Onset’s newest shop: The Onset Bay Trading Company and Gallery on East

Nov 25, 2020

When Deb Alfonso and Michelle Brodeur partnered to open a new brick and mortar store in Onset, they were driven by their passion for art and their love of the community. The result was a brightly-colored, inviting shop filled with a wide variety of products.

In Brodeur and Alfonso’s words, their shop carries “a bit of everything.” 

Alfonso and Brodeur sell weathervanes, wine glasses, photography, bird houses, paintings, Onset attire, holiday decorations and much more. The tables, shelves and walls throughout the store display everything from original pieces of wall art to hand-crafted jewelry.

The shop — which Alfonso and Brodeur have taken to calling the Onset Bay Trading Company and the Gallery on East — is just across the street from Stonebridge Marina, located in the same building as Conway on The Bay, at 2B East Blvd.

It has only been open since mid-October, but Alfonso said the store has been doing well despite coronavirus challenges. 

Alfonso said that the importance of small business was a driving factor behind the decision to open a year-round store.

“We really feel strongly that small businesses are important because they give that special attention to the customers,” she said. “We know our customers by name.” 

Alfonso also said she and Brodeur look for unique products that shoppers won’t find in big box stores.

“To be able to offer (our customers) something that’s really unique, it’s thrilling for me as well as for the customer to be able to come into a little store in Onset and be able to pick up some really beautiful work,” Brodeur added. 

Brodeur added that artists have been hit hard by the covid-19 shutdowns and economic downturn. She said the shop helps “keep (artists’) work out there.” 

Brodeur said she is proud that the shop is “able to represent different artists and (offer) the community their work.”

Alfonso said she and Brodeur both have a deep love of the community and longstanding ties to Onset.

“We both live here — I mean, minutes away — so to be here and be able to have a business here … is just great,” Alfonso said.

For these reasons, the owners are also proud of the shop’s history. The building housing their store was once known to Onset residents as Besse’s Fish Market.

“It has a bit of history,” Alfonso said. “A lot of people come in here and remember that, and have fond memories of it being a fish market.”

As the pair works on renovating the space to fit their dream of having a beachy, seaside themed space, they’ve been keeping its history in mind, Alfonso said.

Alfonso ran a brick and mortar shop in Onset from 2005 to 2015 and now sells ads for Wareham Week, so she brought her business experience to the new venture. Brodeur opened the seasonal Front Yard Gallery in 2005. The open-air gallery in Onset operates in the summer, Memorial Day through Columbus Day. Before opening the gallery, Brodeur worked in fine arts for over 35 years as a certified jeweler and metalsmith. 

Alfonso and Brodeur joined forces to start a store that would be open year-round.

The shop is open on Wednesday through Friday noon to 5 p.m., Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. More information can be found on the Onset Bay Trading Company Facebook page or by calling 508-472-8182.