Holiday Shopping 08840: Boyt Drugs Offers Special Gifts for Under the Tree

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The oldest business on Main Street in Metuchen now has settled into its new ownership--  Gerard Bargoud is one of five partners who bought Boyt Drug Store from the Belafsky family a little over a year ago. Its prominent position on Main Street and its beautiful window displays make it a compelling sight during the holiday season. Despite the change in ownership, not one of the store's 22 employees was let go. The previous owner, Don Belasfsky has stayed on as manager of the store's day-to-day operations. His family had owned the store for the past 58 years. As it was so long ago, it is a central fixture of Metuchen, offering a highly-rated pharmacy in the back of a store piled high with treasures you won't find anywhere else.


The long, high window on the facade of the building is filled with old-fashioned tableaux of Christmas past. Carolers in fur-collared coats and muffs stand next to light posts on ground covered in delicate white snow. There are colored lights galore and an elegant snowman, top hat in place, standing guard. Inside, there is a unique selection of gifts, ranging from jewelry and watches to music boxes and Ne'Qwa Art hand-painted Christmas ornaments (the glass is painted on the inside).


Along one wall, a locked glass case displays beautiful handmade jewelry and funky jewelry hangers shaped like long-legged models wearing painted-on modern couture--Gerard said he got those at a jewelry show in New York City last year. A hat stand draped in silky scarves of vivid color and design is stationed at the top of the aisle that houses Boyt's most widely-used products, cards. Along with one-of-a-kind gifts, including Hanukkah decorations and Irish dishware and crystal, practical sundry items also draw people to all parts of the store--from heavily-cushioned but fashionable shoewear made on special order for diabetic patients to pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter and shelved, to baby items and handbags, there is something for everyone at Boyt's.


The novelty collectibles draw a big crowd, Gerard said, bringing our attention to a series of porcelain gifts shaped like Marilyn Monroe and Betty Boop. There was even an array of glass items made in the visage of John Wayne. My favorite was the James Dean driving a gray Cadillac, one arm bent at the wheel, another hanging out the driver's side window--some savvy collector would certainly make the Cadillac a base for some really interesting design choices! There were additional glass onaments for Christmas and several beautiful metal chandeliers waiting to be set up above some lucky homeowner's piano or dining room table--Gerard said these were new and he was interested to see if they would sell. What a fantastic Christmas gift they would make for your friends who finally bought their dream house this past year!


Across from a wide selection of everyone's favorite stuffed toys, the ubiquitous Webkinz (Gerard rolled his eyes when I mentioned them, saying that they were a dying trend and everyone carries them so he doesn't make such a big deal out of them anymoe), a series of wooden music boxes lined up, waiting to be played. The reflective veneer, the delicate mechanisms, the lilting tunes, made for another elegant gift-to-be. The toy aisle is chock-full of Melissa & Doug wooden toys and beautiful children's books. At the end of that row is a small display of baby items, handknit children's sweaters in the tiniest of sizes, as well as an entire Gund Baby toy selection.


Handpainted pottery, etched crystal, a huge selection of musical greeting cards, as well as all the Hallmark ornaments for this 2008 season and a full array of not only specialty chocolates but also a selection of peanut-free chocolates for those affected by allergies. Along with the always-busy pharmacy and specialized services such as personalized stationery, Boyt's offers what they feel is the best selection of products and help anywhere in the area.


Gerard reiterated that the policy of the store stands as it did the day it first opened: quality products that you can't easily find anywhere else will bring in customers and the quality service they receive when they're there, from a seasoned staff that is like a family at Boyt's, makes shopping at this downtown institution a most welcome break from the crazy speed and tired, hectic crowds at the mall. Living up to its street address, Boyt Drugs will give you the 411 on Main Street.

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My kids still love Webkinz! Who knew a website could make stuffed animals fun again?

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