Aisles Of Local Charm, Gifts At Olympia’s Bayview Thriftway



By Emily McMason

olympia gift shopThe joy of spring cleaning? Making room in our closets and on our shelves for something new.  Something that catches our eye, replaces something broken, improves our quality of life, or connects us to our community.

Looking for one-stop shopping that meets all of those needs? Want to simply wander for a few minutes to find such treasures? Check out Bayview Thriftway downtown.

On a recent visit they had many such delights, some out front to catch your eye, others tucked neatly on shelves – one item nestled to the next. There are aprons with fabulous patterns made of wipe-off friendly materials, jars of sweet spreads, and products highlighting how we live locally.

An immediate stand out were the mugs with photographs of Richard Beyer’s iconic statue “The Kiss” that stands at Percival Landing. Beyer, whose studio was, for some time, in the Fremont neighborhood in Seattle, created many sculptures for communities in the Pacific Northwest. He later moved to Pateros, WA and built a furnace and foundry on the banks of the Columbia River. He died in April 2012, in New York.  A number of his 90 public sculptures can be seen throughout our area.

Nearby the mugs is a display of a cookbook compiled by and filled with recipes from the residents of The Boardwalk I and II, senior housing that is located just south of The Farmer’s Market on Capitol Way. You can peruse the recipes then gather ingredients.

olympia gift shopThe pottery section includes polka-dot mugs and bright white serving platters adorned with whimsical red lobsters. Just a few steps away were the shelves of Washington State sweets, each in a charming container. Syrups from Yelm Confiture, Jams from Aunt Jane’s in Spokane, preserves and jellies from Walter’s Fruit Ranch located in Greenbluff, WA.

Yelm Confiture produces a wide range of products, including chutneys, BBQ sauces, vinegars, syrups and quince paste. They source their ingredients from small farmers and wine makers, supporting local agriculture and ensuring local flavor.

Walter’s Fruit Ranch is located in Mead, WA, just north of Spokane. It is a fabulous destination drive.  Walter’s has a café that serves both breakfast and lunch, including homemade pies filled with the fruits that go into their jams, jellies and preserves. During the picking season, families are welcome to gather strawberries, cherries, peaches, nectarines, apricots, apples and pumpkins. Highlighting each fruit they have a Cherry Festival in July, followed by a Peach Festival in August and September and a Harvest Festival in the fall. Additionally there is a store and gift shop so you can be sure to bring home something special.

So why not search for a spring pick-me-up? A great gift is sure to be found- for a local friend or distant relative. Or maybe just for you- a reward for all that spring cleaning. A taste of life in Olympia.

To learn more about Richard Beyer’s work and words, click here.

To learn more about Yelm Confiture, go to their website.

olympia gift shopWalter’s Fruit Stand’s website is

To learn more about Bayview Thriftway, including their cooking school, click here.

Store hours are:  6 a.m. to midnight daily.

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