Holiday Shopping Destination: Sayville’s small-town vibe beckons

If you’re looking for a genuine, old-fashioned, small-town type place to spend the day shopping, you can’t go wrong with Sayville.

“What makes our town really extra special is it’s very community- and family-based, because it’s so tightknit, small,” said Eileen Tyznar, president of the Greater Sayville Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s nostalgic. It has like, an old-time feel. It feels like a Norman Rockwell sort of town. Everybody knows each other by name,” Tyznar said. “We watch over each other. We support each other.”

On “Shop Small Saturday,” Sayville’s take on Small Business Saturday, there’ll be a North Pole trolley running along Main Street and Railroad Avenue, stopping at designated shops offering specials. The day’s festivities will include interactive ice sculptures along Main Street and a gingerbread competition.

While the village may be old fashioned, Sayville General Store (44 Main St., 631-563-7104, is anything but a store from a bygone era.

“It’s a high-end general store,” said owner Jacquee Gustafson. “It’s not your grandma’s general store.”

“This is one of my favorite stores,” said shopper Donna Arlotta of West Sayville. “I like her selection of items. I just bought a beautiful hat and an angel: They’re from Nepal, so a lot of the proceeds go to the women that make them.”

There is all manner of home accessories, from colorful glass balls and orbs to silk flowers, cashmere throws and blankets, picture frames and Murano glass sconces. There are fingerless gloves and purses handcrafted in Nepal; Provencal soaps, lotions and perfumes; Frasier fir diffusers, candles and hand soap; cooking tools, cookbooks and plenty of food (from oils to sauces, mustards and teas); vintage linens; hand-thrown American pottery and handmade greeting cards; Jellycat stuffed animals; GurglePot fish-shaped pitchers.

“It makes a glug, glug sound when you pour,” Gustafson said of the GurglePot pitcher.

Sayville General Store offers online shopping and curbside pickup.

The spirit of the Emerald Isle is everywhere at Irish Crossroads (58 Main St., 631-569-5464,, from the Irish music that plays steadily — except when preempted by Christmas music — to the makings of an Irish breakfast (everything from black pudding to meat pies).

“There are very few Irish stores left actually,” said Kierstin Quinn, daughter of owner Kathleen Quinn.

The store specializes in Irish imports, including hand-painted Nicholas Mosse pottery and Belleek basket-weave china with its signature green shamrock designs. There are Irish cookbooks (“Favorite Flavors of Ireland” and “Christmas Flavors of Ireland,” for instance), Flahavan’s Oatlets and other Irish specialty groceries, Celtic weave mugs, Irish-made jewelry, “Guinness” pullovers, John Branigan wool ponchos and scarves, and West End Knitwear sweaters.

“I like to shop in Sayville,” said

Read more