Monday, November 29, 2010

Covenant Cottage Country Store

A friend has a wonderful, cosy gift shop in Gambrills and it reminded me of what I love so much about the Annapolis area.  Annapolis is not just power boats speeding on the Chesapeake or visitors in town when the weather is fine. It's not only the stately and beautiful Naval Academy and it just happens to be the state capital. It is also home to farms and businesses that have been serving every day people for decades.
   When I moved to Anne Arundel County there were farms growing beautiful vegetables along Forest Drive which everyone knows now only grows traffic jams. A short drive across the South River meant you could find pick your own tomato farms or strawberry farms. Now these places are filled with impressive mansions, so much so that it is easy to forget the wonderful farms that still fill the tables at the local farmer's market every Saturday.
  My friend Janet Garman invited me to come to see her shop, Covenant Cottage Country Store with the idea that Solomon's Puzzle could be offered there. When I turned into the parking lot I was enchanted by the sight of the store. They share their space with Country Feed and Garden Store and walking in you feel as if you're stepping back in time to a charming, bucolic place.

I had the privilege of teaching three of Janet's four children and it was easy to bond with this open-hearted, earnest family. So I was not surprised, but deeply touched to hear about Janet's business philosophy. Her goal is to follow her passion, to offer quality items she'd like to own, the help promote local artists and craftsmen, to serve her community.

Her community has rallied around her in the recent difficult economic times. Their loyalty and support have kept the store going. I know also that Janet's good well and amiability are irresistible to shoppers.

We walked around the store and I found myself amazed at the variety of quality and beautiful items. Janet's favorites are the soy candles.
Those are sale signs on the candle display. Hurry in!

Everything is priced fairly and to sell, not to make a killing. I noticed sale signs everywhere.  There is a children's section...
Here are lovely alternatives to the quilted, fabric bags everyone else has! Shop local!

a book section with local authors' books signed and waiting.

Janet chooses items that show creativity and an eye for beauty. She will only sell what she would like to own or give.

She has a passion for knitting, imaginatively displayed...


and a group of knitters meets at the shop.

Her passion for stamping means there are new and used stamps for every need.

If you're in the mood for some Christmas shopping or you need a little good cheer, if you're on your way up 97 or in Crofton, or Gambrills, or zipping down to Homegoods, check out Janet's store.

my patient husband with the resident kitty

You'll also find Solomon's Puzzle there. When Janet said she wanted to offer my novel there, I had a quick, vivid vision of the community that inspired the book, then produced the book and that is now offering the book to everyone to enjoy.  There were my books piled on the counter and my heart skipped a beat! It's a book about a community and isn't it just so cool that my community has joined together to bring it about?

And best of all, Janet suggested a book signing. Santa is scheduled to be there on December 11 from 2-5pm. So I'm going to set up my little table for signing books near by him and watch the kids sit on his knee and whisper their hopes.
I'd love it if you stopped by to see me and Santa and Janet's lovely shop.

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