why not visit dishfunctional in their new malvern location this weekend?

Dishfunctional isn’t in West Chester anymore. I open with that, because they were there for so many wonderful years. BUT Dishfunctional does have a terrific new location in the Lincoln Court Shopping Center in East Whiteland.

The store is long and wide inside and well lit. And full of so much fun stuff! Not just the china and crystal they are known for but so much else! They have some wonderful art right now too! My personal favorite? This amaze balls piece of Mick Jagger by Denny Dent. It’s huge, but very cool.

I found four extra dishes of the Johnson Brothers’ “Friendly Village” vintage ydishes I like to use in the fall and winter sometimes. They are hard to find, and were only $5 each which is an amazing deal!

I spent a lot of time looking through the store. It’s all very clean. Other things they have right in the front of the store I love is some fabulous antique cast iron lawn furniture. Also very reasonable in price and good shape.

Dishfunctional is located in the Lincoln Court Shopping Center. 225 Lancaster Avenue, Frazer, PA.

Tuesday through Saturday
10:00 am until 6:00 pm
Sunday
11:00 am until 3:00 pm

Check it out!

back to visit brandywine view antiques in chadds ford

Brandywine View Antiques is one of my favorite places, so I thought I would give them a little shout out today. I have been a customer for years, I am not compensated for mentioning them on this blog, I’m just a happy customer.

They are three floors of fun and outside for great garden accents. They are one of my favorite resources for vintage garden finds. They are also one of the best places to find vintage and antique mirrors and I think they are a wonderful accent for any home and everyone should have at least one.

And I adore the owner she’s good people. If you don’t find them here in their store you can often find them places like Clover Market. They are definitely worth the drive!

Location:
1244 Baltimore Pike. Chadds Ford, PA 19317
Hours:
Wednesday – Sunday: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. (610) 388-6060|lisa@brandywineview.com

is fine dining a lost cause in chester county?

With the planned sale of The Ship Inn it begs the questions of why isn’t there more fine or non-pub, non-chain, non-franchise dining in Chester County? But first, another Ship Inn update:

Ship Inn sale pending; building may become a micro-brewery

By BILL RETTEW | wrettew@dailylocal.com | Daily Local News

PUBLISHED: August 15, 2022 at 5:04 p.m. | UPDATED: August 16, 2022 at 5:47 a

EXTON—Sale is pending for the historic, fine dining Ship Inn, with plans to make it into a micro-brewery.

Michael and Gertie Person have owned the landmark 14,900 square foot restaurant, at 695 E. Lincoln Highway in Exton, for 20 years.

Michael Person said on Monday afternoon that the restaurant, with a listing price of $2.25 million, is not officially sold yet, although could change hands later this month…..There is a possibility that the deal could fall through, in which case the Persons would go back to serving the public from within the well-lit dining rooms with tall ceilings.

VK Brewing, of Glen Mills, has agreed to purchase the property and posted that their business intends to sell great beer and great food.

“Our vision is to combine our passion for beer and food and create an inviting and fun brewery and restaurant,” reads the VK Brewing website.

The company seeks additional investors through a fundraising campaign….“Why not sell?” asked Person. “It’s a successful restaurant.

“We are selling like any corporation does. People feel I’m in trouble. All the bills and employees are paid. It’s not a troubled restaurant. I don’t’ have to sell.”

One hundred and eighty seats are split among four dining rooms, along with a deck and additional room in the bar for 30 or 40 patrons….Ghostbusters have visited the establishment three times and Person said that the ghosts at the business are “good spirits.”

Robert Irvine of the TV show Restaurant Impossible visited last April to help revamp the historic restaurant.

“At the beginning I was a little resentful,” Person said. “But then I was really in favor of it and he did a great job.”

So what will Person miss the most?

“Interaction with people is the goal,” he said. “I love feedback.

“Where else can you interact with doctors, lawyers, artists, the CEO of QVC and movie stars? At which other job can you do that?

“This is a gift.”

~ DAILY LOCAL ARTICLE 8/15/22

So when I posted the other day about the Ship Inn I had no idea if any local or regional media would pick up the the story, but the Daily Local did. And the PhillyVoice too . I am glad they did, because it gives a whole other perspective on what’s happening here, namely from the current owner who is selling.

