Your guide to ferry-free gift shopping — and holiday catering options


With holiday lights a’blazing, the Island looks especially festive during these longest nights of the year. While many shops scale back hours in winter, you can still find all sorts of gift items or plan for holiday catering without boarding a ferry.

Check back next week to see which restaurants are open during the holidays.
One idea that packs double delight is the gift of summer camp. With offerings or gift certificates for every budget, the Town Recreation Department — (631) 749-0309 — has summer programs for kids (and year-round health and fitness programs for all ages). Contact Recreation Director Bethany Ortmann at [email protected]

Other non-profit summer program providers are Camp Quinipet — (631) 749-0430, Mashomack Preserve — (631) 749-1001, the Shelter Island Historical Society — (631) 749-0025, and Sylvester Manor Educational Farm ­— (631) 749-0626.

The Island’s beautiful vistas are a magnet for photographers, including some who offer prints to purchase or commissioned work, such as portrait packages starting at $50 with Scott Feierstein of Red Sweatshirt Photography — (516) 428-2742.

Many Island artists have works for sale, like sculptor Jerry Glassberg — (631) 749-1410 — who is also offering lessons, six sessions for $80, with proceeds supporting a local charity. Award-winning Reporter cartoonist Peter Waldner ­— (631) 749-1072 — will meet by appointment in his studio, where he has numerous drawings and paintings on display. .

Our tour starts on Bridge Street:
Shelter Island Wines & Spirits — (631) 749-0305 — promises to “make your Christmas cheerier by getting you into the spirits (and wines) of the season,” says Towny Montant, who carries an extensive selection of wines and spirits, and also stocks cigars. Open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily except Christmas Day.

Marie Eiffel Market — (631) 749-0003 — open daily 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. before it closes for the season January 1, is taking holiday catering orders with yummy main courses and sides, and a traditional bûche de noël in three flavors: chocolate, vanilla or praline. The market can supply custom cheese and fruit platters and has an array of goodies sure to please the foodies on your shopping list.

Peggy and Walter Johnson will tell you there’s nothing you can’t find at Bliss’ Department Store — (631) 749-0041 — which carries toys, sporting goods, clothing, housewares and all sorts of Island-themed gift items. Open daily, except Wednesdays, until Christmas Eve.

Camille Anglin invites you to “take a walk on the wild side” in the toy department at Jack’s Marine — (631) 749-0114 — where she says you’ll find an unusual selection of exciting toys for all ages, adding  “come play with us!” And, there’s plenty of fishing tackle, marine supplies and gardening tools. Open daily 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., including Christmas Eve.

Got a fitness buff to shop for? Take a detour up to Winthrop Road where Shelter Island Yoga & Fitness — (631) 749-1060  — offers a full range of classes at the Dering Harbor Inn.

On Grand Avenue:
If you’ve eaten lately at the soda fountain at the Shelter Island Heights Pharmacy — (631) 749-0445 — you know that a lucky someone may soon be enjoying an enormous Whitman’s Sampler, one of the many gifts on display. Owner Greg Ofrias says the store is so much more than just a place to get your prescriptions filled. Open daily at 8:30 a.m., the shop closes Mondays to Fridays at 6 p.m., Saturdays at 5 p.m. and Sundays at 1 p.m. Closed Christmas Day.

Though her shop keeps limited hours, Cassandra Bliss says wellness-minded givers can call Better — (631)749-6089 — to make an appointment to shop or to pick up a gift certificate for a facial, massage or other wellness treatment. The shop specializes in toxin-free products. Likewise, if the her boutique isn’t open, call Marie Eiffel — (212) 945-8492 — to shop by appointment for clothing, accessories and home goods.

To those seeking to “realign, redefine or restore” Suzette Smith recommends a gift of lessons at Shelter Island Pilates & Barre  — (631) 749-5042. Call for options.

