Forest Service Volunteer Association Bookstore display at the Idyllwild Ranger Station. Photo by Cid Castillo

Angels in the Cottage owner Patricia Cruz with one of her designer handbags. Photo by Marshall Smith
Like arriving Christmas presents, two new retail businesses, each with a distinctive niche, opened recently.

Angels in the Cottage, in the old Rustic Cabin location on North Circle, is owned and managed by Patricia Cruz and Curtis Henshaw. Cruz features some of her own artwork as well as quality antiques and homemade crafts from other artisans. What lends her artwork a distinctive niche is that Cruz fashions recycled metal into clothing and other items including women’s purses. The shop, said Cruz, has the feel of a gallery or museum, with quality items lending a high-end patina to the cozy interior.

Also new is a nonprofit bookstore at the Idyllwild Ranger Station. Organized and managed by Forest Service volunteer Jana Desrocher of Hemet, the Smokey Bear-themed bookstore offers a wide assortment of Smokey Bear items, including earrings that Desrocher says always engender compliments when she is working clearing and monitoring trails as part of her volunteer duties. “We have gift baskets and a whole assortment of new items as well as the hiking maps and forest-related books we’ve always sold at the station. Desrocher noted all proceeds go to fund the Forest Service Volunteer Association (, and that all who work at the store, including Desrochers, are unpaid volunteers.

New store Angels in the Cottage is now open. Photo by Marshall Smith