In 2010, Joyce Hale built on the success of her clothing and gift shop in Galena, Maryland, and opened up a second location in downtown Chestertown. Offering an eclectic mix of items from scarves and jewelry to home décor, children’s toys, and party goods, Hale has curated a trendy take on traditional in her Cross Street shop. From sea salt soap to monogrammed tote bags, Hale has made sure that whether you’re giving a gift or treating yourself, Gabriel’s has just the thing, and at an affordable price.
With almost 20 years of experience as a shop owner in Kent County, Hale has demonstrated a commitment to serving the local community. She is optimistic about Chestertown’s retail economy. “Gabriel’s is happy to be a part of this small but creative community that embraces tourists and locals alike.”
Gabriel’s, 207 S. Cross Street, 410-778-2123.
Tom Martin’s shop on Cross Street, full of new-to-you hardcover and paperback books across a wide range of categories, is an excellent place to browse for a new beach read or a collectible first-edition printing of Beautiful Swimmers.
The Bookplate’s inventory also covers world history, art, design, and maritime history, as well as children’s books and some local publications by regional writers. In addition to books, the store carries prints by local illustrators and artists, as well as a selection of vibrant Spanish ceramics from the Talavera, Puente and Granada regions of Spain.
Martin opened the store in 2004 after a career in international politics based mostly in Washington, D.C. “I was selling books online, and when this space became available, I knew it could work.” He regularly hosts events and readings in the shop’s large back room, where national and regional authors come to give book talks and signings. Martin says the most satisfying part of his 14 years running the Bookplate has been the customers. “It’s the people. You’re enriched by the diversity of people who live here. Meeting people with so many interests, that want to support a bookshop in Chestertown—it’s been a wonderful experience.”
The Bookplate, 112 S. Cross Street, (410) 778-4167.
Photo courtesy of Tamzin B. Smith Portrait Photography