Commerce is the lifeblood of a township. A perfect example is in a place without walls – the Montclair Farmers Market. In parking lots on both sides of the tracks at the Walnut Street Train Station, vendors set up their wares from 8 AM to 2 PM every Saturday morning. A mix of residents, shoppers from neighboring towns and nearby NYC, and quite a few pets at the end of leashes come together in a weekly town square, exchanging greetings and engaging in conversation. At the same time, they fill their cotton mesh bags with hand-picked provisions. You’ll find everything in the assembled stalls, from nutritional microgreens to seasonal fruits and vegetables to artisanal bread that can’t be found in any store to exotic spices to fresh fish, meats from organically fed livestock, and much more, including occasional, handmade gifts from distant shores.
The View on Bellevue Avenue
Dry Good Refillery in Upper Montclair became part of a conscious resolution to protect the planet. A one-stop shop for all your grocery needs and gourmet foods, package and plastic-free, including bulk foods, produce, dairy, home cleaning products, and more. More than 350 items are also shipped nationwide without any plastic. Co Co, a few doors down on Bellevue Avenue, offers a unique experience in women’s fashion. For 22 years, proprietor Rox Connolly has expressed her infectious passion for fashion. Simply walking through the store with its array of fabrics and styles will transport you. Cornerstone Montclair is a business with a community vision. Its mission expresses Montclair’s dedication to inclusiveness and diversity. By partnering with businesses, educators, therapists, and service providers who share that vision, Cornerstone Montclair creates a vibrant hub of activity that welcomes people with various disabilities to work and enjoy life alongside their peers. Its 3,000-square-foot location offers the most fundamental things: a place to be and do for all.
Discovering the Valley
Clores Flowers & Gifts on Valley Road is a secret garden — an art gallery of flower arrangements. Enter for a visual treat of floor-to-ceiling floral designs for all occasions or no occasion at all except the desire to indulge in nature’s arresting beauty. Cross the street to Piazza Della Sole, where the mission is to marry fashion with comfort, and you will very likely leave with a treat for your feet. Whether you are looking for boots, sandals, high heels, or flats on the way to a formal event or a walk in the park, Piazza Della Sole will fit you out in style. Everything old is new. Nouvelle is a curated woman’s boutique. After many years in the garment industry, Arlene, the woman behind the venture, opened a consignment shop with everything stylish to make any woman feel womanly, from underwear to outerwear, including every accessory. Then, one day, she expanded to begin to also stock what’s new. She tried on the French word for “new” to express this – Nouvelle – and it fit. Come see. Houss Freya offers candles with crystals, herbs, essential oils, shower melts, loose incense, bath salts, body oils, attraction roll-on oils, smudging sprays, mini ritual candles, enchanted dust, and more. In addition to these healing objects, Houss Freya conducts tarot readings, akashic record readings, mediumship, tea leaf readings, reiki healing, past life readings, and other spiritual explorations. Vesta Chocolate is a bean-to-bonbon craft chocolate factory and café. As the owners say, magic happens when you do what you love to do with the people you love. In this case, the magic that happens is one delicious chocolate at a time. Check out their wares
Charming on Church Street
Blu Lotus Metaphysical Center on Church Street, now in its 28th year, helps hundreds of people through its healing-based products and services, including psychic readings, massage therapy, meditation circles, yoga, and more. Blu Lotus offers a wide array of products and gift cards. Montclair is a pet-friendly town, and LB Healthy Pet Markets is a pet’s best friend. “Healthy First” are the two watchwords that define its mission. Nutritious food and preferred vets are among its recommendations. Located on South Fullerton Avenue, family-owned and family-staffed, it gives you the guidance and attention of a loving family, which is what every pet needs. Elegance and Quality are the two words that set Dody’s Dresses apart. Spark the imagination by scrolling through its online catalog of stunning gowns. Schedule an appointment to make your selection. Salt Air[e] Collective, in its own words, is “a thoughtful collective of apparel, home, and lifestyle goods for inspired living.” Inspired by nature, where everything is “imperfectly perfect,” Salt Air [e] specializes in artisanal dyeing, so all its garments exude natural beauty.
Blooming on Bloomfield Avenue
East Side Mags, located in downtown Montclair on Bloomfield Avenue, is a toy and game environment centered around the theme of classic and contemporary comics. Single-issue comics, trade paperbacks, graphic novels, action figures/toys, games, cards, collectibles, statues/busts, t-shirts, buttons, posters, stickers, independent comics, and independent art from local and national artists fill its shelves and walls, creating an experience for collectors and anyone with casual interest that includes lively discussions of new movies, TV shows, web series, and other ways comic characters have influenced media and pop culture. GiftBar Montclair, founded by two sisters, Cali and Jordan, has every kind of gift you can imagine in store, with a pop culture twist. Walking through the shop is a celebration for your eyes, an eclectic selection of candy, games, party items, personal and home accessories, fun gifts for kids, babies, and new parents, jewelry, sunglasses, keychains, health and wellness products – something for everyone on your gift list. Custom tailor Hipolito Pollantis says it all with these words: “I make shirts. I make suits. I make dresses. But what I really do is make people look good. I love style. I’ve studied the art and business of making clothes in the fashion centers of the world, and that’s what I bring into my shop.” Visit excellence. Short walk down Bloomfield Avenue you will find Parcel. Parcel opened its doors in the summer of 2003. By dictionary definition, the word Parcel means “A present, a package; a collection of things.” The concept of the shop was just that. Merchandised like an old-fashioned general store, the shop boasts Parcel-made stationery, paper goods and small objects, apothecary products, vintage ephemera, gifts, beautiful packaging, crafting and wrapping materials. Antique fixtures of drawers and compartments are filled to the brim, and the shopping experience is a treasure hunt, as well and a feast for the senses.
Findings within Walking Distance
Park Street is the Montclair home of Grace Loves Lace, the home of unforgettable bridal gowns designed to make your day as unique as you. From flowing bohemian gowns to glamorous mermaid dresses and everything in between, they are always stylish, magical, and memorable. “Pazzazed” on Midland Avenue is a variation on the word “pizzazz” which connotes energy and style, sparkle, variety and glamour – everything that characterizes the home décor and gift collection at Pazzazed Montclair. Walking into Dolly Moo on Glenridge Avenue feels magical. Their skincare creations incorporate thoughtfully chosen natural and organic ingredients, with a focus on essential oils that are meticulously curated to be paraben-free, phthalate-free, and vegan. The products are certified cruelty-free, and the brand humorously asserts that “All Dolly Moo products are tested on their loving (yet brutally honest) friends and family.” What sets this store apart is its introduction of a new seasonal collection every Equinox & Solstice, along with a late winter collection called Love to Love. Each season, they unveil a line of products inspired by the magic of Mother Earth.
Butter and the Board is a charcuterie house on Forest Street with small-batch charcuterie, sausages, pates, terrines, and other French-inspired prepared foods. Wednesday Night Dinners, Charcuterie & Sausage a la carte, Holiday Gifts, Tasting Classes, and Intimate Gatherings in the shop are among its offerings.