Milton Market owner Martha Fish had a vision. For years, she had been jotting down brands and products, mentally saving them in her “one day” folder. That’s because Fish, a longtime New York City resident and Litchfield weekender, knew one day she would open her dream shop in Connecticut, even as she climbed the corporate ladder at big corporations like Calvin Klein, Coach and Tiffany & Co.
“This was always in the back of my mind,” Fish says. “I knew I’d ultimately live here full time, and I had this fantasy of having a shop and being able to work with artisans to find special things both locally and from all over the world — to create stories.”
That fantasy began to turn into a reality when, two years ago, Fish and her family moved to Litchfield for good. Soon, a retail space opened up in the town’s storied Cobble Court behind the corner of West and South streets. “It’s incredibly charming, and almost feels like you’re in London,” Fish says of her instant love of the space. “Way back in the day it used to be a blacksmith, and the building next to us was the carriage house. It’s a very historic part of town.
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“I think there’s something really percolating in Litchfield. It’s been sleepy for a while, but people have been so supportive and excited that we’re here.” With the space secure, all Fish needed to do was fill it with product, so she referenced those ideas she’d been saving for so many years. Since opening in May 2019, the shop has been stocked with thoughtful home goods, gifts, apothecary products and handmade items.
“As a weekender, I was always desiring this place to just get basic things,” she says. “I love the beauty in everyday items. It’s a one-stop shop, an everyday luxury general store.” Milton Market caters to Litchfield County residents and weekenders alike, offering a wide array of products and price points that are all tied together with a sophisticated aesthetic.
Wander in and you’ll find chic, everyday glasses for $4 as well as organic wool Swans Island blankets (crafted from materials sourced from farms in Maine) for $900. Fish curates items with a seasonal theme that changes throughout the year. Items are sourced both locally and abroad — spanning pieces by local artists to finds from far-off destinations (most recently, Morocco).
Milton Market offers both practical necessities and inspirational objects you didn’t know you needed. “Inside, it’s an eclectic mix of clean, artisanal and vintage vibes with an overall clean and curated aesthetic,” says Fish, adding that online shopping will be up and running by February. “The more you look around and spend time in the space, the more you find. It’s like a treasure hunt.”
Martha Fish’s top 5 finds
We asked Fish to talk about a few of her favorite items in the shop.
“Steele Canvas totes take utility to the next level. They’re crafted from heavyweight canvas, made by hand in a family-run factory in Chelsea, Massachusetts.”
“Each one of these hand-turned wood bowls are completely unique. They’re made from spalted maple from fallen trees in Gill, Massachusetts. Heirlooms in the making.”
“Jessie Lazar pucker vases are perfect for a single bud, and no two are the same.”
“These multi-brown swirl glasses are exquisite. They’re hand blown in Rhode Island in the Venetian style of glassmaking.”
“I can’t make one single choice, but in our apothecary shop my current favorites are Kate McLeod body stones, C & The Moon body scrub and Costa Brazil face oil.”
14 Cobble Court, Litchfield
Winter hours (through March): Wed.-Sat. 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. noon-5 p.m. Closed Mon.-Tue. (After March, Tue.-Sat. 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. noon-5 p.m. Closed Mon.)