November 30, 2016

Fun, Eclectic Selection of Diverse Items Are Offered at the twine. Shop in Hopewell


The senses are fully engaged at twine. The popular shop in Hopewell is visually intriguing with a wonderfully eclectic display of many and varied items. Scented candles offer a refreshing aroma, and popular music (including 1960s favorites, Sinatra, the Beatles, Billy Joel, and more, depending on the mood!) plays in the background.

The taste buds are tempted with caramels, Junior Mints, Peppermint Crunch, Tootsie Pops, Hanukkah Kisses, Candy Cane Pop Rock, and shortbread. In addition, touching the merchandise is not only allowed but encouraged. There are no ‘Do Not Touch’ signs at twine. In fact, the sign specifically states: “Remember, if you break it, we put it in the wrong place.”

“I want kids to be able to touch toys and pick up things,” explains twine. owner Melissa Cookman. “It’s important that this is a welcoming place, and that people feel comfortable. We want to set that tone. We have lots of kids who come in, and people can also bring in their dogs. We welcome everyone!”

Originally opened in November 2005, twine. recently moved to a new location at 8 Somerset Street, still in Hopewell.

Community Space

“I wanted to create more of a community experience and have more room to do that,” points out Ms. Cookman. “The building was for sale, and it has a wonderful back yard. Now, we can have events outside. I put in a fire grill, and in nice weather, we show movies on a big screen outside every Thursday evening. We’re planning to show classic movies in the spring.

“It’s a real community space, and we’ll have other events there, including music and activities like finger-painting. The whole concept is that you can shop anywhere, but people really want an experience, and you can have that at twine.”

No question, customers can certainly have an experience at twine. Filled with a tremendously appealing selection, it is a treat for all ages. Engaging “life-style” items that one can use or just have fun with are the focus. An abbreviated list includes vintage maps, rubber stamps, individual Scrabble tiles, bowls filled with marbles, special cheese storage paper bags (that keep the cheese fresh “forever”), buttons, calendars, bourbon-soaked (or single malt) tooth picks, vintage flasks, shoelaces in all colors and patterns, jigsaw puzzles, soap, candles, and cards, ephemera from all eras — and so much more!

“Here, you will find everything you want and didn’t know you needed,“ says Ms. Cookman, with a smile.

With Christmas fast approaching, a variety of gifts especially for guys will be very welcome. An authenticated game-used Phillies (or Yankees or Mets) bat repurposed as a bottle opener, cufflinks featuring the binding of a baseball used in a Phillies, Yankee, or Mets game, a handsome watch with parts from a game-used ball, and a leather wallet with a lining from an actual Phillies, Yankee, or Mets uniform will all please a baseball fan.

Also for the guys: beard brushes and flier-friendly cocktail kits — a carry-on kit for the airplane, containing a little package of everything needed for a bloody Mary, hot toddy, or old fashion — everything that is, except the alcohol.

Eclectic Selection

“Kid-stuff” abounds! Stuffed animals of all kinds, crayons, markers, paints, puzzles, pencils, and pads. (“Pencils are really hot right now,” reports Ms. Cookman). Jack-the-Dog (jack-in-the-box), little novelty “critters (unicorns, elephants, trucks, etc.), snowmen Christmas crackers, Santa dreidels, edible birthday candles, and instant birthday kits (made right in the store) in a small box containing one piece of candy, confetti, small paper crown, balloon candle, whistle, and fortune — these are a just a sampling of what’s in the store, and what is “in store” for kids.

Books for children and adults are always a great gift, and twine. has a truly eclectic offering. “We have a selection of books that will inspire and entertain, and right now, Bad Little Children’s Books are flying out of here,” reports Ms. Cookman. Among other titles: Things to Paint, Things to Color, Things to Draw, and Doodle Theory. Jungle: Photicular Book features moving jungle animals, and What Do You Do With An Idea? What Do You Do With A Problem? are very popular. Another favorite is Johanna’s Christmas Coloring Book.

Coloring books are a hot topic for all ages, and twine.’s selection of adult coloring books are big sellers. “We’ve even had a group of adults who come in to color together, and they really enjoy it,” says Ms. Cookman. “It’s a stress reliever.”

The card collection is also in demand and features a wide variety, including a number of irreverent choices, and some with very honest and direct sentiments for cancer patients. “We are famous for our cards,” she adds. “They are letter press from independent card makers, and the customers love them.

“Another big item for us is our soap and candle selection. There are many kinds and scents, including the wonderful Bordeaux Fig, among other fragrances. We also have a new selection of organic tea, and a ‘killer’ homemade hot sauce kit. These are always special gifts.”

And, don’t forget twine.’s super special wrapping paper, including scenes of New York City icons, Times Square, etc. Many of the images are also available as posters, with a kit for display assembly.

“Maker Space”

Christmas tree ornaments are available, as are holiday candles, including those in red and green with spruce or balsam scent.

Ms. Cookman also holds a series of workshops, both for adults and children. An area of the store is set aside for this purpose, she explains. “When we renovated the building, we added room for our ‘Maker Space’ workshop. People are invited to come in and use our supplies to make whatever they want. Teens and ‘tweens love coming in after school. They make all kinds of things, including cards, decorating boxes, painting, etc. We have all the supplies — tins and boxes to decorate, markers, canvases for painting, wooden spoons to decorate, and more. They can just come in and be creative!”

Workshops are also available on weekends and for special events, such as birthday parties, “Girls’ Night Out”, etc. Workshop prices are $15 for two hours on weekdays after school, and $20 for one hour on weekends. Prices for merchandise cover a wide range, with something for every pocket book — from $1 to $325, and absolutely everything in between.

“The theme here is that you will find things at all prices that you don’t see everywhere else,” notes Ms. Cookman. “It’s an eclectic, fun mix, and I want to keep it unique. I think we are set apart by the items we carry, by the feel of the store, and the atmosphere we offer.”

Something Different

Oh, and the name. At first glance, there is no sign of any actual twine in the store, but of course, that could change.

“I wanted to name the store something that wouldn’t identify what it is” she explains. “I wanted people to be surprised. I wanted something really different and unusual for the name. I simply liked the word, twine.”

She adds that the response to the store’s new location has been enthusiastic. “People love the new setting, and they also love the additional parking. The new location next to The Tomato Factory has brought in a whole new audience, in addition to our loyal regular customers.

“I enjoy everything about twine.,” she continues. “I enjoy the people, and I love it when someone comes in and doesn’t know just what they’re looking for, and I can help them find the perfect item for themselves or for a gift. I also look forward to finding great events for the outdoor space. twine. ‘After Dark’ movies will start in the spring, as well as the Music Nights, and we’re looking forward to see how it all evolves.”

twine. will be open seven days beginning December 7 through the holidays, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Hours may be extended. (609) 466-2425. Website: