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A boutique for people with a taste for good taste

Karen Ogden has opened Delectable Designs, a boutique for foodies, in downtown Farmington.

Food is everywhere in Karen Ogden's new shop, but there's not a bite to eat.

There are olives and gumdrops on greeting cards, and colorful peppers on a canvas hung on the wall. There are serving bowls and aprons and wine-bottle candle holders that are a step or two up, artistically speaking, from the wax-covered chianti bottles you might find at a cheap Italian restaurant.

This is Ogden's vision for Delectable Designs, which she opened Aug. 15 in downtown Farmington. It's what she calls a foodie boutique, a place where people who enjoy a good meal can celebrate all things edible without actually eating anything.

"I really think it's for people who subscribe to Bon Appetit magazine, who read the Taste section every week in a newspaper. Who like to read cookbooks," Ogden said. "For foodies, you create that meal, you eat that meal, you maybe take a picture of that meal but then it's gone, but then there's all the other fun things that go with that."

Delectable Designs is all about that fun stuff.

For Ogden, the shop is a big step back from a corporate career that never seemed like a great fit. She has a degree in accounting and worked in that field for several years before she got married and moved to the Farmington area. As she considered finding a new job, her sister-in-law asked what she would do if she could do anything. Ogden decided she would be a personal chef.

"She probably hadn't hit the end of the street and I was designing a logo," Ogden said.

Ogden worked as a chef for a few years, but when the calls started to slow down she jumped back into the corporate world. She sold her soul, she said, for the security of a steady paycheck.

Delectable Designs is her way of buying it back, one greeting card, kitchen towel and food-themed painting at a time.

There has always been a creative streak in Ogden's personality, and when she started putting Delectable Designs together back in April one of the first things she did was take pictures of food and turn them into greeting cards. Some are blank inside. Others have messages Ogden came up with to fit the image. The inside of the card with the olives on the front reads, "It's all about the curing process. Get well soon."

Filling the rest of the shop was a matter of making contact with area artists and convincing them to let her sell their work. She had 11 she was working with when she opened her doors last week and hopes to find more soon.

Setting up shop has been a new experience for Ogden. The creative parts of the job came naturally for her, but getting computer systems up and running was a different kind of challenge.

She has enjoyed the work, though, and she was already finding an audience on her first day doing business. She had seven customers come through her door, and a few who said they planned to be back that weekend.

Delectable Designs is located at 431 Third St. #4. The entrance is on Spruce Street.

Ogden plans to hold a grand opening Sept. 12. There will even be some food.

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

(651) 460-6606