This is why I have included two snippets from the Restaurant Impossible TV show in 2021. I think that the TV show gave a fairly realistic look inside a restaurant that basically was failing, right? But then when you read this article yesterday it’s like that was all a great misunderstanding, wasn’t it?

I re-watched The Restaurant Impossible episode today. I added the two video snippets because I thought it was important to watch. And it’s very different from the articles today. His wife is the proprietor of the Duling-Kurtz house in Exton.

Duling-Kurtz is expensive and a bit dated. But it is truly a lovely place. The food is never bad, but I never found it exciting. They have a decent wine list, and I have not been there since before COVID. One of the things I liked back then is sometimes musicians I knew would play in the bar. I always thought that was a nice touch, and when you would see the owner (Ship Inn owner’s wife) on the floor it was seamless and sort of passing through checking on things, smiling, not stopping to yell at waitstaff in the dining room.

The Ship Inn is someplace I gave a lot of chances to over the years, including after the television makeover. I kept going back not so much because the food was out of this world, but because I wanted to support a local fine dining establishment, and I am a lover of history. This place oozes history. So to say I am not concerned at the thought of it becoming some kind of a brewery/pub would be dishonest period.

My concerns are not just limited to wondering about a historic asset being preserved appropriately, but because with this place possibly stopping as a fine dining institution it once again limits the options of fine dining in Chester County.

Take for example the Dilworthtown Inn. It closed in April, 2019 with the death of Jim Barnes. The Dilworthtown was one of my favorite places honestly. The food was good the atmosphere was impeccable. They were also the location for fun things like the Dilworthtown Wine Festival. The property was sold in 2020, January, just before COVID.

The Dilworthtown was a complex of three restaurant gems:  Dilworthtown Inn, Inn Keeper’s Kitchen, Blue Pear Bistro. When the property sold a website went up, and then crickets. (https://www.historicdilworthtown.com/).

NO ONE has looked into the fate of The Dilworthtown in essentially TWO years! It’s a magical and fabulous property that sold and then nothing —- so what’s going on? I feel so badly for the new owners because I can’t imagine buying a property that’s somewhat substantial and historic and then a pandemic hits. But are there any updates?

We still have The General Warren Inn in Malvern. Another place I love but it is never consistent. I know COVID was hard on them affecting hours and days open – lunch was 86’d. The food is good, but sometimes it’s really good, and other times it’s just good. And I’m not saying that to be mean, but that has been my personal experience. I still go there, but not as often.

And the last time I was there was a group of couples for dinner, it was before Covid and we were a large group, all of us having patronized the restaurant in the past, but not what you would call a regular. We were kind of left in service wasteland while the waitstaff paid attention to the people that they recognized. It was embarrassing for me personally because it was my idea for all of us to go there. And no one wanted to be rude and get up and walk away from the table because of the lack of service, so by the time we all finish getting served our dinners which was staggered and no one ate at the same time because it was like they kept forgetting about us, and the restaurant was practically closing.

There was no accommodation made to our bill, which is something which should’ve happened automatically because it wasn’t like it was a big secret we were in dining wasteland there that night. And it is not an inexpensive place. Now we have been back since, and I am happy to patronize them because it’s a gorgeous place and it’s local, but as an intermittent diner I would like to be made to feel more welcome. Just because you don’t go to a place weekly or super often, it doesn’t mean as a patron you shouldn’t be valued, right?

And when you talk to people about fine dining, they all say “but we have kids, so pubs are easier.” Fine dining can be welcoming to children too. It’s fun to dress up for dinner, and we live in a more casual world so you don’t do that very often. But what is even less evident out here in Chester County is actual fine dining.

There is a need for fine dining. There are lots of other dining options, but everyone wants that special place for special occasions. You have some places in the Borough of West Chester, but as restaurants they are ok, but parking is so not fun. And that also goes for Phoenixville. Last time we went to Phoenixville for dinner it was before we saw Al Stewart. We had dinner at the Black Lab Bistro. Dinner was wonderful there, and the service was really good. However it took my husband 40 minutes to park. So I sat in the restaurant by myself for 40 minutes before he came in.

So that’s the thing of it: we need fine dining, and you need more options for fine dining where there’s actually easy parking.

The Ship Inn going pub removes one more option. If the pub doesn’t come in that deal falls through I don’t know that the owner will actually reopen. And if he reopens will he have any staff left? And if he reopens would it be any different? People all over are talking about this “transaction” and the owner attempting to divest himself of the Ship Inn.

