Waterfront Boutique Offers Prime Gift-Hunting Selection

Welcoming customers to her new location on Main Street is Candy Bridges. The Waterfront Boutique, located at 421 Main Street, opened on September 25th. (Photo by Lura Jackson)

By Lura Jackson

 

Main Street has become even more vibrant – and it’s not just because of the scarecrows lining the sidewalks. Candy Bridges has officially opened Waterfront Boutique, a reimagining of Baring Gifts/Knock on Wood that brings the former store’s most popular products to downtown Calais.

As it name suggests, Waterfront Boutique is an exceptional gift store, containing items suitable for the most special occasions in life – from an anniversary to the birth of a child – as well as more common gifts that go a long way toward brightening the day of the recipient. One side of the store contains a range of high-quality clothing items and accessories, including many fall fashions, and the other side offers a selection of food goods.

Bridges is very pleased with the store’s layout and the ways in which it accents her products. “I think it’s perfect because it’s cozier,” she said. “It matches the displays. Everything just seems to meld together. It’s like a perfect pairing for what I’ve got, the boutique-y look.”

Most of the product lines that Bridges is offering are tried and true, reflecting her desire to maximize the space she’s in at the same time as meeting customers’ requests. “I’ve basically downsized – but, I’ve brought in everything that was selling at the old store. So, whatever was popular there, I tried to bring in here,” she explained.

The clothing selection includes consignment items as well as Simply Noel, and she is looking to expand into Maine-made clothing if she is able to. She also offers a new line of fine jewelry and Maine-themed pieces.

For food goods, the first question anyone who is familiar with the past stores will ask is usually about its famous fudge. Bridges will be continuing to make and sell the fudge that Knock on Wood was so well known for. “I can’t let it die,” she said, explaining how she’d been searching around for someone else that might be willing to take it on, but when no one was able to, she decided to continue what has become a Down East tradition.

Along with fudge, Bridges has a wide array of other fine food goods. Among them are a selection of Maine-made products, including wine, beer, seasonings, jams, sauces and more. Stonewall Kitchen and Raye’s Mustard are among the well-represented brands.

Being downtown has been a great experience for Bridges thus far. “There’s a lot more energy downtown,” she said. “I love that. I felt pretty isolated up there in that space. The foot traffic alone has increased.”

Part of the joy of being a downtown business owner is having the ability to decorate the storefront, and Bridges is already planning her Halloween and Christmas displays. “I love decorating the windows,” she enthused, adding that she’ll have a scarecrow up this year as well. “It’s a lot more fun for me here.”

 

Bridges will have all of her Christmas products in the store by the end of October, she estimates, with a grand opening planned for November 10th.