Explore the Hudson Valley

Experience The Hudson Valley

Talking Shop

  |   September 1, 2020  |  Comment

Pictured above: Hillsdale General Store, Hillsdale. Photo by Art Gray.

It’s true, mom-and-pop shopkeepers can’t compete with chain stores on toilet paper and motor oil prices. But there’s a long list of things that independent shops can offer that box store retailers cannot, from local product selection to individualized service. In communities around the Hudson Valley and beyond, this paradox has led to the revitalization of small business culture and the shop local movement. And with this tide has come the reinvention of the general store, that classic, old-school, small-town one-stop shop, peddling a wide range of items from foodstuffs to hammers and nails, kitchenware to apparel.

Oliver & Chatfield, Newburgh

At Oliver & Chatfield on Newburgh’s Liberty Street, interior designer Susan Knapik stocks an astonishing array of “durably designed organizational items and helpful housewares, color-saturated artwork, snarky cards and funny prints, stunning hand-thrown ceramics, modern home decor, artisanal local jams and honeys, and one-of-a-kind vintage and ‘found’ items.” All are ethically and sustainably sourced, with an emphasis on independent, local, and women makers.

Hillsdale General Store, Hillsdale

Opened in 2011 in a historic 1855 storefront, the Hillsdale General Store takes that timeless quality as its theme. Here you’ll find a mix of new-made, old-school items and vintage finds, with an emphasis on durability and quality—things the shopkeepers believe you will be glad to own 40 years from now. They also offer the HGS Home Chef program, in which national and local experts take over their two gorgeous teaching kitchens to offer master classes. The HGS comes recommended by Martha Stewart Living, Elle Decor, Food & Wine, and Traditional Home.

Cold Spring General Store, Cold Spring

Cold Spring General Store caters to a lifestyle that’s pure Hudson Valley, specializing in high-quality provisions from local farms, artisan-made goods, and quality apparel. Part boutique, part gift shop, part outdoor outfitter, you’ll find everything from rain boots and Barbour jackets to foodstuffs to candles, bitters, cocktail supplies, home decor, and all sorts of local handmade quirkiness. Artisanal chocolate honey truffles and growlers of beer? Yes, please. With a darling, vintage-looking painted sign and Adirondack chairs out front, the Cold Spring General Store calls your name from down the street.

Clove & Creek, The Kingston Rondout

Clove & Creek in Kingston offers artisanal foods for the pantry, apothecary items ranging from shaving supplies to smudge bundles, paper goods, books, accessories, gifts, and nifty old-school outdoor gear. This trendy Rondout boutique also hangs exhibits and sells fine art, plus it has a Parlor Coffee program. You’ll find one-of-a-kind vintage items you’ve never seen before, top-notch iterations of old familiar things you thought were gone forever, and a good-sized selection of gifts and goodies under $25.

Circle W Market, Palenville, Catskill

The Circle W Market was founded in picturesque Palenville in 1908 as a classic countryside general store, carrying everything from “a gallon of milk to a gallon of paint.” By the 1990s, the shop was in a run-down, sorry state, but in 2009, Circle W was rediscovered and tenderly brought back to life by Patti and Gary Harvey, whose local roots predate the Civil War. In the rejuvenated little roadside spot, the Harveys created a beloved local hub—a cafe and market, with fine coffees, sandwiches, and groceries. They’ve since passed on operations on to their daughter Jessie and her husband Simone Felice, who have added locally made gifts and specialty food items, an event space, and a bustling second location on Main Street in Catskill.

Hurleyville General Store, Hurleyville

Hurleyville General Store has a crucial mission: showcasing the assets and talents of people with disabilities. It first opened as a place where the whole family would be contributing, son RJ and brother Jack included. The intoxicating candles, lush salves, natural soaps, vegan chocolates, gem bracelets, and hand-loomed cashmere scarves are not just luxe goodies; they help support educational and vocational opportunities for marginalized folks.

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