What’s in a name? Credit a private joke between spouses for how a Greenport store came to be called Tea & Tchotchkes.
"I would often go to thrift shops and yard sales and find treasures," says shop owner Brittany Calvert. "One day my husband said, ‘If you bring home another tchotchke, you’ll have to open a store.’"
In April 2017, she did.
For Calvert, 33, who had managed other people’s Long Island businesses, including a women’s boutique and a garden shop, the launch was a chance to showcase things she loves and her laid-back, natural vibe. "I come from a family of hippies," she says.
At Tea & Tchotchkes, a "boho lifestyle gift shop," as it says on its website, she has curated an eclectic retail brew. The cozy space features loose-leaf teas, unusual gifts and clothing sourced locally and from other parts of the world.
Many customers return regularly for herbal teas. "Teas are like the glue that holds the shop together," says Calvert, who lives with her husband, Ken Deeg, and their 3-year-old son Duke in Southampton, where she grew up. A sampling of loose-leaf varieties include caramelized pear, luscious licorice, turmeric ginger and peppermint. Prices run $3 and up an ounce.
"Every year, I find one thing that I’m so excited about this holiday season," she says. "This year, that includes a new line of ornaments for the store." These festive felt trimmings come in figures of Ruth Bader Ginsburg (with signature glasses, robe, law book and collar), Prince and Andy Warhol for a bit of celebrity luster, along with whimsical lobsters, octopuses and sea horses in a nod to the local setting. Prices of ornaments range from $12.95 to $22.95.
"I really try to source out and curate things in the shop that you don’t see every day," she says. Popular sellers include hand-carved wooden moons with crystals, smudge sticks, plants and planters, scented candles celebrating local villages, unisex knit hats and casual corduroy jackets.
Prices run from around $25 to $350, depending on the item. The motto is constant: "No pressure shopping," says Calvert. "Enjoy yourself."
Tea & Tchotchkes is located at 120 Front St., across from the carousel; 631-333-2575, teaandtchotchkes.net. The store is open Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. It’s open from St. Patrick’s Day to Christmas Eve.