Walk into on New Boston Street and you might feel like you’re in a country store with its old-fashioned cash register and unique collection of merchandise.
Bird houses, whimsically painted, hang around the store. One, made of twigs, is so large it sits on the floor.
On one counter is jewelry: necklaces, bracelets and earrings and individual beads, ripe for stringing. The clay beads are made on the premises.
In another section are new baby gifts: teddy bears with binkies—pacifiers; baskets with bears and other baby accoutrements, from blankets to bibs and even a stork and gift baskets for other occasions. Some items are personalized—with the name of a new baby, for example, and his or her date of birth.
Personalizing items is one of the specialties here. The store, operated by NuPath, Inc., features shirts and tote bags with the NuPath name and logo, as well as other designs machine-embroidered on them. Workers also fill orders from other businesses for embroidered company names and logos on items like T-shirts.
Plates with a sea theme sit on a table of seasonal items. Last fall, the store sold little ghost nightlight-type lamps hand-made there.
The store is also a classroom. The Mercantile features the work of adults with disabilities. Its mission is to provide them “the support needed to live, work, learn, grow,” according to its mission statement, “and participate to their fullest potential in their community.”
Individuals NuPath serves help produce things The Mercantile sells, explained Donna Moreira, community opportunity manager.
That could mean making clay beads, stringing them into jewelry or sewing the fabric and trim on gift baskets, further explained Mercantile storekeeper Sandy Sayce, or machine-embroidering logos on different items or even a family crest on an afghan.
These projects build workers’ skills, Moriera said.
The Mercantile, at 147 New Boston St., is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.