BRANFORD, Conn. — For Branford native, Sal Esposito, local business runs in the family.
His parent's book and card shop retired two years ago, but Esposito's local legacy lives on in his current shop, P.S. Stationers. It's located on Main Street in Branford. Esposito and his sister have now been running the business for two decades.
"Started at nine years old," said Esposito. "My parents had a book and card shop. We had the Hallmark card shop on the corner, we were here for 45 years, and I grew up in the business."
Now, it has become a true family affair.
"I'm proud to say that I worked with my mom and dad, my aunts and uncles, and my sisters. It was a family effort," said Esposito. "We were a big part of the community and proud to be here still."
From greeting cards, stationery, chocolates, stuffed animals, and more, there is something for everyone at P.S. Fine Stationers.
"In the day of the Internet and online shopping, I feel if people come into my store, it's an honor," said Esposito. "I like to make everybody feel happy, and I'm proud of what I carry in the store."
Esposito stresses the importance of shopping local: "It's important to shop local because we want to maintain our main streets. We want to have a reason to come down Main Street, and shopping local keeps the community alive."
For some shoppers, staying local is also essential to be able to socialize and experience stores in person.
"I think it means a lot, we've lost a few stores over the years. Sadly we lost his (Esposito's) parents store when they decided to retire," said Vanessa Conlin of Branford. "They did a wonderful job, so everyone was happy that he (Esposito) continued with his shop."
Customers shopping in Esposito's store can feel the love that goes into keeping it open and in business. It's packed to the brim with items that have been carefully and specially selected to be on display.
Whether you are buying a gift for yourself, or maybe for a loved one, it is a unique experience regardless.
"I feel like, what am I going to buy next," said Conlin. "It's always very exciting, and it's always fun because you see people in the town where you wouldn't if you only shopped online."
The shop is open every day but Sunday, except during the last six weeks of the year for the holidays where it is open all week long.