Friday, June 25, 2010

Pomegranate celebrates 12 years in business tomorrow!

It's been a bit of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride over the years, but we've kept our little Pomegranate humming along for 12 years! Tomorrow at the shop, we celebrate: bubbly, cupcakes, tidbits to snack on, extreme croquet in the back garden, new merchandise, lots on sale, kisses from Mollie, door prizes and goodies. We're also giving away our favorite, best-selling soap: get a large French lemongrass heart soap free with $10 purchase (reg. $3.50 each). Official party hours are 12-6, but we'll be there earlier if you want to swing in and say hello.

A great big thank you to our lovely and wonderful clientele who have taken the trouble to come search us out in our little hidey-hole spot over the years. We're hangin' in there, and very grateful for it. Cheers! Hope to see you on Saturday...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Keeping it local (part 3): The Guide to Hidden Good Finds in Bend

That big graphic I tried to put into my last post (about The 3/50 Project) kind of cut itself in half. But you can go here to learn all about this simple concept in keeping your local shops and restaurants alive.

And here's another fun thing for those of you who like to find all those special, hidden, independent shops and cafés in town: our new Off the Grid Guide to Hidden Good Finds in Bend, Oregon. It's a two-sided card, divided by north, mid, or south neighborhood sections of town, with reviews and directions to special (and hidden) finds in Bend. Even if you're a local, bet you didn't know about all of us! It's a great thing to put in your guest room: yep, they'll be busy for days, looking for all these cool little spots. Fun thing is, it's not just one kind of shop. In any given area, you'll find little indie boutiques or bookstores, home décor/antiques, and eateries, all highly recommended and geographically challenged.

The little representation above (just the front side) is way too small to read, but you can link to our website (, or pick up a copy at any of the spots listed. The website goes even further with map and website links, and additional recommendations for not-quite-as-hidden spots in town. We hope you find us all, have a good time exploring, and support – as much as possible – your charming, local, independently-owned businesses (whether located in out-of-the-way spots or right smack downtown!).

Keeping it local (part 2): The 3/50 Project

We're big fans of the 3/50 Project, a simple idea to bring home the idea of shopping and eating out with local purveyors. Just think of three independently-owned businesses you miss that have already left the scene, and think of three you would miss if they did close the doors. Read on, then go visit.

Keeping it local (part 1): bookstores

This article in the Bulletin the other day brought a tear to my eye (esp. the last bit about paying a book forward). I also thought: there's hardly a retailer in the land who hasn't thought about sending out a similar SOS sometime in the last two-plus years. But we're a hardy (or is that foolish?) bunch and we tend to slug it out until the last pennies are gone. At some point, those who've closed (or are planning to close) just wake up one morning and realize that's what they have to do to stop the bleeding. Although in many cases the bleeding doesn't stop: you hardly ever get out without some lingering lease obligation or debt repayment or something.

But, the good news is, we're all trying, we're all plugging along, figuring it out and adjusting to new expectations (and believe me, I know it's not just retailers who are trying to reinvent themselves and survive). We all want to stay in business. The idea of a neighborhood shop is not dead yet, although it's not a very good business model in general.

I thought it was very touching that people stepped up and donated time and money to Dudley's to try and help save a friendly bookstore. But mostly, we all need people to remember that when you do shop, try to shop locally. I think we have some fabulous, independently-owned bookstores in town, and we're lucky to have them. I've been tempted occasionally by the discount warehouse stack o' books, and even zoomed around on Amazon to find a used copy of some obscure title. But no more. I will refuse; I will walk right by and instead go to one of our local bookstores. You?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Absinthe: the Green Fairy is not for wimps

I've long had this fascination with absinthe: not the stuff itself, but the lore and tradition of it. Banned in the US in 1915, it is now readily available, minus the psycho-tropic, hallucinogenic element. Some of you may rue that fact. In the shop, we're carrying some pretty nifty absinthe accoutrements (spoons, glassware, sugar), which forced us to do some field research on the brew itself. First of all, Absinthe is available here in Bend – several choices are offered at the liquor store inside Ray's Grocery (and perhaps at others; that's as far as we got). It tastes like the essence of anise, which I'm not a big fan of, but it is interesting, and herby. It is also very, very strong. I thought it was going to be more of an apéritif like pastis or pernod, but non, mon dieu, it is 100 proof alcohol. So if you see little tendrils of smoke coming out of your ears after drinking this, you'll know why.

But, the "ceremony" of pouring the water and absinthe over sugar is still an interesting one... if you happen to like the taste of it. In any case, I like having a couple of those beautiful glasses in our cabinet, along with the little Eiffel spoon. Not sure we'll ever finish that bottle, unless a couple of house guests decide they love it. {Have to say that again, the bottle design and branding, as in my previous post about Domaine Canton, is exquisite.} Pictured are a few of the accessories we have at Pomegranate, and here's a good link to learning more about it:

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Mixmeister Robert shakes it up again with our Gin Gingeroo

Those of you who know us, know that Robert can mix up a mean martini. He's just got a knack for it. At our Pomegranate holiday soirées, we serve up a delicious Pometini from a little ice bar we set up outside at the shop. It's always quite the hit.

