The Holidays are Here!
It feels like we’ve had elves working in secret for months, and now we get to load up the tables at General Store with wonderful goods made by our local producers and a few new friends.
One of those new friends would be Bevin Bells. Bevin Bells was started in 1832 by four brothers. No, it’s not a Paso company, but it’s an American company from a small town, and at General Store, we search for treasures like Bevin Bells wherever we go.
Established in East Hampton, Connecticut (known as Bell Town), it was one of over 30 companies there to produce bells, and is the only one still in operation. They patented the first foot-operated bell in a car (called a foot gong, later replaced by a car horn), the bells rung by the Salvation Army and the New York Stock Exchange, and home, sheep, ship and, yes, cowbells.
The company headquarters was struck by lightning in 2012 and burned to the ground, but they’ve risen from the ashes and are on track to hit their 200th anniversary in 2032.
We met Cici Bevin this summer, and were charmed by how classic and simple the bells were — their ring really does sound clear! We asked Cici, who is a sixth generation Bevin and handles marketing and custom projects, if she could create something just for us.
We love what we developed together: a holiday bell ornament that says “Paso Robles” on one side and “JOY” on the other. And to give it a little more history, it’s the exact same bell that rings in It’s A Wonderful Life whenever an angel gets their wings.
We couldn’t stop there. We also brought in classic sleigh bells, jingle bells and a custom PR black cowbell for chiming in at Pioneer Day, or just getting people to come in for dinner. There is also an assortment of cowbells in smaller sizes and cheerful colors, and yes — a version of the same cowbell was rung by Will Ferrell on Saturday Night Live.
Another custom project we’re excited about for the holidays: our enamelware camping mug with custom Paso logo. With an assortment of rim colors, it’s a one-of-a-kind gift for camping, for kids to use outside, or for cozy nights sipping cocoa. And the cocoa you should be drinking? Why, the locally made and organic hot cocoa from Yes! Mixers of course! Lauren and Brandon made mulling spices, cider, cocoa and Mexican cocoa (just a touch of cinnamon — yum!) just for General Store. They’re great for teacher gifts, to share with neighbors, or for Christmas morning.
Come see us! It may not be as easy as ordering in your pajamas, but we promise it will be a lot more fun. Open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, and on Saturdays, donut holes and Spearhead coffee.