“We don’t sell benches.” – 45 years in the making, the Bench Shop is one of Willimantic’s longest continuously operating Main Street storefronts. The Bench Shop is Willimantic’s Halloween headquarters. The place to buy your mask, make-up, blood, scars and accessories. Being local and family owned, they stock a level of selection superior to that of the big box stores.
No they don’t sell benches. The name refers to the fact that most of the products that they have sold over the years, are handmade on a work bench. Bead work, silver jewelry, hemp, textiles, hand drums and incense.
A shop born out of the sixties that seems to have never left. Started in 1967 by Ida and Ettore Annati, the shop has now seen four generations of Annatis with Ettore’s son Frank and his wife Eva continuing the legacy. One of the few shops that survived the redevelopment of the 1970s and the promised retail success of the East Brook Mall.
The Bench Shop is now located in what is likely the oldest storefront on Main Street, built in the 1860s. It’s a shop that fits Willimantic’s hippie stereotype and college patronage. A piece of Willimantic’s past and a icon of it’s present. A unique store to be proud of and a reminder to remember the small things in life.
The Bench Shop is located at 750 Main Street.