November 30, 2008

New Toy Safety Law Threaten the Specialty & Natural Toy Industry

Thanks to our friends over at Challenge & Fun, we've learned some nerve wracking news about the impact of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act on the specialty and natural toy industry. In other words, the impact on OUR TOYS!

Please read what Challenge & Fun passed along . . .

"While many have celebrated the passage of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act and the improved standards (which we also commend), few are aware of the expensive and cumbersome compliance rules that being imposed on small businesses, which supply the bulk of the nations natural & specialty toys, which have impeccable records and add great diversity to available toys. Without such companies, we will be left with mass producers of Chinese toys. This is truly a case of unintended consequences.

Here are examples of what the Act will change, and therefore, cause:

Testing: Rather than requiring testing methods that would aggregate like products, or allow paints to be tested once, or testing a textile once, the 3rd party testing required beginning in February states that each product style must be tested. So, for instance, let's say you are Holztiger. You have 5 vats of paint, and all the same wood. One could test the paint and wood before making the product at a reasonable price. One could even test representative final products. But the rule states that EACH style must be separately tested, regardless of materials used. So, they must test the large lion, the small lion, the cat, the standing cow, the sitting cow...etc...hundreds of tests each costing hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. Unfortunately most small manufacturers do not sell enough of a single item to pay for such tests. However, large corporations do...especially those manufacturing in China.Remember, this has nothing to do with compliance to the "safety standards" (which we already meet or surpass) but everything to do with being able to pay for the multiple tests to prove compliance.

Markings: All products manufactured after August 12th, must have markings on the package and permanent markings on the product indicating where, by whom, and when the product was made. Large corporations can afford purchasing multiple dies to do this. Small companies cannot. European companies with limited sales to the USA likewise cannot.There are many small manufacturers across the country (yes! Toys ARE still made in America) that are going to simply be unable to cope with the new regulations. Many importers of quality toys will either have to dramatically reduce their product selection (or get out of the toy business altogether). This not only affects toys, but also any product designed for children (ages 12 and under), including clothing. It will also mean the end of most FAIR TRADE children's products that are being imported into the country. Do you like to sell unique, hard to find products? Do you want quality toys and children's products to be available to our children? We need to make our voices heard.

WE NEED YOUR HELP before it is too late. I really don't want to wake-up a year from now to a world of Walmart's & plastic toys from China. What can you do? We need your help to educate your customers about the pending extinction of natural & specialty toys. You can talk to them, hand out flyers (we hope to have some made very soon that will be available to download from our website), have them sign petitions, contact your Senator & Congressman, etc. If you have an e-newsletter, please pass this information on to your customers. Join the Handmade Toy Alliance and a brand new website, CPSIA-Central that has been formed to pull the various stake holders together in one forum. Become a member and have your say. Make suggestions, exchange ideas. This is your chance to shine!Please don't sit back and say someone else will do it. Much of the damage has been done because our voices haven't been heard. This means that at this point we need every single voice to help educate their customers and lobby the government to make changes to save the small businesses that sell beautiful children's products. You don't need to have all the answers, you just need to know there is a major problem, and make a stink about it."

Please help save the specialty and natural toy industry! We need it!

November 29, 2008

Holiday Open Studio at Red Brick Art Center

The 6th Annual Holiday Open Studios at Redbrick Art Center will take place Saturday, December 6th from 10am to 5pm.

Please come and support RedBrick and the artists for this fun family event! There will be live jazz, dancing, art, pottery, and more!

Redbrick Art Center is located at 95 Rantoul Street in Beverly, Mass. Call 978.927.5615 for more information.

See you there!

November 28, 2008

Crunchy Granola Baby is now carrying Little Beetle Cloth Diapers!

All Little Beetle hemp and organic cotton fitted diapers come with the innovative semi-attached and foldable ‘beetle’ booster. Fold to the front, back or lay flat for customized absorbency where your little one needs it most. Even more cool, the 'beetle' is designed so that for heavy wetters or nighttime a doubler slides under and is held secure without snaps or other fasteners. Here's what we've got:

Little Beetle Hemp: Two layers of Hemp French Terry (55% hemp/45% certified organic cotton) in the body plus a uniquely shaped hidden soaker in the wet zone. Three more layers (combination of hemp terry and heavyweight organic cotton jersey to cuddle your little one and help spread wetness to the super absorbent hemp French terry) in the semi-attached inner beetle.

Little Beetle One: One Fabric, One World, Organic, Fair Trade. Nothing but luxurious organic velour! Two layers of specially knit organic cotton velour in the body plus a uniquely shaped hidden soaker in the wet zone. Three more layers in the innovative semi-attached and foldable 'beetle' booster. Same design and dependability you have come to love from Little Beetle. Made in the USA from 100% fair trade organic cotton. Use it day or night.

Little Beetle Organic Merino Wool Diaper Cover: Scrumptiously soft, fashion grade Organic Wool Jersey. Elegance in a turned and topstitched design. These covers provide a great natural cloth diaper cover option to be worn alone or under pants. snaps or aplix These are designed to best fit over Little Beetle diapers or a similar trim low rise diaper. They also work well with smaller lay in prefolds. For bulkier prefolds, we recommend the fuller covering of organic wool soaker shorts or pants.

Also available:
  • Organic Velour 'Leaf' doublers
  • Organic Velour Training Pants
  • Organic Merino Wool Soaker Shorts
  • Organic Merino Wool Soaker Pants

Come check out our stock of Little Beetle cloth diapers today!

Happy Black Friday . . .

Just wanted to remind everyone that although we're not having a major-doorbuster-prices-slashed-givingawaystuffyoudon'tneed-sale, we are carring some great holiday gifts.

