Business & Tech, Features, Orientation 2017

Boston’s coolest independent businesses

Brookline Booksmith, an independent business near the Coolidge Corner T stop, sells unique gifts and books. PHOTO BY MADDIE MALHOTRA/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

From serving coffee with complementary cats to curating stylish vegan shoes, Boston’s independent businesses have something for everyone. Here are some of the FreeP’s favorites:

The Purr Cat Cafe
167 Chestnut Hill Ave, Boston, MA 02135
Opening this July, Purr will be Boston’s first cat cafe. According to its website, the cafe will be serving coffee, hot chocolate and snacks for its human patrons while operating as a safe haven for homeless cats. Purr will provide its customers with easy adoptions and their feline counterparts with an avenue to forever homes. Better yet, 10 percent of the cafe’s profits will go toward partnering local shelters.

Knight Moves Cafe
1402 Beacon St, Brookline, MA 02446
Not crazy about cats and looking for another cool cafe? Located in Brookline and Somerville, Knight Moves is a board game cafe that serves organic, fair trade drinks and snacks. Entry, which covers unlimited play time, is $10 from Thursday to Sunday and is reduced to $5 Monday to Wednesday. With over a thousand games to choose from, Cards Against Humanity to The Game of Life, you’re sure to find something you’ll enjoy.

Brookline Booksmith
279 Harvard St, Brookline, MA 02446
If you’re looking for a cozy bookstore, check out the Brookline Booksmith, which sells new and used books, as well as gifts, including — but not limited — to stationery, teas, specialty socks and knick knacks galore. In the Booksmith’s cellar, you can sell your used books for cash or store credit.

The Garment District
200 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139
The Garment District is not, as its name would imply, an actual district. Rather, it’s a massive alternative department store in Cambridge, which sells both new and used clothing, shoes and accessories in vintage and contemporary styles. Each morning when the store opens, its newest items are presented to customers in a giant, yet-to-be-sorted pile. Items from the pile are sold by the pound, at $1 per pound on Fridays and $2 per pound the rest of the week.

1407 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118
With locations in Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury, Central Square and the South End, Boomerangs is a “family of thrift stores,” which donates 100 percent of its proceeds to the Massachusetts AIDS Action Committee. Often, Boomerang’s already affordable offerings are further discounted on special sale days, which are announced on its social media accounts.

Sudo Shoes
1771 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140
If you’re searching for shoes you can feel good in and about, look no further than Sudo Shoes, whose offerings are exclusively vegan. Located in Cambridge, Sudo carries both men’s and women’s shoes in wide variety of styles.

Niche Urban Garden Supply
619 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02118
Looking to spruce up your dorm with some plant life? Visit Niche in the South End or Cambridge, where you’ll find plants suited for indoor life and consultants who can help you determine which of the store’s offerings would best suit your living space.

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