I needed cash back to pay for the South Ferry leaving Shelter Island, so I headed to Shelter Island IGA. I was in a rush. Hopefully, I thought, they will have a cash-back option or at least an ATM. What I did NOT expect was that my day would be delightfully derailed by discovering a chic, exclusive Hamptons fashion line sold only at IGA on Shelter Island—The SPRMRKT.
Shelter Island’s IGA is a classic throwback grocery store. Inside, there are no bright white LED lights that I’m sure have been designed to make you buy more food. It’s well-loved, you can tell this is a community hub, where you go to say hi to your neighbors.
Hurriedly I walked in, my head on a swivel to find an apple or something cheap so I could get cashback. I had meetings to meet and emails to mail, so I was in a rush and definitely did not have time to waste.
Then, in the corner of the store, my eyes fell upon a large crewneck sweatshirt with a tyrannosaurus rex pushing a grocery cart—so I missed my meetings and emails and made the absolutely justified decision to browse this mysterious merch section. I told my boss that I was on a hot lead, let’s call it journalistic discretion.
Upon inspection, there was a whole section devoted to clothing. And if there is one thing in this life, I love, it’s merch. (As an aside, merch≠swag) So, naturally, I was trying to find out if IGA had dinosaur-themed merch and how I could buy it.
After looking with joyful glee and surprise at the selection for maybe 15 minutes, a lovely employee asked if I needed help. Maybe my jaw was hanging open because I liked the design and style of everything so much. Maybe she was worried I was going to shoplift.
“Are these only sold here?” I asked. “Yep, the artist is a really friendly guy! His brand is called The SPRMRKT.” Unashamed of my ignorance, I blurted, “How do I pronounce the name?”
I knew immediately that I wanted to write a story about SPRMRKT, but made sure I bought my favorite creations first! I got a gorgeous, 1950s-stylized woman pushing a rocket-fueled grocery cart on the front and a boldly arching “SHELTER ISLAND” written in red letters across the back. Obviously, I got another. A lively, bright, and pastel print of jellyfish and dolphins, and starfish dancing around the SPRMRKET logo.
Founded by a local Long Islander whose parents owned and operated their own supermarket. Building on his food marketing and fashion background, The SPRKMRKT brand was born. Designing clothes that were intended to be sold IN a supermarket. The result was so strong that SPRMRKT now has its own aisle, and people LOVE IT.
The clothes are high quality, and the designs are awesome, playful, and sincere. Most importantly, wearable. That is, it won’t be hard to find outfits to compliment the sweaters, hats, or especially the tote!! When it comes to a crewneck sweater, I will gladly pay more for higher-quality cotton. Beyond the crisp, expert screen printing, SPRKMRKT uses premium materials that are visibly high quality and super soft to the touch.
It’s absolutely worth the ferry ride to Shelter Island to get your hands on these exclusive Hamptons designs, you’ll be glad you did.