Local Businesses Offering Deals for Holiday Season

By Lura Jackson


If you haven’t considered shopping at a local small business lately, this is the perfect time of year to do it. Two events promoted by the Calais Downtown Revitalization Coalition – Small Business Saturday on November 25th and Moonlight Madness on December 1st – will see discounts on various products, some of which can only be found locally. 

The downtown Calais area is in the process of being revitalized structurally with big plans in the works from the partnership of Gary Young and Dave Seavey. The two have purchased the Sarsaparilla building and the McAllister building with the intention of restoring the storefronts and creating office or apartment space in the upper floors. The former Visitor’s Information Center – now called the Waterfront Pavilion – has been purchased by the same partnership, which plans to turn it into a restaurant. While the complete rehabilitation of the buildings will take some time to complete, it is a promising sign that opportunities are returning to Main Street Calais.

Downtown Main Street has been struggling in recent years with some businesses, including Treworgy’s pharmacy and the Boston Shoe Store, closing their doors permanently. Only six independent retail stores remain on Main Street – the Calais Book Shop, Urban Moose, Country Cupboard, Artemis’s Attic, Rachel Ashley Jewelers, and Smoke on the Water. Happily, customers perusing the stores have the option of dining at establishments both familiar and novel while they are out and about. Jo’s Diner remains a popular downtown pizza eatery; the Schooner has reclaimed its name but will continue to offer mainly Mexican fare; Karen’s remains a reliable choice for American cuisine; Crumbs opened its doors in the past few years and has gained a large following for its pastries, sandwiches, soups, and family meals; and newcomer Mimi’s Kitchen has an assortment of handcrafted subs and many other options to choose from. 

On Black Friday, stop in at Smoke on the Water for 20 percent to 50 percent discounts on selected merchandise, or head to the Garcelon Civic Center in St. Stephen for the first annual Black Friday Gift Gala event, running from 5:00 p.m. to midnight Atlantic time on November 24th. In Eastport, many stores are opening early and staying open late for Black Friday, and offering specials to those that shop in their PJs or while wearing jingle bells. 

On Small Business Saturday, which takes place right after Black Friday, considering stopping in at some of the local retailers to see what they have to offer. At Calais Book Shop, new books will be 20 percent off and secondhand books will be 30-50 percent off. Country Cupboard is offering 15 percent off its assortment of gifts. Artemis’s Attic will have a red tag sale and vendor specific sales. In Baring, Baring Gifts is liquidating its inventory and offering 35 percent off storewide, except beer, wine and fudge, which are 10 percent off, and jar foods, which are 20 percent off.

Moonlight Madness, which begins right after the Christmas parade on December 1st – the parade starts at 6 – will see several businesses offering deals in downtown Calais. The Calais Book Shop and Country Cupboard will continue their sales from Small Business Saturday, and Artemis’s Attic will also offer its red tag sale. Refreshments will be available at Artemis’s Attic and at Rachel Ashley Jewelers, where shoppers can participate in hourly drawings for jewelry items and gift certificates and an extra diamond will be added to the grab bag. Stop in at the Schooner for a half price nacho supreme to fuel your shopping spree. 

If you’re looking for one of a kind gifts from our local area, there’s no better time to shop than in the next few weeks.