{Locality} Dishes and Deliciousness: Clay and Gourmet of Bayfield, Ontario

clay and Gourmet cover photo

Penny Reihl has been in retail for the majority of her career, so perhaps it was only a matter of time before she found herself the owner of a fantastic shop on Main Street in Bayfield.

Penny purchased Clay and Gourmet in July 2011 from the previous owner and longtime Bayfield business owner, Karen McNairn Dallas. She spent last season getting acquainted with her products and her clientele, and realized that, in order to best serve her customers, she would need more space.

Front Porch

This past March, Penny rented a mysteriously open spot on the eastern corner of a quaint courtyard that opens onto the South side of Main Street, and moved from the back of the courtyard to the front (Hive moved into the spot left by Clay and Gourmet).

Now, Penny has been working on filling the extra space she has to display all the pottery, sauces, jams, and other tasty goodness that she sells.

Pottery

Last week, weeks after taking possession of the new space, she had to order even more display furniture! The move allowed her to bring on two more potters, so that she now shows the work of eight potters. She has also added a few more food lines, including Huron County’s own Robinson’s Maple Syrup, which is sold in delightful glass jars:

Robinson's Maple Syrup

The 2012 season promises to be one of Clay and Gourmet’s best, what with the prime location and extended product list, not to mention Penny’s plan to feature food demonstrations on the gorgeous (soon-to-be-renovated) front porch!

I asked Penny if she had a favourite piece of pottery in her store, but she couldn’t decide:

“I love it all.  I took a pottery class this past winter and it gave me a new respect for the work that goes into each individual piece.  All pottery is a work of art.”

She does have a favourite food line product, however: Gramma’s Summer Kitchen  Dutch Apple Pie jam. That does sound fantastic, doesn’t it?Gramma's Summer Kitchen Jam

When I breezed through her store to take some snaps recently, I noticed this delicious Cardamom Mate Chai, which I happen to have in my cupboard (actually, I drank a cup last night!). Penny told me she drinks only Yerba Mate tea… and I took a moment to reminisce about my visit to Argentina, where I was introduced to the cultural custom of sharing cup after cup of sweet hot bitter yerba mate.

Cardamom Mate Chai

I was curious about what a shop owner in one of North America’s favourite getaway towns does to get away. Penny does what many of us would like to do but perhaps don’t get around to often enough:

“I enjoy going for long drives and discovering unique shops in out-of-the-way places: there are many talented artists in quaint towns and villages in Ontario.”

Don’t miss Clay and Gourmet on your next trip to Bayfield: you’re sure to be captivated by something to eat or to eat from!

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2 thoughts on “{Locality} Dishes and Deliciousness: Clay and Gourmet of Bayfield, Ontario

  1. Yerba mate! I worked with some of the coolest Argentinians and they tried on several occasions to make me try their various treats from home. I gotta this was not one of my favourites haha!

    Love this post, beautiful photos Sarah!

    • It definitely is different… I enjoyed the ceremony of sitting in a circle with a whole bunch of richly-spoken Spanish as the cup and bombilla were passed around… but the tea itself definitely is an acquired taste!

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