In honor of last weekend’s Small Business Saturday, the Patriot-Bridge caught up with three local small business owners, whose shops you may or may not know. One thing the owners have in common: they love working in and serving the close-knit community of Charlestown. Here’s what they’re all about:
Swell Body and Boutique. 87 Warren St.,
Swell owner Emily Randolph Silva may be a newcomer to her Warren Street location, but she and her family have lived in Charlestown for the past six years. A dancer by training, Randolph worked with clients out of her home before opening her own storefront this past September. As its name implies, Swell Body and Boutique is a dual small business. For Swell Body, Randolph offers movement training in Gyrotonic, Pilates and Yamuna Body Rolling. “It’s about working on alignment so that you are moving from an optimal place and re-teaching your body to go back to where it should be,” said Randolph, who grew up in Brookline. The other half of the business, Swell Boutique, sells clothing and accessories for women and children (infant to 6 years old) made from organic and natural fibers. “Charlestown is young and growing and changing,” Randolph said. “I hope to be a part of that and that there’s even more.”
Sorelle Bakery & Café. 1 Monument Ave., 100 City Square, 282 Congress St., www.sorellecafe.com
Sorelle Bakery & Café has seen much growth since its start on Monument Avenue back in 1989. All three of its locations offer soups, salads, sandwiches, specialty coffees, muffins, homemade dressings and desserts. “We make everything on the premises seven days per week from scratch,” said owner Marc Perelman. “It’s part of the neighborhood of Charlestown.” In addition to beer and wine, the City Square location, which opened in 2003, has a large seating area, primarily serving the Navy Yard area and its businesses. Sorelle’s Congress Street location opened up this past September. “We like to think we’ve seen children grow up and families reside, and that we’re part of the fabric of the community,” said Perelman, who lives in Charlestown. “We know your name when you come in.”
Smudge Ink. 50 Terminal St., Bldg. 2, www.smudgeink.com
Eight years ago, Smudge Ink co-owners Deb Bastien and Kate Saliba were looking for a new space for their shop with freight elevators and concrete floors to accommodate their antique presses. A spot in the Charlestown Commerce Center ended up being a perfect fit. The greeting card, stationery and gift company offers both wholesale and custom work, including elegant wedding and baby shower invitations, colorful gift wrap and calendars, and bright, detailed note cards. “We like coming to work in the morning, and we love our team,” which includes nine people, said Bastien. The shop’s staff designs and produces letterpress cards, stationery and invitations onsite on its antique presses. Its more modern counterpart, flat printing, is done in Maine. “The majority of what we do is wholesale,” said Bastien. “We’re working on growing our custom business, (especially) wedding invites. We’re launching a new set of letterpress wedding invite designs on our website on Valentine’s Day to make it more convenient” for customers.