From Claremont Courier (July 27, 2017)

Hen’s Kitchen Shoppe, which opened on Yale Avenue in spring, is not a traditional kitchen store. Inside, customers can find an eclectic mix of products in a relaxed, homey, boutique-style environment.

The store, opened by long-time friends Mary O’Brien and Laurie Barnett, who also co-own Speckled Hens gift shop, is the only kitchen shop in the Village.

“We love to cook and we love kitchen stuff, and it was something that the Village needed. We don’t have a kitchen shop nearby,” Ms. O’Brien said.

Ms. O’Brien and Ms. Barnett chose to name their shop Hen’s Kitchen to tie it to their original store.

“We were trying to tie Speckled Hens to the kitchen shop so people would know we were all the same thing, so we just played around with names with hens in it,” Ms. O’Brien said.

The store has a different character than most traditional kitchen shops.

“It’s a little more gift-y and boutique-y and it’s us. It’s our taste and the things we love,” Ms. O’Brien said.

The store carries a variety of kitchen items at a range of prices, including cast iron Staub cookware, bone china dishes from England, goods from Etsy stores, some of them homemade, cookbooks, kitchen decoration, basic utensils, tea, spice mixes and a variety of other products. The back section of the store is dedicated to vintage consignment goods.

Ms. O’Brien and Ms. Barnett focused on practicality when stocking the store.

“Everything’s user friendly. Everything is things we all could use, it’s not something you look at and say, ‘What do you use that for?’” Ms. Barnett said.

Most of the items in the store can be used in day-to-day cooking.

“A chef isn’t going to go in there and find everything he needs,” Ms. O’Brien said. “One time a year you make some crazy dish and you need that thing, we don’t really carry that.”

The community’s response to the shop has been positive, and the store has been very busy since it opened.

“We’ve had a really great response to it. People just were so excited that there’s finally something [kitchen-related] here. We’ve never had to reorder so quickly,” Ms. Barnett said.

Customers at the store attest to the excitement that Ms. Barnett described.

“I loved it. It made me want to redo my whole kitchen,” Claremont resident Sharon Hiatt said. “I love that we have shops like this in the Village.”

Ms. O’Brien believes that the store’s look and feel has attracted customers.

“They feel the shop is so light and bright and fresh and everybody’s really welcomed us,” Ms. O’Brien said.

Hen’s Kitchen Shoppe has also welcomed Village residents to the store by hosting weekly sampling events on Saturdays for tea, spice mix and cheese samplings that are open to the Claremont community.

Ms. O’Brien and Ms. Barnett have had their eyes on the space on Yale Avenue in which they opened Hen’s Kitchen Shoppe since 2008, when they opened Speckled Hens.

“We loved that space for nine years. We wanted it for Specked Hens, but we couldn’t get it,” Ms. O’Brien said. “When it came available, we grabbed it. It’s a cute little spot.”

Ms. O’Brien and Ms. Barnett have been friends for 20 years and met through connections through their husbands.

“We got to be really friends at our husbands’ ten-year high school reunion, and it’s been non-stop since,” Ms. O’Brien said.

Hen’s Kitchen Shoppe is located at 141 Yale Ave and is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

—Marc Rod

Families who come Discover Claremont this spring and summer can experience a unique opportunity to walk among California native butterflies. Discover Claremont, the Claremont tourism board, is partnering with the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden for a “Flitter and Frolic” overnight package that includes garden admissions, local dining and shopping credits, and a comfortable hotel room.

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden’s annual Butterfly Pavilion runs from May 10 through

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden Butterfly Festival
The Butterfly Pavilion at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden opens on May 10.

July 27, 2014. The pavilion unites science education and hands-on fun for visitors of all ages as hundreds of butterflies call the temporary enclosure home this spring and summer. Visitors can walk among the butterflies and caterpillars as well as explore the 86-acre botanic garden, the largest botanic garden dedicated exclusively to California’s native plants.

Beginning Memorial Day weekend, May 23, and continuing until the butterflies are set free on July 27, Southern Californians looking for a local escape will find Discover Claremont’s “Flitter and Frolic” getaway package to be an attractive “stay and relax” option. The package includes a minimum one-night stay, separate Botanic Garden and Butterfly Pavilion admissions for up to four guests, and $50 in Discover Claremont gift cards redeemable at participating hotels and more than 130 other locally owned establishments.

