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Duncans Mills: Small Town Shopping Tour
By Vesta Copestakes

« Cazadero

Back on to 116 West and the next village you come to is the most warm, friendly collection of shops and people you'll find in any one place. Maybe it's the beauty of this valley. Whatever it is, from Gold Coast Coffee on the south side of the road who bake their own pizza, cookies and muffins, to all the shops on the north side of the road, Duncans Mills is a place to spend time and relax. Park your car, get out, breathe deeply and wander.

Since figuring out where to start tends to be an issue, I'll take a linear route on the shop side of town. Weavers & Dreamers is Gloria's new shop in the DeCarly Building next to the General Store. Gloria loves what she is doing for a living. She's always in a good mood, is surrounded by items from troll figurines to stuffed animals and toys. It's fun. It's full of things that take time to wander through. And when you get to the room with all the kid stuff, think grandchildren if you have some. From art supplies & games to baby clothes and stuffed toys. Wow!

Now cross the parking lot to Pig Alley. The most unique items in the store are leather purses of beauty and craftsmanship. I've never seen them anywhere else. Pig Alley also specializes in jewelry, unusually impressive watches and pretty things to wear and look at. This is a very classy and well-run store of quality goods.

If you stay in this collection of buildings, head down the left to Lisa's Antiquarian. Beyond her lovely selection of antiques, what makes Lisa stand out is her flowers. She is a florist who specializes in unusual arrangements for dinner table centerpieces, artistic bouquets and Lisa is the person to hire for weddings and special occasions. Being in her presence always makes me feel calm. Maybe it's her voice, like liquid silk. There are many shops to cover in this village, so I'll keep it brief and leave the discoveries to you. I've enjoyed many a fine meal at Cape Fear, the only restaurant in town these days, and recommend it highly. This is where my Alan and I decided to commit to loving each other, so I hold it dear to my heart.

Right here is where you take a left into the center of the collection of shops. The first one on your right is Worldly Goods with colorful cards, wall-hangings, weavings and clothing from foreign ports - all beautifully made.

At the center of this group of buildings is The Horse & Butterfly Tea Room with a collection of glass, teas, teapots and items of functional beauty. Come in here when the sun is shining through the windows and the color will delight you.

All by itself in the middle is Studio Nouveau owned by Andrea Record. Come taste her chocolates and nuts while you touch silky scarves, get dazzled by her liquid silver jewelry and play with tools and complex watches. Marion is often there and her sweet nature is just a delight to be around. This is one of those stores where both men and women have fun shopping.

The next building over is where Carole has moved her store, Sparky's, yes, named after her dog. This larger space allows Carole to feature a broad spectrum of goods that represent many styles over time, from contemporary to antiques and jewelry to furniture. The store is tastefully laid out so you can wander and easily view her products. This is a very classy store. Her daughter, Prairie, owns the Wine Tasting of Sonoma County shop down the path toward the road. People always seem to be having a good time here and maybe that's because of the wine, but I'm betting its because Prairie is such a delightful person. On Fridays, she has social gatherings, so this is a good time to come and just sit a spell. You feel like you're visiting a friend in her living room in this little cottage.

When you are heading back out toward the center of this building compound, make a brief right and turn into Thistledown Antiques. It's a beautiful store of colorful history and leads directly into the Christopher Queen Gallery at the end of this building. Here in furniture and paintings is history in beauty you don't often see. These two shops are owned by sisters who value art from the past.

Jenner »

Antiquarian Florabunda

Pig Alley

Studio Nouveau

Wine Tasting of Sonoma

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