Our story dates back to 1914 when the Contentment Tea Room and Women’s Exchange opened in two rooms of a private home at 82 Court Street in Dedham, Massachusetts. It was comprised of a tearoom, food shop and handiwork shop and provided a source of income for women for whom jobs were scarce or not considered appropriate. After several moves over the years, the Dedham Exchange moved in 1948 to its current location at 445 Washington St. in a small barn which it later purchased in 1953.
On the surface, the Exchange may look like other gift shops, but it isn’t. The Dedham Exchange is a non-profit gift shop run by volunteers assisted by talented staff. Its mission is to support artisans and educational and philanthropic organizations in the community. Today the Dedham Exchange represents about 200 artisans who hand-craft everything from ceramics, glassware, woven textiles, and woodwork, to hand sewn and hand knitted baby items and much more. We carry a beautifully curated mix of quality hand-crafted and commercial gifts for every occasion.
Giving Back to the Community
We take pride and joy in giving back to the community. The proceeds of the Dedham Exchange are donated to a number of philanthropic and service organizations in the community focused on the needs of children and challenged adults, and college scholarships have been granted to local high school students. Here are some of the recipients of our donations in recent years:Dedham Community House
Dedham Historical Society & Museum
Dedham Youth Commission
HESSCO Meals on Wheels
Lifeworks Inc. of Massachusetts
Riverside Community Care
Westwood Youth & Family Services