The Shops of Londonderry and Derry
Exploring the "less traveled" specialty shops of Londonderry and Derry
Along the backroads of Londonderry and Derry, there are some unique shops that typically may not draw you in. Perhaps the late poet Derry native Robert Frost realized this long ago.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
Took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Imagine being able to ride a bicycle without being strapped to an oxygen tank. Yes, it’s possible to take biking through Europe off your bucket list. Electric Bikes of New England is one fine two-wheeling candy store. These electric bikes are sophisticated and outfitted with all the modern gadgets, including ports for charging smartphones. Look for Haibike from Germany and the Stromer ST2 from the established family-owned business with a huge following.
Admit it. If no one were watching, you too would be raking the beach with a metal detector. There is still a child in all of us and HobbyTown is the place to go down memory lane and pick up some classic toys. You can get a drone ($40-$800), some remote control airplanes, Estes rocket kits, model trains, paint-by-number projects and anything your “young at heart” desires. Oh, this is also a great store if you have imaginative kids.
A ball of paint on your shirt may not be for you, but for others this is what weekends are for. There is a whole subculture of people who adore the challenges of a good paintball outing. Derry Paintball & Skateboard Shop in Derry is small but it packs a punch. This place is stocked floor to ceiling with paintball accessories on one wall and skateboards on another. Now trending are cruiser boards and longboards; and they’re not just for play, new users (environmentalists) are using them for around-town transportation.
Need a rake? Looking for bird feed? How about some baby chickens or turkeys? Derry Feed & Supply Co. has been taking care of farmers, gardeners and fix-it guys and gals for three generations. This is where people in town who don’t rely on “googling” go to for advice from the Evans family. If you have grubs, moles, mice or any kind of insect, you’ll find the right product to “take care of them.” There are some wonderful bird feeders and bins full of seeds for mix and match.
Hands that like to be busy can’t resist beating a path to The Yarn and Fiber Company in Derry. Knit, crochet, quilt or spin, if it involves using hands, imagination and fiber, this is the place for you. Look for patterns, imported yarns, craft accessories, revolving classes and a group of like individuals who love to get together on the lower floor and share techniques and disasters.
All apologies to Mrs. Steer, but’s it is hardly a secret; it seems as if everyone loves Mr. Steer. His name is Chris George, and his family has been “the local butcher” since 1905. Here you will find beef, chicken and lamb tips, fresh-made sausage, specialty cut meats (think silver platter), a deli and a hot food counter that also offers soups. There’s an entire case full of sides, including different kinds of potato salads, pasta salads and more. Mr. Steer is totally charming.
Some people who lived through the ’60s are fine leaving it behind. Others (ahem) like to keep a little fire burning for peace and love. The Happy Hippy Boutique is where you’ll find tie dye, beads, incense, musk oil, peace flags, turquoise earrings and even little glass containers commonly referred to as ashtrays (when was the last time you saw those?). Groove on in; you’ll recognize the tunes and singing along loudly is perfectly fine.
It might be easier for your dog or cat to read the sign, Woofmeow, a locally owned spectacular super store for common pets and their needs. This is where you can buy exotic fish for home aquariums, reptiles, ferrets and birds (an entire room dedicated to them). You’ll also find pet accessories as well as fashionable outfits (and accessories) for spoiled little dogs. The bakery center offers fresh-made dog treats.
For trendy styles at amazing prices (nothing over $50), stop by Marilisa’s Fashion in the Hood Commons. The boutique carries colorful tops and pants, some long dresses, skirts and even sassy sandals. If you need an outfit or just a pick-me-up, this is a great place to go to find fashion for less. You might even find a gift or two for your best friends.
Nourishment is such a necessity when making buying decisions, right? Do stop in at The Grind Rail Trail Café and pick up an organic coffee or tea or a salad cup (salad in an actual cup) or some locally made quiche. This shop has a happy vibe. Later in the day, when your feet are tired and your brain is mush, head to Amphora for authentic Greek cuisine. You’ll love the saganaki, kreatopita and taramosalata (ha, have fun googling). All kidding aside, this is one friendly and charming restaurant.