The source for shopping decisions, impulses, and inspiration

Shoptalk

Interviews with the creators of our favorite shops, brands, and products.
Shopkeepers

Pizza to the Rescue

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | A wine and cheese bar in Williamsburg pulls through COVID with a pizza pivot.
Shopkeepers

A Park Slope Nightclub Commits to Survival

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | After a year without in-person shows, Barbès returns to what it does best: bringing people together around live music.
Shopkeepers

To Cure the COVID Blues, Get Crafty

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | After pausing IRL events for the foreseeable future, a NYC-based crafting community found a new sense of purpose online.
Shopkeepers

Pasta With a Side of Progress

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | In the LES, a Roman-inspired restaurant rejects the industry’s “bluntly toxic” working conditions.

The Latest

Shopkeepers

A Sweet Respite Reopens

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | In the Lower East Side, a decades-old candy store survives, thanks to loyalists around the country.

Shopkeepers

Weary but Unwavering: A Community Skate Shop Holds On

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | The owners of Uncle Funkys Boards fight to protect their business — and their community.

Shopkeepers

This Female Founder Is Making Space for Underrepresented Designers

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | You probably won’t recognize most of the labels at this new retail concept — and that’s the whole point.

Shopkeepers

In Soho, a Family-Owned Pharmacy Perseveres

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | A downtown staple since 1994, Thompson Alchemists survived the pandemic by providing personal service in a big-box world.

Shopkeepers

Bitters, Botanicals, and Balance

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight |  In Brooklyn, a small batch Italian spirits brand pops off.

Shopkeepers

The Salon Model Is Broken. Meet the Woman Who’s Fixing It.

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | In Soho, a fashion industry vet turned esthetician is putting artists first.

Shopkeepers

A New Kind of Cafe Built by “Three Broke Kids”

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | In Crown Heights, these Partners Coffee alums are building a business where community always comes first.

Shopkeepers

You Had Me at Fish and Chips

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | In the West Village, a buzzy English restaurant brings the community together with the “perfect food” — and plenty of purpose.

Shopkeepers

Moving Forward, at a Slower Pace

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | A Gowanus gift shop reopens on its own terms.

Shopkeepers

A Floral Studio in Full Bloom

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | After halting business at the beginning of the pandemic, Karla Smith-Brown reimagined her Brooklyn floral studio for perennial growth.

Shopkeepers

As Restrictions Lift, An Indie Gym Owner Sticks To Private Sessions

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | In Rockaway Beach, Monice Small is building a dedicated fitness community — one personal training session at a time.

Shopkeepers

A Brooklyn Diner Looks Ahead

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | Thanks to a new federal grant, Rosalu Diner lives to see another day as a neighborhood mainstay.

Shopkeepers

A Burlesque Bastion Is Back

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | After 14 months of darkness, The Slipper Room in the LES turns the lights back on.

Shopkeepers

A One-Woman Bakery Rises

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | In her Clinton Hill apartment, Carla Finley hits her sourdough stride.

Shopkeepers

Clay Therapy

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | In Prospect Heights, a ceramics studio taps into the wellness benefits of clay.

Shopkeepers

One Corner Store, Two Immigrant Legacies

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | In Greenpoint, a Lebanese-American chef takes over a beloved deli from his neighbor.

Shopkeepers

No More Retail Small Talk

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | After being closed for months, a sustainable womenswear shop in Fort Greene finds a new level of connection with customers.

Shopkeepers

One Year Later

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | Checking in with the wine bar that helped launch this column.

Shopkeepers

Natural Wine + Records + Dog Treats = Brick-and-Mortar Bliss

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | A small natural wine shop in Clinton Hill goes beyond no-intervention bottles.

Shopkeepers

Soup for the Community Soul

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | A Brooklyn creative studio is connecting restaurants, diners, and wine shops over the classic comfort food.

Shopkeepers

Sunny Earrings for Dark Times

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | While on furlough, a Brooklyn-based textile designer used her free time to launch a jewelry line.

