Are you hankering for a taste of the country life? Nestled in Oregon wine country and just minutes from Portland, you’ll find Carlton; a small farming town which prides itself on having a strong community and vibrant downtown area. It felt like Shangri-La to me! The people of Carlton take lots of pride in this “Great Little Town” which has amazing locally owned businesses, lovely parks, and plenty of wine tasting.
Carlton, Oregon is located in the heart of the Willamette Valley Wine Country and boasts over 40 wineries doing business within city limits. But wine, as visitors will quickly discover, is just the beginning of what this quaint town has to offer. In Carlton, you’ll find top-rated restaurants with chefs who work side-by-side with farmers who tend this land. You’ll be able to shop in the fashion-forward boutique, which is filled with one-of-a-kind pieces. It is the people of Carlton that make this town so great. We met with a few memorable folks that I want to introduce to you.
Owner Tim Corrigan was living and working in Japan when he discovered his true passion – baking European-style bread and pastry. Tim and his wife Ahmee wanted to raise their family in the warm and welcoming community where Tim grew up, so they moved back to Carlton to start the Carlton Bakery.
This bakery is truly exceptional. The Corrigan’s place an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients, high-quality baked goods, unique flavors, and the use of traditional baking methods. As I like to say, you can feel the love when you walk in the door.
After indulging in some baked goods, we traveled down the road to Farmhouse Romance Boutique to chat with co-owner, Stephanie Sutch. Stephanie is in love with bringing a piece of romance to everyone and she exudes hospitality and grace. By the time I left her shop she knew my style and my name. You are a friend when you leave her shop.
Farmhouse Romance Boutique offers vintage jewelry, home decor, clothing, fragrances, candles, and much more. This weekend the boutique is offering special fresh cut flowers for Mother’s Day.
One additional fun thing about Stephanie’s shop is you can seamlessly slip next door to the K & M Winery Tasting Room and indulge in a glass of wine while you shop. Ken and Mauro, of K & M Wine, have a speak-easy style tasting room where they feature artwork and relaxed hospitality paired with their delicious “food-friendly” wines.
Stop in and have a taste with a bite of bread from Carlton Bakery, jams from Republic of Jam, and hand-selected artisanal cheeses – the perfect complement to K & M wines. I had the pleasure of meeting Ken and he is the perfect relaxed gentleman who has a true passion for what he does. When Ken and partner Mauro bought their vineyards in 2006, they renamed it to the Alchemy Vineyard. The word alchemy means transformative change, and this reflected the lifestyle change they undertook when they moved from the city to the country.
I feel that this is a common theme in Carlton. People transforming themselves and others by doing good work from the heart. Make sure to stop by the tasting room this weekend for Mother’s Day. Moms taste for free at K & M!
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