What started as experiments in his kitchen has turned into a thriving business for Michael McPolin of Mastic.
“Friends and family kept buying,” he said. “And it blossomed naturally.”
The 27-year-old made the leap into brick and mortar with his first Birch & Main shop in February 2016 in Wading River, where he’s been selling handcrafted home goods and wellness products from the Shoppes at East Wind.
The demand has only grown since.
Now he’s working on a second location, this time in downtown Port Jefferson.
“I think people are looking for something that is locally made and of high quality,” said McPolin.
He looked for months for a suitable spot before zeroing in on the storefront that last housed the The Amazing Olive at 230 East Main Street. (The Amazing Olive has since moved to 213 Main Street.)
The hope is to open this spring, selling organic soaps, lotion, clay masks, bath bombs and 100 percent soy candles — all of which are made in-house.
The first store in Wading River was perfect — as far as the clientele and geographic location.
That was, until McPolin started to outgrow the building.
But McPolin has bigger plans in mind then simply a bigger store.
The Port Jeff location, which is triple the size of his first store, will now include home decor and barware.
“We are building a lifestyle brand here now,” he said.
McPolin also likes the history of his new location in Port Jefferson.
According to McPolin, the near 200-year-old building was once owned by a chemist and was used as a pharmacy to the local area.
“We are like a modern version of what a pharmacy was, but the more natural version,” he said. “We feel like we are passing on the legacy.”
For those familiar with McPolin’s Wading River store, the new location will have a bit of a different feel.
“Since [Wading River] is in the country it has a warm, homey feel to it,” he said. “When we came here we want to be cool — a little bit more industrial to fit in with the neighborhood.”
Top: Birch and Main’s organic candles. (courtesy). Scroll down for more photos.