The seaside retailer opened in mid-June in downtown Onset Village in Wareham, Massachusetts.

June 19, 2024

Tide and True debuted as a new seaside retailer near Onset Beach in Wareham, Massachusetts. The shop had a soft opening in mid-June.

Owner Amelia Houde always loved giving gifts and shopping for unique items not found in big-box stores.

“Whenever I travel, I make it a point to visit the local coffee shop and check out the downtown area for small boutique shops to see what they have to offer,” she says. “I’ve always loved those stores and dreamed of having my own someday.”

Houde shares that her career didn’t start in retail — she spent a little over eight years working for Cape Cod Select, a cranberry brand, in a variety of roles, including marketing, special projects manager and food safety coordinator. Perhaps the closest she got to retail was when she spearheaded Cape Cod Select’s seasonal gift box line, creating gift box themes and customized options.

A few years ago, Houde and her family bought a house in her hometown of Onset Village in Wareham, Massachusetts, not far from Onset Beach. When checking out the downtown area of Onset, Houde recognized that it needed more retail.

“The downtown has restaurants, ice cream shops, a post office, a laundromat, pottery painting and a barber shop, and it’s a great area to walk around, but it only has one retail shop,” she says. “That’s unheard of in a beach town that draws tourists.”

To meet that need, Houde opened Tide and True in downtown Onset.

“I wanted to make a difference in my town, and Tide and True it is!” says Houde. “The inspiration for the name is that I want Tide and True to be peoples’ tried-and-true shop for finding unique gifts and items for themselves, and of course it has to have a beachy feel to it, so ‘Tide’ came into play.”

The new seaside retailer carries some stationery and paper goods from E.Frances Paper.
Amelia Houde

The new seaside retailer offers a variety of home goods and decor, jewelry, gifts, local art and more. Some of the brands the store carries include Beach Life, Cape Cod Chokers, Salt n Ray, Cape Cod Towel Co., Capeology, Harborside Rope Works, E.Frances Paper, Salty Wrists, The Oyster Bag and Deep Thoughts Designs.

Houde adds that her store also features some local artisan work from Clay by the Sea, Florelles Artistry, Moon Tide Art as well as signs and oyster shuckers made by her husband, Tim Houde, charcuterie boards made by Bob Alberti and wood-carved whales from Dan Bruffee.

The 425-square-foot storefront has a vintage vibe to it. Houde says the store still has its original door. She also selected a lot of refurbished antiques to serve as displays throughout the store. “I have a couple of vintage colanders that I use to display my hand towels and tea towels in and antique oil drippers as ring holders. It’s a mix of old and new, bringing life back to older pieces but also mixing in new shelving to keep the space modern.”

Houde shares that the store’s opening was well-received so far, and she had to quickly replenish inventory. She hopes the store brings joy to both locals and tourists alike who are shopping in downtown Onset.

“I hope everyone coming through my door finds an item that brings them joy, makes them remember their trip to Onset or finds a gift they can’t wait to give to someone they were reminded of when they saw that item,” she says. “I know it sounds cheesy, but I know if I can spark joy for people walking through the door, then I will be successful. I hope Tide and True will be someone’s favorite store.”