Friday, June 28, 2024

Business Spotlight: LocalCentric

One of the top places to purchase a unique gift in the Lakes Region of Maine is full of handmade, locally sourced items and offers an amazing selection of Maine-themed products you can only find there. LocalCentric in Gray continues to impress customers with its range of quality items produced by local artists and companies.

Mother-and-son team Rhee Michelle-Smith and Travis
Connolly co-own LocalCentric, an eclectic market and
gift shop in Gray. The shop is filled with handcrafted items
and a curated selection of snacks and beverages you
won't find just anywhere. COURTESY PHOTO  
LocalCentric, located at 4B Brown St. in Gray, has been around for the past eight years but is now owned and operated by the mother-and-son team of Rhee Michelle-Smith and Travis Connolly. Michelle-Smith has served as the store’s manager for the past three and a half years under the previous owners and became LocalCentric’s owner in April.

“The previous owners Jen and Tom wanted to focus on their other business Human Nature and gave us the opportunity to purchase the store and continue to provide local artisans with the opportunity to showcase their work,” Rhee said.

Along with her son, Rhee has embarked on a mission to reorganize operations and has intensified efforts to promote the business through social media campaigns and with store consignors.

“The best thing about what we do at LocalCentric is that we support local artisans and provide them with an outlet for their products,” Rhee said. “Although we are a retail shop, we attract visitors to Maine by featuring locally produced and marketed Maine themed products that you can only get here in Maine.”

The store features many local artisans and entrepreneurs, showcasing and selling their candles, home decor items, art, clothing, jewelry on a daily basis, and also offers a vast selection of locally made snacks, treats, craft beer, wine and mead. Tailor and notary services are available and LocalCentric also has a consignor that sells live plants and flowers and consignors that create paper and wooden flowers.

“Our business is quite unique in the Gray/New Gloucester area,” Rhee said. “We are like a brick-and-mortar craft fair in a store with snacks, treats, craft beer, unique Winterport wines and The Fat Friar’s Mead from Newcastle, all made in Maine. I think it’s safe to say we are the only store around here that offers mead.”

First-time visitors to LocalCentric have expressed to Rhee that before walking in, they didn’t know quite what to expect, but were pleasantly surprised with what they found there.

“We offer competitive pricing throughout the store,” Rhee said. We are family owned, completely local, with convenient hours, and a welcoming atmosphere.”

You’ll find beer, cider and kombucha from 11 different Maine breweries, Crossroads coffee, scones, biscotti and buckwheat snacks, Maine crisps, Jack’s Crackers, Coastal Maine Popcorn and candy and chocolates from four Maine candymakers.

According to Rhee, the funniest feedback they have received so far is “this is the best smelling beer store.”

Reviews posted online are nothing short of spectacular.

“This shop is so cute! There’s so many different types of local goods for sale, from art and jewelry, to craft beer and homemade soap. I enjoyed poking around and found some lovely gifts.” ~ Elizabeth Stroka

“Hidden gem! This place is great. I was able to get many unique gifts here, including beer that is hard to find in this area! My husband and friends were so happy. It is definitely worth a stop if you are in the area! I have only been here once, but it looks like they have new inventory often.” – Anna K. Biddle

“Adorable shop. Music entertainment outside was outstanding.” ~ Valerie Nahorney

Hours for LocalCentric are from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays.

For more details about LocalCentric, call 207-657-4445 or visit their website at You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram under LocalCentric. <

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