Winter 2019
Back 40 Mercantile, Old Greenwich, Connecticut By Julie McCallum

The four partners who own Back 40 Mercantile come from very different backgrounds, but one thing they all agreed on was that they wanted to open a store that they themselves would love to shop in. “Because we are passionate about family, sustainable farming, fine fabrics, fun activities, fresh food, and fellowship, it only made sense to open a store that would encompass all of our favorite things,” said Katrina Bischoff, one of the four owners.

Katrina Bischoff, co-owner of Back 40 Mercantile. Photo by Nataliya Lalor

Open since 2014, Back 40 Mercantile is located in Old Greenwich. This neighborhood is very small with one traffic light and the shopping district is all on one street. “Owning a store allows us to connect with the community in ways we wouldn’t be able to. People depend on us to offer a quality product with pristine customer service.  Our goal has always been to provide the community with a place to come and have a unique experience. It gives us great satisfaction to see happy customers” Bischoff said. “We continue to scope out new ways to reach out to other communities through hosting events and our recent launch of e-commerce,” she added.

The store takes pride in appealing to all five senses. When customers walk in, they will smell the 100 percent soy signature candle, hear the curated playlist, feel the beautiful cashmeres, silks and recycled cottons and see gorgeous products for body, heart and soul. Bischoff sources their product lines from small batch purveyors. She likes to shop “outside the box” because she wants people to walk into the store and see products for the first time.

Photo by Nataliya Lalor
Photo by Nataliya Lalor

With the theme of a country store, Back 40 Mercantile carries products in every category. Each department is small, so they try to select “top of the line” in each category. “We always laugh that you can get your lunch, a beautiful piece of jewelry, a baby gift, some local honey and a winter cashmere coat… all in one visit,” she said.

Photos by Nataliya Lalor

Baby gifts galore at Back 40 Mercantile. Photo by Nataliya Lalor
Bath and body merchandise at Back 40 Mercantile. Photo by Nataliya Lalor
Exterior of Back 40 Mercantile in Old Greenwich, Connecticut. Photo by Nataliya Lalor
Photo by Nataliya Lalor

Julie McCallum

Julie McCallum is editor-in-chief of Gift Shop Magazine. She is formerly the editor of Museums & More and has more than 25 years experience in publishing.

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