But after a multimillion dollar facelift, the NEW Pottery has become the shopping destination it was meant to be.
I was there the day after its grand reopening on April 5, 2012, and the parking lot was still packed! (I'll give you a parking tip below.)
|The new and improved Williamsburg Pottery. |
Brightly-colored and easy to navigate, the 160,000 square foot sidewalk mall appears to have resumed its place as one of Virginia's biggest tourist attractions (along with Colonial Williamsburg, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and the Prime Outlets Williamsburg).
But are the shopping "finds" still as good as they used to be? Read on...
The Williamsburg Pottery Factory was founded in 1938 by James E. Maloney in a small roadside shack five miles west of Williamsburg. He became famous for making fine handmade 18th century style pottery reproductions at affordable prices.
Each of the three buildings at the Williamsburg Pottery houses a different shopping "topic." Building A houses a huge grocery with unusual food items rarely seen elsewhere...some of it at decent prices consider that they are specialty items.
For example, I bought two very large packages of British Digestive Biscuits (trust me, they are FAR yummier than they sound) for the same price as a container half that size elsewhere. I also found a bottle of Blue Cheese Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing for $6-- not bad for a specialty item I've never seen elsewhere.
So honestly, I can't say the prices are fantastic anymore. But the items they offer are definitely unique.
And as is the case at wholesale stores like Costco, Sams and BJs, don't assume that all the prices are better than you'd get elsewhere. Know your prices.
A plus for seniors: the Pottery used to give a 10 percent discount to shoppers 55 and older, Mondays through Thursdays. No word yet on whether they will offer that again.
I loved the old Pottery because it had such an extensive selection of dried flowers and wreath-making materials. So far, the new Pottery has a good selection of silk flowers, but nowhere near as extensive as at the old site.
But they are still putting things up on the shelves, so I expect their merchandise will grow.
On the plus side, They also have a small bakery inside Building A so you can get a cup of coffee or a quick bagel or pastry so you can continue your shopping experience. A Gelato spot will be added soon, and there is an Au Bon Pain in the parking lot.
Other unique aspects of the Pottery: