Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

Showcasing Peekskill’s small businesses

Unique finds for holiday giving
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  • Scott Sailor, proprietor of Bruised Apple Books at 923 Central Avenue.

  • A&D JEWELRY on the corner of South and South Division Streets. Diego PiSantez is the proprietor.

  • Five years ago he opened his shop in Peekskill, taking over the space that was the Arthur Weeks Jewelry store for some 75 years. Diego, who has been in the jewelry business for three decades, is a jewelry designer in addition to offering special orders on any item in his jewelry store. He also does watch repair and battery replacements

  • Blondery 922 Main Street Auzerais Bellamy considers the synthesis of passion and experience to fuel what she believes is her magnum opus: Blondery, a seasonal collection of handmade blondies launched in November 2016. Her Peekskill location just celebrated its one year anniversary. While Auzerais has held titles at some of the finest kitchens around the globe, the most fulfilling has been that of Founder and CEO of Blondery.

  • A blondie is similar to a brownie, except instead of starting with a chocolate base, they use a brown sugar butterscotch base (think of it as a merger between a chocolate chip cookie and a brownie). There are eight flavors in their core collection, plus seasonal varieties that rotate throughout the year. Blondies are their speciality, but they make a lot of other things, too: 11 layer cakes (these include layers of blondie, devil’s food cake, vanilla and chocolate buttercream, and caramel ganache) and the cake jars (smaller, individual portions of the aforementioned cake) are really popular. They also have doughnuts, cinnamon rolls, and six different kinds of cookies. They are a “virtual bakery,” referring to the e-commerce side of Blondery. The majority of the business is e-commerce, meaning customers can order online and they ship many of their products nationwide.

  • Visitors who come from all over the region find an eclectic assortment of books, records, CDs and DVDs at The Bruised Apple.

  • The bookstore has been in business 30 years. Scott shares that he began skateboarding again after a long hiatus… and enjoying himself more than ever.

  • BUCKO! 107 S. Division Street Proprietors Brian, Katie Orsi and children (holding) Rhys and son Rowan, age three, who didn’t want to be in photo. BUCKO! celebrated its 3rd anniversary November 18th.

  • They want Bucko to be a gift-shopping destination for those looking for unique items right here in Peekskill… “Peekskill deserves nice things.”

  • Photographed in the store was NY Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital’s Chaplin TJ Douglas who says “There is always something beautiful to find here while contributing to a sense of community.”

  • Division Street Guitars 36 N. Division St. Paul DeCourcey is the proprietor of the business that opened in September 2014 Matt is the manager and everything guy handling all that needs to be done for the store. They buy, sell and trade all used and vintage guitars and amps.

  • Paul, the maestro technician offering guitar repair and custom work, was busy at the bench in back of the shop.

  • DJV JEWELRY 1005 Park St. Proprietor Harry Pierce purchased the business DJV Jewelry (keeping the name) in 1994. In 1977 he had an after-school job working there and returned again to work full time in 1990.

  • While offering GIA Certified diamonds, DJV always offers quality work at low and affordable prices. He says “he has the best priced jewelry in the area.” Harry also buys and sells gold and repairs jewelry and watches. He makes special-order pieces such as name and engagement rings – and his watch replacement batteries for walk-in customers are just $5.00.

  • The Fern Tree 13 S. Division St. Sister Fern has been the proprietor since 1994. “I love my store because of Peekskill and the people that come in.”

  • They are a one-of-a-kind African-American gift shop where one can find goods from the African Diaspora such as men’s and women’s clothing and hats.

  • There are also imported scented oils and a large variety of incense along with USDA approved organic lotions.

  • The store carries African masks and art as well. Sister Fern is the host of the Underground Railroad tours here in Peekskill.

  • Field Library Bookstore 934 South St. They take donations of books in excellent condition. Homey old school bookstore with a wide variety of books and more… CDs and DVDs and puzzles and their most expensive book is priced at $2.

  • Holiday time offers an annual sale called “Fill It for $5.00 until January 5, 2024 with bags provided at front of store. Maria Angelini, Managing Editor of Orbis Books at Maryknoll, runs the bookstore and started volunteering 15-20 years ago under then library director Sybil Canaan. She is in Saturdays from 1-5pm. The store operates on 99 percent donations and offers a wide range of books while being a treasure for book lovers who also enjoy a sense of community and comradery for those who like sharing books.

  • Flat Iron Gallery 105 S. Division St. Proprietor Wendie Garber has been in business 27 years. “Open House” holiday shopping through the end of December – Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays 12-6, and open every day of the week before Christmas. The holiday season theme is “Give Peace A Chance” November 1 – December 31, 2023 where a portion of the holiday sales will be donated to “Doctors Without Boarders.” Help the helpers…Be kind, Be caring. The peace theme began with the outbreak of the war in Ukraine and Wendie has purchased several oil paintings by Ukrainian artists.

  • Also for the Holiday Season the Flat Iron Gallery will be offering 20 percent off on all jewelry as well as 25 percent off on some paintings. Flat Iron Gallery has a wide variety of paintings, prints and pottery… eclectic art collectables including contemporary and vintage jewelry. Wendie has something for every style and for all ages. Wearable art, jackets, handbags, scarves – items are functional as well as decorative. One special item in the shop is a hand-blown glass pen-holder.

  • Geoff started working in metal thirty years ago and fifteen years ago began in sculptor and ornamental ironworks, with a welding focus at the Center for Metal Arts in Florida, NY. His knives are sold predominantly through is website along with strong social media presence. Geoff said “he has lots of knives ready for Christmas.”

  • He creates culinary knives and his “Blackbird” shop knife, an everyday pocket knife is very popular.

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“Peekskill is community – speciality and unique” says photographer Joseph Squillante after spending the last six weeks photographing proprietors and their shops for this Holiday Gift Guide. In this series of photos which we publish today and tomorrow, you’ll meet the people behind the small businesses that make our central business district (and beyond) worth visiting.



About the Contributor
Regina Clarkin, Editor and Publisher
When the Peekskill Herald weekly newspaper ceased publishing in August 2000 it was the first time in the history of the city that there wasn’t a local newspaper.  The award-winning weekly was often referred to as the ‘glue’ of the community. Founded on January 9, 1986 by Regina Clarkin, Kathy Daley and Rich Zahradnik with a $7,000 credit card line, the paper filled the void created when the daily Evening Star was sold to Gannett and moved out of town. Founding publisher Regina Clarkin continued to live in the Peekskill Cortlandt area and turned her attention to other life endeavors.  Through the ensuing 19 years, Clarkin was frequently stopped in town and asked when she would start up the Herald again. In January 2019, Clarkin decided it was less labor intensive to deliver a weekly blog than a print newspaper so she began posting one story a week about life in Peekskill. After a successful crowd funding campaign in 2020, the Herald was incorporated as a non-profit corporation in July of 2021. Peekskill Herald is a digital relative of the former print edition, featuring many of the favorite aspects of the beloved Peekskill Herald such as old pictures, personality profiles and well written stories about newsworthy events. Regina Clarkin is the editor and publisher of the site. Photo by Joe Squillante