Packed into a cozy space located in a strip of shops around the corner from the Publix in downtown Greenville, Kitchen Arts & Pottery brims with gingham egg cups, distinctive linen kitchen towels (like the ones bearing recipes for German and Austrian specialties), hand-thrown pottery dishes, antique knives, wooden cheese boards and more.
Some of the many goodies at Kitchen Arts & Pottery — Photo courtesy of Liz Minetta Bardsley
Owner Liz Minetta Bardsley carefully curates the collection of items at her Kitchen Arts & Pottery storefront, selecting keepsakes that customers will want to pass down to other family members. She especially likes vintage kitchen items such as tea towels and cutlery.
A visit to the store often evolves into a conversation with its owner over a cup of tea or coffee, which she always has on-hand to offer to customers. Bardsley can also point you to the right ingredients or equipment, and she loves to chat about food. If you ask, she is equally happy to share a recipe.
It's because Bardsley didn't set out to be a retailer. In fact, for the past 25 years, she has been known as a chef. She started her chef career in Greenvilleat stately Seven Oaks (long closed) in the Pettigru Street Historic District adjoining downtown Greenville, once the city’s go-to restaurant for fine dining.
From there, Bardsley opened her own place off Wade Hampton Boulevard, a bistro named La Bohème. (Fans who have lived in Greenville long enough to have experienced La Bohème still crave her delectable white chocolate croissant bread pudding.)
The simple, fresh, French-inspired fare she cooked there won her local acclaim. When she decided to close La Bohème, she took a job as chef at Northampton Wine Café. After eight years at Northampton, Bardsley decided to strike out in a different direction, folding her love of good food and her affinity for setting a proper table into her own kitchen shop.
Count on finding gourmet ingredients at her newest spot Kitchen Arts & Pottery, on shelves stocked with imported pastas, olive oils, vinegars and sweets. Come here for the best selection of cocktail bitters in town, from Aztec chocolate to bourbon-barrel aged. Looking for duck fat in which to fry potatoes? White truffle oil to drizzle over pasta? You've come to the right place.
Over the holidays, international specialties pop up, such as Italian panettone (a traditional holiday bread), French marrons glacés (candied chestnuts) and a host of seasonal bonbons.
A supporter of Slow Food, Bardsley also carries a cornucopia of local products, including Bean-to-bar Night Owl Chocolates and rare, regional Sourwood honey from Carolina Honeybees. Despite the shop's small size, you can easily while away the time here discovering the plethora of culinary treasures artfully arrayed on shelves and displays.