Shopkeepers

Pick-Up Pastries Hit the Sweet Spot

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | If not for the pandemic, Joy Cho wouldn’t have launched a business this early in her career.

Shopkeepers

A One-Woman Plant Shop Blooms

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | From her Brooklyn apartment, Katherine Hernandez delivers indoor greenery to homebound New Yorkers.

Shopkeepers

An Old-School Soda Fountain Imagines a New Business Model

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | In Carroll Gardens, a sibling-owned sundae spot gears up for a post-COVID world.

Shopkeepers

Brooklyn Movie Theater Hangs in Limbo

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | With no city guidance on when or how to reopen, Cobble Hill Cinemas eats through its savings to hang on.

Shopkeepers

The Perpetual Pivot

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | In the East Village, a pair of natural wine-focused restaurants shapeshift through the pandemic.

Shopkeepers

A Beloved Brooklyn Pie Shop Keeps the Oven On

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | This sister-run bakery is committed to serving affordable treats in hard times.

Shopkeepers

A Boutique Grows in Astoria

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | Opened in the height of COVID-19, this eco- and socially conscious gift shop is moving forward one day at a time.

Shopkeepers

"Never, never, never give up."

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | A bookstore dedicated to Winston Churchill takes his immortal words to heart.

Shopkeepers

Can a Restaurant Be Pandemic-Proof?

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | This new Crown Heights eatery embraces COVID-era constraints.

Shopkeepers

“The name of the game is adapt”

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | A multi-hyphenate record shop in Carroll Gardens digs deep to survive.

Shopkeepers

A Vegan Cheesemonger Moves Online

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | With virtually no foot traffic, Manhattan’s Riverdel Cheese pivots to delivery.

Shopkeepers

Launching One Business While Closing Another

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | A Brooklyn-based entrepreneur makes tough calls to stay afloat.

Shopkeepers

Yoga for All (on YouTube)

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | Brooklyn’s Greene Moments Studio is breaking down yoga barriers with free online classes.

Shopkeepers

A Bushwick Nightclub Reaffirms Its Values

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | The pandemic has pushed House of Yes to become “more than a nightclub.”

Shopkeepers

Keep on Shufflin’

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | How a shuffleboard club in Brooklyn and Chicago is staying in motion.

Shopkeepers

An Indie Self-Care Brand Hits its Stride

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | After halting production in March, Alexandra Winbush got new life — and hit new roadblocks.

Shopkeepers

“The art world is not fair”

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | How a contemporary gallery in Bed-Stuy is leveling the playing field.

Shopkeepers

Slam Poetry in the Zoom Era

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | A Lower East Side cultural icon reimagines live performance while fighting to survive.

Shopkeepers

All the World’s an App

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | A theater in Williamsburg moves entirely online.

Shopkeepers

“You can only have so many Zoom shows”

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | A pair of nightlife venues in Gowanus struggles to survive.

Shopkeepers

A 20-Year-Old Burlesque Club Goes Dark (for Now)

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | How The Slipper Room is trying to make it to the other side.

Shopkeepers

The Business of Board Games

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | How a beloved Greenwich Village cafe is staying in play.

Shopkeepers

A Legacy Dive Bar Turns to Pizza

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | After over two decades of cheap drinks and peanuts, Botanica is seriously upping its fare game.

Shopkeepers

Experiential Retail’s Latest Act

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | How a Williamsburg concept store is forging ahead, one pop-up at a time.

Shopkeepers

They’re Still Dancing

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | How a community dance org in Brooklyn is keeping class in session.

Shopkeepers

Opening a Business During a Pandemic

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | The owner of Buy Better Foods, a new organic market in Bed-Stuy, on tackling this daunting challenge.

Shopkeepers

Cookies to the Rescue

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | Diana Ho is keeping her indie shop afloat with some sweet subscriptions.

