I woke up and hit the floor running, made a double coffee and headed out. I knew right where I was going. It was a forty minute drive- but I didn't care. There was a little shop I was dying to visit. I had tried before but showed up on a day they were closed. I had peeked in the window and couldn't wait to take pictures to share with you. I took the right exit off the highway and then turned on the wrong road. A hour and a half later I walked through the doors. It was everything I thought it would be. But better! The shop was very small but arranged so perfectly, you could stand in one place for a half hour-gazing. As I reached for my camera It occurred to me - the polite thing to do to would to be ask if I could take some pictures so I could rant and rave on my blog about them. Before the friendly girl behind the counter could utter a word, I heard a emphatic "NO!" from around the corner. There was a awkward pause and she said "I guess not." The owner (I assume) poke her head in the room for a second and then disappeared again. No pleasant Hello, No friendly welcome, No apologetic "I am paranoid people will copy my ideas, but thank you anyway."
I took a moment to recover. Doesn't the old saying go "even bad publicity is good publicity?" Mine would have been reeeealy good! I purchased a few items and left the store. I will not mention the name of the store, but if you are ever in the Milwaukee OR. area...enter at your own risk!
Thankfully that wasn't the end of my day. I had passed another store I had wanted to visit for almost as long! As you know, my husband is a world class bread baker. So Bob's Red Mill held more the a little interest for me. (specialty flour and foods) Besides, by now I was hungry. I pulled into a overflowing parking lot, drove around...and then again... and finally parked on the street.
As I entered my senses were overwhelmed. Should I shop first- or eat at the delightful cafe? Since I had only coffee, I opted for breakfast. (served all day) My guy can wake up and eat spaghetti or a corn dog, but there is a certain order to life. Breakfast, Lunch then dinner. I was still on breakfast. I placed my order then wandered down the aisles. Everywhere I looked there were specialty flours and mixes- I was sure even the most elementary cook could conquer. Hot cereal, gluten free, a bit of this and a bit of that. A cookbook section, pre-made bread and cookies, specialty cookware...I could go on and on. And it all felt so....healthy. So special(ty)
I sat down to eat my perfectly cooked eggs with "home made bread." This is the part where the contrast between stores was glaring. I heard my server say to someone at the table next to me- "Bob, these guests would like to speak to you." True story! He may not be in the pages of US Weekly, but here, Bob was just as much a celebrity as...Leo DiCaprio! He stood from his meal, walked around the table and shook hands with his customers. They shared a laugh or two and when they were done- he cleared his table. If you're not from our parts, Bob's Red Mill products are usually found in the health food or natural isles of your grocery store.
As I shoveled the last few bites of food into my mouth, I decided I WOULD take a picture with this friendly Atelier Bob. I stood up, reached for my bag- and turned as he walked away. I didn't want to chase him down but I definitely knew I would not only mention him, I would bring my family and friends back. Besides, you can tour the flour mill/factory and that is something I would love to do! Here's to Bob! He doesn't know it but he restored my faith in the kindness of man! AND that is why I was the only customer in the other shop, and had to park in the street at Bob's!
Visit and order online here at Bob's Red Mill.