For something unique this Christmas, try the Senior Center

Center has two 'well-kept secrets': the Peddler Shoppe and wood shop

A Pleasanton Senior Center enterprise may offer one of those unique last minute Christmas gifts.

Called the Peddler Shoppe, it's a little store filled with many handmade items.

The Peddler Shoppe was opened around the same time as the senior center, which opened in 1993. Phyllis Bullock has volunteered her time there since about 1996 and says publicity has been spread mostly by word of mouth.

Recreation leader Raymond Figueroa said the store is "one of those little well-kept secrets in town" that feature items from local artisans.

Staffed by volunteers, the store is filled with jewelry, scarves, wooden toys, dolls and other items handmade by seniors. When asked what the most popular item in the store, Bullock said there's not one item, but just "whatever strikes your fancy."

The prices are competitive, with a portion of the proceeds going towards the cost of operations and the rest going to the item's maker. Located in the Senior Center, at 5353 Sunol Blvd., it's open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and one Saturday a month. It will be closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Contact the Peddler Shoppe at 931-5371.

The wood shop is another feature of the senior center, which Figueroa said is remaining open for another year after they analyze the participation and usage. One of the few wood shop programs for seniors in the East Bay, it allows wood working enthusiasts access to tools and equipment. Staffed by volunteers, there is a $5 fee for drop-in use (or $6 for non-residents) and it is open on weekdays.

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