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The Christmas Shop and Island Art Gallery in Manteo, NC.



About The Christmas Shop

May 2008

Edward Greene & Richard Lacerre

Edward Greene and Richard Lacerre'sApproximately 90 days ago, if someone had suggested that we should reopen the Christmas Shop we would have said to them "You're Crazy".  After all, during the past two and a half years we had sold out all of our merchandise, had an incredible two day auction of 1,000 pieces of antique furniture and accessories, had several yard sales of everything from office equipment to supplies, from vacuum and cleaning supplies to computers and cash registers!  We had parted ways with the long time worker family of loving and experienced staff members.  NOW, today approximately 90 days later, we ARE reopening.  We actually believed that we could put the whole thing back together in 90 days.  And we almost made it.  What a challenge trying to redo about 12,000 square feet of space, clean carpets, paint, go on buying trips, come up with new ideas, reestablish old ones and create some new ones, polish, collect furniture, overhaul fourteen heat/cooling systems, telephone/intercom systems, and just this morning we started to learn our new touch, cash register systems.  What we are really saying is WELCOME BACK! Welcome back to something old, something new, something borrowed something blue-red-and green.  Over the next few weeks, watch the trees get decorated, watch all kinds of new merchandise appear, watch the magic and the sparkle really shine again.  Come back often, we think you'll be surprised.  What's old?  The Christmas Shops, the Gallery, the Bird Room, the Jewelry Shop!  What's new?  Six Antique Shops, the Glass Spinner giving demonstrations, History Island, a museum shop, the Outer Banks Fudge Company- serving coffee and sweets and the T-Shirt Boutique.  Some things old, some things new, some things borrowed, and our walls are blue-red-and green.

May 2006 Island Gallery and Christmas Shop
By Sandy Semans - Sentinel Staff

When Edward Greene and Richard Lacerre announced in June 2005 that they were closing the famous Island Gallery and Christmas Shop in Manteo, customers from near and far cried "say it ain't so, Joe!"

Visiting the shop had become an annual ritual of many families made up of multiple generations who had visited the store during its almost four decades of "spreading the sparkle." Christmas decorations, gift items, art and very rare and unusual antique pieces used for displays made visiting the store an adventure akin to going into a museum of oohhhs and aaahhhs. In 2006, several months after the store had closed, the antiques were inventoried and catalogued in preparation of what was perhaps the largest auction ever held in Dare County. But there was still much left to be done to completely clear the premises and prepare the property for a new owner. Recently, the office equipment and communications lines were moved from the property to a newly-built office at Greene's and Lacerre's home in Manteo.

And, now, they will have to move it back again - they are going to put the sparkle back in Manteo.

"In the 1970s, we advertised ourselves as the store of stores," said Greene. "And this year, we will be a store of stores -- small boutiques, studios, galleries, craft shops -- all manned by new and budding entrepreneurs."

Greene said that the decision to reopen the business has been prompted both by wanting to and by practicality. "I will be 83 in May and had plans to be on the beach in Hawaii," said Greene. "But given the current real estate market, it seems that this isn't a good time to be selling the property."

It's time for the building to once again begin producing income to cover the ongoing expenses of the property, said Greene. To some, this might be a bitter sweet story but given Greene's track record with the Fates, there's sure to be sparkle on the horizon and unique surprises both for him and Lacerre, as well as the admiring public.

During WWII, Greene served as a pharmacist mate in the US Navy, a job that inspired him to go on to
medical school after the war. But Fate moved in when he signed up for an elective course in modern
dance. With the help of a counselor, he found a dance school that accepted the GI Bill for his tuition.
A few years later, while studying in New York City, he was approached about coming to Roanoke Island
to be in a play -- The Lost Colony. After that first introduction to Dare County, although he continued
performing on the Broadway stage as well as traveling productions, Greene knew he wanted to settle in
Manteo. It took a dozen years, but at last he returned to buy a 1200-square-foot cinder block house and the Christmas Shop was born. With him was Lacerre who worked alongside Greene for almost the next four decades. Today, the building which has been added on to often, encompasses approximately
30,000 square feet.

In a story about the closing of the store in 2005, the Sentinel reported that "because his hasn't been a
path of predictability, no one can say what his future holds, but one thing is for certain, whatever it is, it will have its own magical sparkle."

How true, how true...and we can't wait!
OB Sentinal

'Still Spreading the Sparkle'

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The Christmas Shop
Store Hours
Open 7 days a week!
9:30 am - 6:00 pm

 CALL 252-473-2838

 Mailing Address:
 PO Box 265
 Manteo, NC 27954
 Physical Address:
 621 South Highway 64
 Manteo, NC 27954


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