But this trend towards pub food isn’t just here. I was speaking to a friend of mine today who mentioned that friends of his lamented there really wasn’t any place special to eat dinner where they lived.

Years ago when I worked in New York, and it’s also been my experience since then because my th sister lives there, there is always an option in New York City. There are so many restaurants. And there are so many cool little restaurants that you actually can find places that are fairly affordable. Philadelphia? I’m not so sure at this point. There used to be so many places, but between Covid and the sheit show that the city of Philadelphia is in, there aren’t as many fabulous restaurants I think anymore.

I would love just some more pretty fine dining establishments (fancy or semi-casual) where you can go and feel special in Chester County. We have some other great restaurants, but they’re more like great casual dining, not a great experience with classic French, American, or high-end Northern Italian food, etc.

We have lots of pubs/micro breweries with food, lots of Asian, Indian, Thai, sushi, steak houses. We have lots of chain restaurants, franchises, coffee places. We have barbecue, but only one place is to die for and thank goodness we will soon have sit down when Farm Boy Barbecue opens their own restaurant home in Malvern where the Friendly’s once was.

But classic fine dining is becoming a lost art in a sea of mediocrity out here in Chester County.

It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out. I will close the post at the end with a new Philly Voice article about the Ship Inn sale…if it goes to closing. I say if because in May of this year, Breweries in PA website reported VK Brewing who is now buying the Ship Inn as going to Delaware County:

VK Brewing Aims To Bring High Quality Hand Crafted Beer And Dining To Delaware County

By Breweries In PA
March 2, 2022

You can add VK Brewing to the list of breweries that will soon be calling Pennsylvania home. The brewery, which is the brainchild of Jason Van Keuren and Najib Abiaad will soon open its doors in a 4,000+ square foot facility in Glen Mills, PA.

We recently spoke with both Jason and Najib to get a better perspective on the business and their plans for the brewery once they open for guests later this year….

As we learned, the duo had originally met during a casual neighborhood gathering. Jason had been pouring samples of his beer for his neighbors. The two were enjoying Jason’s beer and thus began a relationship that would bring their partnership together to build out a brewery/ restaurant for locals to enjoy.

The brewery intends to open in a 4,000+ square foot facility which was formerly a yoga studio. As of this writing, construction is underway to transform and breathe new life into the space. Once completed they plan to operate a 10 barrel brewery offering a wide variety of beer. But, as Jason confirmed, “I like more of the classic styles of beer” so guests can expect a rotating taplist of both traditional and modern craft beer….The plan is for the brewery to open in late 2022 as construction is still ongoing. However, you can keep up with the brewery in planning by following them on social media on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

~ BREWERIES IN PA 3/2/22

I guess I’m a little confused. These people are new to being in the brewery/brew pub business, correct? so are they opening in Glen Mills and Exton? Or just Exton? They have a Mainvest going. Opening restaurants are an expensive proposition. Especially for newcomers. So do they have other backers as well? Their plans are on the Mainvest, and truly I wish them well but this property is so historic and special. Hopefully, we will all be looking forward to their grand opening soon.

Here is the Philly Voice article…but remember this blog had the story first 😊

Philly Voice: Exton’s historic Ship Inn, once a stop for George Washington, Andrew Jackson, to be sold
A new microbrewery, VK Brewing Co. & Eatery, is expected to take over the restaurant on Lincoln Highway
.

BY MICHAEL TANENBAUM
PhillyVoice Staff
UPDATED AUG 16, 2022 AT 03:24 PM

The owner of the Ship Inn, an historic property in Exton that dates back to the late 18th century, has found a pair of buyers who envision turning the two-story Georgian building into a microbrewery. 

Built in 1796, the stone property was designed to be a place for travelers to eat and rest along the recently completed Lancaster Turnpike — designated today as part of U.S. Route 30. It served as a western milepost for Philadelphia, about 25 miles away, welcoming dignitaries like former presidents George Washington and Andrew Jackson and, in the 20th century, former first lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis.

The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. It has been praised as one of the best-preserved inns from the era and an enduring example of Georgian and Federal architecture. 

