PHOTOS BY LAURIE GORDONSweet P.E.A.'s co-owner, Patti Bruterri loves talking to customers and showing them the store's treasures.
By Laurie gordon
LAFAYETTE — Patti and Bill Bruterri love the thrill of finding special antiques for their shop. Now, as they near almost 40 years in business, the lure of the hunt is as strong as ever. Another buying trip to England is on the horizon, and the couple's store, Sweet P.E.A.'s Antiques and Designs, is thriving in the heart of the Lafayette Mill Antiques Center Complex. “We love what we do and for almost four decades hae been a source for discerning collectors and interior designers searching for antiques and one-of-a-kind decorative items,” Patti Bruterri said. Sweet P.E.A.'s is a warm home decor shop housed in an antique carriage house. The shop's selection is ever-changing. There's always a great selection of painted furniture in addition to English and French antiques and charming and unique accessories and gifts. And what of the name? Bruterri said, “I had a gift shop in Vermont with my mom and sister in law. The P.E.A. is actually the first initial of each of our names. I thought it would be catchy. When we sold, I took the name for my shop. Before that is was known as The Country Craft Barn. I had moved on from that name.” Patti Bruterri is a second generation antiques dealer, following in the tradition of her parents, Agnes and Bill Franks, whose reputation for quality set the stage for her standards in the antiques business. When she and her husband purchased a 1815 farm house, she and her husband delved into the antique business and started venturing out on the road to search for the perfect antiques to fill their home and shop. The shop, Sweet P.E.A.'s, has been at its location since it opened in the early 80s. The nature of the store, however, has changed. “When we first opened, we were a co-op where different crafters would have areas in the store to sell their homemade goods,” Bruterri said. “Over the years, we transitioned to antiques and gifts and made the store all our own.” Then, the trips to England began. “We realized that we could find some exquisite antiques in England so started making trips,” she said. “Now we go as often as possible to bring back amazing treasures.” Over the years, the economy's ebbs and flows haven't really affected Sweet P.E.A.'s. “There have been challenging times, but we've always gotten through them,” Bruterri said. “We've seen trends come and go and have always taken the pulse of what our customers are looking for.” The store fills two floors in a 1850s restored carriage house. “We offer quality and affordable antique and vintage finds,” Bruterrie said. A current popular item is Sweet P.E.A.s Chalk Paints. They sell Annie Sloan paints exclusively as Bruterri feels these are the best quality. A trademark of Annie Sloan, chalk paint can be used on furniture and other items to create a chalky appearance. It is used for achieving an aged look, can be distressed easily and is often used to create a “Shabby Chic” look. Sweet P.E.A.'s offers a host of workshops including ones on using chalk paint. For a full listing of classes, visit http://www.sweetpeasantiques.com or call 973-579-6338. Store hours are Thursday though Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m, and the store is located at 12 Morris Farm Road.