House of Furniture
I squealed with excitement when I first walked into House of Furniture (newly relocated to West Jefferson). The selection of interesting pieces, some that just need a little TLC to be fabulous, fill the rooms. The well-priced inventory changes constantly and many items are “one offs” for the store ... once it’s gone, it’s gone. While the store has limited hours of operation, the Facebook page is regularly updated and the owner, Kelly Heller, is super friendly and accommodating. House of Furniture is a fabulous place to shop downtown and will now be one of my regular home decor haunts in our fair city. 537 W. Jefferson Blvd., 46802.
Scout bags @ A Perfect Pear
I became a fan of accessory line Scout by Bungalow during a recent trip to Nashville when I purchased a cosmetic bag in a smashing pink Ikat design. The vast collection of colorfully printed and easily wipe-able bags, totes, coolers and bins keep all the stuff of life organized, stylish and fun. I was thrilled when I walked into The Perfect Pear on Coldwater Road and saw my new favorite Ikat pattern among the selection of home decor and jewelry. The cosmetic bag is small but mighty, while the collapsible storage bin is durable and roomy. I’m using my bins to organize the awkward space on top of my refrigerator. In addition to the Scout bags, The Perfect Pear stocks high-end candles by Votivo (I adore the Moroccan Fig), Ugly Dolls (perfect prezzies for kids) and Caldrea eco-friendly home cleaning supplies as well as linens and design elements. 8414 Coldwater Road, 46825 www.theperfectpearfw.com.
Best Boy Sauces @ Joseph Decuis
OH BOY! On an exploratory trip to Roanoke, I found locally owned Best Boy & Co. Fudge Sauces at Joseph Decuis Emporium. Believe me when I say these sauces are the best possible complement to ice cream — hands down. I took home three different jars for a very scientific tasting ... I love when my work involves dessert. The Balsamic Fudge sauce was rich and bold, while the Chili Fudge variety was incredible with just the right amount of kick. But I saved the best for last. I’m a sucker for anything caramel, and the Caramel Sauce by Best Boy & Co. is far and away the best I’ve tasted ... EVER. Best Boy uses bourbon barrel stout (from Indiana brewery Great Crescent) to flavor their caramel and my, my, my it is delicious! The company makes BBQ sauces as well as two spice blends and gives 100 percent of profits to charities benefiting women & children. Sweeeeet! 191 N. Main St., Roanoke, 46783 and online www.bestboyandco.com.
My home is a mix of old and new, funky and traditional, which is why I love shopping antique stores for unique bits and bobs. I finally made it into Peaches Home Furnishings & Antiques and left with some new additions to Chez Fox. The shop is quiet and charming, chock-full of furniture, home decor and other goodies. While it is a treasure trove, you’ll need to dig a little. Peaches had just received some old-fashioned metal keys that, with a little elbow grease, would be fab as pendants on the right chain. Just before leaving the store, but after paying for my initial finds, I stumbled across dozens of floppy, rubber stencils of letters, characters and names and snapped up a few as gifts. The beauty of shopping vintage and antique stores is that there’s a surprise around every corner ... you just have to be looking! 701 Columbia Ave., 45805.
Beignets @ Yum Mee's Bakery
Oh, my stars ... this was a taste of heaven right here in Fort Wayne! The beignets (a more sophisticated donut hole covered in confectioner’s sugar) are NOT on the menu and are only served on Saturdays but just enough people have known of them to create some buzz. Chef Terry Mee says at first they had prepared 80 orders for each Saturday’s business which would get them through the day. These days Mee flies through those 80 orders by 10 a.m., forcing him to increase their supply. The word is out ... get there early! 1320 E. State Blvd., 46805 or www.yum-mees.com.