Gail Summers of Seattle spent the holiday “glamping” at Fort Worden in Port Townsend and stopped by Conservatory Coastal Home to browse and warm up. “I definitely support small business whenever I can,” she says. “I love the originality and artistic ideas that make these stores unique.” She planned to buy gifts for family, friends and herself. (Jeannie McMacken/for Peninsula Daily News)

Gail Summers of Seattle spent the holiday “glamping” at Fort Worden in Port Townsend and stopped by Conservatory Coastal Home to browse and warm up. “I definitely support small business whenever I can,” she says. “I love the originality and artistic ideas that make these stores unique.” She planned to buy gifts for family, friends and herself. (Jeannie McMacken/for Peninsula Daily News)

Jefferson businesses report top sellers; shopping reported strong

PORT TOWNSEND — Port Townsend businesses reported a flurry of sales on the weekend following Thanksgiving.

“We’re doing fabulous this weekend, especially today,” said Judy Kowalski, owner of The Spice and Tea Exchange.

”Everyone is in a good mood. They’re pleasant and interactive. Many are coming in with their families.

The shop sold a lot of teas and spices, “especially our Chocolate Candy Cane Tea and Tuscany spice blend mix that we’re offering as a dip with crackers.”

Conservatory Coastal Home also saw sales increase.

“We’ve been super busy all weekend and our candles have been selling very well,” said Rosaletta Curry, sales associate.

“We make our own, and people have been collecting them for the past several years. It’s become a tradition to come in and buy them as gifts during the Thanksgiving holiday.”

This year’s favorites were Sugar & Spice, Snow, Peppermint and Elder & Currant, she said.

“We also carry unique outdoor-related items like tools, lanterns and flasks,” Curry said.

Port Townsend Main Street sponsored a Small Business Saturday celebration in Port Townsend, urging residents to “buy local.”

The Wild Rose Chorale group roved through town from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Many downtown establishments closed later than usual.

Some stores saw more interest from customers on Black Friday than Small Business Saturday.

“Small Business Saturday hasn’t really had an impact on us this year,” said Holly Mayshark, manager of Quimper Mercantile, on Saturday.

“Yesterday we were so busy we couldn’t breathe. Today was a good day but not specifically because of the event.”

Mayshark said the retailer was selling a lot of pajamas, slippers, gloves, hats and coats this weekend.

“Christmas cards and calendars are also popular. We’re seeing some out-of-town customers along with our locals from Jefferson, Island and Clallam counties,” she said.

But Hadlock Building Supply in Port Hadlock, which opened early on Friday and offered sales through the weekend, didn’t see the rush expected on Black Friday.

Elena Lovato Kraut, co-owner of Hadlock Building Supply, said this year’s Black Friday was slower than last year’s.

“It was a lot slower in the morning,” she said. “We had a few big rushes and then it’s quiet.”

“It’s kind of hit or miss this year.”

Lovato-Kraut said the biggest rush was around lunch time.

“I think some of it is people coming by us on their way back from other places.”

On Friday customers could get one item 25 percent off and win prizes by participating in cake walk or guessing how many screws were in a small tool box.

Over 30 prizes were given out throughout the day on Friday, including a number of pieces from local artist.

The person whose guess of how many screws there were was the closest won a drill, the tool box and all the screws.

Building supplies were the most common purchases on Friday, Locato-Kraut said.

“I thought the Christmas stuff might have out sold that but it doesn’t look like it so far.”

Pippa Mills, owner of Pippa’s Real Tea in Port Townsend, said sales were up this year.

“Today, this holiday weekend, has been crazy,” she said,. “We are up 30 percent overall from last year at this time.”

Mills said she’s seen an uptick in visitors from all over the region, the country and internationally.

“They think Port Townsend is unique and we are a unique shop.”

The biggest seller has been pouches of loose leaf Ginger Tumeric tea.

“Today we sold out of our High Tea service which has become really popular,” Mills said Saturday.

“Today is going well,” said Jan Hopfenbeck, manager of About Time, on Saturday.

”We have a good base of locals that came in and then we have people here on holiday.

“We had two different couples from Wisconsin who both are visiting Port Townsend — they didn’t know each other. They all said they wanted to get away to someplace quiet and beautiful to spend the holiday.’

Socks were a big item this year, she said.

Steve Goldenbogen, owner of Whistle Stop Toys, said that business was busy, especially on Friday.

”Kids with grandparents or parents come in looking for the two biggest sellers this year: Legos and Pokeman items.

“We’ve also been selling Advent calendars and science kits. The 20-to-30 year olds come in for our board games.”

________

Jeannie McMacken, freelance writer and photographer, and Cyndey McFarland, Peninsula Dauly News reporter, contributed to this story.

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