133 East Center Street (Hwy. 491)
Monticello, UT, 84535
Phone: (435) 419-0750
Website for Ordering and Shipping of Items: alpacasofpetersprings.com, or find Wild Mountain Meats at Overstock.com
Free Wifi is available.
Five years ago, Dorothy Pipkin-Padilla, owner of Peter Springs Alpaca Ranch, had a wild idea. Doing research, finding resources that suited her needs, Wild Mountain Meats was born. This new business features Alpaca meat in the forms of burgers, ground summer sausage, chops, and roasts. Experimenting with dehydration techniques, a line of jerky will be added to the lineup.
It was no wonder that a shop would open one year later, featuring, what else, Alpaca products. Made from the fleece (fiber), Paca Pantry features scarves, hats, shawls, sweaters, gloves, head bandanas and yarn. The bestselling item though are the socks which have dedicated repeat buyers from locals and tourists yearly. “What is so wonderful about alpaca fleece?” you might be asking. Each shearing produces roughly five to ten pounds of fleece per animal, per year. This fleece, often compared to cashmere, can be turned into a wide array of products from yarn and apparel to tapestries and blankets.
There are two different types of alpaca fleece. Huacaya fiber grows and looks similar to sheep wool, causing the alpaca to look fluffy. The second type is Suri and makes up less than 10% of the South American alpaca population. Suri fiber is similar to natural silk and hangs off the body in locks that have a dreadlock appearance. At Peter Springs Alpaca Ranch, Huacaya is what you can see; simply ask Dorothy for tour information. I have visited the ranch, while some of the alpaca can be a bit standoffish; several will gladly come forth to be petted, or simply “vogue” for the camera. The Ranch and Paca Pantry are associated with Airbnb.com | Vacation Rentals & More (www.airbnb.com/) which helps to promote both businesses to those planning on visiting Monticello and the surrounding areas.
The alpaca fiber products at Paca Pantry come from the herd at the ranch; the fleece is sheared, carted, woven into skeins, and knitted into wearable and comfortable art. Looking for something unique to hang over a fireplace? A lovely, soft, full body alpaca hide can be purchased.
Now every business owner needs a right hand person; Sue Morrell, former award winning “31 Bags” demonstrator, is Dorothy’s. Besides doing sales and making sure the shop maintains its eye tempting look, Sue helps to promote. Currently there is a 50% off sale on all remaining “31 Bags” from Sue’s personal stock. I LOVE the thermal insulated bags that keep items frozen or cold for approximately five hours! Quilters and other crafters will adore the many pocketed bags made just for this purpose.
That’s right, Paca Pantry is not about alpaca only; expansion of stock is key to keeping a business interesting to the public. 85-90% of items offered for sale are sourced locally; either through consignment, or purchased outright. The other 10-15% are Utah products; Dorothy and Sue believe in “Shop Local, Shop Utah”.
So, what else can be found to delight any shopper? Beautifully handcrafted pottery pieces by Tony Wojcik, Otis Wright and Cedar Mesa Pottery. Unpainted ceramic pieces are a best seller for the at-home crafter. Essential Oils, postcards, photographs, jewelry, furniture, and I could go on and go, but I will not. What I will do is ask you to stop in and see for yourself.
Paca Pantry has a vision, “To provide items that will satisfy locals and tourists alike”. Dorothy and Sue are community conscious by donating to, and attending, events such as the Parks and Beautification Gala, Rotary Club, San Juan Hospital “First Baby of the New Year”, Holiday Gingerbread House Tour, and the Pioneer Day Treasure Hunt. Book signings, like local author Eric Niven, are an enjoyable event at the Pantry itself; along with classes on essential oils and alpaca education. In future, cooking demonstrations will be offered on alpaca meat, so expect to get some nifty recipes for home use. Also included will be the foods of local cultures such as Native American, Mexican and the Pioneers.
Speaking of food, in the summer, stop in for a childhood favorite, well of mine at least, a rootbeer float; or a cup of gelato which is sourced directly from the Moab Brewery. If you have not tried their gelato yet, you will be in for a real treat!
Pet owners, do not feel left out, items geared for your furbabies will be offered in the future as well! Before I forget, book readers; drop off used books for store credit, or come in and see what titles are a “must” purchase.
Winter hours allow for a little time off, Paca Pantry will be open Tuesday and Friday, from 11am-4pm, and Saturday, 10am to 2pm. With the holidays looming ahead though, there will be extended hours Thanksgiving week, and the week before and during Christmas. There will be a huge sale period beginning November 15th; 10% off ALL items in the shop, except for historically based pieces. Looking for a special gift has now been made easier.
Whether a local or simply passing through Monticello; make a stop at Paca Pantry and shop!