The Long Branch School & General Store
John Favreau and Peter Feeney met in January, 2011 and realized that they were both interested in establishing a new business that could help meet what they considered to be the coming challenges facing our communities. Whether the challenge came from depleting energy resources, rising inflation, global climate change, food safety, unsustainable practices, or any combination of these things, they all shared common solutions; re-localize our economy and re-learn the lost skills that made us more self-sufficient and sustainable. This gave birth to The Long Branch School. And, in order to promote the local economy and support the local farmers, businesses, and craftspeople, the idea of incorporating a general store within the school concept also made sense. Our course offerings to date have been extremely varied and have included, worm composting, raising chickens, artisan bread making, general construction, marketing and social media for small business, pie making, felting, pottery, meditation, bluegrass music, woodcarving, and Permaculture. Most of our classes can be taken in the evening or on a weekend during the day, and although some may run over multiple weeks, many more are just two to six hours and are easy to fit into a busy working lifestyle.
Although most of our students are working adults, our instructors are given the flexibility to decide what age minimums they feel are appropriate for their specific class, and we have had parents and children attend some of our classes. Age minimums are listed on each course page.
The cost of our courses can be as low as $25, and the cost is dependent upon the time and materials involved. We also offer free courses and presentations. Every second Saturday of the month, people are invited to attend a free Reiki Share in the afternoon from 1pm to 4pm led by Marie Tucker, and each quarter we have a free Community Event that includes a presentation, a pot luck, and music on a Saturday from 4pm to 7pm.
Courses are added on a regular basis, and the best way to find them is to visit our website www.longbranchschool.com.
Our focus at the general store is on “local”. This can take the form of produce grown by our local farmers or products made and/or supplied to us by local vendors. Given the abundance of local crafts people, we carry a wide variety of handmade items: upcycled tote bags, knitted sweaters, quilted placemats, jewelry, ceramics, hand made ornaments, wood crafts and much more. We also have food crafters that make excellent edibles: Jam from Fresh, chocolate from Coastline Confections, BBQ sauce from Circling The Ring, spices from Gryffon Ridge, bread and frozen meals from Annabella’s Café, cookies and pie from The Town Landing Restaurant, and wine and beer from several local wineries and breweries. We are working with area farmers to supply us with milk, eggs, beans, meat and some seasonal vegetables. Some of our vendors include: Balfour Farm, Eastern River Beef, Turning Wheel Farm, Fairwinds Farm, and Stonecypher Farm. In “The Back” of the store we also carry a selection of hardware, previously owned tools and animal feeds. We are a work in process, as we are continually trying to find out what our customers want and how we can get in touch with local vendors.
Registration for any of our courses is very simple and can be done online at our website, over the phone, or in person. Simply find the course you’re interested in, click on it, and follow the instructions.
Anyone interested in selling local goods at our store can contact us by email or phone or stop by in person. We are always interested in seeing new product by our local craftspeople and entrepreneurs. Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, and our phone number is 207-666-8900. We are open Monday through Friday, 10am to 8pm, Saturday, 9am to 8pm and Sunday, 10am to 5pm.
We are always looking for new instructors to join our growing team. Please contact the school if you are interested in participating.