Tag: Small Town (page 2 of 3)

Webster City, Iowa: Grid Iron Grill & La Perla Jarocha

Disclaimer: On 12.13.14 Deb Brown, Executive Director of the Webster City Area Chamber of Commerce invited me to spend the day in Webster City as part of the “Seven Bloggers on a Saturday” tour. Grid Iron Grill provided lunch. All opinions are my 100% my own

It’s bittersweet to write about Webster City again.

Last December, I spent the day touring the city with seven North Iowa bloggers. One of them was Amy Hild who recently died in a car crash late February. Thinking about the Webster City tour makes me feel sad because we miss our friend, but it also makes me happy because the day holds more warm memories than any other day I’ve lived in Iowa.

Beth and I actually returned to Webster City in January to explore at a more leisurely pace. Our bloggers tour had moved at a rapid pace in order to fit in as many businesses and attractions as possible. Between both of our visits, we enjoyed meals at a few restaurants. Here are highlights from our meals at Grid Iron Grill and La Perla Jarocha.

Grid Iron Grill & Sports Lounge
This sports bar served as our big lunch stop on our original Webster City tour. Owner Burk Risetter greeted our table and surprised us by treating us to our meals. Before he opened his own restaurant, Risetter worked in the food service industry. He spoke of taking pride in the fact that his kitchen hand breads most of their appetizers such as their onion rings and fried pickles and cuts their own steaks and salmon fillets.

appetizer Collage

We split several appetizers and most everyone ordered a different entrée. My favorite appetizer was the fried pickle chips.

Fried Pickles WM

I didn’t mind that the chips were softer because I liked their light coating. Of course, they were served with ranch in true Iowan fried appetizer style. I found these pickle chips addicting and kept returning for more during the entire meal. Grid Iron’s ranch passed my ranch test, meaning it did not taste like a pre-made product.

For my entrée, I ordered six wings with bourbon sauce and a side salad.

Wings wm

Chicken wings are one of my top three favorite foods. My parents rarely served meat on the bone and so wings were a treat I’d order wings at restaurants every chance I got. Grid Iron’s wings were larger and plumper than what you’ll find at chains like Buffalo Wild Wings. The cook fried them so that the skin was crispy and the meat was tender. Typically I prefer spicy wing sauce, but chose something milder since I was on a bloggers tour. I’m not sure if the world is ready to see me devour hot wings yet.

This sauce was a little sweet for me, but ideal for those who like honey BBQ. Donna ordered a burger glazed with this same bourbon sauce and raved about it. Her meal also came with crispy sweet potato fries served with an unusual marshmallow sauce. I would certainly order Grid Iron’s wings again with a spicy sauce. In terms of size and cooking technique, these are the best wings I can remember eating for a long time.

La Perla Jarocha
We noticed two specialty food markets along Webster City’s main street. On our second visit, Beth & I popped into a small Asian market that carried mostly South East Asian pantry items and La Perla Jarocha, one of Webster City’s two Mexican grocery stores. Chamber Director Brown mentioned that Webster City is home to a sizable Laotian community and that a Laotian family is in process of opening a egg roll and bubble tea shop soon.

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It’s hard to believe, but even though Mason City and Clear Lake are the biggest communities in North Iowa, we have no multicultural grocery stores. I’d love for someone to prove me wrong, but the closest Asian grocery store appears to be Yaw Asian Grocery Store located 40-minutes away in Albert Lea, MN.

At La Perla Jarocha’s grocery store, I noticed a hot food warmer on the front counter containing what looked like pork carnitas meat and found foil-wrapped tamales in the cooler. The owner shared that her mother prepares them with freshly made masa dough. She gently reminded me to remove the banana leaf before eating, which made me giggle as I thought of people trying to eat the tough leaves.

I brought two tamales home. The masa dough was light and fluffy and the chicken filling tasted delightfully spicy. I’m always thrilled when food makes me sweat.

Tamale

Spicy chicken tamale from La Perla Jarocha

The tamales from La Perla Jarocha reminded of eating my first banana leaf-wrapped tamale in Cholula, Mexico. Our friend Mario biked to his favorite tamale vendor early one the morning so he could share them with us at breakfast. We unwrapped them on a beautiful sidewalk cafe and enjoyed them with espresso and traditional pastries before climbing Mexican’s largest pyramid, The Great Pyramid of Cholula.

Until this moment, I thought I didn’t like tamales because the only ones I had tried were dry and heavy. Now that I know how delicate and spicy they can taste, I try them every chance I get.

