Hanalei and Kula's, owned and run by Lynnette and Peter...

Hanalei and Kula's, owned and run by Lynnette and Peter Vitale in Ocean Beach on Fire Island, features an eclectic mix of merchandise. There's a wall where customers can leave thoughts and messages.  Credit: Hanalei and Kula's

At Hanalei and Kula’s, a seasonal shop on Fire Island, “if these walls could talk” isn’t just an abstract expression. “There’s a wall where people will write special quotes and leave their names and the date,” says Lynnette Vitale, 61, who owns the store with her husband Peter, 62. “It’s a thing we’re very proud of.” 

One of her favorite leave-behinds echoes Bob Marley: “Love the life you live; live the life you love.” The motto of the store – steps from the Ocean Beach stop on the Bay Shore ferry – might be similarly summed up: Love the things you sell; sell the things you love.

Now in its 13th season, the store features an eclectic mix of merchandise – clothing, specialty perfumes, jewelry, spa products and gift items. Visitors to the area have come to count on the shop for special goodies to bring to their hosts. 

The store was named after the Vitales’  late golden retrievers. It also reflects the couple’s deep love for Hawaii. “We’ve been there 15 times,” says Lynnette. 

For the past 34 years, they’ve lived in Huntington, where they raised four children, now ages 28 to 37. When he’s not at the store, Peter runs a family fuel company.  

Popular items at the Ocean Beach outpost include Dear Lynnette, a patchouli-forward fragrance she makes, which sells for $80 for half an ounce. “Men love it," she says. “A man once went up to my husband and said, ‘Would you mind if I smell your wife?’” (He didn’t mind. “I knew what he meant,” says Peter.)

Clothes by Magnolia Pearl, a luxurious boho line by a Texas-based designer, are a main attraction. Casual tees are $95, wrap tops $400 and overalls $600. ROXoxox semi-precious and precious gem jewelry range from $25 to $500. Original Frankenreiter brand trucker hats sell for $48 and band shirts for $110. Candles run from $9 to $68.

Among the many things the Vitales love about the shop is that it’s a very easy commute from their Fire Island digs. They live there seasonally in an apartment above the shop. “It’s just steps away,” she says. “It’s a very happy place.” 

The shop has had a sister location since December. The Vitales opened a year-round Hanalei and Kula’s late last year at 74 New York Ave. in the Halesite hamlet in Huntington. “It’s the same vibe,” says Lynnette, “but it’s four times the size of the Fire Island shop so we’ll be hosting events there.”

Hanalei and Kula’s, 472 Dehnhoff Walk, 631-583-8302; hanaleiandkulas.com. Open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily now through October. Season begins in April.  

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