections and the revenue it will generate for the city. Island Creek Cannery and Coastal Foodshed have also formed a partnership that will bring affordable, freshly canned seafood to the area.

Hot stuff happening at The Fermentary Taproom in Hanover. The next step in the Burke’s Hot Sauce journey, the taproom will feature local craft brewers like Widowmaker of Braintree and Vitamin Sea of Weymouth. Natural wines are featured, and the snacks and limited food items pair well with the many Burke Hot Sauce flavors made in the Taproom’s onsite kitchen. Hot damn!

Little Move, … Big Difference Trader Joe’s in Hanover is moving from its location in Hanover to the old Office Max space a mere 350 feet away. The move expands Trader Joe’s footprint from 8,000 square feet to 12,000+ square feet. The company is psyched to be providing its customers with a larger space to enhance the shopping experience for current and new fans alike.

Please feel free to email with any ideas or suggestions for The Buzz.

Terry Vandewater likes buzzing around with a snow shovel when she’s not editing or writing for ediblesema.