After 47 years in business as the owners of Foshay-Carlton Cards and Gift Shop, Fred and Ann Carlton enjoy the business as much as ever. Ann Carlton said that what she enjoys the most are the people that she meets and being able to provide them with the type of gifts and cards they’re looking for.

“It always pleases me when someone comes in and says ‘That’s just what I was looking for,’” she said.

The Carlton’s originally went into business with Ann Carton’s parents who had previously run a gift shop in Milo. After moving to the Winthrop area, the two couples operated an ice cream business, a dry cleaning business and the gift shop. They eventually closed the other two businesses.

While the business has changed some over the years, Ann Carlton said that they still sell a lot of jewelry and candles. They used to sell Yankee® Candles but now sell Country® Candles which are marketed by the man who started the Yankee® Candles business. She said they also sell eight or so very affordable and popular jewelry lines.

“We sell Silver Forest (jewelry) from Vermont which is mostly earrings,” said Carlton. “We also sell Lovell Designs from Portland.”
The shop specializes in gifts for weddings, anniversaries, and holidays. In addition to jewelry, candles, and cards, patrons can also find stuffed animals, mugs, novelty pillows, holiday items, adult coloring books and puzzles. She said that handbags are a big seller as well.
“We sell Chala handbags with whimsical designs on the outside of the purse,” she said. “We also sell Donna Sharp handbags.”
Maine gifts and souvenirs can also be found in the shop.

The couple used to attend a lot of gift shows in Boston but now they focus more on Portland shows. She said they don’t buy much online and aren’t really interested in learning about computers at their age so they spend a lot of time with catalogs and sales reps.
According to Ann Carlton, they aren’t quite as busy as they were twenty years ago but they’re still “trucking along,” busiest during the holiday season and with summertime tourists.

Although many of their regular clients are older, they have a nice group of middle-aged customers as well as some younger ones who visit the shop.

A bonus of shopping at Foshay Carlton is “. . . free gift wrapping and we will box up and get packages ready to mail,” she said.
Foshay- Carlton Cards and Gifts located at 150 Main Street in Winthrop is open for business Monday – Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. year round.

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