It has been almost two months since our last newsletter, so this will be a long one. We are in the throes of getting the shop ready for the holidays and most of our gift items are on the shelves and the large orders of Christmas food have arrived. Thanks to Bibi, Anne, Robbie and Shadaya, most of the food items have been unpacked and are on display. THE ADVENT CALENDARS WITH CHOCOLATE ARE HERE, as are the Caspari calendars.
Tomorrow, Friday, November 17 is the “HIGHLAND LOVES MAIN STREET” event. 10% of sales of regular priced items (not including tax), made that day by anyone saying “Highland loves Main Street” will be donated to the school. FISH SALES ARE EXCLUDED. Several shops in Old Town are participating and we will stay open until 7.
There is a great selection of cheeses in the house. It is time for the “cold weather” favorites, so Huntsman, (a layered cheese of Double Gloucester and Stilton), is here as is our first wheel of Stilton. Tintern, Black Diamond, St. Agur, Affinois, Harlech, Bellavitano, Prairie Breeze, Vlaskaas, goat cheddars, and many more are here. There are mini pates in stock and salamis. The frozen smoked filets of trout that we get from our fish supplier are great for quick appetizers and we will try to keep them in the freezer throughout the holidays. The Edwards mini hams are in the freezer.
The shop will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and reopen at 10 on “Black Friday”. November 25th is “Shop Small Saturday”, an annual event co-founded by American Express to encourage support for small, independent retailers as we have lost so much to the competition from the internet. As you know, we will have lost 2 very valuable anchor businesses in old town by the end of the year.
It is a big relief to have Mary Beth Hume, Shadaya and Mary Tarr on board to help us through the busy time. Anne and Robbie are in charge, Bibi continues to keep up with the paperwork and fish, and I am stuck in my little corner making sure that everything is ordered, including wine, cheese and other gourmet foods. As in previous years, Bibi will continue to offer fish until we need her “space” in the backroom for Robbie’s basket workshop. Fish orders are very good and new customers are joining the list and there is good feedback.
The Christmas bottle of Villa Jolanda prosecco, which has been a very popular gift item every year, was late arriving but is stacked in the front and back of the shop. Although we sell other proseccos, Villa Jolanda is by far our best seller. It is on the wine list of a nearby high end restaurant at $12 a glass! We also carry the magnums, which make great holiday gifts. There are lots of other “bubblies”, from Champagne, to Cavas to our much celebrated Virginian, Thibaut Janisson. THE BELLINI AND RUBY RED GRAPEFRUIT WINE WILL BE PERFECT FOR BRUNCH OVER THE HOLIDAYS. Rose wines are still big sellers and we expect the trend to continue through the end of the year. A great one to try is the Langlois rosé, a sparkling wine made by a branch of the Bollinger family. Please remember that we are always happy to take special orders.
Among the new arrivals: blue and white painted ceramic dishes and hand carved footstools from Thailand. The stools are great for adults or for children. Books have been good sellers so we try to keep a selection on hand. Look for books on Christmas for the little ones. Our favorite socks, fake fur boas, Pashminas, scarves, fingerless gloves, body care items and more, are in good supply. DO NOT FORGET TO BUY YOUR DECORATIVE CHRISTMAS CRACKERS AS WE RUN OUT EVERY YEAR. This year we bought more than in previous years and we even included crackers for your dog and cat. My Scruffy will be getting the first one.
This is going to be a tough Christmas season for those in need and we have decided to do a “giving tree” for 15 children through the Salvation Army. The Town Duck will sponsor 1 child and we hope that 14 of our customers will do the same. The information is in the shop, as is a plastic bag to hold the donated items. The Salvation Army asks that the gifts not be wrapped so that the parents will be able to put their mark on it.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM ALL OF US AT THE TOWN DUCK AND WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT, WITHOUT WHICH WE WOULD NOT BE HERE.
Annette and the gang
From the Perfect Gift To The Right Wine,
You Will Find It All At The Town Duck.