Where to Shop
Try to find some superlative that hasn’t been used to describe Maine Cottage Furniture’s distinctively hued and colorfully decorated chairs, beds, sofas, and more over the past twenty years. Can’t be done. In a state where stained wood is the sine qua non of fine furniture, this outfit offers a palette of forty eye-shattering colors to choose from for its desks, beds, and other case pieces. And somehow all those tones evoke some essential quality of Maine.
- Photography by: Le Creuset
Maine has some great kitchen stores, and we shop in them regularly. But when we’re in the market for the best of the best at a bargain price, we follow the masses to the outlet malls in Kittery and the Le Creuset factory store. With a lifetime guarantee on its famous enamel cast iron and stainless steel pots and pans, the store carries everything from four different sizes of frying pans to a five-quart braiser.
Even Madonna couldn’t complain about the finds at Material Objects, one of Maine’s oldest and most popular consignment shops. Girls and guys alike can take advantage of this institution that has been servicing fashion-seeking Portlanders for thirty years. Consider it clothing recycling. Not only can you set up an appointment to get rid of your old clothes (call ahead — slots are booked months in advance due to popularity), but you get at least 50 percent of any sales.
- Photography by: The Green Store
Sustainability is more than just the cause du jour for Ellie Daniels and her crew at the Green Store on Main Street in Belfast. They were selling nontoxic baby toys before nontoxic was even a word. Founded fifteen years ago by Daniels and three friends — who have since left the business — with thirty thousand dollars and absolutely no experience in retail sales, the store has become a mecca for people who want to live lightly on the planet.
- Photography by: The Animal House
Trying to find Fido the right food? Head to Damariscotta. That’s where you’ll find the Animal House, the aptly named authority on all things dietary for your furry friends. Think of it as a health-food store for pets: you’ll find nothing but 100 percent real ingredients in all the brands sold here. The store also offers other pet necessities, plus one for the pet parents: a self-service washing facility.
- Photography by: Jennifer Baum
If seventy-five bucks for a lift ticket isn’t lifting your spirits much this winter, we still recommend hitting the trails . . . the flat ones. You know, cross-country trails, the ones requiring you to break a sweat to get anywhere. For our money, the best people to get you trekking are the folks at Carter’s X-C Ski Shop, with centers in Bethel and Oxford. A family affair, Carter’s has been renting and selling equipment for almost thirty years, and their passionate expertise will set you on the right path, no matter what your skiing savvy or skill.
The official I-95 “Welcome to Maine” sign is the state’s way of saying hello. Now there’s a new welcome sign of sorts for your own home: a Maine lobster rope doormat.