I love a good party. Whether a small potluck with friends or a big Oscar bash, entertaining is one of my favorite things. Although Boston has its share of big box stores and an iParty recently opened in Back Bay, I prefer shopping local and independent whenever possible. So when it comes to supplying the party, here are my 3 favorite shops:
Party Favors. ($$) Traditional party supplies and baked goods. It used to be that you could barely move around inside from all the streamers, balloons, masks, full spectrum of plasticware, and other supplies crammed into every square inch of this Coolidge Corner landmark. Since they moved the bakery to the space next door, there's slightly more room to breathe. If you're looking for a one-stop local party shop, this is it. And do yourself a favor and grab some cupcakes while you're there, some say they're the best in the city. www.partyfavorsbrookline.com
BMS Paper Supply: ($-$$) Restaurant supply, bulk shopping. BMS isn't the only restaurant supply store in the city, but there are a couple reasons it's my favorite: the staff is friendly, and it has parking. Most restaurant supply stores, if you're not from a restaurant, basically leave you to fend for yourself. Here, you can actually ask someone to point you towards the whisks and they don't get snippy. If you're buying huge stockpots and 100 plastic baskets for a clambake, there's no way you're easily maneuvering through Chinatown, so parking is key. And if you're just grabbing some little things, the orange line is 2 blocks away. www.bmspaper.com
Boomerangs: ($) Thrift store hunt and gather. Given some time, I could outfit an entire party with hauls from Boomerangs: couple vases here, some mismatched china there. A few months ago, they had an entire bin of glittery birthday banners for $1 each. I stocked up. There's always a gem. And your purchase helps the AIDS Action Committee, so you can really feel good about your finds. www.aac.org
What are your favorite places for party supplies?