Judy Foreman: For Shoppers, Montecito Mercantile Just Feels Like Home | Homes & Lifestyle

With big red balloons and sunflowers galore, Kelly Finerock finally got to open the doors of her new Montecito Mercantile.

After months of remodeling the old closed Read ‘n Post space at Montecito Country Mart, Finerock kicked off the Fourth of July weekend in style.

The classic general store for modern living sports an array of housewares, gifts, men’s and women’s apparel, apothecary goods, cards, books, magazines and art. In addition to local artisans, the shop features an exclusive skincare line, January Labs.

On Saturday, the store at 1026-B Coast Village Road was packed with curious shoppers — locals, including yours truly, as well as visitors spending the long holiday weekend in Montecito.

While there were no fireworks, Finerock provided an ambience that evoked summer in Maine, Nantucket or the Hamptons.

A familiar face for those who have frequented Hudson Grace and James Perse at the Rosewood Miramar Beach, Finerock has a keen eye for retail. The choices she made to fill her shop, she says, “are everyday items made particularly well.”

“I wanted the store to feel like you were going into someone’s house, not a retail store,” she told Noozhawk.

Some of her favorites are Dewey Nicks surf photographs from a famous 1990 Miramar Beach shoot, sweaters by La Ligne, Maxwell & Geraldine stripe sundresses, and Peter Beaton sun hats that are only found in Nantucket and Montecito Mercantile.

The interior is decked out with retro fixtures and cabinets, and the merchandise will change frequently. Most of the goods are made in the U.S.A.

Montecito Mercantile actually is a sister store to Salt House Mercantile, which Carrie Schei opened on Seattle’s Bainbridge Island in 2014.

Meanwhile, the Read ‘n Post’s popular little post office has been remodeled, too. Still located at the rear of the store, depending on which side of the building you enter, its walls have been painted pink and spruced up with vintage tennis racquets.

Montecito Mercantile now runs the full-service post office, which offers stamps, registered and express mail, or just a place to drop off your letters and packages. The counter is staffed from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

— Judy Foreman is a Noozhawk columnist and longtime local writer and lifestyles observer. She can be contacted at [email protected]. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.