The Store Tour
There are a number of fascinating shops in our neighborhood. No chains on this list. They are unique, locally owned and reflect the interests and personalities of their owners.
They also have another very important community function. They are tapped into the community and can help you do the same. Most of the owners have many years of experience, understand what you are exploring and can point you to the right book or workshop.
And we're compact enough that you can visit them all in one day. We start our tour in Enfield, then drift south to Ellington, Rockville and finally to Manchester. At the bottom of this page you'll find an interactive map to help you follow our progress and help you locate the stores.
Click on the photos for full size images.
We begin at Gayle's Thyme in the Hazardville section of Enfield where you will meet Gayle Nogas. Gayle is a Master Herbalist, who has been studying Medicinal Herbs and Herbal Magick for over 20 years. She retired from the Postal Service after 28 years and opened Gayle's Thyme in 1995.
In the store you will find shelves of organically grown herbs and spices, an herbal apothecary with salt free seasonings, homeopathic and Chinese products, vitamins, books, essential oils and aromatherapy, custom blended herbal teas plus medicinal and culinary herbs. It is one of the only remaining herb shops in our area as two others closed within the past year. The store also includes a section of spiritual and metaphysical supplies including books, incense and candles. Gayle's Thyme is located on Route 190 at 316 Hazard Avenue. There is a parking lot and entrance in the rear of the building. It is closed Sunday and Monday. Gayle can be reached at (860) 763-5206 or GaylesThyme@yahoo.com, gaylesthyme.com. You will also find Gayle at some of the summer fairs including Herbfest and Taste! Organic Connecticut.
After leaving Gayle's Thyme you are in for a beautiful drive through the farms of East Windsor and Ellington on the way to ThistleGlass Crafts. If you are familiar with the area take a left out of the parking lot and go the back roads, but only if you know them or have a good map. If you want to play it safe take Route 190 east to Somers and then Route 83 south to Route 140 in Ellington.
ThistleGlass Crafts is located on the old Thompson family farm where you will find Mary Thompson minding the store, which has been open since 1997. This place is special because in the front yard is a labyrinth Mary and her family made lined with stones and with buried quartz. Mary loves rocks and minerals, knows all about them and you'll find plenty at her shop. She also has stone
jewelry, herbal products, pendants, and singing bowls.
And if you plan ahead Mary is a Reiki practitioner and can give you a treatment. Many of the items in the store are made by her sister Margie. You'll also find them at area fairs including those at Unity Church, Vernon Healthfest and in Enfield. Located at 50 Maple St (Rte 140) Mary can also be reached at (860) 875-3895. She is open from 10-6 everyday except Sunday.
Now were headed for Manchester. Easiest route might be to just follow Route 83 all the way to the center of Manchester. Take a left at Route 44 (East Center Street) and you will be right in front of Meg's.
Meg Peterson opened Meg's at about the same time that we started The Door Opener, way back in the 1980's. Meg is also an artist, cook and
dancer and the store, an inspirational and spiritual boutique filled
with all the tools to heal your body and mind, reflects these interests and is filled with her art work and colorful decoration.
Meg also carries music, crystals, ritual kits, cards, books, jewelry, incense, oils, candles and homeopathic products plus an extensive number of recovery books and products.
She is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11-5:30 and closed Sunday and Monday. Located at 74 East Center Street in Manchester, Meg can be reached at (860) 649-9941, email@example.com, megsinspirations.com. See her website for more information.
Just a quarter mile on up East Center Street is Enchantments, a witch shop and a school for Magickal Arts.
Ms. Faith McCann is the proprietress, high priestess and Head Instructor. She also teaches Wicca 101 at Manchester Community College and teaches young people how to stay safe at a local martial arts school, besides teaching classes on Witchcraft and the Magickal Arts at Enchantments. Ms. Faith has been a practicing witch for over 30 years, and has formally worked with covens and groups for almost 20. She lectures at colleges around CT and is an ordained Wiccan Minister who performs legal weddings (handfastings) as well as Wiccannings, and funerary rites.
Don't be put off if Wicca isn't your thing because The Witches of Enchantments specializes in unique gifts including faeries, essential oils, statuary, jewelry, cards and books. Ms. Faith is proud to say if it can be found in other stores around Manchester we won't carry it! Enchantments also carries unique art pieces from artists around the world. Tarot readers are available on Fridays & Saturdays for $20 a reading with one of the Witches or you may schedule a private appointment with Ms. Faith for a reading for $65.
This is an opportunity to peek into a different world and who knows, you may come home with something unique and magickal! Open 7 days a week from 11-6, staying open late until 8 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays! Enchantments is at 349 East Center Street in Manchester. The Witches of Enchantments can be reached at (860) 791-6033, firstname.lastname@example.org, enchantmentsschool.com.
Congratulations, you've done it! You've visited four of the most fascinating shops in Conscious CT. Stores like these are the salt and pepper of our community. With competition from big box stores and the Internet it is harder and harder to keep small businesses viable. Please support these community treasures.
Finding Our Stores
The following map is interactive. You can zoom in and out or move left, right, up or down. Clicking on the markers provides information on each store.