2018-04-26 / Front Page

NEW SHOP A SHORE THING

RETAILERS ALL ABOARD AT EAST FERRY LOCATION
BY RYAN GIBBS


Ken Schadegg, left, with Robert Upham, his husband and business partner, at their new shop at 47 Conanicus Ave., All Ashore Cottage Outfitters. The retail store with its nautical theme will offer home decor and souvenirs, below, in a prime location for tourists departing the ferry across the street. 
PHOTOS BY ANDREA VON HOHENLEITEN Ken Schadegg, left, with Robert Upham, his husband and business partner, at their new shop at 47 Conanicus Ave., All Ashore Cottage Outfitters. The retail store with its nautical theme will offer home decor and souvenirs, below, in a prime location for tourists departing the ferry across the street. PHOTOS BY ANDREA VON HOHENLEITEN When passengers arrive from the ferry this summer, it won’t be hard for them to find keepsakes that remind them of their journey across Narragansett Bay.

All Ashore Cottage Outfitters has opened next door to the East Ferry Deli. Just in time for the tourist season, the retail store at 47 Conanicus Ave. will offer a boatload of seaworthy home decor and souvenirs.

“We’re making sure it has a nautical orientation,” proprietor Ken Schadegg said. “When you walk in the door, you will find very little that isn’t nautically inspired.”

Schadegg, a Sotheby’s real estate agent who owns the store with his husband, Robert Upham, knows the top three factors for property desirability are location, location and location. That is why the couple decided to take advantage of the prime spot across from the harbor “on the busiest corner in Jamestown.” Retailer Fair Trade Winds vacated the complex in January.

“We think this is absolutely the nicest location close to the ferry,” he said. “We jumped on it.”

Along with the stunning views from their new office, the men were inspired to sell maritime souvenirs because that market is largely void in a commercial district that thrives on visitors. Shoppers browsing for a pillow featuring a nautical chart of Narragansett Bay, for instance, would be required to take a trip to Newport. Until now.

The store’s inventory, which is evocative of the Depression era, ranges from coasters to blankets to glassware, all with a maritime theme or a Jamestown connection. The store also will carry an array of tote bags, which Schadegg, a local conservation commissioner, expects to be a booming enterprise following the plastic bag ban that went into effect Sunday. He also highlighted the steamer lounge chairs that look like they “came off a ship from 1920.”

“I don’t know where else you would get them in Rhode Island,” he said. “That’s probably the most unique item that we’ll sell. A lot of the things we’ll be selling will be evocative of the 1920s and 1930s.”

Work on converting the space from the former layout to All Ashore took two months. Only minimal construction was needed, including the installation of white shelving and refinishing the floors, he said. The walls also were painted with blue and white to match the ocean.

The front of the store will include Jamestown and boating souvenirs, such as signal flags, wine-carrying cases and picnic baskets. The backroom has a more pronounced sailing theme, complete with beadboard and porthole doors to complement the furniture being offered.

Although it’s their newest venture, All Ashore is not the first store Schadegg and Upham have had together. They operated a successful pet boutique for three years on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, which they sold when they moved back to Rhode Island.

“We learned a lot,” Schadegg said. “We’re very familiar with retail sales.”

Schadegg is a native Nebraskan who has lived in Rhode Island since 1990, aside from his stint in the Caribbean. The couple moved into their restored Coulter Drive cottage last year at the north end of Potter’s Cove. They say they take solace every day from living on the waterfront of Narragansett Bay.

“We know it inspires other people,” Schadegg said, “so that’s who we want to cater to.”

Before his retail ventures, Schadegg was a city housing manager in Providence for 12 years, retiring in 2010. He now sells houses for the Mott & Chace firm in Narragansett. Upham, meanwhile, is the human resources director at Crossroads Rhode Island in Providence.

Although Fair Trade Winds fell victim to e-commerce, Schadegg said his store’s success will hinge on building a personable reputation with both townspeople and tourists. He wants customers to specifically target All Ashore when they come into town.

“We understand that for a gift shop to be successful, it has to be a destination,” he said. “We’re very confident in making it a destination for the residents and tourists. It’s our feeling that you have to have both.”

Return to top