Vintage vibes

Little Red Hen moves in downtown; Ray Morgan offers a glass of fresh air; 101.7 is back

Before last week, I had never been to Vintage Hen. The shop, one of five under the Little Red Hen umbrella, was tucked in a little spot behind the LRH Kitchen Store (which I’ve also never been to) off East Avenue. Then I got an email from one of the staff members inviting me to check out Vintage Hen’s new digs—right downtown on Main Street. Well, OK, then.

If you’re at all into quirky old stuff, you must visit this store. A lot of it is kitchen-themed, as in serving dishes, plates, cups and mugs. But there also are old toys and games (the Holly Hobby board game sent me back to my youth), jewelry and all manner of décor. The furniture is fun and retro, too—and much of it is refurbished by the staff.

While in the store, I caught the ear of sales instructor Sam Sloan-Wiechert, and she gave me the rundown. The operation is impressive. First of all, Little Red Hen is a nonprofit dedicated to creating employment opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities. Plus, 100 percent of sales goes to programs for disabled kids and adults. Truly “retail with a purpose.”

Beyond that, Vintage Hen—in the old Tower Records space—sells a variety of vintage items (denoted with chickens on the price tag) and vintage-inspired pieces. As Sloan-Wiechert explained, they “pick” all the time, locally and around the country. In fact, a group just returned from picking in Austin, Texas.

If you don’t find yourself downtown, Sloan-Wiechert said all of the Vintage Hen merchandise is also on the store’s Etsy page (search LittleRedHenVINTAGE). Go to for more info.

Goin’ green A few weeks ago, I wrote about the Sustainability Business Expo and Happy Hour being held at the Sierra Nevada Big Room May 17. I popped in to check it out and, I’ll be honest, it wasn’t well-attended. Apparently even the lure of free beer wasn’t enough to bring out the crowds.

There were some interesting booths, though. The one I found most intriguing was that of Ray Morgan Co. I’d always associated Ray Morgan with copy machines and printers. As it turns out, they’re branching out. Sitting next to the Ray Morgan booth was a water dispenser. Jacquelyn Lucchese, corporate marketing and sales rep, explained it: Instead of requiring one of those big jugs, it captures the moisture from the air, filters it and turns it into drinking water.

The company that makes the dispenser is called Skywell. Check it out at, or you can rent one through Ray Morgan (3131 Esplanade, 343-6065) with an optional maintenance plan.

It’s baaaaack I got a ton of response after reporting the drastic change in format of 101.7 FM (from rock/pop to conservative talk). I was clearly not the only one in town who tuned out after that. I am happy to inform former fans, then, that the station is going back to its roots as “a station for people who just like good music.” Effective immediately. So, go ahead and set the dial to 101.7 The Edge.