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Sunday, May 10, 2009
Happy Mother’s Day
Happy Mother’s Day to all you ladies out there who raise our children (and husbands) and make our lives sweet, wonderful and tolerable. I especially want to wish my wife, Heather, the happiest of Mother’s Days!!! Between my long hours, late and early meetings, endless phone calls and texts, blogging, travel, etc., etc. I want you to know I appreciate all you do for me and our girls! I love you.
This month’s feature is focused on two ladies – mom’s of course – who have started two fantastic ventures just a few feet from each other on the southwest corner of Camelback and 44th Street – Trouve’ and Chestnut Lane. These two businesses follow the old adage that if you do what you love, do it with passion, sophistication, and a commitment to quality, you have a winner. I love both of these establishments for that reason and the fact that every time I go to either one I walk away inspired.
Chestnut Lane, (www.chestnutlanecafe.com) a quaint café serving fresh baked goodies, coffee and teas, a short list of breakfast items, great salads, soups, and sandwiches, was recently started by my client and friend, Polly Levine. I was fortunate enough to design an absolutely gorgeous home for her and her family a few years ago with Nance Construction. In doing so, I got to work with and appreciate her and what exquisite taste and dedication to quality she has. These values have transcended right into her new café. Inspired through her visits to Joan’s on Third in LA and Dean & Deluca in SoHo, the café is simple and small but a feeling of quality, care, and simplicity emanates throughout. I love it. Between my stops there and all the lunches from Chestnut Lane I have at Vallone Interiors I gladly get my Chestnut Lane fix every week.
Polly Levine’s concept grew from her passion for food and cooking. She learned to cook when she was 12 years old and had her own subscriptions to Bon Appetite and Gourmet by the time she was 14. She is a self–taught cook and through travel and reading and just cooking she knew this was something she wanted to pursue. Her café is committed to bringing back the real and forgotten things in life – especially good food through the use of premium, locally grown, in-season ingredients and her belief that processed foods have no place in our lives and especially our bodies. Foods are prepared fresh each day and when they run out that is it. Nothing sits around for very long – that I can assure you.
The freshness is definitely appreciated and the day I was there I enjoyed the Tuscan Vegetable with Barley soup and the Lobster Cobb Salad. Both were fantastic, not over salted (in the case of the soup) and tasted like food should taste – every ingredient had something to offer because of the freshness. It was a joy to eat. The lobster cobb salad is definitely my favorite. Lobster and bacon – hmmm sounds like a good combo to me! Of course add some bib lettuce, avocado, egg, plum tomatoes and a little roasted corn and wow! Of course I had to top it off with a pecan bar which was fantastic – not so sweet that it was pure sugar, but perfectly balanced with great flavor. I encourage you to check it out and enjoy. Chestnut Lane is open Tuesday through Friday 7am-2pm and Saturday from 8am – 1pm. Take out and case goods are available – 602-535-5439.
Trouve’, (www.trouvehome.com), meaning “found” in French, is the dream shared by mother and daughter team of Joan Colangelo and Krissie Brubaker. Again, I was fortunate to work on three homes for the Colangelos over the last ten years and what a joy that has been. These ladies, as with Jerry, all have exquisite taste, class, and style and that can all be found in their beautiful shop and courtyard featuring antiques, architectural collectibles, vintage treasures, and gifts. A trip to their shop and courtyard is like a quick jaunt to Europe without the hassle of a 12 hour jet ride.
Trouve’ was the dream of this talented mother / daughter team which started when Krissie was in 5th grade whereby the two talked about opening an antique store someday. Joan started a small corporate gift division in 1989 and when Krissie’s youngest was off to kindergarten it was time to make the dream of Trouve’ happen. The store opened in 2002 and between this dream and the extensive traveling throughout Europe the two have collected everything from 17th Century tapestries, to 18th Century furnishings, 19th and 20th Century lighting to architectural items for the garden. Fireplaces, armoires, sofas, tables, fireplace fronts, the list goes on and it is all truly spectacular.
Most of their items come from their searches in France, Belgium, England, Spain and Italy but they have been venturing into the newly opened opportunities and sources in Eastern Europe. Buying trips to Europe occur two to three times a year and they are always searching stateside for hidden treasures. Although, many think of using antiques or collectibles for a traditional setting or home, Krissie points out that a number of their pieces have ended up as accent pieces in a number of contemporary homes. “These serve to soften and personalize these types of spaces,” Krissie points out and I agree.
Although the store has this sophisticated feel as a customer you will find items and prices across a wide range for everything from their unique antiques and furnishings, to gifts in the $20 range such as books and small gift items. In essence, everyone can enjoy something from their collection. Nothing does this better than their books available for sale. Sure they can be found on Amazon but the experience of buying a book at Trouve’ is what is so unique. Again, it is like traveling to Europe for a few moments, enjoy the items around you and while you are at it I can always find a new book which allows me to take the experience with me. “I want our local neighbors to realize they can find furnishings for their Arcadia homes here in our store,” Krissie point out. I have many clients who have done just that and absolutely love the personality, charm, and usually a story Trouve’ pieces bring to their homes.
Krissie and Joan’s commitment to quality, beauty, and family all come across in this store. Despite the sophistication of the items you will find in their store and garden you are always greeted with the warmth and humble friendliness Joan, Krissie and the whole Colangelo family always personify. I encourage a trip there for Father’s day as they have some great items for Dad too. Store hours are from Tuesday – Friday 10am to 5pm and Saturdays 10am to 2pm. They also have a beautiful store in Carmel, California and it is also worth a stop when in that part of the world.
So, enjoy a trip to 44th and Camelback. Stop in at Trouve’ and then enjoy a delicious soup and sandwich or salad at Chestnut Lane and walk away feeling like you just jumped the pond and spent an afternoon in Paris!