Stay awhile, relax, enjoy

By on October 14, 2009

Emerson Creek Pottery and Tea Room may be off the beaten track, but patrons say it’s worth the trip
by Susan O’Neill
OSWEGO—Once people discover Emerson Creek Pottery and Tea Room, they want to share it with their friends. Many of the lunch guests are pairs or clusters of friends, with one or more of them being treated to the Emerson Creek experience for the first time by their companions.

The room in which lunch is served had originally been a horse barn, and still maintains its rustic, down-home appeal, with remnants of the original structure out in front and along the porch.

The food consists of tasty homemade soups, signature salads with fresh, home-made dressings, and simple but unique sandwiches. Lunch is served on the hand-painted pottery dishes from the shop, and customers sit at old, mismatched tables brought back to life with a bright coat of paint.

The barn-wood walls are graced with country decor and plaques sporting home-spun philosophies on life, giving the room a warm, homey feeling that welcomes diners to tarry awhile over their meal.

The experience actually begins along the gravel road on the way to the old homestead, which includes the 100-plus-year-old renovated farm house where the pottery shop is located. The property is far off the beaten path, with a few twists and turns, and visitors can feel their body and spirit begin to relax before they ever arrive.

Owner Chris Barickman, who learned about customer service during her years working for Nordstrom’s, said she has always listened to her customers. So when people began bringing their own picnic lunches to enjoy on the front porch after making their purchases at the pottery shop, she realized they had a good idea.
“We needed timers on the rocking chairs,” she said with a laugh.

When they told her she should open a tearoom, she listened.

She originally opened the pottery shop eight years ago to showcase pottery she found made by hand in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Bedford, Va. The pottery, completely USA-made, lead-free, and hand-painted, offers a clean look with a choice of several simple designs.

Although 80 percent of the merchandise is the pottery, shoppers will also find hand-crafted gifts and accessories for the home, including hand-poured candles and blended soaps. Be forewarned—Chris said that 90 percent of the visitors leave with something. But at a variety of price points, the purchase does not have to break the bank.

Emerson Creek will hold its second annual Fall Fest on Saturday, Oct. 17, and Sunday, Oct. 18, featuring a variety of vendors selling antiques, homemade purses, garden art, stained glass, homemade honey and rustic furniture. Barickman said that outdoor seating for lunch will be available, at tables made by setting old doors on top of a bale of hay.

Barickman said she invites everyone to pull up a chair, relax, shop, have a bite to eat, and enjoy the country atmosphere.

Emerson Creek Pottery
and Tea Room

5000B Grove Road
Tea Room:
Wednesday through Saturday,
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Pottery Shop:
Tuesday through
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Reservations are encouraged at
(630) 554-7100
or visit