While on Shelter Island, be sure to stop at Bliss’ Department Store on Bridge Street in the Heights. Bliss is known as “the store with a little bit of everything,” and is still run the old-fashioned way. For the past 40 years, the Bliss family has owned and operated the store. Only one other family has run a business in the building, which has been in use since 1927.
Today, the store is owned by Peggy and Walter Johnson. They bought the store from Peggy’s father, Len Bliss and now a third generation in involved: their son Matt and his wife Isabella also help run the store that they will one day take over.
“We carry basic brands, and everyday stuff for normal people,” Peggy said. “Basically, what people on vacation would need.”
At Bliss, this could mean souvenirs—T-shirts, hats and coffee mugs that salute Shelter Island. But for vacationers, this also means beach essentials such as towels, beach chairs, sunscreen and toys. Bliss also carries Columbia gear, Levi’s and a stock of footwear for the entire family.
The store also carries socks, underwear, hats, rain gear, and toiletries. “Around here, business is always changing,” Peggy explained. “We try to adapt to what customers would need.” And as any traveler knows, things happen; you forget to pack something or it gets lost somewhere. “We keep ‘a little bit of everything’ so that people don’t have to go off-Island.”
And don’t forget the homemade fudge. The day we were there, they had old fashioned chocolate, chocolate peanut butter, turtle pecan, French silk and strawberry cheesecake (new!)
If you’re shopping for souvenirs, or you just need a towel or a pair of sneakers, Bliss’ Department Store literally has it all. Located on Bridge Street, this store has become a tradition in itself. During the summer season, Bliss is open seven days a week. In the off-season, hours are limited. For more information, call the store at (631) 749-0041.