FROM HUMBLE BEGINNINGS TO REMODELS OUR GOAL REMAINS THE SAME
We frequently hear comments at the store about the cozy ambiance of our log cabin. Jennie and I originally had some ideas of how we wanted our store to feel, but it really has been a work in progress.
It all started in September of 2002 as we were driving home from an art show in Boise. As we were getting close to Four Corners, we saw a “For Sale” sign on the highway that hadn’t been there the previous week, so we turned into the driveway and found the log cabin that is now our store. Fortunately, when Jennie and I saw the building we did not see the hundreds of man hours it was going to take to get it into the shape it’s in today.
In 1931, when the cabin was built, they didn’t use sheet rock but used something called “beaver board.” All the walls and the ceiling were covered with that wallboard, and until we began to tear it off, we had no idea what was underneath. Fortunately it was all log, with an infinite number of places to hang things on the wall! We took 5 truckloads to the dump as well as 13 pickup loads to thrift stores to get rid of all of the junk that had been left by the former tenants.
The outside of the cabin had 4 coats of paint that was cracked and peeling. Who wants paint on a real log building? We heard about this new, eco friendly, citrus based paint stripper that was supposed to work wonders. The old saying that “if you hear something that sounds too good to be true, it probably is” was quite applicable in this case. We were told that you simply painted the stripper on, power washed it off 4 hours later, and the paint would melt off like butter. After 3 weeks of 3 people working 6 days a week, 8 to 10 hour days, just taking the paint off, we looked at each other and could only say that if we had known it would take this much work, we never would have started. This was a case where ignorance was bliss because, once in to it we had to finish the job. Then we took all the chinking out from between the logs and re-chinked the cabin inside and out. It turned out that our potter, Jennie Blair, was just as good at chinking as she was at pottery!
We worked for two and a half months on the remodel, creating tongue and groove ceilings, tearing out all the walls, refinishing the floors, reroofing and putting in floor radiant heat. Our goal was to open in May, and by the grace of God, we opened on May 31st. At that point, we weren’t planning to open a restaurant, so we used old shutters to close up part of the store because we had more space than pottery.
From this humble beginning, through the past twelve years, we’ve made many, many changes to the interior and exterior of the home of Mountain Arts Pottery and The Coffee Pot Bakery. But our goal remains the same as when we bought the cabin -- to have a warm, inviting place where our customers can come and feel at home.
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