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Mario unwraps a tamale in Cholula, Mexico

I later followed up with the owner of La Perla Jarocha who said they recently opened a restaurant across the street where they serve these tamales and more of their family recipes.

Soon after our last trip to Webster City, a Des Moines Register reporter contacted me (along with two other Iowan food bloggers) for an interview . Understandably, Torpy’s word count was limited and she couldn’t fit all of our replies into her feature, but her final question was my favorite to answer. I wrote my reply as I enjoyed one of these tamales: “What do you hope people will take away after reading your blog?”

I hope my readers will feel inspired to try a new food or wander into a new market. I also hope they’ll feel inspired to explore their own backyard and never stop searching for their new favorite dive bar or small town café. My favorite bloggers make me feel something. They make me laugh and cry, awaken wanderlust, or become curious about something new. I hope I do the same for my readers.

Be curious. Wander into new stores and don’t be afraid to ask the owners questions. Celebrate chicken wings with crispy skin and don’t be the fool that passes on someone else’s mother’s homemade tamales.

Thanks again to Grid Iron Grill for treating us to lunch during the December 2015 Webster City Bloggers Tour.

A Bakery That Smells Like Butter In Belmond, Iowa

Last weekend, Jake and I postponed our little getaway to the Twin Cities. So, obviously, my second choice of destination was Belmond, Iowa, a small town of about 2,300 located 40 minutes southwest of Mason City.

On one of our first warm and sunny days in North Iowa, Beth asked if anyone was interested in joining her on a mini road trip. Her travel plans had been dashed by bad Tennessee weather, so her second choice was also Belmond, too. Why Belmond? The owners of Sugarpie Bakery & Cafe recently reached out to our North Iowa blogging group inviting us to visit.

I posted this photo on Facebook when we arrived in town.

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One friend who grew up near Belmond asked me, “What in the world are you seeing in Belmond? Are you visiting Cattleman’s?”

Belmond has survived two tornadoes in recent history. In 1966, a tornado destroyed most of the downtown area, injuring 100 people, and killing six. And in June 2013, an F3 tornado hit the town destroying several local businesses including Cattleman’s restaurant which the Abel family purchased over 30 years ago. Cattleman’s actually reopened at the city’s golf club just this past November. We only had time for one meal on this trip, but so many people recommended Cattleman’s, we’ll have to return for dinner.

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We arrived late Saturday morning so we could explore out some of the antique and gift shops our friends suggested. The main street was very quiet and most of the stores were closed. We watched as a fellow shopper tugged at the flower shop door. At first, she appeared surprised to find it closed, but remembered there was a big robotics competition at the school. We had to smile as we imagined the business owners cheering on their sons and daughters at this competition.

The day was so beautiful. We enjoyed strolling the awning-covered sidewalk and found an open thrift shop and pharmacy with a real soda fountain.

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This Jazzercise storefront brought back happy memories. Jessica and I are children of the 90’s who grew-up with moms who religiously attended Jazzercise classes, while Beth was one of those moms. She recalled her Jazzercise outfit complete with leg warmers. We also passed by a Belmond historical museum. The sign said it was open by appointment and even listed four individuals’ phone numbers to call. We saw visitors inside as we left for Mason City.

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Beth found a Teapot Tuesday treasure at the thrift shop and I bought an epic mug that I’ll share in the next Mugshot Monday. “What can I collect?” wondered Jessica. We also found Girl Scout cookies for sale by the register and lots of doll heads. The clown heads were my favorite.

Doll Head Belmont Collage

We met Val and her kids for lunch at Sugarpie. What struck me upon opening the door was that the cafe smelled like butter. I don’t trust bakeries that don’t smell like butter.

PicMonkey Collage

At Sugarpie, customers can order breakfast or lunch. My friends gravitated towards hot pork and beef sandwiches, while the kids and I chose breakfast.I chose a Denver omelet ($7) filled with cheddar, ham, onions and peppers with a cup of coffee. I like how Sugarpie serves their coffee from an eclectic collection of mugs.

The previous week, I dined at Perkins with some blogger friends and still had omelets on my mind. When I was in high school and college, Perkins was the watering hole for flirting over chicken tender melts and ham and cheese omelets. I hadn’t visited a Perkins for years and was surprised to find out that about half of their omelets contained celery!

For whatever reason, this just cracked me up and I have been laughing about it ever since. This is what Jake refers to as a “Jeni Joke.” This Sugarpie omelet did NOT contain celery. In fact, none of them did, because most omelets don’t. My meal was simple and satisfying.