Operating under various owners, the building has served as a restaurant for much of its existence, with the exception of a long stretch in the 19th century when it was a private residence. Innkeeper and architect John Bowen designed the property at a time when residential and commercial buildings had less distinction between them, particularly in Chester County’s rural West Whiteland Township, which includes Exton. The building marked the arrival of an urban style as commerce spread west of Philadelphia. 

The pending sale of the Ship Inn was first reportedMonday by The Daily Local. The terms of the agreement have not been disclosed…..

The duo plan to open the restaurant this fall and the brewery before the end of 2022. A Mainvest pageinviting investors to support the upcoming taproom includes a detailed business plan for VK Brewing. 

The buyers declined to comment on the pending transaction when contacted Tuesday. 

Last year, the Ship Inn drew attention for its appearance on Chef Robert Irvine’s Food Network show “Restaurant: Impossible,” which aims to turn around failing businesses…..”We are selling like any corporation does,” Person said. “People feel I’m in trouble. All the bills and employees are paid. It’s not a troubled restaurant. I don’t have to sell.”

~ PHILLYVOICE 8/16/22

investigative reporter’s article in philadelphia inquirer leaves more questions than answers with regard arbor learning academy in malvern, including with dhs

Social Media Photo Circa 2016

On August 10th I launched a post on Arbor Learning Academy in Malvern. It is called “down the rabbit hole: what happened to arbor learning academy in malvern, pa?” I let it simmer because I knew as I was writing investigative reporters from the Philadelphia Inquirer were digging into this story which is a bit of a mystery locally. I did not want to be perceived as scooping investigative reporters who are really and truly good at what they do.

Today The Philadelphia Inquirer landed a whopper of an article which I will get to shortly.

The only response I got from my initial post was:

One of the big things to me when I wrote my August 10th post was who was the mysterious owner “Jean” identified today as “Jean Sun”? Where does she live? Is she the only other owner? Are there others involved who stayed in the shadows?

And how does she fit into the corporate name lookups on PA database?

Most people thought that the owner was the face of Arbor since inception was someone named Lauren Lilley and she is whom we saw all over social media. I will note sometimes posts said “owner” or implied as such and sometimes “co-owner” and even “business partner”, then finally “creative owner” whatever in the Sam Hell that means. Is this woman just a pawn in all of this? How do all of the pieces of this puzzle fit in reality?

But if this was the owner or an owner and the boots on the ground in charge person there, why was she putting up ads on social media this past May for cleaning? Daycare centers/Pre-schools etc are full time gigs or should be, right?

And then of course there were her tik tok videos now deleted but some were screen grabbed. I was sent one. Not posting it. Ick. But suffice it to say videos seemed to have disappeared and now account is private?

And then there were all the DHS things I looked up. Not sure what is in what order, but here they are again:

So thank goodness for the parents who thought all was not right, and former employees as per the article, but I have to ask WHY DHS has let them go so long with so many issues for a place that hasn’t existed for that many years?

The article says a DHS lady involved in their investigation is Shante’ Brown, director for the Bureau of Certification with DHS’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning. Based on what I found on a state website her office is located in Philadelphia:

Southeast Region
OCDEL
801 Market Street
Suite 5132
Philadelphia, PA 19107-3126
Telephone: (215) 560-2541
Toll Free: (800) 346-2929
Fax: (215) 560-5139

Now this lady use to work for the City of Philadelphia too. In theory, she las loads of experience, but after reading the Inquirer article I have to ask why she let this go on so long with so many issues and didn’t hut it down, if it was her decision? After all we are talking about the safety and welfare of kids, right?

It makes you question the checks and balances of a system when you realize this is just yet another place out here with issues. Allow me to provide links to other past daycare/pre-school problems out here in Chester County:

CBS Philadelphia: Third Chesterbrook Academy Day Care Teacher Charged With Abusing Toddlers JANUARY 31, 2020 / 12:34 PM / CBS PHILADELPHIA (location: Malvern, PA)

CBS Philadelphia: East Whiteland Police: 2 Chesterbrook Academy Day Care Teachers Caught On Camera Abusing Multiple Toddlers OCTOBER 31, 2019 / 6:00 PM / CBS PHILADELPHIA (same location as above: Malvern PA)

CBS Philadelphia: Chester County Child Care Worker Charged With Abusing 3 Toddlers OCTOBER 26, 2021 / 5:19 PM / CBS PHILADELPHIA (Location: Westtown/West Chester PA)

