For this week's Patch Picks column, we sought to put the spotlight on new businesses that are doing something unique, filling a niche that nobody else in Reading (or nearby) is doing. So we asked you: What are new, innovative businesses in Reading or nearby? Here are our selections:
- (Winchester): Well, not really Winchester. More like everywhere. Accountant-turned-cheesecake baker Sarah-Beth Chester opened her cheesecake bakery in December, but the bakery actually doesn't have a storefront. Chester shares kitchen space with La Patisserie in Winchester and delivers cheesecakes to Reading, as far south as Braintree, and as far north as North Reading. You can also find 7ate9 on Sundays at Charles Square Farmers Market in Harvard Square.
- (Gloucester): Seafood doesn't get much fresher than this. This two-year-old business has a pick-up spot at Turner's in Melrose, and the concept's not much older. In 2007, a Greenpeace veteran, inspired by CSAs (Community Support Agriculture), began something new a Community Supported Fishery (CSF). Two years later, the Gloucester Fishermen's Wives Association followed suit and started New England's second CSF—Cape Ann Fresh Catch, which offers shareholders fish that often have been swimming fewer than 24 hours before delivery.
- (Reading): Based out of Hudson, NH, and based on current gas prices, this company may be opening its new car dealership in Reading at just the right time. eCars of New England is a car dealership for 100 percent electric and other environmentally friendly cars, is replacing the run-down former artist studio across the street from Starbucks at 281 Main St. in Reading. The company represents Wheego Electric Cars, as well as a wide selection of pre-owned vehicles.
- (Somerville): Spend enough time in Somerville traffic and you might find yourself gawking at an adult on a giant, load-hauling tricycle. Since 2007, Union Square-based pedal-trucks have delivered goods throughout Greater Boston entirely by human power. The bulk of the company's business comes from local farmers, who use the service to deliver fresh vegetables to individuals, restaurants and small markets.
- (Medford): This technology company that specializes in pharmaceutical research technology won a $500,000 grant through the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, according to a press release. It's currently focused on advancing and commercializing its bio-engineered micro-liver platform, called HepatoPac, which the company said can be used to undertake a variety of screenings and tests in vitro.