La Grotta Bazaar Is an Antique Shopping Adventure in Holmes

A treasure trove of vintage curiosities and collectibles, La Grotta Bazaar is an eclectic antiques shop in southern Dutchess County.

While the sleepy Dutchess County town of Holmes is not exactly known for its shopping experiences, La Grotta Bazaar is a vibrant vault of vintage which looks to change that. The antique oasis is dedicated to creating a retro experience through an acutely curated collection of vintage clothing, collectibles, and art. Despite its recent opening, La Grotta Bazaar is already a buzzed-about cult favorite in the region.

Within the maximalist walls of the shop, you’ll find two uniquely curated collections: The Babe Cave Vintage and The Siren’s Trove NY. Developed respectively by native New Yorkers Jen Robbins and Blake Decker, the two collections are an amalgamation of the owners’ indelible New York City shopping experiences from the 1970s and beyond. The pair are both from Roosevelt Island, where they were forever inspired by the immersive and iconic fashion hubs of the city. After decade-long careers in the creative and marketing industries, Robbins and Decker decided to reengage to launch this gem of a shop in the Hudson Valley.

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With an eye for design, Robbins is a NYU photo graduate turned sought-after New York City fashion photographer, working with the likes of Vanity Fair and Vogue. After relocating to the Hudson Valley to recover from a life-altering surgery, Robbins rediscovered a passion for vintage and upcycling, curating The Babe Cave Vintage over the last eight years to share at centers across the region and now in her Holmes brick-and-mortar shop.

As for Decker, she spent 20 years working as a creative marketing VP in advertising and branding for Fortune 500 companies. After staying at an artist-owned Airbnb in Holmes in 2016, Decker knew she stumbled upon something with potential when she found out the property and attached showroom were for sale. As an avid collector herself, Decker had the inventory to launch her art and antique store on the property, but still felt like it was missing something – which turned out to be the addition of Robbins’s collection.

The collections themselves are anything but your typical vintage – think unique gadgets, out-of-the-ordinary furniture, and disco dreams. The Babe Cave stocks everything from hippie bohemian clothing to Studio 54-inspired accessories.

“I’m not a quiet person and not a wallflower,” says Robbins. “The clothes are kind of like that. They’re definitely not shy. I know it sounds crazy, but I feel like I can truly reach more people with these highly curated finds than I did as a fashion photographer. Vintage is synonymous with ridiculously expensive, but I just want to make the word a little prettier, a little more fun, and the eco-sustainability of vintage is a feel-good bonus!”

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If you’re in the market for new conversation pieces and home décor, The Siren’s Trove has you covered. Decker’s collection includes anything that defies conformity, disrupts the norm, and challenges the expected. From lighting to glassware to pottery, you’re sure to find décor that demands attention.

“I have always loved antiquing. I remember going to antique barns and country auctions as a kid and spending my entire allowance to bring home something cool. Everything used to be made better, to last. But more than that, products were ingenuities and highly designed, whether it be an appliance, a lamp, or an ashtray,” Decker notes, adding, “and with the space limits of living in NYC, it wasn’t until I moved here that my love of collecting past treasures was reignited! I think I was dangerously close to being deemed a hoarder, and therein the idea to launch a store was born!”

Both Robbins and Decker live for the hunt, the design, the decorating, and the curation of their collections. The result is a fully immersive shopping experience for visitors to enjoy as much as they do. Ultimately, La Grotta Bazaar seeks to change the way you shop, and the inventory being 100-percent sustainable is just an added perk.

La Grotta Bazaar is located at 4063 Route 52 in Holmes.

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