Filed in Destinations by on February 18, 2014

Perham Sign3Located in the heart of Minnesota lakes country, Perham is a popular destination spot throughout the year. With a 27-hole championship golf course, plentiful gift and coffee shops, family-friendly turtle races throughout the summer, and beautiful blue lakes close by, it’s easy to see how Perham has gained its reputation as a small town with a whole lot going for it.

Visitors to Perham may be surprised to learn that the town of just under 3,000 residents is home to the second-largest quilt shop in Minnesota. For the past 23 years, Bay Window Quilt Shop in downtown Perham has attracted quilters from far beyond the lakes area.

“My grandpa and his brother built this building in 1903,” says Sarah Hayden. The building started out as a general store and has housed a handful of different business over the years.

Hayden’s daughter, Katie Hennagir, is carrying on the family legacy as the designer of her own baby fabric line. After its listing in a national magazine as one of the top 10 quilt shops on North America, the shop has drawn an even larger following of quilting and crafting devotees.

“There’s always something to do in Perham whether it’s a rainy day or sunny day,” says Sue Huebsch, owner of The Wild Goose Gift Shop in Perham. “There’s a wide variety of home decor items, popular accessory lines such as Vera Bradley and Pandora, a kitchen section and an extensive toy area. Nestled into the back is a coffee shop with plenty of seating and wireless internet access.

Some of the most sought-after items at The Wild Goose are the “Taste of Perham” baskets that are put together and sold at the shop. The baskets feature numerous tasty treats all made in the city of Perham.

perham_shops (2)Another must-visit gift shop is The Gathering Grounds. In addition to an impressive retail section and full menu of coffee drinks, the Gathering Grounds makes what are arguably the best sandwiches in town.

The menu includes wraps, soups, and grilled and cold sandwiches prepared on a variety of breads. The most popular pick is “Lynn’s Favorite,” named after Lynn Johnson, who co-owns the shop with daughter Kari Roberts. The “Lynn’s Favorite” features honey mustard, roasted red peppers, carrots, and creamy onions on multi-grain bread.

Its clever name is just one of many reasons beer and wine enthusiasts are drawn into the Make Me Wine specialty shop. The intriguing storefront carries all the wine racks, stemware, gourmet food items, jewelry, gifts and gadgets one might expect to find.

Beyond the retail side of the store is an opportunity for people to delve into the art of home brewing. Classes are held in the back of the shop, where participants are taught about the step-by-step winemaking process.

In addition to the classes, Make Me Wine carries an extensive supply of win and beer brewing supplies. “Not only can people buy brewing supplies, the can privately set up a time with us, and we will brew the wine in-store with them,” says Mary Roberts, who owns the shop with her husband. Once the wine is brewed, customers can select their own custom labels for their wine bottle.

Across the street is another unique local offering. Mother-daughter team Bette Pitzel and Michelle Shaw recently opened The Tea Shoppe inside their Sugar and Spice gift shop. The pair was trained by representatives from The Tea Garden, and all of their supplies come from the popular Minneapolis tea company.

“All of our teas are all-natural,” says Pitzel. “There are so many coffee shops but nobody serves tea, which is surprising because it’s so healthy for you.” Similar to a traditional coffeehouse, the Tea Shoppe features tea lattes and chai shakes. Flavors can be added to the teas depending on a customer’s individual preferences.


by Heidi Kratzke



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