Selective Shopping: Brands Born on the Cape & Islands

Cape Cod is famous for sandy beaches, lobster rolls and laid-back fun. But the Cape and Islands have also been the inspiration for unique brands inspired by seaside life. Even world-renowned department store Macy’s has a Cape connection—founder Rowland Hussey Macy was born and raised on Nantucket. In fact, the red star used in the company’s logo came from a tattoo on Macy’s hand, acquired in his youth while working onboard the ill-fated whaling ship Emily Morgan.

Here are some favorite local originals:

Cape Cod Beer—Todd Marcus’ basement hobby-brewing project has become a serious, full-scale operation offering a range of brews. Seasonal summer hefeweizens, rich porters or punchy IPAs, Cape Cod Beer has a taste for every palate, even pairing their Red ale with a peanut brittle made in Provincetown. As locals, they’re committed to giving back to their community and keeping operations environmentally sustainable. Cheers to that!

Cape Cod Beach Chair—Native Cape Codder Justin Labdon left his corporate job to pursue the American Dream, determined to bring a better made, high-quality, long-lasting beach chair to the world. Using sturdy canvas and sailboat-inspired wood, the chairs (and beach accessories like folding tables and blankets) are perfect for clambakes or relaxing on a secluded beach with a book. 

Vineyard Vines—Brothers Shep and Ian Murray ditched the 9 to 5 grind to get back to the lifestyle they loved while spending childhood summers on Martha’s Vineyard. When their neckties sold out in one weekend, they knew they were onto something. Today, stores across the country (including the popular Vineyard Vines by Puritan Cape Cod location in Mashpee Commons) stock their iconic look. Their pink whale logo has become an emblem of preppy chic that embodies their slogan: Every day should feel this good! 

Cape Cod Potato Chips—Thirty-five years ago, two friends opened a store in Hyannis with the idea of bringing the public small-batch, kettle-cooked potato chips like those they made at home. The simplicity of hand-picked spuds, oil and salt let the true flavor of the chips shine. Their delicious snacks flew off the shelves and into the mouths of fans worldwide. Their factory tour is a popular tourist attraction, too, with more than 250,000 visitors a year. 

Cape Cod Coffee — At Cape Cod Coffee, exceptional coffee is their passion. But they’re equally passionate about providing a daily brew that helps conjure the serene, relaxed Cape Cod state-of-mind that inspired them. Expertly selected coffee beans, experienced roasters and state-of-the-art technology combine to create a freshly roasted coffee (in a variety of flavors and blends) that will keep you coming back for more.

Menemsha Blues—This clothing brand embraces the island lifestyle on Martha’s Vineyard: casual seaside living, natural colors and textures, and a simple, easy style right at home with island life. With four stores on the island and expanding “to the Mainland,” Menemsha Blues is bringing its colorful, relaxed, and playful style to lovers of relaxation everywhere. 

Cape Cloth—Dennis native Sean Fitzpatrick created his line of comfortable sportswear—designed for the active coastal lifestyle of the Cape—with a mission of having minimal environmental impact and giving back to the community. A dollar of each Hat That Gives Back is donated to Cape Abilities, which fosters a better quality of life for disabled Cape residents, while their sofTEES and Good Hoods are made in the U.S.A. at factories that recycle their water, use low-impact dyes, and use recycled materials for shipping, proving that you can “Look great while doing better.” 

Black Dog—Seafaring is at the heart of this quintessential New England brand, whose logo was inspired by Capitan Robert Douglas’ adventures building his schooner The Shenandoah and his companion onboard, The Black Dog. While living on Martha’s Vineyard, he opened a tavern where locals could gather together and enjoy a good meal with a harbor view. This inspired a line of housewares and clothing (with the black dog logo, of course) and soon there were cafes, bakeries, general stores and chartered sailing expeditions. The Black Dog has come to symbolize the nautical life of the Cape and Islands, where signature shops can be found from Provincetown to Falmouth.

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