New fdp studio+shop Turns Old Country Diner Into an “Unexpected Pleasure”

After leaving medicine behind, Francis DeFabo and his wife, Lynn, relaunched the pottery studio and home goods retail store in April following extensive renovations.
Fd Studio Shop25285


When Francis DeFabo enrolled in pottery classes for fun more than a decade ago, he initially gave his creations away to friends and family. 

But as he continued to donate pottery for fundraisers, as well as sell his handmade pots at a local farmer’s market, the gynecologist realized it might be time to change careers — and fdp studio+shop was born. 

“My wife and I were looking for something else and at that point I think I really just wanted to take an early retirement from medicine and just make pots full time,” Francis says. 

Fd Studio Shop25395

After building up an online store to sell handmade ceramics, artisan home goods and “unexpected pleasures,” Francis and his wife, Lynn, moved their makeshift garage studio into an 80-year-old former country grocery store in Pleasant Unity last May. 

“It was just the perfect spot for us,” Francis says. “The basement is huge and set up ideally for a pottery production studio. It has sort of separate rooms for each of the aspects of building pots and making pots.” 



Over the decades, the property has housed everything from an auto body repair shop to an old country diner. After renovating the building over the winter, the couple relaunched fdp studio+shop as a brick-and-mortar shop in April.

Fd Studio Shop25542

Throughout the renovations, the pair kept some original elements of the former grocery store, such as the maple hardwood flooring hidden under the industrial carpet and old-fashioned schoolhouse lights tucked away behind the building’s drop ceiling. Francis says the exposed metal beams of the ceiling and original wood finishes bring a rustic touch to the shop. 

“We just tore down the ceilings all the way up to the original ceiling, which is old, native rough-cut lumber, like you can still see a little bit of the bark on it and stuff,” he says. “It’s just sort of cool because all of that wood is 80-years-old and had never been treated in any way.” 

Fd Studio Shop25472

The studio and shop also combine a contemporary style with the building’s rustic infrastructure. Francis says he and Lynn made sure to find a shade of white paint for the upstairs retail space that matches the color of the glazed pottery. For furniture, Francis also designed a unique “pouch” — a blend between a couch and hanging porch swing. 

“We wanted to make it feel comfortable and contemporary, but yet still pay homage to the history of the building and also where the shop lives,” he says. 

Fd Studio Shop25352

While Francis is busy designing pottery in the studio, Lynn handles the retail end of fdp studio+shop; it’s one of her favorite aspects of the job. 

“I really enjoy just whenever the shop is open because there’s a lot of behind the scenes work, but when the shop is open, I get to see people and talk to people and to me that’s a lot of fun,”  she says. 

Categories: Nest