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Cape Authentic

Puritan Cape Cod launches the Chatham Chino Company, their own clothing brand interwoven with classic Cape details—and the story of their family’s American dream

Photo by Dan Cutrona

Still, there is nothing old-fashioned about the Penns’ drive to explore new business ideas. In the last 10 years, the pair have blown out walls on both sides of the brick building in Hyannis center and created two high-end rental spaces now occupied by the classy seafood restaurant Naked Oyster and the popular new Rendezvous Café.

Visitors can also experience a full destination shopping experience by visiting award-winning Solstice Day Spa on Puritan’s lower level. “As part of Puritan’s third generation, Jim and I certainly are big believers in progress,” says Rick Penn, Puritan’s president, whose savvy wife, Julie, is Puritan’s women’s fashion buyer. “Still, even more than change we celebrate our grandfather’s core values.”

The cousins say that Abraham was the inspiration for their latest high-profile venture: the creation of Puritan’s own clothing company featuring a line of top-quality Cape and Island fashions perfect for coastal living. “We’ve been talking about this idea for a while,” says Jim. “We looked at successful products that have endured, and we noticed that a lot honor our country’s heritage with authentic lines—companies like Sperry, Frye Boots, and Converse.”

The Penns worked with a creative team that included several of Puritan’s dedicated, longtime staff members—among them Linda Grice, Puritan’s visual planner, and men’s fashion buyer Robert Harrison—to create their own men’s fashions. Bent on perfection, the team brainstormed ideas for more than a year.

“We spent a lot of time on the story behind the new company; we talked about Abe Penn and his Coast Guard connections and the family’s long history on the Cape,” says Jim. “Rick and I have probably told the story about our grandfather a thousand times between the two of us; but still a lot of people don’t know we started in Chatham, and also, the reasons why we started here. It’s like the L.L. Bean story—there was a real person, L.L. Bean, who created a great boot. It’s a story that means something.”

“We decided to tell a compelling background story to go with this company,” Rick explains. “We said, ‘What is Puritan, what is our brand? We have 94 solid years in business and we carry a lot of top national brands, but still, what is unique about the Puritan experience?’ We were looking for an exclusive line, something shoppers couldn’t find anywhere else.”

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