MARCO ISLAND — Living on an Island the size of Marco Island, sometimes makes one feel as if they know every shop, every nook and everything the island has to offer. That is why it is such a pleasure to stumble upon something new. Over on Winterberry Drive there is a quaint little gift shop housed within the Jewish Congregation of Marco Island. Open to the public, the Sylvia & Harold Brownstein Judaica Shop offers gifts, handbags, Lenox figurines, jewelry, Mahjong jewelry and supplies and many delightful items.
The shop has undergone a transformation during the past year under the care of Sharon Rubenstein, Shirley Posner and Phyllis Borr. The three friends volunteer their time to run the gift shop, finding and offering gifts that would be suitable for birthdays, anniversaries, Chanukah, Christmas and any occasion.
“We took it over last year; we were called upon,” Rubenstein said. “We wanted a gift shop that whenever people came in there was something for everyone.”
The gift shop was remodeled due to a generous gift in the name of Sylvia & Harold Brownstein, former members who have passed away. It now has new carpeting, bright lights and professional display cases. The shelves are neatly arranged with gifts ranging from toasters to stuffed animals. There are many items costing below $10 and going up to more expensive items like Spode china, Lenox figurines and Sandra Roberts bags. There is a wide selection of Mahjong supplies and jewelry.
“You can find a great gift for a teacher or if you are running out to a birthday party,” Rubenstein said. “You could buy a cute happy birthday mug for $8 or pair it with a happy birthday tea or a bear and make it a little more involved. We package everything up in a nice bag with ribbon and tissue.”
“We are trying to bring a nice quality item at a reasonable price and there is no tax because it benefits a religious organization,” Posner said.
There are many Lenox figurines available ranging from celebrations of birth and weddings to Disney figurines. There are serving pieces, vases and other china pieces available. There are many types of jewelry such as necklaces, bracelets and watches for women, men and children.
There are many styles of handbags ranging from clutches to cross-body and shoulder bags.
“Personally, I love the bags,” Posner said. “Running the gift shop has been very exciting for us.”
“All of the decisions are made by the three of us together,” Borr said. “We sit down and discuss whether something is a good move and if we are doing it correctly. We must be because we are still talking.”
The gift shop is open to the public Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to Noon, or those wishing to shop at other times can call JCMI at 642-0800.
“We have something for everybody here,” Posner said. “I bring in groups of ladies to shop and Phyllis prepares homemade baked goods, coffee and tea. It’s nice for groups to come in and shop and have coffee and cake and sit around and talk.”
Groups can call to schedule a time for an evening out at JCMI.
“We just wanted to open it up to the community,” Rubenstein said. “We offer merchandise that would appeal to anyone.”
JCMI is located at 991 Winterberry Drive. Gift shop hours are 9 a.m. to Noon Monday through Friday, or by appointment by calling 642-0800. Information: www.marcojcmi.tripod.com.