CBS Philadelphia: Former Chester County Day Care, Preschool Director Arrested For Failing To Report Child Abuse, Prosecutors Say DECEMBER 7, 2021 / 7:00 PM / CBS PHILADELPHIA (same location as immediately above: Westtown/ West Chester PA)

Philadelphia Inquirer: Two staffers at Malvern preschool accused of abusing children by Vinny Vella Updated Nov 1, 2019 (Location: Malvern PA – refer to links above)

So, it makes a person wonder doesn’t it? I realize government bureaucracy is government bureaucracy, BUT one thing that is super concerning are parents really expected to pay for day care and be the watch dogs when there are paid DHS watch dogs? Systems aren’t perfect, but after you read the Inquirer article, ask yourselves like I did why DHS leave them open so long?

If anyone has concerns about child safety, call ChildLine at 1-800-932-0313. Concerns or complaints about licensed child care providers can be submitted online

~ philadelphia inquirer 8/15/22

I have to wonder aloud if Arbor Learning Academy were allowed to re-open would we want it in our community any longer? And perhaps a dumb question but if owners are multiple or some financial only, do they ALL have to have state clearances to operate a facility like this? Do they? Did they?

So like Alice down the rabbit hole, we all seem to be waiting for the next shoe to drop. Here is the Philadelphia Inquirer article:

Pennsylvania News Philadelphia Inquirer
Troubled Malvern day-care center closes, revealing problems that plague the system
The Chester County day care is closed as the state Department of Human Services investigates complaints by parents, who have also filed reports to the local police over alleged drug use by staff.

by Marina Affo and Ryan W. Briggs (maffo@inquirer.com , rbriggs@inquirer.com)
Updated 5 hours ago

Tuesday afternoon, Maurice Rouse walked around his daughter’s day-care classroom at Arbor Learning Academy and took down drawings and art projects that decorated the walls…..He and his wife, Erica, were among a small gathering of parents getting refund checks. The day before, the school had contacted parents a few hours after morning drop-off, telling them to pick up their kids early.

The Chester County day care center now remains closed indefinitely as the state Department of Human Services investigates complaints by parents, who also filed reports to local police alleging drug use by staff…An official with DHS would not address any specific allegations about the five-year-old facility…“We can’t talk about the current investigation,” said Shante’ Brown, director for the Bureau of Certification with DHS’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning….When needed, she said, the department will close an early learning facility immediately.

Meanwhile, the East Whiteland Township Police Department is investigating allegations of drug use, Detective Sgt. Patricia Doyle confirmed. She said the inquiry was ongoing, and “at this point there’s no substantiated claims.”

Abrupt and unexplained closures have plagued the center in the last year, more than half a dozen parents say, frustrating those who need child care in order to work.

One former staffer, Nicole Siuta, said she has been reporting the facility for alleged drug activity, child abuse, and endangerment since January 2021, when she resigned after 15 months.

She said she called ChildLine, the state reporting hotline for child safety, over a year ago to discuss similar allegations.

“I named specific names. I did everything and nothing came through,” she said. ….Over the last two years, according to DHS inspection records, Arbor was cited for 45 separate violations…

During a December 2020 inspection, DHS cited Arbor over one staffer who failed to obtain a National Sex Offender Registry clearance, and another who failed to obtain a required FBI clearance. Both staffers had worked at Arbor for about three months by the time the state inspector noticed the missing paperwork.

Last fall, state regulators switched Arbor to a provisional license. During a follow-up inspection about a month later, Arbor was hit with 18 more violations — once again, for having employees working with missing clearances….While Arbor’s temporary license appears to have expired in March of this year, according to DHS records, Arbor was allowed to continue operating.…An archived version of Arbor’s website from December 2021 has a welcome page that states “Arbor Learning Academy is a privately owned and operated child care center. The owner and Director, Lauren Lilley, has a degree in Early Childhood Education.”

Lilley did not respond to requests for comment.

Parents were told last week that the facility is actually owned by a woman named Jean Sun.

the ship inn has sunk: a microbrewery coming next

Chef Robert Irvine tried to save The Ship Inn. But The Ship Inn has finally sunk:

Le sigh…. I wish the successors much luck but there are SO many brewery places in the area. Actual fine dining is lacking.

Screen shot from Internet – from Restaurant Impossible episode.

According to the Loop Net listing it is indeed under contract.