A limited number of “Flitter and Frolic in Claremont” packages are available on a first-come, first-served basis to guests who book directly through participating Claremont hotels, including Hotel Casa 425 (909-624-2272), DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Claremont (909-626-2411), and Hotel Claremont and Tennis Club (909-621-4831).

Claremont’s visitor attractions also include the world-renowned Folk Music Center museum and store, owned by musician Ben Harper’s family; Fair Trade Shopping at dozens of independently owned boutiques; live entertainment at PianoPiano, Hip Kitty Jazz, Flappers Comedy Club, Candlelight Pavilion and other spots; and local and regional craft beers at Claremont Craft Ales, The Back Abbey and other pubs and eateries.

A complete list of Claremont merchants participating in the gift card promotion can be found at http://discoverclaremont.com/giftcards.

Claremont, nestled in the San Gabriel Mountains between the area’s ski resorts and beaches, is offering a winter special for visitors who are looking to ski and surf the Southland. Claremont’s location on the Los Angeles County border makes it possible for visitors to ski in the local mountains at sunrise, grab a quick lunch, surf in the Pacific Ocean in the afternoon, and enjoy a fine meal and entertainment at night.

Claremont welcomes travelers to “stay and relax” at one of the city’s hotel and motel properties and enjoy the town’s many tourist amenities. This winter, through March 31, 2014, the Claremont tourism board is offering its popular “Discover Claremont” stay-and-relax package that includes a minimum one-night stay and $100 in gift cards redeemable at more than 130 locally owned eateries, boutiques, day spas and salons, and entertainment venues.

A limited number of “Discover Claremont” packages are available on a first-come, first-served basis to guests who book directly through participating Claremont hotels, including Hotel Casa 425 (909-624-2272), DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Claremont (909-626-2411), and Hotel Claremont and Tennis Club (909-621-4831).

Foodies can redeem Claremont gift cards all day long: Start your morning at Some Crust Bakery or The Last Drop Café, grab a to-go lunch from the Cheese Cave or Wolfe’s Market, sip a cold one at Claremont Craft Ales or the Lounge at Casa 425, enjoy a dinner at restaurants like Orchard, La Parolaccia, Aruffo’s, Espiau’s or the bistro at Packing House Wines, and grab a dessert at I Like Pie.

Shoppers will enjoy exploring Claremont’s boutiques like Rio de Ojas, Colors 91711, Nectar, Barbara Cheatly Antiques, Heirloom, and Aromatique.

Entertainment options using Discover Claremont gift cards include Dueling PianoPiano at the DoubleTree by Hilton, and the Candlelight Pavilion dinner theater.

Claremont’s attractions also include the 86-acre Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, the largest botanic garden dedicated exclusively to California’s native plants; and the world-renowned Folk Music Center museum and store, owned by musician Ben Harper’s family.

A complete list of Claremont merchants participating in the gift card promotion can be found at http://discoverclaremont.com/giftcards/.

Here’s a great piece just posted online at LATimes.com on shopping in Claremont. It features Raku (shopraku.com), The Outdoor Room and Vintage (theoutdoorroomclaremont.com), On A Mission, The Green Gypsie (www.thegreengypsie.com), and Heirloom (www.heirloomclaremont.com.)

Claremont shopping: New destinations and old favorites – latimes.com.

Open Jam with Geno’s Standard Band at the Hip Kitty Jazz and Fondue tonight at 8pm. http://t.co/cANhqysw

Happy Wine Wednesday! All bottles sold at The Press Restaurant are 1/2 off all day. Cheers! http://t.co/C9sOf3WE

TRIVIA NIGHT: At The Press Restaurant tonight at 9pm you can show off your ability to recall nearly useless info. http://t.co/KEoMqmch

RELAX: You can enjoy #yoga in the soothing & serene Botanic Garden in #Claremont tomorrow from 9:30 – 10:30am. http://t.co/9Bnn8PMt

Great event at Hotel Casa 425! What could be better than yoga and wine? http://t.co/Xi3ZXPPm

http://t.co/uuvYbhlD

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