Local Gift Shop Becomes Mourning Spot for the Queen

Emily Asselin and Olivia Bailey, Staff Writers

HADDONFIELD, NJ – A gift shop in downtown Haddonfield dedicated to British finery including British merchandise, house items, and groceries, The English Gardener Gift Shop, has become a celebration of Queen Elizabeth as well as a gathering place to grieve the monarch who reigned for 70 years. Since her death on September 8, 2022, residents of Haddonfield and nearby towns have traveled to the shop to pay their respects to the former queen of Britain and Scotland.

Owner Gary Coleman, a long-time resident of Haddonfield who was born in England, has owned the shop for 16 years. Coleman says it has been his dream since he was a student at Haddonfield High School to own a Britain-inspired shop in downtown Haddonfield.

“I used to walk around with my mom and say ‘Hey that would be cool to have a little British shop downtown,’” says Coleman.

He never intended for the shop to become a safe haven for the queen’s passing, but he understands how impactful Queen Elizabeth’s death was globally and expresses his personal connection to the monarch.

“She was the only queen I’ve known. I was born the year that she became queen, so she was the only monarch I ever knew.”

The English Gardener Gift Shop has a primarily British and Irish following, and Coleman says that many of their British customers came into the shop on the day of the Queen’s death. Numerous customers brought flowers to the shop in the days following her passing and Coleman says that there was a lot of sorrow among customers.

The queen’s death has brought an influx to the gift shop, with sales increasing about 20 percent during the ten-day mourning period of the queen, according to Coleman. 

“We sold just about everything related to the queen and the royal family, following her death.”

Residents of Haddonfield have turned to Coleman and his shop as a place to mourn the queen. The queen’s impact stretches as far as Haddonfield, where its residents commemorate the passing of the British monarch. Although unfortunate, the queen’s death has united the customers and highlighted the uniqueness of the English Gardner Shop. 

Coleman reflects: “Her passing was kind of like a family member, like a grandmother.”