In 1996 we moved to Northwest Arkansas from the Central Valley in California. If you think it was a culture shock, you’re wrong. California was the cultural shock to me, having grown up in a quaint small town in the North Carolina piedmont region.
Before moving here, we got together as a family and talked about what we were each looking forward to with our move to Arkansas. My mother-in-law was looking forward to living where there were squirrels (yes), Dennis liked the idea of going fishing without having to pay for it, and my dreams were focused on the perfect work environment: it would be in a cute historic downtown district within walking distance to shops, restaurants, and have a small town feel.
It happened. I landed a job with a company whose local office was in historical downtown Rogers and it was magical. Ivan’s Meat Shop was my local butcher, Poor Richards sold candy and coffee then, the original Crumpet Tea Room was alive and kickin’, and The House of Webster on North 2nd Street had their adorable little log cabin gift shop full of jams, jellies, and other gift stuffs.
Nowadays, Ivan’s has moved down the road from its old location, Poor Richards is an art gallery, the Crumpet is on the West Side of town and in Bentonville, and The House of Webster is…. Well, the House of Webster is exactly the same.
I learned that The House of Webster turned 80 this year and I realized that it was time to revisit my old stomping grounds. Have you been there lately? The gift shop is the still the same, packed full of jams and jellies from decades old tried-and-true recipes. Sprinkled throughout the store now are salsas, salad dressings, pickles, mustards, non-HFCS offerings, and little cute gifty items. It really is a local gem here in Northwest Arkansas and one that I am embarrassed to say that I temporarily forgot about.
80 years is a long time of going strong. The business is split between online orders, gift shop, private label contracting, and co-packing for other local gems, like My Brothers Salsa. As you pull up to the log cabin gift shop, look to your right. The 100,000-square foot manufacturing facility is humming inside.
It’s looking forward to its next 80 years.
|the sweet onion relish was a hit at the church picnic|
|my go-to appetizer dish is toasts with cream cheese and topped with apricot spread|
|run, don’t walk, to House of Webster and pick up the Mango Pineapple Habanero Salsa, it’s amazing|