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Holiday sales off to a good start locally, merchants say

Plenty of shoppers were out and about even before the long Thanksgiving holiday began, according to merchants in Gloucester. And, in Mathews, shop owners and restaurateurs were buoyed by those taking part in last weekend’s Made in Mathews Open Studio Tour.

Many businesses reported they experienced larger-than-normal crowds both on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.

In Gloucester

One of the busier shops was Sweet Tooth Café and Bakery on Main Street, Gloucester, where almost 250 pies were sold between Monday and Wednesday of last week.

“It was insane,” owner Crystal Burton said. “We couldn’t get them out of the oven fast enough.”

Across the street, Beth Haskell, owner of Kelsick Specialty Market, also saw a lot of customers in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. Many customers stopped by her shop for gourmet foods and Virginia-made products, including beer and wine, to serve during the Thanksgiving weekend.

“Now people start...

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