A treasure along the shore- est. 1927! We are the 4th and longest owners

About Us

The Jolly Tar is and always has been proud to be female and family-owned, to serve the community, and to promote artists.  
The Jolly Tar was founded in Bay Head in 1926 and is the only location to remain standing. The store expanded throughout the United States from Morristown, NJ, East Orange, NJ, as well as Miami, Philly, Trinity Church in New York City, and various other towns in New Jersey. The Bay Head location is the longest continually operating gift shop on the East Coast. Its current owner, Evalyn Shippee, is the fourth and longest owner of The Jolly Tar, and she took over the Bay Head location in 1977. Evalyn and her daughter, Laura Hart, expanded from a formal shop that sold fine china and crystals into to a place that offers something for everyone. Evalyn and Laura's mission has always been to bring happiness and allow for an escape from the everyday life of consumerism. The shop has turned into an art boutique gift shop with a focus on US based artists and companies. From paintings, to pottery, to photography, to glassware, to interior design, to bridal consulting...there is no limit to the art that The Jolly Tar exposes to its guests! Fine quality is the key to what you will find at The Jolly Tar.
If it's artful, if it's beautiful, and if it makes us happy - it's in!

 Evalyn Shippee has always used her small business to bring the community of Bay Head together through several different methods. The Jolly Tar has been active in events like The Bay Head Christmas Walk, which Evalyn started and was Mrs. Claus for many years. Along with The Christmas Walk, the store has actively supported the community by participating in the Halloween Parade and Summer Art Walk. The Jolly Tar has been a part of the civic demands of the communities such as The Business Association of Bay Head and The Bay Head Historic Society. Evalyn helped to organize and revamp the Business Association of Bay Head to focus on small business rights. In 1990, Evalyn started the Bay Head Historic Society to emphasize and bring the forefront the architecture of the town. In 1995, Evalyn spearheaded and conducted the art history and architecture investigation of the city leading to Bay Head being recognized as a historic town by the state and by the nation . Evalyn helped to protect the integrity of the town that has been her second home - its nature, its architecture, and its people.

The Jolly Tar is everything a good store should be.