Littleton's Main Street Has Serious Shopping Momentum

Littleton retail is firecracker hot



Bad-Art on Mill Street in Littleton, NH
Photo by Rick Broussard

This Independence Day, why not break away from your budget and parade yourself along Littleton’s Main Street, where you’ll find homespun hospitality and more retail opportunities than flags on a float.

Walking into Pentimento is like taking a high dive into a gumball machine. This gift, card, home décor, accessory (BLING) store is on Red Bull. Owner Philippa is a rock star and knows how to put together a store worthy of at least an hour of your time. Highlights include crazy-funny cards, pampering lotions and body-care products, garden gifts, candles (the pears are lovely), scarves and tons of jewelry with more bling than Elizabeth Taylor.

Consignor lovers will adore Emma & Co. Consignments Boutique. With more than 900 consignors, this place can afford to be picky, picky, picky. You’ll find handbags (Kate Spade) and “new with tags” Coach Bags (reg. $268 for $149). Look for some great jewelry from “Just in Time” as well as garden gloves, straw hats and a whole lot of class. The store is laid out beautifully and features fashions that are trending now.

Feeling a little sassy? Zip into Bella Funk Boutique for an hour or so of  playing dress-up. Great summer dresses from April Cornell and Lilla P look terrific paired with a breezy scarf and strappy sandals. The screen-printed tees from Treya are super comfy and priced to sell. For great fitting jeans, invest in a pair of Citizens of Humanity or show a little leg with a pair of Hudson shorts. Check out the new baby-toddler organic clothing section.

The Nest is four stores in one: a home décor gift store, art gallery (local artists), garden shop (birdhouses) and quality fine bedding and linens from Pine Cone Hill. Look for Yankee Candles, entertaining ware, supplies and the ever-so-popular silicone bowl covers (no need for clear wrap). The napkin rings are gorgeous and the selection of unique table lamps scrumptious.

Grab an oxygen mask. The custom-designed jewelry at TM Jewelers will take your breath away. Tigran Muradian, who learned his trade as a young man in Armenia, is a master artist and craftsman. If you’re popping “the question,” anything designed by TM will surely elicit a “yes.” Be sure to check out the ruby-and-diamond ball ring that spins and other moveable jewelry pieces.

Photo by Susan Laughlin

Schilling Beer Co.

Do you enjoy reruns of “The Dick Van Dyke Show”? Then hurry in to just L, where you will feel as if you are on the actual TV set. This mid-century modern antique store offers modern antiques and intriguing items from the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s. Expect a few pleasant flashbacks, folding rulers ($8), teak furniture, wooden-handled kitchen tools, vintage dentist tools (torture), furniture and a few splashes of avocado green.

Northern Lights Music, in business for 36 years, is where serious musicians travel when looking for just the right guitar and other strings. Owner Dan Salomon (who is a music genius) says acoustic guitars are big sellers these days, so get in and try a few on for size. If you have a youngster looking to become the next American Idol, you might encourage them to consider a used electric guitar and amp for under $100. Other “rock stars” gush over the 1957 Les Paul Gold Top priced at $95,000.

Did you know that the herb yarrow is good for first aid? It stops bleeding and disinfects wounds. There’s a lot to learn about remedies, tinctures, cooking herbs, healing herbs and more at The Little Herb Shoppe. Lotions, soaps and personal-care items (lovingly blended by Kate Hudson) fill this inspiring store. Personal consultations are available by appointment. July offers a class in foraging for mushrooms!

The “sweetest” place in Littleton is Chutters, where you will find one of the longest candy counters in the country and a whole lot more. The fudge is spectacular, especially the chocolate peanut butter pretzel and the moose tracks and the … The specialty chocolate area is total seduction, especially the sea-salted caramel. Did I mention the chocolate-covered bacon? Slam-dunk ridiculous.

Travel Bug is irresistible when it comes to the creativity of its lovely owner, Juliette.  Look for all Fair Trade items, including solar butterflies, wall art, journals, beads, hand-carved items and more. Weekends offer multiple craft projects for kids, including making fairy doors, magic wands, painting bubble wrap or stones, making feather pens, bracelets and more. Small store, big impact.

It’s all in the name at Bad-Art, where you’ll find, well, Bad Art. Look for old salvaged photographs re-purposed in frames with delightful taglines. The hunting-orange knitted caps that state “Not a Deer” are a riot as are the zombie sock monkeys, some with one eye or others with pink eye and most of them with their guts hanging out. If you are a “Walking Dead” fan, get your twisted mind in here.

Schilling Beer Co. (along the river) is probably where you’ll find the most traffic in Littleton and there is a good reason. After a full day of shopping (or hiking), this is the place to tap into a Pilsner, Pale Ale, Porter or whatever soothes you (R.J. Schilling Flight). This small-batch brewery offers wood-fired pizzas, salad, tapas and other rotating goodies. Fun times found here.

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