If only a small town hardware store or barber shop was also included in the Florist/Deli/Bakery goods and
services mix offered at Walton’s Fancy & Staple, I would have thought I walked into the 1998 movie Hope Floats, featuring Sandra Bullock and Harry Connick, Jr., when I walked in on opening day (minus hints of a European cafe). The movie takes place in small town, Smithville, Texas, and this adorable botanical and bake shop has the same where-everyone-knows-your-name country feel.
Although it cost a few quarters to park at a meter for my visit to Sandra Bullock’s new stamp on the Austin scene, it was well-worth a few Georges. Since I stopped by on Walton’s first day open mid-morning, there were only a few visitors who had discovered it early-on. I made friendly conversation with the baristas and bakery/deli experts as I admired the baked goods and impressive selection of fresh deli meats and cheeses that could be combined for a made-to-order sandwich, or chosen as one of their many menu items.
I walked to the back of the French-Country-style cafe and store, and noticed a display of probably 20 flavors of Tea District tea canisters to the left of the fresh flower counter. As I admired the flavors, the General Manager, Jerald (Jerry) Rhodes, came up to me to help with my tea selection decision. He explained that this brand of tea offered at Walton’s is one of his favorites, and assured me the baristas would brew a cup of whichever variety I may choose. He then gave me a tour of the charming new addition to W. 6th. He showed me the back room, where small wooden tables are topped with old-fashioned lanterns, and an armoir sits underneath 3 antique engraved sterling silver and glass cake savers on display that are just gorgeous. He also pointed out the unfinished walls that revealed traces of old advertisements that were once painted on the side of this older building, from the early 1800’s. According to Jerry, the walls will be refinished soon, but I’m hoping this process only enhances this unique decorative detail that makes the ambiance unique. *Look for this special characteristic when you stop by Walton’s and enjoy a baked good, cup of tea/coffee, or deli delicacy in the back room.