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Valley Ford: Small Town Shopping Tour
By Vesta Copestakes

« Bodega

When I'm on my delivery route, I head back out to Hwy 1 and drive toward Valley Ford. This tiny town has always welcomed me with warmth and enthusiasm. I love to catch breakfast or lunch at Route 1 Diner because the food is fantastic and Oseas, Maria and their children Alejandra and Oseas Jr. make us feel like we're sitting down to eat with close friends. This is a great stop on a motorcycle ride on weekends. The servings are generous, so come hungry.

And I always visit Janet at Gabby Girl's because I just enjoy her, get to pat Gabby (Janet's dog) on the head and buy my favorite soaps. Janet is multi-talented and creates custom jackets as well as sells a whole collection of interesting things people flock to. Even if you've never met Janet before, she'll make you feel like you've been her friend your whole life.

As you pass Valley Ford General Store, think about stopping in for their home-made sausage and smoked salmon. Remember this is a real farm and coast town and the food is fresh, locally produced and wholesome.

If you've ever eaten at the Valley Ford Hotel, you know that this roadhouse favors local food from oysters to goat cheese. It's a wonderful place to hang in the bar on a Friday and share the company of friends. In fact, if that's your game, another alternative is Dinucci's across the street from Route 1 Diner for your evening meal right out of old-world traditional family dining. Check out the history in this place. You will feel the comfort of tie's past.

Across the street from the Valley Ford Hotel, meet Sharon Eager at West County Design. This gallery features fine wood furniture, etc. created by Craig Collins and polished concrete counters and sinks by Patrick Miller. The paintings on the walls change throughout the year, and Sharon makes sure the gallery is peppered with art from unique shaved glass vases to mirrors and tiny boxes. I'm especially fond of the woven place mats and purses, one of which I own. I am in awe of the fine craftsmanship and creativity in this gallery. If you are looking for truly unique furniture and sinks, you have to come here.

I know this seems like a bit of a jump on the tour - but quite honestly, if you take the back route south through Valley Ford, you'll end up in Petaluma. You can take Petaluma Blvd. south all the way to the city line. On the left, just as you're looking at the freeway in front of you, you'll see Heritage Salvage. It's a wonderland of recycled materials from buildings to wine caskets to who knows what else. Bug Deakin is the neatest and tidiest salvage man I've ever met. Everything is organized and stacked and when you enter his Boutique, you'll find beautiful furniture, wine racks, coat racks, table, bird houses and who knows what else that Bug and his crew have fabricated out of what they save from destruction. These are works of art and the best thing about them is that no tree has fallen, no iron smelted to make these unique items for our lives. It's an art gallery of recycled materials. Visit Bug and find out why the man is s passionate about what he does.

Freestone »

Heritage Salvage

West County Design

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