Parking in Port Jefferson has become a hot topic, from the types of meters being used to the effect paid parking has had on businesses. For one shop owner, the situation became too much to bear.
This year, village resident and shop owner Lori Madrid decided to close Lavender Fields after a decade on East Main Street and the reasons are very clear.
“The decision was made due to the parking situation and the high rent,” Madrid said. "We lost many, many customers after the meters went in.”
Mostly, she said because of the parking tickets issues to people visiting downtown.
“I myself got a ticket when I was packing up my store for the last time,” she said. “It is very frustrating.”
In addition to the parking problems her customers encountered, they also told her they weren’t happy with the type of people coming downtown lately.
“Our customer base was not thrilled with the village and the crowds it has been attracting especially in the summer,” she said.
Although she closed up on East Main Street (Imagine Gallery took over the location at 415 East Main Street this month) Madrid says that’s not the end of Lavender Fields. Her online store is still very busy and she’s relocated south on Main Street to a new store that is still in the village. Although it’s smaller her new shop at 903 Main Street has advantages over her old location.
She says that her new location has “plenty of parking and our local customers can easily access without having to deal with the village.”
“We have received great feedback that we are coming back to town,” Madrid said.
If you miss the window displays at the old Lavender Field, have no fear. Madrid said you can see her designs in the windows of Port Jefferson Florist.
“Kathy asked me to decorate her windows and to display some of my products in her beautiful florist,” she said. “I worked with another store [Hydrangea Home] on the fall window display and plan on working on a holiday display very soon.”
As a resident, Madrid says she still loves Port Jefferson but would like to see some changes.
“I just wish the downtown can be cleaned up a bit more and stores can come in that will attract our residents,” she said.