The Shopkeeper’s Guide to Brooklyn: By Brooklyn


We have hard-to-find honey to thank for By Brooklyn (261 Smith Street, 718-643-0606), Cobble Hill’s emporium for all things borough-made. “I was inspired by an article on Nona Brooklyn about Brooklyn Honey [and] wanted to buy it but couldn’t find it. Then it dawned on me: I wanted to shop at a store that celebrated Brooklyn’s creative and entrepreneurial community—and I was the one to do it,” explains Gaia DiLoreto, a onetime member of the corporate finance and insurance worlds, of her light bulb moment. Since then, the year-old store has embodied everything we love about this borough, and it’s not just because of the local artisans it supports. DiLoreto has become that friendly face we usually only see in black and white movies, the one who knows your name, asks about your kids, and then wraps up your purchase in a nice brown bag. As she points out, “I’m a pretty laid-back and easy-going person with a creatively industrious attitude and the store reflects that. It’s warm and inviting, comfortable with a simple layout and innovative displays.” And like everything else in the store, even innovation is as local as possible: “I take pride in taking something like a leftover wood box for cheese and turning it into a display shelf, or a forgotten cutting board and old timber supports and turning it into a table,” says DiLoreto. We already know some of her favorite Brooklyn products, but what about places? Here, DiLoreto’s list of top borough spots.

Best Coffee: Smith Canteen (343 Smith Street, Carroll Gardens, 347-294-0292)

Best Pizza: My Little Pizzeria (114 Court Street, Brooklyn Heights, 718-643-6120)

Best Place to Brunch: Tom’s Restaurant (782 Washington Avenue, Prospect Heights, 718-636-9738)

Best Spot for People Watching: the Coney Island boardwalk

Best Place to Spend a Summer Evening: Brooklyn Bridge Park

Best Place to Bring a Brooklyn First-Timer: Red Hook Piers

Best Place to Buy a Pair of Jeans: Lily Boutique (209 Court Street, Cobble Hill, 718-858-6261)

Best Place to Buy a Last-Minute Gift: Exit 9 Emporium (127 Smith Street, Cobble Hill, 718-422-7720)

Best Place to Outfit Your Apartment: Kings County Salvage (103 Broadway, Williamsburg, at 718-362-0660) and Ikea (1 Beard Street, Red Hook, 718-246-IKEA)

Favorite Brooklyn Store (That Isn’t By Brooklyn): Cog and Pearl (190 Fifth Avenue, Park Slope, 718-623-8200)


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