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I got a kick out of this salt and pepper holder.

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I have to admit, I eyed Jessica’s pulled pork sandwich. The pork was cut into thick chunks. When Val’s kids left the table to play with more toys, some of the adults nibbled in the leftover french toast sticks. These were no pre-frozen school cafeteria product, but long strips of real french toast.

I chose a flaky bacon and cheese turnover from the bakery case to share with Jake.

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While we enjoyed our meal and chatted over coffee, the cafe’s tables and lunch counter remained busy with customers. Val’s kids had a lot of fun playing with toys and coloring on a chalkboard with the other kids in the children’s area. Val’s son was very dedicated to his craft of baking dominos into different flavors of crackers in the toy cash register. The dominos with yellow dots were cheese, the chocolate dots were chocolate, the green were pepper, and some of them were simply cracker flavored crackers. We nibbled on dominos as we chatted over lunch.

This cafe has only been open since September 2014 and owners report they’ve been so busy, they forgot about their six-month anniversary until after it had passed. I love big and little cities, alike, but there are some charms that occur in small towns that make them sparkle. Like Jazzercize awnings, stores closed on a Saturday so proprietors can cheer on their children at the school’s robotics competition, and real soda fountains in pharmacies. Every town needs a scratch bakery and coffee cafe that smells like butter.

Webster City Part III: Four Women Who Inspire Me With Their Small Businesses

Disclaimer: Deb Brown, Executive Director of the Webster City Area Chamber of Commerce invited the North Iowa bloggers to spend a day in Webster City as part of the “Six Bloggers on a Saturday” tour in December 2014. All opinions are my own. Part I & Part II

Ever since the bloggers tour in December, I’ve wanted to return to Webster City. We all have. But Saturday worked well for Beth and I, so we returned for a morning visit. Back in December, Deb coordinated visits to 10+ small businesses within the span of seven hours. We connected with more people and places than I can fit into three blog posts, so I’ll continue to share a little at a time. This post is dedicated to four small business owners who inspire me with their creativity.

R Company

R Company Sara Photo
Tina Fey stated, “It took my three hours today to prepare for my role as human woman” while she hosted the 2015 Golden Globe Awards. I lifted my glass and replied, “I hear you, lady.” Sometimes I joke about writing a fashion blog. It would be terrible because all of my outfits would feature me rotating between my two favorite Raygun graphic tees and that one purple sweater I found for $5.

Sarah Hisler Kopriva owns and operates R Company, an “upscale resale” clothing shop. When we visited in December, she explained her desire to help all of her customers look and feel their best, regardless of age or socioeconomic status. Kopriva has a quick wit that kept me laughing. I appreciate how she aims to give customers her honest opinions when they seek her styling advice. If a certain piece doesn’t look or fit quite right, she’s not afraid provide frank feedback.

Together, Kopriva and Tina Poland, who owns the attached Phairytales Salon, help many young people choose affordable prom and winter dance dresses and prepare for the special occasions. Kopriva and Poland understand the reality that dances like prom can create stress for budget-conscious families or young people whose parents or guardians can’t be as present as they’d like to be.

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I have no hard feelings against fashion. In fact, I totally want to look like Taylor Swift, but can hardly match my pants to my shirt. If you see me wearing an outfit that fits well and does not include a Raygun t-shirt, it was probably the work of a female family member.

Before she passed away, my mom used to keep me on track by helping me coordinate matching outfits and forcing me to go shoe shopping. Kopriva and Poland remind me of the women in my life who took the time to help me shop for my wedding dress and pick out winter boots. I’d be a regular at R Company if I lived closer to Webster City.

If you visit R Company, use the owl-themed bathroom! The other decorations may change with the seasons, but the owls remain.

r company bathroom Collage

Relax the Bath
Denise Mendenhall crafts unique bath and body products from her studio in Fort Dodge, Iowa. She was kind enough to include examples of products in our bloggers tour goody bag, including her popular body butter.

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Bath & Body Works used to all I knew about scented body products. I’ve since become fond of handcrafted lotions and soaps and enjoy our locally-made options in North Iowa. These products feel gentler on our skin and we find the bar soaps last a long time.

On Saturday, Medenhall explained how she looks to the European market for trends. She described their stricter labeling standards and tries to follow suit by adding batch numbers and expiration dates to her products. While many of us are lucky enough to own one KitchenAid mixer, Mendenhall is the proud owner of at least five which she uses to whip-up body butters.

