General score

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When Ann Lopatin opened her gift shop, Blue Ribbon General Store, on Oct. 17, she wasn’t sure what to expect.

“I’ve had the idea for 10 years,” the Brooklyn Heights resident said. “I wanted to update a general country store with city living products.”

But would it fly in finicky Boerum Hill where boutiques and restaurants can drop as quickly as rents rise?

“So far, so good,” she said.

And why not? With items ranging from 50-cent candies and cheap gag gifts to luxe stationary and a $250 cocktail shaker shaped like a lighthouse, Lopatin’s store captures the funky and chic sensibility of the neighborhood perfectly.

“I love this area,” she said, “but it was always missing a cool, eclectic gift shop.” So using the skills she developed working for high-end companies like Ralph Lauren and Coach, Lopatin began buying top-notch merchandise with a Brooklyn flair, like boxer shorts emblazoned with pictures of Ebbets Field and marble coasters with a map of the borough printed right on them.

“The Blue Ribbon is in the name,” she said, “because I am always trying to find the best of what’s out there.”

Blue Ribbon General Store (365 State St. at Bond Street in Boerum Hill) is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 am-7 pm, and Sundays, from noon to 6 pm. Closed Mondays. For information, call (718) 522-9848 or visit

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