Shoppers list their favorite Martha’s Vineyard stores


Often people are kind enough to share with me their favorite shops and finds. Not wanting to keep them to myself, I thought it would be nice to share some of your neighbors’ favorite stores and why they have elevated their choices to such heights.

“I am going to give a point to Basics as they really serve the Island,” said Judy Crawford of West Tisbury. “They stay open year-round, their prices are really good, and they take great care of the Island.” Located on Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs, Basics specializes in clothing, outerwear, and shoes for the whole family.

Bea Phear, also of West Tisbury, has another favorite. “Shirley’s Hardware, because they have a huge variety of merchandise and they are always cheerful and cooperative,” she said.

Judy Crawford agreed. “I echo that. Every time I go in, I find that esoteric little thing I am looking for. It is amazing, I don’t know how they do it but they always have what I need.” Shirley’s Hardware is located on State Road in Vineyard Haven and specializes in everything you need for your home, from outdoor grills to decorations and vacuum bags.

“My favorite store is Alley’s General Store in West Tisbury,” Triva Emery of Oak Bluffs said. “I can find almost anything I need, from emergency things, like a new French Press to replace the one I broke — eek! — to the mundane shower curtain. I always, always find something whimsical to tickle my funny bone, the most recent being both fun and functional: a cold weather hat with ears made of socks that my son loves to wear different ways…It is also quite pleasant to just sit sometimes on the porch, especially in the shoulder season, to listen to the observations of the ‘old timers’ and watch the visitors come and go.” Alley’s General Store is located on State Road in West Tisbury, and it’s known for household needs, the most unusual gifts, emergency groceries, and a great cup of coffee or snack.

Kissmet is my favorite Island store,” said Steve Vantine of Edgartown. “Going in there, there are such a variety of things that you just don’t see elsewhere. It is very unique, the colors are bright and vivid, and I just love the Turkish Delight candies that he comes out with.” Kissmet is located on Winter Street in Edgartown and specializes in Turkish imports from pottery to lamps to batik boots.

Betty Joslow of Aquinnah said, “I appreciate Up-Island Cronig’s as it affords me the opportunity of shopping for all my needs with their great selection and all without having to travel a great distance from my home.” Up-Island Cronig’s is located on State Road in West Tisbury and carries groceries including organic selections along with pre-made meals to make your day easier.

“My favorite store on the Island is Dick’s Bait and Tackle. They have everything I need for fishing and it is always nice to go in there,” said Stephen Hammond of West Tisbury. “They are always extremely helpful, all the guys in there will help you with anything you need and I am sure it is me whom they think will win the Derby this year [said with a chuckle].” Dick’s Bait and Tackle is located on New York Avenue in Oak Bluffs. They have a complete range of fishing equipment, from rods and reels to foul weather gear to eels to almost every imaginable lure.

Rhoda Diamond of Aquinnah said, “I like all the stores on the Island: they all have something special to offer.”

If you would like to weigh in with your favorites, go to, select this week’s Shop Talk Column and post your comments for everyone to see.