Ok, it wasn’t long at all. Ryan and I were gone for about 36 hours over the weekend.
But it was strange.
We decided to hit the back roads of Pennsylvania and New Jersey to quench our junking thirst. We quite literally took the roads less traveled. Passing rolling hills of farm land boasting the most perfectly dilapidated old barns. Followed by the swampy marsh land dotted with the most perfectly dilapidated old boats.
We scored all sorts of vintage treasures hitting junk shops, flea markets and yard sales.
The junking trifecta if you will.
We even stayed at what seemed to be a trucker motel…
I’m not sure I’m ready to talk about that experience yet.
We had dinner in a swanky drape lined lair where men apparently wear fancy hats.
Ahh, yes, the things dreams are made of…
The wide open road, an empty truck and no real agenda. I’m so glad we chose this strange career.
Perhaps it chose us.
After only sourcing vintage for years, it has been very exciting to choose a selection of new products to bring into the shop at The West End Garage. Similar to my approach when buying vintage, I simply buy my favorite new items to stock. I ask… Is this something I would want in my house? Is this something I truly love? Is this something I will be sad to see go? The answer should be yes! (Hello, turn of the century oak harvest table pictured below. I really, really love you! I will be sad to see you go but you deserve a good home.)
This approach to buying inventory is something that I have been reminded of lately and have found myself telling others who are just starting out. I think it is really important to love what you are selling. Don’t choose it or make it just because you “think” someone else will love it. Now granted, not everyone will have the same taste as you. For example, I have a growing collection of old ship captains, ahem. However, I believe the authenticity of your merchandise will show through when you are passionate about what you are selling. It’s hard to honestly sell something you don’t believe in.
With that said we’ve stocked a few choice cookbooks and gardening books to keep in line with the garden to table collection we have at The West End Garage. I am really excited about the line up. We have Deep-Rooted Wisdom, a new release authored by blogger Augustus Jenkins Farmer. I am about half way through this book and I’m loving the gardening tips, stories & characters.
People have asked me how I chose which books to carry. Well, I initially took the lead from a few tried and true favorites in my own kitchen stack of cookbooks and cocktail books.
The Kinfolk Table has since been added to that stack. It has quickly become a favorite for two reasons. One, the photography and stories are beautiful. Of course I love a good aesthetic! Two, the recipes are really approachable made with pantry staples that we pretty much always have on hand. Essentially the book lends new ideas with classic ingredients.
I have been inspired to make many of the soups and stews outlined in The Kinfolk Table. A few weeks ago I made the Wilted Greens & Potato Soup on page 287. I hadn’t thought to put kale in soup until this recipe.
Great idea. We loved it!
What is your favorite gardening or cookbook?