If your holiday lights are a tangled mess, try Shelter Island Hardware — (631) 749-0097 —  where Meredith Page says they have an assortment of gift items for the handy person or gardener on your list who might like a new tool, and great stocking stuffers. If you can’t decide, they offer gift cards, too. Open daily 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., except Sundays when hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

STARs Café — (631) 749 5345 — is taking orders for pies, pastries, gift baskets, personalized jams and holiday catering. Stop by to create a gift basket from the selection of freshly roasted coffees, unique mugs, cookbooks, jams and baked goods. Owners Pepe and Lydia Martinez are happy to create a custom holiday package for you. Open daily 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. (until 3 p.m. Sundays).

On West Neck Road:
Mary Lou Eicchorn’s Cornucopia — (631) 749-0171 — has a wide selection of Shelter Island-themed items, jewelry, beach glass, candles, gift cards and wrap, homemade chocolates, toys and a unique baby department with handmade quilts, blankets and sweater sets.  Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., but closes at 3 p.m. on Sundays.

Check in next door with Orlando Salizar at the Eagle Deli — (631) 749-5363 — to place orders for deli platters and other catered goods. Open daily 6 a.m to 5 p.m.

If you’re a pet owner planning a holiday vacation, contact Amber Anglin at All Dogged Up — (631) 749-0702 — to learn about her non-kennel facility. Or make an appointment at the grooming shop which also carries pet food, toys and other pet essentials.

Need firewood to roast chestnuts over? Check with Gerry Siller and his staff at Grady Riley Gardens — (631) 749-5575 — where you’ll also find live spruce trees, poinsettias and gardening gifts.

On North Ferry Road:
The Gatehouse at Sylvester Manor Educational Farm — (631) 749-0626 — is open for holiday shopping. Featuring locally-produced and sourced items, the shop will be open December 15 from noon to 8 p.m., and opens at 10 a.m. on December 16 (to 6 p.m.), December 17 (to 4 p.m.), December 23 (to 6 p.m.) and December 24 (to 2 p.m.).

The IGA — (631) 749-0382 — now taking orders for holiday platters, is well-stocked with sprial hams, fresh turkeys and other traditional holiday fare, and has cookie trays and other holiday treats ready to grab and go. Manager Jim Speedling says the store will be open as usual, 7 a.m to 7 p.m. daily (closing 6 p.m. on Sundays) but will be closed on Christmas Day.

There’s no time to waste if you want to decorate with flowers or plants or give them as gifts, according to Becky Smith at Shelter Island Florist — (800) 226-7392. She has poinsettias, amaryllis, paperwhites, cyclamen, rosemary and orchid plants. The shop is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and on Monday from 1 to 5 p.m. Open until noon on Christmas Eve.

You never know what you’ll find at Geo Jo’s — (631) 749-2324 — where owner Joanne Kresak carries much more than videos. She has lots of interesting stocking stuffers. Call for hours.
Black Cat Books — (631) 725-8654 — is the place to find treats for book lovers or those who appreciate art, photography and vinyl LPs. Michael Kinsey and Dawn Hedberg are ready to connect you with gifts to treasure such as first editions, including inscribed copies of modern titles, gorgeous leatherbound copies of classics, graphic novels, and comics. They also have crates of records to flip through. Open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., including Christmas Eve.

Greg Milian at Dandy Liquors — (631) 749-3302 — says in addition to its featured Italian and Spanish wines, the shop has a wide variety of liquors to give as gifts. Open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, the shop closes at 7 p.m. on Sundays and Thursdays. Open on Christmas Eve until 9 p.m.

Amanda at Commander Cody’s — (631) 749-1851 — on Smith Street, says customers should place orders now for holiday platters, pies and cakes which can be picked up Christmas Day between 9 a.m. and noon.

This weekend, Karen Springer at K Gallery — (917) 971-6156 — will be showcasing her handcrafted bags, jewelry and other accessories, many of which incorporate fabrics, beads and other items crafted by indigenous people in Central and South America. Open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Kilb’s Farmstand — (631) 702-0540 — at Congdon Road has firewood, as well as wreaths, grave blankets, giant pine cones and other decorative items from Lily Pond Farm.

On South Ferry Road:
Marika’s Eclectic Boutique — (401) 862-6607 — is “always” open. That means if you find the door locked, call the number or email her at [email protected] and she’ll meet you at the store. From pottery to jewelry and a host of other items, Marika is confident she has the gifts you seek.