I was in NSW Regional City of Orange yesterday for some business training and I finished at about 3pm. All my efforts to contain a spot of shopping were out the window. I thought to myself, I’ll have just a quick look at a couple of my favourites, a ‘power shop’, so to speak, like a ‘power nap’, just enough to take the edge of it. Yes, of course there is some food references in here too!
I parked outside Ochre Design on the corner of Byng and Sale Streets, I scampered up the steps and did about ten hot laps quickly around the shop, trying to soak up all the gorgeous homewares, art and accessories displayed elegantly around the room. I then slowed down and focused on a new Dinosaur Designs red resin bangle with a twist in it, divine; I tried on three times and moved onto scarves.Yes, I have forty-five-gazillion scarves and in this case the one I pick is for my sister-in-law, I hope she loves it as much as I do! Oh I want to keep it. Now at 35 years of age, I can tell you I have bought more baby presents than the average bear; I have so many friends pregnant that every time I see something cute I just grab it. Here they were, these sweet tiny little organic cotton baby mittens, in a gorgeous natural coloured fine cotton bag, done, tick, and another present down. Oh my, haven’t I done well, I have resisted all temptation to buy something for myself. One shop down, two to go.
Then a quick stroll down Sale Street to Hawkes General Store, I lived in Orange back in 2000 and this funky little store was called Femme and the Kitchen Hand, it have evolved from a few gifts, kitchen wares and coffee to an absolute plethora of women’s interests: clothes, stationary, handbags, homewares, kids clothes. Actually, it is a bit overwhelming and I think I needed more time to filter through some of the stock it has so much it could be too cluttered, but I love it anyway and the memories it holds for me. After my first ever pay cheque, I trotted down to this same shop and bought a silver ring with blue enamel embedded in it, I still have it. My other favourite memory of this shop was my Mum coming to visit me in Orange and for the first time ever, I got to buy her something with my own money while we were out shopping, a hot pink and tan handbag that was totally cool in 2000. Today I found a couple of small treasures: Smith’s Rosebud Salve, a funky fold up shopping bag with a geometric pattern on it and some sweet little thank you cards. Yes, the will power couldn’t quiet hold on make it. Bagged and off we go to stop three.
In my personal opinion, A Slice of Orange is a destination shop, it is a small regional providores showcasing the diversity of produce of Orange and the wider Central West of NSW. By this stage of my power shop I am pretty keen for coffee and a little treat for the drive back to Wongarbon, in the back of my mind I’m hoping they have “the slice”. A few quick laps around looking for something a bit unusual and I found a bottle of locally made elderflower cordial, I’ve seen this in cocktail recipes over the years and have never tasted it or even noticed it in a shop before, I’m sure it will come in handy. Over twelve months ago now, my sister-in-law and I bought a slice of heaven here. It had caramel, macadamia nut and Lintd white chocolate. We bought only one slice and thought we’d share it, we were 20km up the road when we tasted it and considered turning around to buy more. I chatted to the owner of the shop who told me her sister made it and it didn’t have a good margin due to the cost of making it, I think she could increase the price and people would still buy it, she decided she would talk to her sister. On the recommendation of the girls, I bought an absolutely delicious small whole orange and almond cake; it was light, moist with perfect bitter zest to sweetness and was so awesome with my locally roasted Bill’s Beans coffee. Thank you for making my drive home so much more pleasant.
I had a really wonderful time zooming around these three very different and equally lovely independently owned shops. No I didn’t go to Aldi!