Adventures In Shopping

I always get excited when I find a great new place to shop or just wander around to gaze at pretty things.  Today, I found the perfect place to get all worked up about!!!!  From the minute I pulled in the parking lot and walked up to the inviting entrance, I was hooked!  Where is this fabulous place, you ask?  The Shops On West Ridge – located at 3200 West Ridge Road in Rochester, NY.

A couple of weeks ago, a friend on Facebook said she was going and the comments that resulted piqued my interest.  So, I searched for their Facebook page and also checked out their website and was even more intrigued!  The best way I can describe the Shops On West Ridge is that it is a vendor based / co-op type shop.  I read that they had over 200 shops under one roof, but it didn’t really register with me how large that would be – I envisioned a good-sized room sectioned off with various mini-shops showcasing a sampling of what they have to offer (like many of the shops similar to this that I’ve visited in the past).  Boy, was I surprised when I got there!  This place is enormous – two floors with row after row after row and room after room of fully stocked vendor booth areas.   I spent about two and a half hours there just wandering up and down the aisles and I’m sure I missed sections and I know I didn’t look closely at every booth – I just perused in total awe scanning as much as I could take in without allowing myself to spend too much time in any one area while kicking myself for not getting an earlier start so that I could devote more time there.  I would recommend (and will myself, next time) that you plan on a full day or at least several hours to really experience the entire store.

So, what is there to shop for at The Shops On West Ridge……the better question is what ISN’T there to shop for at The Shops On West Ridge!  It would be easier to come up with something you can’t find there than trying to list everything you can find there!  But, I’ll try:   handmade craft items, very unique gift and home decor items, vintage “stuff”, furniture, antiques, collectibles, jewelry, toys, holiday decor items, whimsical items, art……you name it, you’ll find it there – there’s even a quaint little cafe where you can have a nice lunch!  You’re sure to find something for everyone on your gift list – even those hard to shop for people with unusual interests – you know the ones, we all have at least one of them on our lists – at just about any price point you may need!  I found most items to be very reasonably priced.

My adventure, today, was totally enjoyable.  Like I said – as soon as I walked up to the entrance, it was inviting and festive – I suddenly felt like Christmas shopping!  Once I walked in, my eyes widened and I was overwhelmed by the sight of all the aisles and the sign that indicated there were another 100 or so vendors downstairs.  I immediately noticed the holiday music that put a spring in my step as I proceeded to the right in hopes that I could find a good place to start.  I decided to walk along the front edge of the store as far as I could go and weave my way around the aisles back to the left side and then go downstairs and do basically the same thing.  Not far into my journey, I noticed that the vendors were all wearing Dickens style costumes to add to the festive feel of the store and they didn’t just hang out in their areas – they were wandering around greeting customers and helping wherever they could.  For instance, twice someone offered to take what I had gathered to purchase up to the customer holding area so that I could shop more comfortably and brought me back an empty basket – that really impressed me.  I saw a ton of things I’d love to have in my home, but I (mostly) resisted (I did get a couple of things for myself and my home) and tried to focus on my Christmas list.  I saw so many things, but only purchased a couple of gifts – I want to think some more on some of the other possible gifts I saw and go back and look again – when I have more time!  I spotted what I think might be a perfect small curio cabinet that would fit under my stained glass mirror in the hallway – it is short, narrow, and not too long with glass doors and shelves and an interior light – I need to measure that spot and check it out again next time I go (I wish I had measured the cabinet and taken a photo while I was there).  I was also very surprised to see a full set of china that matches a covered casserole dish and platter that I have that belonged to my Grandmother!  I was glancing around one area and spotted the exact same casserole dish way in the back on a table.  I went back to check it out and saw other pieces, including a gravy boat and a couple of serving bowls, as well as a whole service set of dishes.  I got so excited – I hoped there was individual prices on the gravy boat and serving bowls, but there wasn’t – it was for sale as a whole set of 121 (I think that was the piece count) pieces for only $79!  I stood there for quite some time debating on purchasing the set, but reluctantly passed on it – I really don’t need more dishes!  But, I’m still thinking about that set and really kick myself for not taking a photo of it!  Another item I found and regret I didn’t snatch up was a great framed print of Elvis that would go perfectly in my den on the wall opposite the framed print of The Beatles of about the same size that I already have – may have to rethink passing that one up – unless I find they have one of James Dean, instead!  I also had lunch at the cafe.  I ordered the special – grilled BBQ meatloaf sandwich – and it was absolutely delicious!  They even gave me the recipe when I told them how much I enjoyed it!

So — here are some photos I took along the way:

The entrance door – very festive and inviting – sets the perfect mood for shopping and gives a taste of what to expect inside!

Some of the friendly vendors in their Dickens-esque attire!  I’ll list some of their websites at the end of this post – so, read on to get more info!

Two more vendors downstairs in front of a display of beautiful holiday dishes

The next few photos are just random shots of aisles showing how vast the space is and how much merchandise they have:

I found myself wishing I had someplace good to hang this wine bottle chandelier!  🙂

And, this was my lunch – Grilled BBQ Meatloaf Sandwich with Chips!
It actually was supposed to come with melted cheddar cheese on top, but those who know me know I’m allergic to cheese, so had to order it without that part…….
but, I think it was perfectly delicious as it was!!!

This is a scanned copy of the advertisement card they pass out that provides info about the hours and upcoming events – click on the photos to enlarge them, if you can’t read the printing

They have live holiday music on the weekends and there will be three live Christmas Concerts on Dec 19th by Irish Tenor Cahal Dunne!

So, if you’ve never been or don’t know about The Shops On West Ridge, I really encourage you to go – especially now for the holiday shopping season!  It is a great shopping experience – a true adventure!  You will find so many wonderful things!  I can’t wait to go back and work through my Christmas list, again – this time with more determination and less hemming and hawing over things!  🙂

As promised, here are just a few websites that were passed on to me while I was chatting with some of the vendors that graciously allowed me to take their photos for this post:

The Shops On West Ridge   – you can also find them on Facebook

My Favorite Toy Box  –  find James Eddy on Facebook, as well!

Rebecca’s Attic — find Laura and Debbie on Facebook and check out the tons of photos they have there!

Northwoods Alpacas – find this vendor on Facebook, too

Rose Petals and Butterflys – check out Sherry Wasala on Facebook and at booth # 68

(sorry if I missed a card – this is what I had in my bag)

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