PSq Q&A: Ron & Kristin Menapace, The Farmhouse Store

With its unique collection of handcrafted artisan gifts, home décor, furniture, and so much more, The Farmhouse Store truly lives up to its reputation of being “like no other store in Princeton.” This not-so-hidden gem located on Hulfish Street, carries a selection of functional pieces with contemporary and rustic charm. Ron and Kristin Menapace have created a special space which has become a household name in Princeton, the community in which they also reside with their four children. Featured in every issue since they opened in 2012, The Farmhouse Store has been recognized by NJ Monthly’s “Reader’s Choice Awards” as “Best of NJ” for home furnishings.

Left: Owners, Ron and Kristin Menapce; Right: Americana living room on display in The Farmhouse Store showroom

Q: How do you select the artisan craftsmen you work with?

The first question we ask ourselves is, “Is this product ‘special’ enough?”  We are constantly on the lookout for unique, artisanal items for the home or for gifts.  The store began as an American craft business and as we’ve grown, we continue search for beautiful, functional and unique items you won’t find anywhere else.

We provide our customers an experience to discover an artist or craftsperson’s work.  We enjoy the discovery of talented artists as much as our customers do.

Counter-clockwise starting from top-left: Freshen-up your home with one of these Milkhouse Creamery Soy & Beeswax candles; Charms to be added to any chain or bracelet for an instant update to your jewelry collection; Their signature sign; Colorful GurglePots are a staple; Holiday-themed pieces from Meadowbrooke Gourds are sure to add cheer to any homes’ holiday decor.

Q: Tell us about The Farmhouse Store’s recent partnership with Magnolia Home Designs by HGTV’s “Fixer-Upper” duo Chip & Joanna Gaines.

We are excited to partner with Magnolia Home…everything from their furniture, accessories, rugs and décor is very much in line with our aesthetic.  When we met Chip and Joanna, Jo said, “The Farmhouse Store; what a perfect fit for Magnolia Home!”  They’re such a talented couple and have quite a following.  We love seeing new customers that stop in our store after they heard we carry their line of furniture, accessories, pillows, rugs, etc.

We find these customers, who were introduced to The Farmhouse Store through Magnolia Home, discover the unique product offerings we carry as well as our own custom barnwood furniture.

One of many beautiful and special pieces from the Magnolia collection designed by Joanna Gaines available in The Farmhouse Store’s furniture showroom.

Q: Ron, describe Kristin in five words.

Sincere, nurturing, steadfast, beautiful, earnest, committed (I can use 6, can’t I?)

Q: Kristin, what would your five words be to describe Ron?

Funny, kind, supportive, handsome, committed

Q: You two had been living in California… what brought you to Princeton?

We are so fortunate to have such close families.  The problem was, we were living 3,000 miles from them.  In 2010, Kristin was pregnant with twins and we recognized that we wanted to be closer to our families as we raise our children.  Much of our extended families live in New Jersey and we convinced Kristin’s mother to retire and move with us to Princeton.

When moving back to New Jersey, we searched from north to south and down the shore.  We ended up settling in Princeton because this town is as good as it gets.  We absolutely love this community.

You never know what you are going to find while strolling around the store. There are always so many fun and functional pieces such as these corkscrew and beer opener golf clubs, and stunning granite taps!

Q: We know you guys have four kids… what are some fun memories and traditions you are starting together?

This summer was so great for us as a family. We own a vintage Airstream trailer, so we had some fun adventures this year camping.  The kids enjoy exploring, discovering new things, and eating s’mores. We spent some time at Community Park Pool and we were also able to spend a little time in Nantucket.

Q: The store’s furniture show room is impressive and now includes The Farmhouse Kids. What interior design services do you offer?

Thank you.   Farmhouse Kids has been very well received and the showroom continues to grow.   We just celebrated 4 years in Palmer Square and we’re able to offer more now than ever before.  We offer interior design services for small and large projects; whether our customers are freshening up a room or starting from scratch.

Our talented design associates collaborate with homeowners and we find solutions that highlight the best features of their home and create a space they love to live in.  Our goal is to exceed the expectations of our customers…otherwise known as our Farmhouse Friends.

Left: Ron and Kristin with their four beautiful children; Right: Farmhouse Kids has so many great decorating options.
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