Relax the Bath

Mendenhall mentioned she’s one of only five artisans in Iowa that are members of the Hand Crafted Soap Makers Guild. She dedicates a separate space in her house to soap making and utilizes food grade oils in her products like sustainable palm oil and cupuacu butter. She works long days to meet demand and because she loves her art.

Besides body butter, some of the other products we admired were little bath bombs and colorful bars of soap that incorporated various swirls of colors and shapes. You can find Mendenhall’s products on her Facebook page or SOS Vintage in Webster City.

inTANDEM workspace
Before we visited inTANDEM, I’d never heard of  workspace sharing. Darcy Swon created this space out of a community need for an affordable place for small businesses and start-ups to meet.

Group

People can rent a whole office by the month or a workspace the day with access to inTANDEM’s wireless internet, coffee machine, furniture and bathrooms. Small fees apply for reserving conference rooms and utilizing the printer and copiers. Members are given their own keys so they can access the office at their convenience. Workspace sharing is also a helpful option for people who serve the greater North Iowa/Ames area and have to split their time in different cities.

What struck me most about this space was its contemporary vibe and bright colors. Swon researched colors that stimulate creativity and chose to paint bright orange and Nickelodeon green accent walls. We spent two hours chatting in the big conference room and kicked around blog ideas. As someone who thrives on bright colors, I did feel mentally energized.

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In Mason City, we don’t have a workspace sharing business like inTandem but we do have a lot of space. My friend Sara Broers recently wrote about reframing Mason City’s dead mall space as possibilities. We’re left with a big, dead mall on Federal Ave, an empty K-Mart on 4th, and a mostly empty Southbridge Mall. I like Broers’ encouragement to think outside the box instead of complaining.

I’m encouraged to see Sensory World open in the Southbridge Mall. It’s an indoor play place dedicated to families who have children with special needs. What if we continued to repurpose these empty spaces and consider them for purposes beyond only retail space? I think of indoor markets Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis, MN and NewBo City Market in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and shared workspaces like inTANDEM.

What small businesses or start-ups are inspiring you right now? Do you have a favorite source for local bath and body products? 

wcbeth and jeni

Beth and I sent our greetings from the little sculpture park on our return visit.

We Tried On Jane Young’s Hats & Gazed at Oculi: Webster City Part II

Disclaimer: Deb Brown, Executive Director of the Webster City Area Chamber of Commerce invited me to spend a day in Webster City as part of the “Six Bloggers on a Saturday” tour. All opinions are my own.

Last weekend, I joined six North Iowan bloggers on a one-hour road trip south to Webster City, Iowa for a bloggers tour. Deb coordinated visits to ten local shops, two historical sites, one restaurant, and a drive through a holiday lights display all within the span of seven hours. I broke kringla with the Mayor and found solace in pottery in Part I. This sequel is all about history. Join me on a photo journey through the Jane Young House & Kendall Young Library. If you’re fond of retro hats and grand, old libraries, this post’s for you.

Jane Young House
It’s hard to believe this huge house has moved twice, but it has. The Jane Young house currently rests next to the Kendall Young Library which seems perfectly fitting.

House Deb intro wm

Deb Brown introduces us to the house.

The Women’s Club occupies the house and offers tours by appointment. JoAnn and Loween. . . errr. . . I mean Jane Young and her maid began the tour by introducing themselves.

Jane Young's Maid Wm
Kendall Young was a man who pursued all sorts of adventures in the 1800’s. Originally born in Maine in 1820, he went on to fish off of the coast of Labrador, farm in Wisconsin, and chase the California Gold Rush in covered wagons. Jane described how Young brought his fortune home by tying nuggets into his jacket and pouring gold dust into his boots. His heavy boots made it difficult to walk, so he told others they were specially designed to accommodate his “foot condition.”

Apparently, it worked. No one took his gold and he started a paper business with a friend in Iowa. His path frequently crossed paths with Jane Underdown who he would later marry in Webster City.

Jane Young Collage Wm

Jane Young is pictured throughout the home.

Kendall formed Webster City’s First National Bank where he served as President and built the Jane Young house in 1874. unfortunately, he and Jane only lived here together for fourteen years. Jane struggled with her health and moved to Battle Creek Sanitarium where she lived until her death. As Jane’s maid told us about her final chapter of life, she apologized to Jane for speaking about her death in her presence.

