Cory Farms Past & Presents in Portsmouth celebrates 10 years

‘A serenity that permeates inside and out’

By Jim McGaw
Posted 7/10/21

PORTSMOUTH — Denys Eftekhar had dreamed of having her own store for 20 years before purchasing the Cory Farms property — circa 1849 — in 2010. After one year of …

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Cory Farms Past & Presents in Portsmouth celebrates 10 years

‘A serenity that permeates inside and out’

Posted

PORTSMOUTH — Denys Eftekhar had dreamed of having her own store for 20 years before purchasing the Cory Farms property — circa 1849 — in 2010. After one year of renovations, her dream came to fruition when Cory Farms Past & Presents opened its doors the following year.

Now the unique gift and antiques store, which prides itself on high-quality products with a distinctly European flair, is celebrating its 10th anniversary with special events planned for this weekend, July 10-11.

“We have worked very hard to define our niche of products with a special slant toward design, quality and legitimate trade. I would much rather buy from a small business not only for the quality of their work, the prompt delivery but the amazing support of small business' around the world. We have become friends with so many vendors in Scandinavia, Europe, Canada and the USA,” said Ms. Eftekhar, whose first name is pronounced as “Denny.”  

The store’s focus is on home decor and gifts, baby clothes and gifts, women and self-care. Longtime employee Martha Rose said the store is special because of Ms. Eftekhar’s good taste and her ability to find such unique products that fill the store.

“She does such amazing buying in Europe,” said Ms. Rose, who’s been at the shop for eight years. “She makes such a huge effort at finding different things that the regular gift shop does not carry. She really has a flare for the European look. She’s Swedish, and I’m Swedish, which is nice, because I love it as well. She does a lot of Scandinavian products, and English, and French. And it’s German at Christmas, with a tree in every room. She has very high-end quality pieces from the U.S., too.”

That includes many Rhode Island-made products, which make for popular gifts for people traveling so they’ll have something from home, Ms. Eftekhar said.

Every room has a different theme. The one you first enter is the “Dining Room,” with the “Kitchen” off to the right. The room that fronts East Main Road is “Shore Finds,” which is nautical in theme. The store has increased its supply of clothing, based on customer demand, and also has a growing children’s department.

“People come in for birthday gifts, anniversary gifts, shower gifts. It’s mainly people buying for other people, so we do offer the service of wrapping,” Ms. Rose said.

Besides the main 1849 house, there’s also a back barn that’s used as an antique gallery. Another barn, directly across from the store, is also open to customers, but more renovation work is planned. Although the business was closed for a couple months due to COVID last year, the store made out nicely during the pandemic. 

“It was amazing. People bought curbside and they were very supportive. We also got a website out of that time period, so that was good,” Ms. Eftekhar said.

The pandemic slowed international shopping, but that will resume again this fall, or early 2022, said Ms. Eftekhar, who wants the business to continue offering customers both a visual and emotional shopping experience that allows them to visualize how items can help them entertain with beauty and style.

“There is a serenity at Cory Farms that permeates inside and out — an experience that we are very proud of,” she said. “I think we have something special with our products and our customers, and I want to keep dreaming for them. It’s really wonderful to have people love the store so much.”

Cory Farms Past & Presents is located at 3124 East Main Road, Portsmouth. For more information, visit coryfarmsri.com.

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