The Sandwich Zoning Board of Appeals met for the first time in several months via Zoom to consider—and approve—plans for a seaside-themed accessory and home decoration shop at 102 Route 6A.
The tiny shop will be at the intersection of Route 6A and Tupper Road. It will be called Thatcher Ellery and will sell a variety of nautical gifts and finds, said owner Kristen Donaldson in a telephone interview after the ZBA meeting on Wednesday, June 23.
Ms. Donaldson’s website shows an inventory of goods ranging from from vintage maps and sailboat bookends to hand-stitched lobster and whale-themed pillows for kids.
“There are vintage finds from flea markets and yard sales that I’ve collected over the years,” Ms. Donaldson said. “I won’t sell anything I wouldn’t put in my own home.”
The ZBA unanimously granted the special permit to Ms. Donaldson and her husband Andrew Sims, in less than 30 minutes.
The board members determined that the shop met the necessary criteria: there will be adequate parking for the 970-square-foot shop; the location—which can be accessed from Tupper Road and Route 6A—would not cause traffic congestion; and that the business would not be a detriment to the neighborhood.
The shop will occupy only the first floor of the small two-story house, which was built in 1910. Ms. Donaldson said the second floor will be used for her office and storage.
The seasonal store will be open in the spring and summer from Tuesday to Sunday from 9 or 10 AM to 5 or 6 PM, Ms. Donaldson told the ZBA members.
Asked how she found the little house in Sandwich, Ms. Donaldson replied, “Sandwich found me.”
She said she had been looking for a place on the Cape to house her business and had enlisted the help of realtors to no avail. One day she was driving along Route 6A and noticed the little house.
“I had driven past it a hundred times, but never noticed it before,” Ms. Donaldson said. She stopped and looked, and fell in love.
The new shop owner said she spent many years working as a visual merchandiser for Nordstrom and left the business to raise the two children for whom the shop is named. She started an online business about a year ago.
The Cape holds significance for her because her family always had a house here and it’s also where she met her husband, Ms. Donaldson said. The couple lives in Carlisle and also have a home in Barnstable.
She intends to organize the shop like her home, with a living room, dining room and kitchen, so people can go through and envision items in their own homes.
She does not yet have an opening date, but would like to open later this year.
“I have to open soon. I have so much inventory stockpiled at my house,” Ms. Donaldson said.
When she reminisces about summers on the Cape, Ms. Donaldson said, she remembers weathered wood, ferry rides, the smell of salt, and sun-bleached clam shells.
“It is my hope that you find yourself reminiscing of a time you spent near the water, with family, friends or alone,” Ms. Donaldson wrote on her website. “I hope you find something to take home with you or better yet, something for someone you love as much as I love the sea.”