The new company going into the grand old colonial gal is called VK Brewing. Veteran owned.

Soooo…time will tell. I hope they honor the past of The Ship Inn. Of course I like others wonder what will happen with all of the memorabilia and historical bits?

Chef Robert Irvine tried to bring a horse to water but hey you can’t make him drink. I won’t miss the now former owner yelling at his employees on the dining room floor at the Ship Inn. Here’s hoping they keep him off of the dining room floor at Duling-Kurtz the other place he and his wife own.

Welcome to the area VK Brewing.

beat the heat with farm boy bbq

I’ve written several times about Chef Paul Marshall‘s Farm Boy Barbecue. We think it’s the best around and have since we first discovered it.

They were formerly in the spot at 29 and 30 in Malvern where the Three Crazy Ladies used to be at the gas station there. That was a good location I think for Paul initially as he was seeing how people would take to his barbecue and it took off and well, that was never supposed to be a permanent home, and he’s been looking for a while and where he’s ended up is he has taken over the old Friendly’s next to Public Storage at 43 Lancaster Avenue in Malvern, which is one block west of 29.

They are in the process of a building makeover, but they are still serving up the barbecue, weather permitting outside usually Thursday and Fridays, sometimes an occasional Saturday. They weren’t out yesterday because the heat was so brutal, but they were there today. The best thing to do, as they are rehabbing their space, is to check their Facebook page to find out if they’re going to be there. They are usually there like 11 AM to 2 PM on those days.

I was delighted to see that Paul and Julie were still out when I was coming by after being at my oncology appointment. I had not ordered ahead, which you can do on Toast Tab, so they were out of chicken and pork ribs but I got brisket (which is like a religious experience), pulled pork, and short ribs for everyone for the weekend. And when I was there I ran into our mutual friend Bob!

The building rehab is coming along and I took a peek at the plans and I think it’s going be really cool! It’s going to be a good size sit down restaurant and they are looking for a fall opening in this new location. But in the interim check for pop-ups at that location a couple of days a week, weather dependent. They also do catering if any of you are interested.

Anyway, #shopsmall #eatlocal

I am a very happy customer of this business I have not been compensated in any way shape or form for writing another post. It’s just the perfect solution for really stinking hot summer weather. Let Paul Marshall do your cooking because no one BBQs like him!

Stay cool and do a rain dance!

Thanks for stopping by!

now open: sycamore & stone

So yesterday I did a thing. I went and checked out the new Sycamore & Stone on 401!

Jeff Devlin‘s new property is one I am familiar with, because I used to patronize the antique store that was once in this barn. I love this property and was sad when it went up for sale because I was afraid some developers would snatch up the property and the beautiful barns and house would disappear. However when Jeff announced he had purchased this property I was totally psyched because I knew it was going to be saved, preserved, and wonderful!

Along with the barn which has the store there will be other things available to do on this property including the house becoming a fabulous Airbnb.

This is the kind of preservation in real time and adaptive reuse that Chester County needs more of! I will note that I first came to know Jeff and his fiancée Janelle, through our mutual friend Meg Veno, proprietress of Life’s Patina at Willowbrook Farm and the soon to be opened Mechantile at the Jenny Lind House in Historic Yellow Springs Village.

I will note that both the Mercantile/Jenny Lind and Jeff’s Sycamore & Stone are both located in West Pikeland Township. West Pikeland is a treasure trove of amazing historic properties. I hope that Township realizes how fortunate and blessed they are that they have people willing to come in and do these amazing adaptive resources that are viable on historic properties.

Jeff’s store is a feast for the eyes and there is all sorts of fun stuff! It has a great Americana country vibe. It’s a lovely space and shoppers feel relaxed in it. It is almost like welcoming someone into a great big farmhouse and not just a hands down super amazing barn. I gravitate to places that are warm and welcoming. And their staff is equally warm and welcoming!

One of the things I liked best are the reproduction hog scraper candlesticks he has available for sale. I collect the actual vintage/antique variety, so these are a real favorite with me! If Jeff Devlin had a wish list for customers mine would be to carry hand dipped taper candles that fit into hog scrapers because that is the right shape for them!

I look forward to this property further coming back to life and it is such a joy to see the work occurring on it every time I drive by. Jeff is a quality craftsman, and such a nice guy so I am glad he found his spot here on this property. My only lament is I don’t have a super old farmhouse for him to help me restore!

