Claire and Carly Weinberg have created a peaceful pit stop for motorists heading to or passing through Gouldsboro. About 20 minutes east of Ellsworth on U.S. Route 1, you will see signs highlighting sweets, coffee and provisions at Dulse & Rugosa. Dulse is an edible seaweed and rugosa is a hardy shrub rose that abounds in coastal Maine. Both the sea lettuce and fragrant pink rose petals are incorporated into the mother and daughter’s hand-crafted, soothing hair, body and aromatic soap products.
A decade ago, Claire and Carly started Dulse & Rugosa, hand-harvesting seaweed and Rosa rugosa blossoms from the shores of Gotts Island. The island is southwest of Mount Desert Island. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, as Claire puts it, she and her daughter “have been pivoting” to create a home base on the mainland. Three years ago, they acquired the West Gouldsboro property that provides space to make and expand their products. Their gardens provide more fresh ingredients for their creations.
At Dulse & Rugosa, visitors can stroll along a path amid wildflowers to a small, sea foam-green “shed” that houses goods hand-made by the Weinbergs and other local and New England farmers and craftspeople. Claire, followed closely by her canine pal, Tuffy, enjoys explaining the story of each of items they carry. They range from a wholly New England-sourced spice mix to beautiful, patterned aprons that Claire created from recycled fabric. Her hand-stitched labels say “You are Loved.”
Visitors also can meander by the chicken coop and past the flower and vegetable gardens. Tables and chairs are provided to relax and sip hot, pour-over coffee from Ellsworth’s Precipice Coffee and enjoy homemade baked goods, snacks and sweets. The chickens are good company. The coffee, which is served with farm-fresh milk, and homemade food are by donation only.
Claire and Carly (and Carly’s husband Carter) aim to be as sustainable as possible with compost and recycling bins at the ready and they are sure to only carry products they can vouch for or make with their own hands. The roads can feel long when you’re headed Downeast. Dulse & Rugosa will make any trip feel short.
Dulse & Rugosa is located at 337 U.S. Route 1 in Gouldsboro. For more info, call 812-0947, email [email protected] and visit dulseandrugosa.com.