Thursday, Oct 18, 2018
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Barbara Hendel


Holiday shoppers are already off and buying

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    Country Garden Club members put together their annual Holiday Trunk Show. In front, from left, are cochairman Colleen McGoldrick, club president Virginia Keller, and co-chairman Joyce Quinlivan. And in the back row, from left, are co-chairmen Luella Smith, and Mary Richter.

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    Susan Allan Block, owner of Vendome Pastry, offers samples of her French tarts prepared on Revol during the cookware trunk show at the Paula Brown Shop.

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    Event co-chairmen Shelli Jacobs, president Barbara Brown and co-chairman Judy Maurer at the Second Fiddle Sale at the Lucas County Rec Center in Maumee.

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IT’S not even Halloween yet Christmas decorations are in the stores. Many people are getting a head start on shopping and will be done before most of us get started.

SHOPS in downtown Toledo are ready for the holidays including the new Devoon gift shop on Jefferson Avenue, ladies apparel Sophia Lustig on 10th Street, Sophie’s Sister on North Michigan Avenue, and the Paula Brown Shop on Monroe Street.

Saturday was the Revol Trunk show at Paula Brown Shop. The cookware, made in France since 1768, is a staple that goes from freezer to oven to dishwasher. The prices start at $30.

So it was a perfect fit that Susan Allan Block’s Vendome Pastry was there providing samples from her Thanksgiving menu that were prepared on Revol, of course. Vendome Pastry is named for Place Vendome in Paris, the location of the Ritz Escoffier Cooking School where Mrs. Block, the wife of Allan Block chairman of Block Communications Inc. parent company of The Blade, s tudied and worked. Mrs. Block said she is creating European- style pastry and desserts with love and local ingredients, which make a great gift for someone special.

The French-trained chef offered pumpkin, pecan, maple walnut, and her signature lemon tarts. All of the creamy tarts, $40 each, are 10 inches round, except the pumpkin which is 9.5 inches round and double deep. Mrs.Block said they are “not just a dessert, they are special ... They take a lot of time and love to make.”

Vendome Pastry will be up and running by Nov. 20. The menu is posted on Mondays via email blasts and social media. Orders may be placed at which is soon to be up and running. Pickups are on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at Paula Brown Shop and The Pub, 912 Monroe during business hours. For Thanksgiving week, pickup is Nov. 24-26, and while the shop is closed on Mondays, Susan said there will be a truck there for pickups and Paula Brown may decide to be open that day. Quantities are limited.

SHOPS near Fifth Third Field are ready for holiday shoppers, too, including Shared Lives Studio with art by clients of Lott Industries, Swan Creek Candle Co., Tony Packo’s gift shop, the Mud Hens Swamp Shop, and not too far from there, the Libbey Glass Outlet. Other area shopping ventures other than the malls include downtown Sylvania, uptown Maumee, uptown in Perrysburg, and Grand Rapids, Ohio. And don’t forget that fundraisers are a great place to shop as they most always have a silent auction or raffle items.

SHOPPING was great at the Country Garden Club 28th annual Holiday Trunk Show Oct. 7-8 at Carranor Hunt and Polo Club. The preview party, the night before, included a tasty dinner and, of course, shopping for the 185 men and women in attendance. There was also a champagne and shopping night for ladies. The show drew about 1,200 shoppers. More than 20 vendors offered ladies, men’s and children’s apparel, gift items, jewelry, home decor, food items, and more from Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Massachusetts, Kentucky, California, and Pennsylvania. Vendors included Romualdo men’s clothier from Cincinnati and Bird Dog Bay, offering whimsical ties, socks, and more from Chicago; Fustini’s from Ann Arbor, as well as Meig and At the Garden Gate in Perrysburg. The Sher Bliss, known as bliss in a bottle, was popular with the wine bottles, all upscale vinos, dipped in chocolate.

More than $30,000 is the expected net and supports the club’s community projects such as the downtown holiday decorations, entry gardens at the city limits, cardboard recycling, Wood County Parks, and scholarships.

Kudos to event chairmen Luella Smith, Colleen Mc- Goldrick, Joyce Quinlivan and Mary Richter. For information go to www.cgcperrysburg. com.

THE Toledo Symphony League’s Second Fiddle Sale was Oct. 16 and 17 with a preview party the night before, all at the Lucas County Recreation Center. Mmm. Home made beef barbecue sandwichesby Beth Bowman, a macaroni and cheese bar, and homemade cookies by Lynda Gilbert. Among the gently used items spotted amid the oodles of merchandise were St. John’s women’s knit suits and Chanel accessories. The name of the sale, started years ago, was created by Jean Smith. Event chairman Judy Maurer, assisted by cochairman Shelli Jacobs and endless list of volunteers, reported the sale netted more than $5,000. for the League’s educational programs.

Contact Blade Society Writer Barbara Hendel at 419-724-6124 or at

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