Winter in New England is made sweeter by the twin fires of food and warmth. And two stores in Olde Mistick Village excel in these comforts, among many others.
Kitch runs the gamut from necessary to luxury home cooking tools and accessories. Una is a world of beautiful clothing, gifts and scents for women, and cool and unique gift ideas for men.
UNA opened July 5 in the space formerly occupied by Elizabeth and Harriett, which closed after longtime owner Suzanne Lane retired. Kitch opened on July 20 in the former Gray Goose Cookery location, another store Lane had owned.
Owner Stefan Ambrosch says the challenge was to retain some of the products that made each place popular while also creating an entirely new experience and vibe in each location. Most of the staff members at both locations signed on for the new ventures, so expect to see friendly, familiar faces.
Kitch is an imaginative playground for the would-be host, hostess, or gourmet. There are walls of traditional implements in not-so-standard styles and colors, along with gifts, linens and beautiful table and cookware.
The space’s working kitchen was retained and will soon start hosting cooking classes and product demonstrations; plans call for producing educational YouTube videos on different types of kitchen equipment and knife demonstrations. The store also has samples of everything in the kitchen, so customers can get a feel for the products before buying.
The inventory focuses on items you can’t find anywhere else, like a line called Combekk, with cast-iron Dutch ovens that use a variety of recycled materials, including recycled railroad ties.
There are cutting boards made in Connecticut and striking granite beverage dispensers by Funky Rock Designs. Kitch carries glassware that is fully customizable, as well as Hammer Stahl cutlery.
Ambrosch said they brought in about 92 new lines in 30 days.
“It’s been a challenge and it’s been fun,” co-manager Dan Price said. “It’s great when people walk in the store, stop dead and go, ‘Wow. This is so cool.’ He credits co-manager (and wife) Lynne with creating brilliant displays that tell a story.
And at UNA, the clothing is hip but classic, a bohemian style that is fun, functional, and lovely. Nostalgia’s line of remarkably soft faux fur vests and wraps is a must-see, and wonderfully complement the leather bags from Hobo Bags, and Angie and Tractr Jeans.
Among the gifts are Gentlemen’s Hardware multi-tool sets for cooks, hunters, outdoorsmen, handymen and fishermen; perfectly scented Thymes Frasier Fir candles, and Swedish Dream Sea Salt soaps. There’s an upscale section for pet lovers and lots of items for the eco-conscious, including A Few Good Banana’s line of cold-proof gloves and mittens made from reclaimed materials.
The jewelry and gifts are sleek and simple. One of the sweetest collections is a group of colorful, handblown glass vases, each perfectly sized to hold the stem of just one flower. This beautiful windowsill accessory called the “Love You Mom” line is made in nearby Providence, Rhode Island. And for those Vera Bradley fans, the store retained a selection just for you.
Beware, you will want to buy *all the things* at each shop. The layouts are simple, the spaces wide and easy to navigate, the arrangements orderly but comfortable and inviting: a shopping experience at its very best.
UNA and Kitch are each open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit UNA online at https://unamystic.com, on Instagram at @unamystic, or call 860-980-3390. Kitch can be reached at 860-980-3384 and is on Instagram as @kitchcookery.