Shopkeepers

An Arts Org in Park Slope Tackles the Digital Divide

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | The Brooklyn Arts Exchange is making the digital shift.

Shopkeepers

A Brooklyn Nursery Finds New Life in Lockdown

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | How Natty Garden pivoted in the wake of COVID-19.

Shopkeepers

A Fort Greene Café Takes On Phase 2

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | Baba Cool is taking over two parking spaces to serve dine-in (er, dine-“out”) customers.

Shopkeepers

An Indie Yoga Studio Goes Global

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | In the midst of a pandemic, BK Yoga Club is doubling down on its mission.

Shopkeepers

How a Brooklyn Eatery Nearly Doubled Its Staff

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | For Mekelburg’s, the pandemic necessitated a whole new business model.

Shopkeepers

Sex Toys and Puzzles: Two Sides of the Same Coin

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | Sex toy sales are booming — here’s why, according to Lisa Finn of Babeland in NYC.

Shopkeepers

A Small Business Activist Fights Her Toughest Battle Yet

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | The owner of Whisk in downtown Brooklyn is taking on the big banks, the tech titans, and COVID-19 repercussions.

Shopkeepers

How Do You Sell a Dress in a Pandemic?

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | A feminist boutique in Brooklyn fights to survive.

Shopkeepers

A Beloved Skate Shop Struggles to Keep Rolling

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | To save their business, the owners of Uncle Funkys Boards are making tough calls.

Shopkeepers

It’s OK Not to Be OK

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | Kalima DeSuze of Cafe con Libros is doing her best to stay in business, but it’s not easy.

Shopkeepers

This East Village Bar Now Sells Yogurt

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | How ABC Beer Co. is diversifying to survive.

Shopkeepers

We All Need the Perfect Cocktail Right Now

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | How a Clinton Hill wine shop is keeping customers safe and sated.

Shopkeepers

Finding Community in Isolation

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | With her vintage boutique closed for the foreseeable future, Su Beyazit is hopeful for a better tomorrow.

Shopkeepers

A Brooklyn Wine Bar Rises to the Moment

COVID-19 #SmallBizSpotlight | This Fort Greene wine bar is leading a community revolution.

At audio46, the Audiophile Employees Know Best

The first thing you need to know about Gabby Block, one of Manhattan headphone megastore audio46’s resident audio experts, is that she identifies as a musician, not as a salesperson.

Meet the Blender Whisperers

Yes, that’s a thing. And the women of Park Slope’s Tarzian West cookware store are just that.

The Goods

Pleasure, Empowerment, and Style from Rianne S

The Dutch sex toy brand’s founder believes ‘women deserve beautiful sex toys.'

With Jabra, It’s All About Fit And Comfort

Copenhagen's optimism just might be reflected in Jabra’s headphones.

Being Smart Before the Fire With Quilt Insurance

The round-the-clock responsiveness of Quilt renters insurance is in part possible because of a bot: Patches. Artificial intelligence is one feature that the rapidly growing startup company, which launched in 2015, has developed and tested in-house to stand out from more legacy brands. From Quilt’s robust online customer portal to expansion in Florida and Texas, the company is promoting its transparency to attract young adult renters in cities including New York. Quiddity spoke with Nichole Mace, Quilt’s senior vice president of product & customer experience, about transparency, convenience, and being smart ahead of time.

Meet the Japanese Knife Doctor

Vincent Lau, a master knife sharpener, is always on edge. Literally.

No Knockoffs: Jaybird’s Headphones Are For Premium, Active Lifestyles

Jaybird wants to be seen more as a sports brand than an electronics brand, designing stylish headphones for people likely to hike, ride a mountain bike or even complete triathlons. While their designers scan Amazon reviews just like any average consumer, they also run extensive tests on any new product. Located in Park City, Jaybird designers hang out at local gyms, working one-on-one with athletes. Jaybird’s featured headphones include the Run and the X3, whose battery lives are four and eight hours, respectively. The headphones also come with a charging case, fit for the active wearer who might need a power boost on the go. Quiddity talked with Jaybird designer Hagen Diesterbeck about “truly wireless” models, battery dictating size and custom sound equalizers.

