Nestled comfortably in a nook of the brick building at 15 Purchase Street, Kindly Fruits is a cozy, colorful shop, newly opened in Rye.
Owner Natalie Kabasakalian opened the store in late November, after about a decade of considering ways to turn her humanitarian work into a livelihood.
“I’ve done a lot of traveling and have a human rights background," Kabasakalian said. "I developed a love for all the beautiful things I have seen in my travels and was looking to do something different so I thought I’d bring Fair Trade items to lower Westchester,” Kabasakalian said.
The new business owner had been practicing law for 15 years and living in New York City. “Life became different,” once she had a child, who is now four, and she moved back to her hometown of New Rochelle.
Fair Trade is a trading partnership that “seeks greater equity in international trade," and promotes goods that are made by workers who are justly compensated.
At Kindly Fruits, customers can shop with a clear conscious for beautiful items from around the world and know their money is helping to support a humanitarian movement.
The name of the store comes from the Book of Common Prayer. It is from a verse that evokes a sense of hard work, patience and reaping the benefits of work done with honestly and with good intention, Kabasakalian said.
Kabasakalian carries a few specialty food items like organic chocolates, olive oil and spices, and many hand-made goods like purses, bowls made of shell, stone and clay, holiday ornaments, colorful cotton purses, rugs, stuffed animals, pajamas and much more.
Many of the items are from Asia, some African American countries and Latin America, but “the store is getting more diverse all the time,” she said.
Neighboring businesses have been very welcoming and receptive, and customers that find the store are very enthusiastic, Kabasakalian said. But, the one problem she is having is the lack of foot traffic in front of the store. It is located on the side of the Arcade Book building, facing Rye City Hall, on Purchase Street, but around the corner.
Kabasakalian is working on getting better signage. In the mean time, if shoppers want to consume consciously, turn the corner to Kindly Fruits.
The store is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.