A few years ago, Fish’s Eddy caught our eye — and not just because of their old hotel + roadside coffee shop inspired dishes and glassware, but because of their story.
There’s something magical about a nearly 25-year old local store that sells unique + practical items. Inside the Gramercy Park shop lies a quarter century of not only whimsical + timeless products, but also history. And though Gramercy has significantly changed since Fishs Eddy’s opening, as soon as you step onto the wooden floors that line the shop, you feel nostalgic.
At the heart of Fishs Eddy lies an intriguing narrative, one that makes us proud to call them a west elm partner + one that is best told by the founders themselves — so we asked them a few questions.
Read on to learn more about Fishs Eddy!
What’s the Fishs Eddy store’s origin story in a nutshell?
It was our love for restaurant ware that gave birth to Fishs Eddy. We spent our early days digging through endless bushels of dishware in basements of restaurant suppliers, old factories and warehouses. Dave and I were totally obsessed with the elegance of the shapes and the excitement of all the different patterns. When we brought all that “ware” back to the store we were even more excited that customers appreciated it the way we did. So when we did our first custom pattern we were very sure to keep the authenticity of the quality and the shapes. Everything we’ve done since is rooted in the dishes and glasses we were finding, and bringing back to the store to sell.
Are you still at the same location as your original store? And if so, what else in the neighborhood has managed to (thankfully) thrive for so long?
We’ve been in our location near Union Square for almost twenty-five years. We’ve seen the neighborhood change dramatically and we feel proud to say that we’ve weathered it all! My favorite “other” small business that has thrived through thick and thin is City Bakery around the corner on 18th street. Like Fishs Eddy, City Bakery has stayed true to their original ideals and has grown, but has never wavered. In the winter they still have the best hot coco anywhere!
What was the process for the West Elm collaboration and what is your favorite piece from the collection?
Through all the years of digging through flea markets and antique shops we always picked up old minnow buckets. The graphics are so fantastic on the steel gray metal. Nobody really looks at minnow buckets as art but we always found them interesting and used them as fixtures in the store. So when the folks at West Elm said they wanted to do mugs it was a no brainer, minnow bucket mugs! I also love the “Sardines Destiny” plate because I like the sense of humor…sardines making their way into their little tin! And of course the butter dish that resembles a real stick of better, that piece is just great for anything!
How big is your archive of vintage plates + patterns at this point?
Our archived vintage plates are so vast we only wish we had more hours in the day to relish and appreciate them! And then there is the archive room of all the patterns we’ve done over the years, some so fabulous we wonder why we don’t bring them back and some, well, what were we thinking? But hey you live and learn.