I found a display about the Battle Creek Sanitarium particularly interesting. It listed the facility’s other notable patients such as Mary Todd Lincoln and our 29th President Warren Harding. The display also described some of sanitarium’s treatment procedures including electric shock therapy and a chair that violently shook patients.

We had the most fun in the hat room.

Up the stairs wm

Jane Young herself leads us up the winding staircase.

The photo below doesn’t even begin to do Jane’s hat room justice. This little room contained rows and rows of fantastic, retro hats.

hats models wm

Of course, we had to try them on.

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Other rooms contained period pieces. I especially liked these big, heavy trunks equipped to hang clothes.

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Kendall passed away in 1896 and willed his estate to Webster City for the purpose of establishing a public library. This came as a surprise to many, as he had once declined a library fundraising request from a woman named Theresa Treat replying, “the ladies would never be able to raise enough money for a proper library.” I suppose we never really do know what kinds of seeds we are planting in other people’s minds.

At the end of the tour, we bid our lovely tour guides adieu and headed next door to visit the library.

The Kendall Young Library
I love libraries. I practically spent my childhood at the library where I would take home bags of books which I poured over by flashlight long after my parents called lights’ out. The Kendall Young Library is majestic. Thanks to the Young’s generous donation (and those from many others), the public library continues to be funded without government support.

Library exterior wm

When we first entered the library, we gazed upwards in wonder. “It’s an oculus!” Amy gleefully exclaimed.

Oculus wm

Oculus

“Is that like an eye?” I asked?

Oculi

Oculi

Children’s Librarian Angie was thrilled to give us a quick tour even though we arrived near closing. I felt like I was at Hogwarts wandering between these grand rows of library shelves.

Library shelves wm

The children’s department is located on the bottom floor. We found it magically decorated with a tree trunk embedded into the wall and a Christmas tree adorned with a sparkly gum drop garlands. The librarians add special touches throughout the department to make young people’s visits extra special. Patrons can find bookmarks crafted by local seniors at the front desk, plus a basket of plastic book bags the librarians carefully fold into tiny triangles.

A large room dedicated to children’s programming is also located downstairs. It’s equipped with sinks for craft projects and blank walls for projecting movies. On the way out, we admired the the Lego Club’s creations. I was especially fond of May’s Cafe.

Library Collage mn

The library also houses a collection of 170 dolls and Native American artifacts. For more information about library programming, visit their Facebook page which staff frequently update.

Coming up next:
A post about meat cutlets & a recipe for my weeknight chicken parmesan & Webster City Part III: Shopping & lunch at Grid Iron Grill. The Every Bar in Mason City Quest will resume soon!

Webster City Part III Teaser Collage

Sneak peek at our lunch at Grid Iron Grill

Special thanks to JoAnn Robb and Loween Getter, our lovely tour guides of the Webster City Women’s Club and Angie Martin-Schwarze of the Kendall Young Library. 

Webster City (Part I): Kringla, Mug Cake & Creating Magic Out Of Small Towns

Disclaimer: Deb Brown, the Executive Director of the Webster City Area Chamber of Commerce invited me to spend the day in Webster City as part of the “Seven Bloggers on a Saturday” tour. All opinions are my own

There is no road trip too near or too far to thrill me. This weekend, I joined six North Iowa Bloggers on a road trip on hour south to Webster City. Deb Brown Executive Director of the Webster City Area Chamber of Commerce was instrumental in coordinating Hampton, Iowa’s first Franklin County Harvest Bloggers Tour which I participated in this past fall. As a blogger, she is no stranger to participating in bloggers tours, either.

Like Franklin County, I was humbled by the hospitality we received from everyone who hosted us during the tour. Deb coordinated visits with owners of ten unique businesses, lunch at the Grid Iron Grill, tours of the historic Jane Young House, Kendall Young Library, and a drive through the holiday light display at Briggs Woods Campground, all within the span of seven hours.

Strangers entrusted us with their stories. They hoped we would share with our readers and I feel honored to do so. Near the end of our tour, Deb stated something that’s echoed in my mind ever since:

“We create magic out of small towns because we have to.”

I realize no community is perfect, but it’s evident Webster City is home to people creating magic. The individuals we spoke to repeated time and time again that they invest their resources in their hometown because they want to create the type of community in which they want to live. No matter if you live in a large or small community, within or outside of Iowa, I hope you enjoy my three-part series about Webster City. This city girl has a lot to learn from those who create magic in their small towns.

