Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Bluff Gardens called my Bluff: I loved it

I admit, I was a little disagreeable when I heard my mom and aunt decide that we were leaving the downtown Harbor Springs shopping-area to go get "vegetables." I pictured us roaming the surrounding farmland looking for a particular roadside stand that had good corn or something.  Don't get me wrong, that is fun too, on the right day, but we were supposed to be shopping and I hadn't been to this area in years.  

Then, a whopping 5-minute drive later, we arrived at Bluff Gardens, a freestanding storefront next to a large cutting garden. We went inside and I saw a beautifully arranged gift shop (see above) featuring a display of fresh miniature vegetables front and center. Then a tiny water mister came on, spraying the tiny vegetables with moisture.  Where am I? What is this place?
I loved it immediately because I could see that the purveyors of this fine shop had a vision and were doing things according to plan.  Aside from the technicality of a private line of fresh dips, jams and spreads, they only seem to sell miniature fresh vegetables and Quimper Fiaence pottery.  A super specific offering, no?

I applaud them. It felt like an alternate universe.  In a fast and quick world, it was lovely to see a shop that treats tiny beets and adorable zucchini with reverence.
If you are having a party, only these crudite will do.  Can you imagine veggies being any prettier?
Mind you there is no website that I could find. Just a Pure Michigan business link that says "Bluff Gardens: Purveyor of fresh miniature vegetables, fruits, dressings, sauces and spreads since 1934." 

While I was wrapping my mind around the fact that people would never stumble upon this shop (721 West Lake Rd., Harbor Springs, MI); that customers would have to know that miniature vegetables were on a rack inside this gift shop, I walked into the adjoining room. 

Quimper Faience heaven. I have never ever seen so much of this French pottery in one place. Soup bowls and platter and teapots, oh my.
I have a soft spot for Quimper Faience.  I don't own any of the pottery (yet), but I fell for some of their cookie tins filled with French butter biscuits.  Of course I did, you say. And I've kept the empty tins thinking that I could make one into a super cute purse by lining it with fabric and adding a handle. Sounds like me, right?
Word of mouth is a wonderful thing, but I want to help out Bluff Gardens. Here is an online shout out for Bluff Gardens - buy their darling miniature vegetables and fill your cottage with Quimper Faience!

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