We live in a time of box stores, whose locations are based on proximity to highway exits, where consumers buy mass produced, context-free goods. To most, there is no perceived irony or dissonance in a person who has not been to the ocean in years buying, underneath a giant poster of a ship, a cheaply made nautically themed shirt that would not survive the shortest of sails, made in China, from a high school student who has never seen salt water.
However, there still remain options for people seeking to include as much authenticity as possible to their life. One such example is the Granite Hall Store.
Overlooking a working Maine harbor, the store is filled with goods that are:
- Locally designed and made, including note cards, jams, pottery, and ice cream.
- Made of the highest quality, including woolens and linens from the British Isles.
While so many stores today change every nine months, Granite Hall stays seemingly unchanged while never feeling "dusty". At a time when stores are putting in giant artificial theme parks and stuffed animals, Granite Hall has weathered Adirondack chairs, in a circle, under a tree, in which one can eat their local ice cream, with the breezes from the harbor.
As retailers grow in size, it becomes increasingly more difficult to maintain even the smallest shred of what they once were. So real products, built locally where possible, of natural materials and suited for the location, sold by people who care, are worth seeking out.