Friday, October 14, 2011

a peanut butter and jelly store

Back in August, when I posted a picture of this table--yellow top, green legs--and the four green chairs that go with it, Mise commented, "The yellow table looks indomitably cheerful, as though it were waiting expectantly for a group of happy children for sandwiches and jelly." Since then, I think of it as the peanut butter and jelly table. Soon after that, the town flooded and I almost closed the store and then decided to keep it open, and have been constantly thinking about how I can make it better. Sometimes I wish it was cooler, or hipper, or more elegant or stylish, or something.

Those thoughts arise when I'm not in the store--when I'm there, it makes me happy. It's a peanut butter and jelly store. The peanut butter is a supermarket brand, but the jelly is from the farmers market--your choice of raspberry (with seeds) or strawberry. The bread is freshly baked---sometimes whole grain, sometimes a baguette. Some days it's served with soup. A bucket of crayons and pad of paper is at hand.

Getting tired of the metaphor? Me too. What I want is to create a store that is more than just a place to buy things. One that feels like home, but is also interesting and inspiring. Filled with creativity, and humor, and beauty, and nature. One that continues to evolve, so every week there's something new. The store's been open a year now. Sometimes I still can't believe that I'm doing it. Nothing in my previous lives pointed in this direction Have you ever done something completely unexpected, but once you've done it, it feels so right?.


  1. My favorite stores are the ones where there's always a couple of guys playing chess and drinking tea off to the side or in the back with a couple of funky easy chairs to sit down in and browse a book or simply watch the goings ons. I don't know if you have that kind of space though.

  2. I think your store looks awesome. :)

  3. Recently I watched on TV and came to know that the big difference to choose ways in our lives between US and Japan is in US many go towards unaddressed direction beforehand freely, besides
    many Japanese go towards for the direction once being decided.
    I feel flexibility and freedom in your way of thinking and living; the good aspect of your culture.

  4. i have started drawing lately. and although i don`t think i am good at it. somehow it feels right...
    i love your shop Jen! i wish i could visit one day ... : )

  5. We have a bowl of Jolly Ranchers on the counter at work, customers head for them instinctively.

    We also have Nika, our lab, sleeping in the middle of the floors most days ( to the horror of one of the owners)and after while standing in line to make their purchases or order flowers people get to pet her.

    Food and animals make for a pretty cosy store.

    You have one too. I think you're doing everything just right.

    xo Jane

  6. Love your store! you are right on with that cozy, home-like, comfortable feel. I find it (from your photos ) would be a store that is like a treasure hunt and I would like to wander it slowly so I don't miss that treasure everywhere. I tried watercolor/ ink illustrations for a friend ..for a childrens book...that is so scary and I never tried it before and I had no experience so I find myself afraid to start on the second book and I wish I was more sure of myself at it. I want it to be good enough for my friends books/ poetry...I enjoy it when it is done.

    - KAT -

  7. P & B is a delightful and comfy muse for your shop! Warm colors and lighting, and a pot of coffee available for customers, always makes me feel at home in a shop.