Anyway Sycamore & Stone is yet another reason to shop local! Enjoy the photos!

Sycamore & Stone is located at 1251 Conestoga Road, Chester Springs, PA. Right now the hours are WEDNESDAY-FRIDAY 12PM-7PM, SATURDAY 10AM-7PM, SUNDAY 10AM-4PM.

I will note that I have not been compensated in any way, shape, or form to write this post. I’m merely visited the store and I am now a happy customer: I like to shop local and support the businesses of people I know.

#shoplocal #shopsmall #stonehouserevival #schoolhousewoodworking #home

melangell antiques, house & garden: a beautiful new west chester, pa destination!

There is a new kid in town for antiques in Chester County and it is in a word: fabulous!

This business is newly opened in an old estate hunting lodge. A rather famous one to local history buffs. Also known as “Wrangley Lodge”, in an amazing century-plus old Arts and Crafts style designed by Charles Barton Keen as part of the original Greystone Estate. This is special to me because one of my very close friends and honorary other mother’s is his granddaughter. And those who know me know I love a good adaptive reuse, and some of my favorite antique stores have been in restored old houses! (You know like another favorite business down in Chadds Ford, Brandywine View Antiques.)

The house itself is magical all by itself. But store owner Laura DePrisco has created a wonderful atmosphere at Melangell. It’s lovely, beautiful, and welcoming. Every room moves effortlessly into the next. As a store it is so well put together and merchandised. There is so much to look at, but it does not feel crowded or cluttered. That is an issue I have with antique stores at times when they feel crowded and disorganized then it’s hard to look at things. And then there are other antique stores where you’re afraid to look at anything because it feels like a museum. This store is just right, and it flows.

Laura is welcoming and has a real artistic eye and an eye for detail. Seriously, every room is delightful. And there’s a second floor too. And that is something I love antique stores — ones that are more than one floor or level in a building.

We bought a few things, including a lovely old landscape oil painting that needed to be framed. So we left Melangell and next stop was my favorite framers, Framers Market Gallery in Malvern!

I can’t wait to go back! I also think it would be a place to take my friends. It would make a fab girl’s shopping night out place! Melangell also has some great pieces outside that would be fun for a porch and garden.

Melangell can be found on Instagram. The shop is located at 1133 Pottstown Pike, West Chester, PA 19380. The shop is opened Monday through Saturday 11 AM to 6 PM. (610)- 624- 4577.

🌟 Please note that I have not been compensated in any way for this review. I am sharing my lovely experience today at this new business 🌟

#ShopLocal #ShopSmall

sharing a few words from wildflower farm…

I have been writing about Wildflower Farm in Willistown for a while now. Why? The unending the nonsense they are put through by the NOFIMBY (No Farm In My Back Yard) folk.

I am not and never have been the Wildflower Farm spokesperson, but they are my friends and what they are going through is just awful. And unnecessary.

Recently I have been taking a lot of flak from those I presume to be the friends of the NOFIMBY neighbors. One person in particular kind of just takes one’s breath away. You would think she was the Dowager Countess of Downton Abbey, but no she’s just from the Main-gy Line originally. She’s very big on assigning people their place. To her I am one of “those people”.

Not sure what “those people” entails. Fabulous, maybe? (LOL 🤣🤣) This person is significantly older, so I never encountered her (thankfully) before now. Her affect is rather amusing. Maybe I should genuflect and kiss the ring?

Anyway Ryan from Wildflower Farm decided to speak to Willistown neighbors via a local group. I have his permission to share with my readers. I am also sharing a couple of comments from the Democrat who ran for Supervisor in Willistown and failed. As a now former candidate for public office she made herself a public personage by doing this. Some say she will run again, hope not, but if she does I hope she gets a basic grasp on the issues and the basic way government works, other than her interpretation of what is somewhat supercilious / self serving.

Next in screenshots is what Ryan had to say to his extended neighbors. And in part this vindicates his friends and supporters as we are basically called nasty names etc for sticking up for them. Willistown has issues, and it’s too bad a lot of the Grande Dames are gone because they used to settle peoples’ arses down quite nicely.

So there you have it. Hopefully you find the information helpful.

#TheMoreYouKnow

#SaveSmallFarms

#SaveWildflowerFarmWillistown