Movin’ and Groovin’ Across New Paltz

Photo by Laura Luengas

New Paltz residents can expect things to get a lot groovier downtown in the coming season. With a slew of new opportunities and expansions, including the opening of a new location on Water Street, local business Groovy Blueberry Clothing Company has really been upping its ante lately.

Owners Amy and Jon Cohen have had the house at 1 Water St. for 10 years, but recently decided to branch out with the Groovy Blueberry Clothing Company, bringing its specialty hand-dyed designs to the first floor of the property.

“We wanted to open a more luxurious and expanded store for our customers,” Amy Cohen said.

The two came to New Paltz 12 years ago, when they opened up the shop at 57 Main St. “and that’s how the Groovy Blueberry was born.” They wanted a space where everyone wasn’t as “squished in,” and could sit down, hang out, play music and get to know each other.

With such a space now available at the Water Street location, and an array of seasonal decorations, the Groovy Blueberry will open up to the community on autumn weekends, beginning on Saturday, with complimentary coffee and doughnuts and an open mic, where anyone is invited to bring their instruments, amps and positive energy. The activities are set to take place on Saturdays and Sundays from now until Halloween, at about 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“Hopefully we can get it going,” Jon Cohen said. “We’re right on the river, and it’s so nice.”

Amy also said that she has plans for making a connection with the campus community. Having recently been approached by the Envied Fashion Club, she decided it’d be beneficial for all parties to start offering internships.

“We design all the stuff, we make all the stuff, we have sales reps across the country,” Amy Cohen said. “Maybe it can help start a fashion program. I could use eight or nine interns for what I want to do, and it’d offer a really great experience.”

“Something very big happened at the Groovy Blueberry three years ago,” Amy Cohen said. “We went national.”

This includes doing trade shows in the city, selling their clothing and accessory lines in other stores across the country – such as 28 buybuy Baby locations and girls’ and boys’ departments in Lord & Taylor, dealing to wholesale buyers around the globe and even gracing the cover of CWD Kids over the summer.

“We’re really a factory outlet for all of our own designs,” Amy Cohen said of her “boutique,” which offers items such as hand-made sweaters, ponchos, hats and gloves, jewelry from around the world and an array of locally hand-dyed items, including t-shirts and yoga pants.

The store recently stocked its shelves with a few new items, as well, ranging from Groovy Blueberry Brand Ouchies Adhesive Bandages to a line of hoodies for dogs, one of which was adorned by the Cohens’ dog Bear, who was running around the store.

Being that the store has its own label, they manufacture all of their own products and all sewing is done in the United States, with all tagging and shipping done at the company’s office on South Chestnut Street.

“[The company] is really awesome. I see a lot of potential,” said Emily Crocetti, who runs the Blueberry’s spot on South Chestnut. “It’s exciting since we already have around 250 colors, and are still getting new ones.” Each one also has a unique name, such as sage hollow or eggplant.

All this optimism may make Jon and Amy Cohen seem strictly business, but that’s hardly the atmosphere they try to create.

“Down here we’re open whenever we feel like it, but certainly on Friday, Saturday and Sunday,” Amy said.

So don’t feel afraid of wandering on down to the new location on Water Street, where all are welcome, especially over the weekend when song, dance and good times are encouraged.