Some time ago, I heard about this new French liqueur, and made all kinds of phone calls to California in a quest to find it (because I'm a goofball). It's a ginger-based liqueur blended with cognac (made in very small batches), and I just adore all things ginger, so had to have some. Called Domaine de Canton, it's in this fabulous bottle (love the architecture of it), and has an exquisite, exotic taste. Rather expensive it is, but you only use a wee bit at a time. First time we tried it, we had to ask our friends to bring a bottle with them over the border. Weird how that makes you feel like some sort of outlaw. Happily, now the liquor store at Ray's right here in Bend carries it.

So here's our new concoction: Robert made up the drink, and I made up the name. A Gin Gingeroo (might have been channeling Mary Poppins at the time). Enjoy! {Save it for a celebratory evening, and you can make that precious bottle last.}

2 oz good gin
3/4 oz Domaine de Canton
juice of small lemon
3/4 oz triple sec to taste (depends on how sweet/sour lemons are)

Shake over ice, pour into your best, ice-cold martini glasses. Garnish with a twist of lemon.

Cin cin.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

French Flea Market – today, mes amis!

We always are so excited about our French Flea Markets at Pomegranate, especially (after such a long winter!) the first one of the summer. Which is today, Saturday, June 12, from 10-4. Our juried flea markets have gotten bigger and better every year; our hand-picked vendors are coming from all over the west. We have Paula from Idaho with her recycled metal garden art. Colleen from Walla Walla, who just did a weekend with the Farm Chicks show (and used to have a darling French shop). Michelle is bringing tons of her vintage finds and repurposed handcrafts with a Parisian twist. Tess will be there with her fabulous and affordable vintage furnishings. Casarama is bringing (as always!) cool, cool stuff. We've got wonderful antiques dealers, fabulous Etsy artisans (from all over Oregon; many are local) with hand crafted jewelry, paintings, furnishings, handbags, cards, objets d'art. There's vintage fashion and linens (do you know someone once found an original 1960's to-die-for Chanel handbag at our flea market?). A Crêpe Affair will be with us, making fresh, gourmet sweet and savory crêpes (for the full French experience)... you will not go hungry at our flea market.

Oh, not to mention that the store is full of recent arrivals, from vintage to new. A great new selection of Baggallini totes, bistro glassware, paper, postcards, notebooks and journals, French jewelry from our favorite designer, books, French soaps and lotions (Mistral's shea butter pomegranate soap is my new obsession), children's games and books (learn to count to ten with Le Grenouille!), and more. On sale during our flea market: scarves and select jewelry are 1/2 off, hand crafted Maruca handbags are 30% off, all pewter is 1/2 off, and Bella Notte bedding in stock is 25% off.

It's a little bit of Paris in Bend. But without the Gauloise smoke, or funny looks if you mispronounce something. And you don't have to go to the Poste and try to argue about sending your precious purchases via poste economique. You don't have to schlep an extra suitcase around just for your flea market finds. You can just take it easy and come shop right here at Pomegranate in Bend.

So, grab your shopping shoes and your mad money and get to Pomegranate at 10 (or a little early, if you wish). By the way, most vendors will take credit cards for purchases over $100 (and we take credit cards in the store for anything you wish). The flea market goes from 10-4; the shop is open until 5:30. See you at the flea! For directions or more info, go to Au revoir!

Monday, June 7, 2010

French Flea Market this coming Saturday (and a peek at our ad)

A reminder to hunters (of the flea market variety) and gatherers, treasure seekers, and fellow shopping monkeys: Pomegranate's first French Flea Market of the summer is coming up this Saturday, June 12. It's going to be absolutely fabulous. Our hand-picked vendors are coming in from all over the west (Oregon, Washington, Idaho) with antiques, garden art, vintage fashion and repurposed furnishings, hand-crafted artisan pieces (some really great Etsy artists are attending!), and various wonderful goodies. Don't miss the shop owner from Washington with her great Paris flea market finds! So many great vendors. Can't wait. The flea market goes from 10-4 (shop is open until 5:30), so get your mad money ready, and make a dash for Pomegranate on Saturday. By the way, most vendors will accept credit cards on purchases over $100, so you can shop to your heart's content.

Here's a preview of our fun little TV ad: watch for it this week on HGTV, Food Network, Bravo and TLC.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Fuzzy-headed boys in the garden

Came home the other day to find these boys in our garden, munching away to their heart's content. Don't their fuzzy antlers look like something you might have created in crafts class with glue and spray-on velvet coating?

They were very complacent and let me take a lot of shots of them (even making smacky kiss sounds to get them to look at me). They didn't even flinch when cars squealed to a stop in the street to take a look. I'd say they're Bend's most content and satisfied citizens.