Here’s Part I:  

main street panoramic wm

Webster City, a town of 8,000, has an attractive main street with few vacant storefronts. Living in Mason City, I’m finding myself without a Mexican, Hispanic, or Asian grocery store for the first time in my life. I gleefully shouted out loud when I  noticed a Mexican and Asian grocery store along the main street. When I expressed enthusiasm about finding an Asian grocery, Deb mentioned Webster City has a large Laotian community and added that a Laotian family is preparing to open an egg roll and spring roll shop soon.

We began our tour by gathering at SOS Vintage, a new shop that offers refurbished and vintage items. The only antique stores I’ve visited felt chaotic and dingy, but SOS feels elegant, just as owner Denise Smith stated she wanted it to in a newspaper article published before the store opened in April.

SOS Vintage Exterior

Denise kindly welcomed us to SOS with freshly baked scones and kringla. I was mesmerized by her front counter that was decorated with keys and coins.

Kringla wm

Mayor Doug Getter took the time to personally welcome us to town. He described some of the city’s latest economic development efforts, including an indoor barramundi operation, and recommended Webster City Meat Locker’s which sells some of his favorite bacon.

Of course, we broke kringla, because that’s the cordial thing to do when you meet someone new and there’s kringla.

Kringla Collage

I liked how SOS sells a combination of old and new products. This print caught my eye and I bought it with a gift certificate Denise generously gave to each blogger. Anyone that’s attended a Lutheran college is familiar with the word “vocation”. This screamed vocation and so I bought it because it makes me feel exceedingly happy.

Picture wm
Denise Mendenhall who owns Relax the Bath sells handmade bath products at SOS. I was over the moon when I saw she included soap and kumquat body butter in our goody bags. Jake and I like stocking our bathrooms with locally-made soaps which don’t irritate our skin.

SOS Vintage shares their shop with Timothy and Denise Morgan who craft handcrafted leather goods at Ti-De Creations. They caught me admiring the two purses on the top left shelf and brought them to the counter. Timothy described how he creates the intricate etching by hand. The tubular bag decorated the pink roses is designed for motorcycles. These bags are popular among motorcyclists because they craft them in many colors and sizes larger than the typical motorcycle bags

The Morgans gave us with our choice of key chain. I’m sure no one’s surprised I chose a paw print.

Leather Collage A second local business that features handmade artwork is Produce Station PotteryProduce Station functions as a store, classroom and founder and artist-in-gallery Maureen Saunder’s pottery studio. She founded the studio in 1990 out of the community’s need for a space where people could create and purchase local art.

Intro wm

Maureen reminded me of a mentor I had in the Twin Cities and I felt very much at home.

Pottery Collage One wm

The station’s first artist-in-residence Man Ho “Billy” Cho creates much of the beautiful pottery and raku. Cho originally traveled to Iowa from Hong Kong to attend college. He is currently completing his Masters in Fine Arts degree on a full-ride scholarship at the University of Iowa.

Maureen described how she can identify one of Cho’s pieces because his lids always fit perfectly, which is no small feat in the pottery world. Learn more about Cho at Billy Cho Ceramics.

Pottery on Shelf wm

We followed Maureen on a tour of her studio. I was enthralled with the shelves of paints and dyes.

Pottery Paint

I was also smitten with this painting.

Saw Painting wm

Even though the weather was cloudy, the sun shone just enough to illuminate the stained glass window.

Judith the potter wm

An art garden in the back of the studio features a bonfire pit and, if I remember correctly, a raku kiln.

Deck wm

After our tour, Maureen treated us to our choice of a chocolate or red velvet mug cake served in their beautiful pottery. She described becoming inspired to build a bonfire pit in the pottery garden after attending a bonfire at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis where she enjoyed a similar mug treat.

Mug cake Collage wm

We had to leave for our next stop along the tour soon after we enjoyed our mug cakes. The only downside to the tour was that weren’t able to leisurely browse each store, but Deb wanted to collaborate with as many business owners as possible during our short visit. We all left Webster City wanting to return soon for more in-depth exploration. Sometimes, building curiosity is an underrated accomplishment in itself.

Coming up next: Part II (Small business visits & lunch at Grid Iron Grill), Part II (Jane Young House & Library)

Participating bloggers: Sara of All in an Iowan Mom’s Day, Beth Ann of It’s Just Life, Donna of Donnahup.com, and Amy of Modern Rural Living & Alicia of Fit & Farm

Thanks again to Deb Brown of the Area Chamber, Denise at SOS Vintage, Mayor Getter,Timothy & Denise of Ti-De Creations & Maureen of Produce Station Pottery.

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