A General Store — In Portland's East Bayside?
A home-goods shop with an old-timey, mercantile vibe opens in a former factory.
TEXT BY SARAH STEBBINS
PHOTOGRAPHED BY MEREDITH BROCKINGTON
Katie Bowes and photography producer Hannah Haehn, who met in Brooklyn, where Bowes was a merchandiser for home-furnishings company One Kings Lane. After Bowes moved to Pownal in 2015 and took a job with Freeport’s L.L.Bean, and Haehn returned to her native Los Angeles, the two kept in touch. “Then the pandemic brought out this YOLO mentality,” Bowes says, and they decided to partner on her dream of opening a shop. The result, “a modern general store” called The Post Supply, launched online last summer, with Bowes sourcing products and Haehn in charge of creative direction.
Bowes had been scoping out potential retail locations since moving to Maine. Last fall, when décor shop Venn + Maker left its space in Portland’s 1947 former John J. Nissen Baking Company warehouse for Yarmouth, she leaped. In addition to straddling the city’s hip East End and East Bayside neighborhoods, the 850-square-foot onetime baking floor is three blocks from Bowes’s husband Brad’s Joiya Studios woodworking shop, which facilitates kid juggling. Their 2- and 5-year-olds sometimes “help” Bowes in the store, while Haehn makes weekly appearances via FaceTime.
ABOVE: Wood-handled tools; maple cutting boards; stoneware dishes; gingham linens; copper watering cans; tapers by Rockport’s Danica Design Candles; custom quilts by Yarmouth’s Smith’s General; and co-owner Katie Bowes await at The Post Supply, in Portland.
Some of the same sorts of items you might have found in a 19th-century mercantile: wood-handled brooms and scrubbers; cast-iron cookware; stoneware dishes; handmade quilts (by Yarmouth’s Smith’s General) and wool blankets (by Portland’s Evangeline); toiletries (moisturizing balms by Biddeford’s Viola Lee); and pantry supplies (Jackman’s Frontier maple syrup, Camden’s Rhea preserves). Pine shelving and Shaker pegs layered over tongue-and-groove pine paneling, crafted by Brad, cozy up the industrial space.
Delicately speckled bowls and mugs by Portland’s ANK Ceramics; graceful tapers in a rainbow of shades by Rockport’s Danica Design Candles; MADRE Belgian-linen napkins with bright, contrasting stitching; La Soufflerie wavy recycled-glass vases; and Sir/Madam copper-and-brass measuring spoons and cups. “It’s those essentials for life, but they’re beautiful and special and have a story behind them,” Bowes says.