Join the convo! Shopping, Dining & Activities in Chester, New Jersey
I remember when I first opened my shop in Chester that I was one of a group of about 8 “new kids on the block”. It never occurred to me that 24 years would go by in the flash of an eye…I wasn’t thinking that some day I would become someone who has “been here for a long time”…haha…I think I am an old timer now…
But I am in good company – I have met and known many merchants here over the years and some that I admire have operated their shops in and around Main Street for many many years (longer than I). Chester Antiques is one such shop that has been in Chester for about 40 years. Elaine Morsch is the proprietor of this antique store and she loves American antiques. When I asked her if she had a favorite period she said “I love it all – Arts & Crafts and Stickley too.” She is very particular about what she will bring into her shop. If you have shopped in Chester you have probably met her! She is a petite and very feisty lady who enjoys chatting with people and sharing her knowledge of good antiques. Many beautiful pieces have come and gone over her doorstep – and I bet she has a few tucked away at home that she couldn’t part with!
I remember years ago that Elaine was located on the side street (Grove Street) across from the Publick House. She and her partner Trudy had beautiful antique furniture and gorgeous vintage chandeliers which were a particular specialty. (I actually just heard that she started way down Main Street across from where the Redwoods Restaurant is now located.) Trudy retired from the business some years ago but today you can still find Elaine in her shop which is now located at 44 Main Street in a very quaint little space. Of course she has this space filled with fine pieces and still carries quite a few beautiful restored chandeliers. Elaine also has a selection of vintage mirrors, lamps and accessories. It’s not hard to find a little treasure to take home.
Elaine is open from Wednesday to Sunday and although she has “pickers” who bring her pieces she still does most of the shopping herself.
Stained Glass Boutique is another great shop that has been in town for some time. This shop is operated by a fabulous mother – daughter team, Lorraine and Michelle and I think that Michelle’s girls are the” next generation in training”. Lorraine says she doesn’t remember how long they have actually been in town…haha! I am sure I will start saying that soon too!
They have wonderful pottery, chimes, lots of pretty jewelry, kaleidoscopes, blown glass, other special gifts and of course stained glass! Lorraine says that 80% of their merchandise is Made in America. Michelle says it more likely 85% and has actually always been that way but with the way things are today customers are always especially happy to hear the words “Made in America” so its like a trademark for them now!
If you need an antique window this is the place to go! Lorraine’s husband Henry is the owner of Rockaway Glass in Rockaway so between them they have a huge knowledge of glass and glass products!
I always enjoy a good chat with them when I get a chance to run down the street to see them. They are always involved in the activities downtown. In fact, Lorraine was a founding member in the Historic Chester Business Association and was President for 8 years. Both Lorraine and Michelle have been involved in town business promotions and Michelle stills runs the very successful Harvest Festival every October which Lorraine originally organized. This is no small task and all the businesses in town benefit from the efforts of these two generous and tireless ladies! Lorraine is always smiling and it is easy to see that she loves the shop and the customers! Both Lorraine and Michelle are always willing to go the extra mile to help a customer or another merchant for that matter! Stop by and check out this shop – you will see why they are successful! They were getting out the holiday stock when I was writing this – so now is the time to pay a visit.
You can reach the Stained Glass Boutique at 908-879-7351.
Boeh’s Cabinet Shop – The Warmth of Wood has been located on Main Street in the same location for many years. In fact they just marked their 50th Anniversary in Chester! Wow! That is a huge success story. Congrats!
It’s very interesting to talk with John because he has seen a lot of changes to Chester over the years…when he bought his property here there were many buildings available and he had his pick! I think he made a great choice…and today John is still running the show along with his wife, Peggy and daughter, Lisa. This is another family business!
If you need an unfinished piece this is the place to go. Many customers bring us pieces to paint from Boeh’s….rocking chairs and toy chests and sometimes dressers. Not only do they have a lot of great pieces on the floor but they will also try to find what you need if you don’t see it on the floor….just ask John! So if you want to exercise your creativity – it’s a good place to start!
They make great signs too….
This shop is heaven for wood lovers…and it smells amazing when you walk in…mmm… that tantalizing aroma of fresh cut wood!
They have this cute little front lawn in front of the shop and when you drive by they always have a great selection of interesting pieces displayed – like birdhouses or wheelbarrows or whirligigs and inside of course much more. It’s deceiving from the outside because you don’t realize how big the shop is so it’s a happy surprise when you walk in and it keeps going back! Stop in and check it out – they are open daily. You can reach them at 908-879-7261.
So I guess I feel like I am definitely in good company here in Chester and I am sure that there are lots of other shops that have been here catering to their customers for many years. Not to mention the new shops that are springing up around town like Pocono Modern, Soiree and Shades on Main.
Main Street in Chester is the kind of charming downtown that has interesting shops – both old and new – tucked in all over the place! There are lots of great shops on the side streets too like You’re Not in Kansas Anymore on Perry Street and other shops located behind Main St…like the Chester Village Square area which is located behind the NJ Ballroom Dance Center at 44 Main St. – you know where Benito’s Trattoria is located…mmm…and the Candy Barn. On Warren Street you will find Branded Screen Printing (they have been here since 1994 bet you didn’t know that) !
You really have to spend a day and just wander everywhere because you never know when you will find your favorite place to shop!