Saturday, January 3, 2009
West Lane News Article
Here's an article printed in this week's edition of the West Lane News, our local paper. They did a great job on the gift shop.
Gift Shop Features Local Goods
By MATT NICHOLSON Of The News
January 1st, 2009
VENETA — Our Daily Bread, one of Veneta’s most unique restaurants, has added a gift shop to a menu of services that already includes weddings and catering. Opened in conjunction with last month’s Christmas Bazaar, the gift shop will both cater to tourists and provide a marketplace for local producers to sell their goods.
The gift shop, called Our Country Store, occupies a small corner of the lower floor of the restaurant’s renovated church. It is stocked with local and regional products including gift baskets, cheeses, baked goods and a wide selection of wines from vineyards all across the Southern Willamette Valley.
Some of the first goods to be carried in the shop came from the restaurant’s next-door neighbor, the Farmers’ Market, which is held on the lot adjacent to Our Daily Bread. Tabitha Eck, who co-owns the restaurant with her parents, says the restaurant’s proximity to the Farmers’ Market has created a valuable partnership between the restaurant and local producers.
“It’s a great connection to have the local growers on board,” says Eck.
Housed inside a renovated church, Our Daily Bread stands out from Veneta’s eateries in more ways than one, with its vaulted ceilings, stained-glass windows, wood furniture and warm character. The restaurant’s peaceful, aesthetic atmosphere has made it popular among locals for events ranging from lunchtime gatherings to weddings, but it’s also become something of a destination location for passing tourists. Eck says the restaurant’s unique structure is a big draw for tourists.
“Where have you ever seen a renovated church that has been turned into a restaurant?” says Eck.
Eck says that in the future, she would like to incorporate an art gallery into the gift shop to support local artists. Currently, Our Country Store features a few pieces from a local metal smith and a glassblower. But Eck says she would like to create an expansive gallery with rotating exhibits from local artists. She thinks an art gallery would be a good fit for the restaurant.
“It ties in perfectly with our desire for local (goods), and it ties in with our gift shop, as well,” she says.
Eck says the gift shop carries local and regional goods to support the Willamette Valley’s artisan producers. Eck says the new shop retails goods produced outside the valley only when they aren’t found locally, such as some varieties of red wine. But in keeping with the local emphasis of the restaurant, everything in the gift shop comes from Oregon.
“I try to only go out of the valley if there’s something we don’t have,” Eck says. “ I don’t have anything that’s not Oregon.”