Cruising along the 99 freeway on our way to get beehives, we took the Merritt Dr. exit for a bite to eat in the small farming community of Traver, California.
We saw a small and interesting series of buildings from the freeway and wanted to get a closer look. Man am I glad we did. We stumbled upon a hidden jewel... the Bravo Farms Cheese Factory and Cafe 99.
The cheese aging room and the 99 Cafe are located in adjacent rooms. Look at all that wonderful aged cheese.
There's a great view from every window inside. You can watch the cheesemakers at work. Below the windows you can see there were many interesting distractions like picture frames made from aged barn wood and wrought iron garden decorations.
Back outside, the entire building facade is decorated in vintage signage and antiques. From the freeway it resembled a scene from a Disneyland set... Walking about I felt as though I were walking backwards in time...
The food at the cafe was wonderful. BBQ! The decor inside was 50s themed. The walls were completely covered by replica vintage signage. Sorry, no pictures from in there. my fingers were covered in bbq...
There was a great gift shop and it was bursting with tasty local valley farm products. Everything from dried fruit and nuts to dates and handicrafts. Tables of packaged candy framed the center wall. It was a rainbow of sugar, all kinds.
I was amazed by what they managed to fit in there. So many neat and unique gift ideas and Bravo Farms packaged cheese...
LOTS of free samples too!
Back outside again and we found a covered wagon. My hubby is a sucker for a good wagon...
At the other end of the building we almost ran into this adorable little wagon for the kiddies.
It still works too.
We watched a few little ones channel their best John Wayne and Roy Rogers as their parents took turns snapping pictures and popping quarters inside the hungry little machine. I got tired just watching the tykes... and they sure were having a blast.
We eventually managed to find this giant atrium courtyard and that was the best part of all, for me.
You know how I like farm animals... They have LOTS of animals. It was a veritable petting zoo.
There were pygmy goats and turkeys, and a pair of amazon parrots too.
Then we found an enclosure with two of the cutest mini donkeys, Fiona and Shrek.
Next to the roadway lies a wonderful little farmer's Market full of local citrus.
I got my favorite- Cuties...
while Jerry fell in love with their plumelos.
They're like giant grapefruit, but much sweeter.
My favorite "room" in the whole place was the hen house.
You heard me right.
I fell in love with their chicken coop. I could write a post just about that coop. It was awesome. Maybe I will later...
I am linking this post to these fun hops this week-
Kelly Morris' brand new Homesteader Blog Carnival HERE
Tiffany's Garden Life hop at No Ordinary Homestead
and Jill, Kendra, and Amy for The Homestead BARN Hop!