A Kitchenware-Lover’s Banquet

A Kitchenware-Lover’s Banquet

The displays at Folly 101 have an interior decorator's touch. Items are arranged by color, and the place is bathed in natural light.

Astrid Vigeland’s Folly 101 is a feast of goods for the tabletop and more.

By Amy Sutherland
Photographs by Mark Fleming
The Owner. A longtime photo stylist and interior decorator, Astrid Vigeland named her 17-year-old shop after a camp owned by dear friends of her parents. “Throughout our childhood, my brothers and I would hear about what a special place Folly was, and you never quite knew what to expect.”

The Neighborhood. Folly 101 occupies an airy 19th-century building with a huge storefront on Exchange Street in Portland’s much-trafficked Old Port. It’s steps from Tommy’s Park and Post Office Park, favorite spots for people-watching.

What’s Inside. Vigeland stashes almost everything you might need to entertain — French salad servers, teak appetizer plates, buffalo-plaid napkins — along with gift items such as scented soaps, linen scarves, and baby things. The store has the feeling of an old-time general store, with its wealth of affordable goods piled here and there, but the look of a sophisticated design boutique. Vigeland obviously loves white (she stocks a healthy inventory of white ironware), but each color gets its due. Items are grouped by shade so a host in a rush can easily find blue salad plates. Vigeland favors practicality, but there are plenty of whimsical touches, such as the individual butter ramekins or palm-size graters.

We Love. Feather-light baskets in all sizes and shapes from Mexico, teeny-tiny porcelain bowls for dipping sauces or olives, bold-patterned cotton tablecloths, turquoise-colored, pear-shaped candles, tin dishes enameled with marbleized red, striped ticking aprons, glass and ceramic vessels from wee creamers to sangria pitchers, round linen-coated trays for organizing your bar, rectangular ceramic plates for tapas, and, of course, paper dinner napkins covered with shimmering lobsters.

101 Exchange St. 207-773-5227.

More to Explore

Don’t miss these other Old Port haunts.

Holly Hamilton Jewelry

Besides her custom-made jewelry, resembling updated Renaissance gems, Hamilton fills her store with Maine ceramist George Pearlman’s innovative pottery.

97 Exchange St. 207-772-8887.

Mt. Desert Island

Ice Cream
This shop scoops flavors like Butterscotch Miso and Blackstrap Banana, but if you prefer your cone traditional, there’s always the super-chocolate-y Callebaut Chocolate.

51 Exchange St. 207-210-3432.

Bard Coffee

This Maine roaster pours a half-dozen or so of its single-origin brews in a sun-filled café. Step outside to sip your cup of Cameroon Oku next door in Tommy’s Park.

185 Middle St. 207-899-4788.

Amy Sutherland

Amy Sutherland is the author of four books, including Rescuing Penny Jane.