Shopkeepers

Rising Rents and Crippling Property Taxes: A NYC Small Business Owner Weighs In (and Moves Out)

Why Whisk, a beloved kitchenware boutique founded in Brooklyn, closed two storefronts in two months.

Shopkeepers

Babeland: A Shop for Books, Candles, and Butt Plugs

Babeland, a sex toy brand with shops in NYC and Seattle, offers something for everyone—whether you’re on your first or fiftieth visit.

Shopkeepers

Village Grannies: A Smoke Shop, Art Gallery, and Living Room All in One

Village Grannies in downtown Manhattan looks and feels unlike any other smoke shop you’ve been inside.

Shopkeepers

Sprout Home is on a Mission to Spread ‘Plant Love’

At Sprout Home, an indie garden center with locations in Williamsburg and Chicago, a green thumb is welcome—but not required.

The Goods

With Linx Vapor, There’s No Smoke and Mirrors

The Orange County company is making health nut-approved vaporizers.

The Goods

How Dipstick Vapes Dove into the Hardware World

The mission-driven vaporizer brand that isn’t afraid to align with cannabis culture.

The Goods

Tenga Seeks to 'Change the Conversation Around Masturbation'

The Japanese adult toy brand creates products that aren’t embarrassing to buy.

The Goods

At Peru Pima, It’s All in the Family

This family-owned textile brand from Peru is making it in America—all by word of mouth.

The Goods

Flying With “Phone-Free Music” From Fitbit

The company known for smartwatches wants to soar above the neck.

Shopkeepers

Get Educated on Getting Off at Babeland

The 25-year-old sex toy brand puts education first.

The Goods

A Seattle Authority on Specialty Coffee Tools Talks Coffee Culture

Espresso Supply, Inc. has grown along with American tastes.

The Goods

Garden of Life Listens to Your Gut

The supplement brand believes digestive health is at the root of overall health.

The Goods

ASPCA Pet Health Insurance Protects Pets ‘Against the Unexpected’

The pet insurance company offers flexible plans for whatever life may have in store.

Tomorrow Sleep Mattresses Perform, So You Can, Too

Innovation is ingrained in the startup’s DNA.

The Goods

‘The Actual Industry Has a Problem’: Lemonade Isn’t Marketing Insurance Fluff

The speedy startup is guaranteeing money back with few (or no) questions. Just ask the bot.

The Goods

At Merrick, Pets are Family

The Texas-based pet food brand believes man’s best friend should dine on the best.

The Goods

Lelo Sex Toys: the Ultimate Birthday Presents

Maybe not for your mom, but definitely for your girlfriend.

Making Renters Insurance Easier with Nationwide Insurance

For less than $20 a month, the average renter can protect nearly $30K in personal property.

Looking for A Good Night’s Sleep? Go to Craig’s Beds

Craig Fruchtman just wants you to be comfortable.

The Goods

Mr. Black is Mixing up the Coffee Cocktail

Forget the White Russian—there’s a lot more you can do with coffee liqueur.

The Goods

Dame Sex Toys: For Women, By Women

The women-led sex toy brand aims to fill the “pleasure gap” in heterosexual intimacy.

Eight Sleep Believes that If You Build Your Own Mattress, Sleep Will Come

The company created a customizable mattress and introduced an AI coach—all in pursuit of optimization.

From Coast to Coast With Farmers Insurance

Potential lawsuits are everybody’s problem, and you probably own more than you think.

The Goods

Cyndi Ramirez and Adam Fulton, by their own admission, met in “a hopeless place.”

The New York City nightlife duo discuss candles, leather jackets, and the branding for their own wedding.

The Goods

Cuisinart: The Legacy Brand That Keeps On Innovating

The company that introduced America to the food processor continues to engineer novel solutions for at-home chefs.

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