Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Goods & Curiosities

Essex's Griswold Inn, aka "the Gris," has been charming visitors to this town at the mouth of the Connecticut River since 1776. It's now best known for its dining and drinking options, its marine art collection, and just for being so freaking New England and cute. (I mean, look at that wagon, right?)

But I am more likely to be found across the street browsing at the Griswold Inn Store, Goods & Curiosities, which is one of my favorite Connecticut shopping spots.

Gift stores, especially when they try to stock a wide variety of eye-catching items and associate themselves with a museum or other historic site, can easily slide into the realm of the tacky and cheesy. But this one resists that fiercely (something Essex is not known for) and manages to offer something for literally everyone while still pleasing judgmental snobs like me.

There's a slight focus on Connecticut, New England, and history, but there's also plenty of stuff that has nothing to do with any that. There are candles, toys, cosmetics, accessories, cookbooks, glassware, tea, cards, games, magnets, and approximately 9,000 other categories of tempting things. Prices range from a few dollars to "I think I'll just put that back and pretend I didn't see it."

And even if you somehow don't enjoy this store, you can't complain, because you're in Essex.

1 comment:

  1. Thank You Johnna, we feel like you "got" the store. There is, surprisingly,a greater tie-in to CT, New England, American Craft traditional- contemporary, and CT lifestyle now than you may realize. I can spin you stories on how we connect the dots, build themes, curate some curiosities. I will confess that the name Goods & Curiosities let's us riff on the mission. At this time our Ecom site is pretty dedicated to branded Gris goods , so the FB page updates frequently with news,books, visitors stories ,artisan features, more the full gamut of the store.
    Come see us again SOON. - Linda Hali Zucker, Director of Retail/Product Development



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