Today Sherman’s Books and Stationary opened a shop on Exchange Street in Portland. The bookstore has row after row of Maine books: Maine cookbooks, Maine fiction, Maine sailing books, lobster books, Maine travel books, Maine murder mysteries. But for every book there’s also a ton of gifts — hand milled soaps, candles and bibliophiles’ mugs sit next to waxed canvas lunch bags and heavy “MAINE” bottle openers.
The Portland store joins the family-owned chain’s other locations in Freeport, Camden, Boothbay and Bar Harbor.
“I’m so glad you’re here,” two different customers told the cashiers within 15 minutes.
The store is now the second (with Longfellow) new-books bookstore on the peninsula.
Tori Curtis, the storekeeper’s daughter, handpicked every item for the Portland store — which is strikingly different from the flagship Bar Harbor store in its gift selections.
“This store is more organic Maine. We have a lot more Maine artists and authors, Portland is a great city for that,” she said.
The jewelry is cute, one delicate silver necklace has “207” stamped into it, other string bracelets have sailboat charms dangling from them. The wrapping paper selection is hip and colorful. The store has a floor-to-ceiling display of moleskin notebooks.
“The goal was to modernize. And we can reach a bit higher of a price point, so a lot more stuff is from Maine. The idea was the same model, but in a city — it’s a boutiquey feel,” Curtis said.
Sherman’s, which is between the toy store and MDI Ice Cream on Exchange Street, will have an all-day grand opening party on Saturday, April 12 with deals, drawings, snacks and double stamps on frequent buyers cards.