Any grandma worth her salt has hutches brimming with collectibles. After the overflow jams its way into parlor curios, she gets creative: A figurine or two rests atop an end table, the periwinkle-laced teacups dangle from hooks beneath kitchen cabinets, that stack of holiday china now occupies a lower cupboard. But despite a dearth of storage, granny wants to amass more treasure.
Enter Holley Ross Pottery, a shimmering wonderland of all things delicate, breakable, and non-childproof. This country-style trove has spent decades fulfilling the wish lists of those celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, and the love of Parian perishables. “At any time, visitors will find several thousand pieces on display here, awaiting their permanent homes,” notes Charlotte Laing, whose family has owned and operated the showroom since the early 60s.
Nestled in the hamlet of LaAnna, between Cresco and Newfoundland, Holley Ross opens to the public in May and shutters in mid-December. From strawberry jars and wall items to cookie molds and canister sets, the houseware emporium may stand ready to lighten your wallet, but will do so gently, with discounts as deep as 70 percent off retail prices. And don’t worry, outdoor enthusiasts can rejoice in a plethora of gazing balls, stepping stones, and cement statuary.
Pottery making demonstrations, which are offered Tuesday through Friday mornings, let you see how creations are made, right before your eyes. “They’re free, and certainly educational as well as entertaining,” says Laing. The vase being kilned one day could become your dining table centerpiece the next.
While a range of vendors inhabit shelf space, the mini-armory boasts a selection of Fiesta dinnerware that’s hard to match. “This design has become the most sought-after in America,” the matriarch states. “Its distinctive, bright colors and art deco styling make Fiesta a true stand-out. We sell hundreds each year.” Another merchant in the mix is Ceramika Artystczna, Polish crafters who hawk their goods on QVC. Not to be outdone, Fenton and Pilgrim parade glassware skills in a kaleidoscope of softened hues. Altogether, Laing stocks about 150 manufactured brands within her artisan’s repository.
After sating your shopping fix, traverse a swinging bridge to explore Holley Ross’ own bucolic woodland forest, featuring sawdust trails that lead to picnic tables and an expansive lake. Unplug from reality, if only for a few moments, and bask in sheer peacefulness.
Souvenir hunters routinely trek to this Pocono mainstay and scoop up remembrances of their mountain adventures. “The place is always a must-see whenever we’re in the area,” declares grandmother Marianne Trachtenberg, of Tarrytown, NY. “Truly, if you can’t find it at Holley Ross, you won’t find it anywhere.”
Holley Ross Pottery
167 Route 191 LaAnna / Cresco, PA 18326
Photos credit: Tom Eccleston