I hear Essex residents joke about “what’s really missing” in our fair town by the lake.
A car wash.
A drive-though movie theater.
It’s usually a tongue-in-cheek conversation hinging upon our collective good fortune of living in Essex. Sure, some conveniences of larger urban centers are absent, but most of us are just fine with that. In fact, we sort of like it! Simple. Quiet. A bit rustic and slim on mainstream mainstays.
Most of us understand that these conveniences usually come with more traffic, pollution, etc. I’m generalizing, but the bottom line is that most Essex residents are willing to swap a few conveniences for the luxurious rhythm and character of a town which is perfect for living but an untenable business proposition for some of the examples I listed above.
And yet, when an alluring new venue opens its doors and reminds us how lovely it is to drop in for a last minute flower bouquet, for example, we feel darned lucky. I wandered in recently to see what all the excitement was about.
When Debbie Schrodt of The Pink Pig opened up her darling (I don’t use that word very often, but it’s well suited here) sister boutique specializing in flowers and garden decor, my bride and I celebrated. What luck! The Pink Petal is open all summer, from Monday through Friday between 12:00 and 5:00 (weekends until 7:00).
Here’s Shrodt talking about The Pink Petal.
It turns out that my bride and I are not alone in our excitement about The Pink Petal. While exploring the Pink Petal I met two upbeat Vermonters who frequent Essex via ferry and were thrilled with the new boutique. One more reason for them to venture across Lake Champlain on the Essex-Charlotte ferry.
I was smitten with a miniature flower bouquet (the white one in the top photo) and quickly decided that a gentleman needs no finer excuse to offer his bride flowers than stumbling upon a clutch of fetching blooms. Schrodt offered to wrap it up elegantly for me which gave me long enough to scheme up a more elaborate bouquet for some Essex neighbors who were long overdue for a thank you gift. In fact, Schrodt collaborated with Wayne Gryk of Essex Ice Cream Cafe fame to design the perfect summer bouquet complete with vase and itty-bitty thank you card.
This is the Essex, New York I love. The Essex where very little is missing. But wait… It gets even better.
I popped up to the Essex Ice Cream Cafe to thank Gryk and to sample his latest flavors. Several winners, but the coffee ice cream with malt balls was unresistable, especially when paired with Cappuccino Crunch. A winning combination! As I turned to leave the ice cream shop, I was greeted by Schrodt’s assistant with the wrapped bouquet for my bride. She had come to find me.
I’ve spent a little time in cities stacked high with conveniences and I can confidently say that what Essex might lack in fast food drive-throughs and box stores (if there even is any significant merit), it handily trumps in friendly charm. Essex is a community, not a shopping strip. And The Pink Petal is the latest addition to our community. Thank you, Ms. Schrodt!