A Kitchenware-Lover’s Banquet

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

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.
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.