I mean, just check out some of our Plan Toys!

November 25, 2008

Just want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

CGB will be closing at 2pm on Wednesday, November 26 and will be closed all day on Thursday, November 27.

But we'll be back to work on Friday, November 28, so be sure to join us for our 9am parenting group!

Enjoy your family, friends, and festive foods!

November 20, 2008

What's Happening

I know. I know. We haven't been keeping up with our posting and I apologize.

So I'm going to use this 100th post to pass along all of the updates that have been happening at CGB, most of which are the reason we haven't been posting. We're just so busy!

First and foremost: A North Shore Birth Center Update:
As many of you know, there is a very serious move to close the North Shore Birth Center, a midwifery practice situated on the campus of Beverly Hospital in Beverly, Massachusetts.
On Tuesday, November 18, 2008, the Board of Trustees of the Northeast Health Corporation considered the proposal to close the Birth Center. During that early-morning meeting, nearly 200 people–adults, children, and babies–bundled up against the cold and held a rally. This rally advocated for the same things as previous efforts, which included a letter-writing campaign, daily picketing, and an open letter to the Board.
A delay of the vote on the Birth Center’s fate, since such an important decision with long-term consequences for our community should not be rushed, and
A meeting between community members and the Board of Trustees, to seek more transparency about the Hospital’s concerns and to open some dialogue that would allow the community–which had thus far felt silenced by hospital administration, which refused to communicate with representatives of our campaign–a real voice in this decision.
Featuring energetic speakers, colorful signs, and lots of cheering, the rally outside of Beverly Hospital made headlines: All the major Boston television stations, newspapers, and radio stations covered the story.
Several hours after the Board of Trustees met, the hospital released the following four-sentence statement.
The Board of Trustees takes its responsibilities to this organization and to the community very seriously.
Consistent with other birth centers around the nation, the North Shore Birth Center is experiencing a significant rise in the cost of malpractice insurance premiums.
The Board of Trustees is diligently weighing the impact that the closure of the Birth Center would have on the community; the level of community interest in its continued operation has not gone unnoticed. The Board intends to leave the Birth Center services unchanged while it continues to examine and discuss this important issue.
In other words, our rally and other efforts were a success! The Board of Trustees recognized the need to move slowly and give the proposal full deliberation.
However, we are not out of the woods yet. As the Boston Globe points out, this statement “ma[kes] it clear that the center’s future is still very much in question.” We still need your help!
Thanks so much to everyone who devoted their time and efforts to help save the Birth Center. We couldn't have done it without the grassroots support of so many wonderful families and individuals!
For all the details and how to help visit

Secondly: Thanks to everyone who took part in our "Friends of Forest River Park Toy & Wine Night." We raised nearly $1200 for the new playground at Forest River Park and almost everyone involved walked away with some great raffle items and a good wine buzz!

Just kidding about the wine buzz.

Third: We have a new featured artist!

Scott Froeschl is an artist living on the North Shore of Boston, Massachusetts. His passion is painting in acrylics on a myriad of surfaces, anywhere from traditional canvas to the heads of screws. Photography is also an avenue of creativity for Scott, as well as sculpture and multimedia.

Scott's photography will be featured at Crunchy Granola Baby through January. For more, visit Scott's website.

Fourth: For the next few months, CGB will be accepting donations on behalf of GreenSchools. GreenSchools is a non-profit organization whose mission is to create "greener" and healthier learning environments.From reducing, reusing & recycling; nutrition; to indoor air quality, greenschools is making the world a healthier, more environmentally responsible place in which we live.

So the next time you have a gift wrapped at CGB, please donate to GreenSchools!

Fifth: We have tons of new products arriving everyday! Plan Toys, Nature BabyCare, Kleen Kanteens, and more! Be sure to stop in and start stocking up for the holidays!

So stay tuned to the blog for more consistent updates about whats happening at CGB!

November 7, 2008



The North Shore Birth Center is a midwifery practice situated on the campus of Beverly Hospital. On November 18, 2008, the Board of Trustees of the Northeast Health Corporation will consider a proposal to no longer allow women to labor or birth at the Birth Center. (This proposal did not originate from the Board; it is being brought before them by hospital management.) If the Board approves this proposal, all birth center patients would be required to labor and birth at Beverly Hospital.

Established in 1980, the North Shore Birth Center has facilitated the births of over 6,000 babies to women with "low-risk" pregnancies seeking a natural childbirth.The members of this group are against this proposal and want the Board of Trustees to vote against it. Women deserve to choose the birth experience that is right for them and their families. We ask the Board of Trustees to refrain from making a decision that would deny this choice to families of the North Shore.

As concerned consumers, we want the Birth Center to continue offering quality, compassionate care in an alternative birth setting.


Brainstorm to Save The Birth Center – Sunday, November 9th 10am-noon
Crunchy Granola Baby, 72 Washington St., Salem, MA

Letter Writing Gathering – Sunday, November 9th 1-3pmThe Parish House adjoining the Orthodox Congregational Church of Lanesville, 1120 Washington St., Gloucester, MA

Rally – November 18th 7-8amNorth Shore Birth Center, 85 Herrick Street, Beverly, MA


Write a letter in support of The North Shore Birth Center. Explain that although birth center births don't fit with the unified model of health care, you believe women should have a range of options to select from. These options should reflect women's needs and interests--not corporate policies. Please try to keep your letters positive! Remember, the Board of Trustees did not create this proposal.
Send Letters To: The Board of Trustees Northeast Health Corporation, c/o Mary Ellen Lear, Secretary, Beverly Hospital, 85 Herrick Street, Beverly, MA 01915
Copy letters to: North Shore Birth Center, Beverly Hospital, 85 Herrick Street, Beverly, MA 01915