Handmade, Homemade & Vintage: The Ferry Landing provides home for crafters

Published 6:35 am Saturday, September 19, 2020

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LAPLACE – Crafters from age 6 to 86 have found a home for their handmade, homemade and vintage goods at The Ferry Landing in Lutcher.

Since opening at 2113 Miles Street in February 2020, The Ferry Landing has welcomed more than 60 vendors while establishing a one-stop gift shop for the St. James Parish community. An old draft building and a 1800s house nestled along the historic River Road house more than 4,000 square feet of timeless treasures supplied by local artisans.

A coffee shop addition is planned for the end of this year, ideally in time to welcome visitors in for a hot drink as they gather around Christmas bonfires on the levee.

Children’s swings are among the handmade items for sale at The Ferry Landing.

The Ferry Landing is operated by two generations of family. It all started when Andy Tramonte and Keri Walker Tramonte found themselves going out of town to find quaint coffee shops for quality family time with their two young sons. Eventually, they decided the best move for their family would be to open a coffee shop that they could call their own.

Nearly a year later, a “for rent” sign popped up on a building right across from their home. Keri Tramonte’s first thought was that the space was far too large.

That’s when her mother, Mary Walker, shared her dreams of opening a handmade craft mall/vintage shop. When the family learned that a charming 1800s house directly behind the rental property was also available, it sealed the deal, and The Ferry Landing was born.

While prepping for the eventual arrival of the coffee shop, the family sought out vendors to fill the space with handmade wonders of the River Parishes. Even with COVID-19 interruptions, it didn’t take long to outgrow the 1,500-plus square feet offered by the back house. The even larger front building has become an extension of The Ferry Landing, and that space is filling up quickly.

It only took a couple of months to fill a 1800s house and an old draft building with local treasures.

Most of the crafters started out with outdoor set-ups during monthly market days before moving inside the store. While vendors occasionally check in to restock items, the team at The Ferry Landing takes care of the rest.

“I think now is a time people want to shop local and support each other, their friends and family members, because you realize during times like this that it’s the local people who are going to give back to you when you need it,” Keri Tramonte said.

Andy Tramonte said The Ferry Landing team will never hesitate to help a community member in need. He wants the store and the coffee shop to be a place where people can rest, relax and feel the weight of the world ease off of their shoulders.

Mary Walker and her husband, Kerry, said crafters and the community at large are grateful to have a space to come together.

“So many people thank us for highlighting the local artists,” Mary Walker said. “They’ve never had a place to show their crafts before, and there are not many places where you can purchase a gift in this area of St. James Parish.”

Every vendor represented at The Ferry Landing has a story to tell. One lady sculpts clay and crafts intricate jewelry as a way of coping with grief. Her shotgun shell jewelry pieces encourage others to “make art, not war.”

Employee Arielle Millet stands next to one of her paintings.

One booth houses “The Kindness Cross Project” and includes artwork made by 7-year-old twin girls to uplift others. Another vendor is a grandmother who makes artwork with her seven grandchildren, each of whom bring a unique talent to the table.

One family discovered their crafting skills during the COVID-19 quarantine. The father makes quality wooden furniture while the mother paints and their two little girls sell home-baked cookies.

Homemade items include jarred local honey, jams, jellies, pepper jellies, salsa, baked goods and cookies. The Ferry Landing also houses handmade soaps, candles, scrubs and body products, hand sanitizers, jewelry, door hangers, wreaths, outdoor swings, wall décor, birdhouses, photography, postcards, paintings, reclaimed lumber and much more. Facemasks have been a popular item for the back to school season.

Many shoppers like to come in and browse the menagerie of antiques, flower arrangements, dishes and furniture.

The next Market Day will be held on Sunday, Sept. 27 in outdoor tents. The charge is $35 per spot for a vendor. The Ferry Landing will eventually offer art classes with the young and talented painter Arielle Millet. Other planned events for this fall include a wreath class and flower class.

The Ferry Landing is open seven days a week, from 2 to 7 p.m. on weekdays and from noon to 5 p.m. on weekends.

For more information, please call 225-610-3169.