Finding the Perfect Gift at the Olde Woodshed

Among the many items available for consideration in the Olde Woodshed are an assortment of ornaments suitable for any budget. Christmas-themed gifts are in abundance at this time of year, but the shop also boasts an assortment of items suitable for any time of year. (Photo by Lura Jackson)

By Lura Jackson


Calais used to be filled with neighborhood stores selling anything from meat to beverages to everyday groceries, and later on it boasted gift shops provisioning specialty collectible items for those with specific interests. Nowadays, there aren’t many neighborhood shops left in town – but there is at least one that is reviving the tradition. The Olde Woodshed on Barker Street is an unusual and agreeably quirky shop located in a shed next to the residence of owners Cindy and Buck Wartman. Filled with repurposed and brand new decorative goods, the shop has a selection unlike any other in town.

The Wartmans began their efforts at the Olde Woodshed three years ago based on their mutual interest in craftmaking. “I’ve always done craft fairs, and I wanted to have my own little business,” Cindy said. Her husband, Buck, does all the woodworking for the items in the shop. “We started out small and have gotten bigger. It’s nice to have a little primitive shop in town.”

Inside the shed, the small space manages to be filled with a wide assortment of gifts without appearing too cluttered, a testament of Cindy’s ability to organize her stock. This time of year, Christmas items are prominently featured, including ornaments to fit all budgets, stockings, and even tree toppers made from old bed springs. There’s a section of cardinal-themed gifts for those that have lost a loved one recently, and there are decorative churches ready for display. Signs appropriate for welcoming friends and family are hung on the rafters, each of them handmade by the Wartmans. Timer taper candles allow their purchasers to easily show some seasonally-appropriating lighting décor without constant care – “You put the two batteries in and they come on every day. You never have to touch them again,” Cindy explains. For those looking for a practical gift, the shop has wine bags made from repurposed tarps and men’s belts, as well as warm mittens for men, women, and kids made from sweaters by April Dow.

“We want to repurpose stuff, to give something else life,” Cindy said. “To bring it back from something old. The memory keeps on going.”

 The assortment at the shop has to be seen to be fully appreciated, and the Wartmans are encouraging everyone to stop by and have a look. The shop is open regularly from Monday through Friday, noon to 5:00 p.m., on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and in the evenings by appointment. The shop now accepts credit, debit, cash, check, and gift certificates. There will be a special men’s night, teacher’s night, hospital night, and a Lioness night offering discounts to those groups. For more information on when the discounts will be offered, contact the Olde Woodshed at 454-3993. 

Cindy and Buck Wartman are the co-owners of the Olde Woodshed, a neighborhood gift store now in its third year of operation. The shop offers repurposed and brand new gifts of many kinds. (Submitted photo)