“It works. It works because a little trust goes a long way.” Marea Olafson’s wide smile and bright eyes await my reaction. Here in her Saskatchewan arts highway store Freba Pottery, I am a mixture of amazement and disbelief.

“You leave the pottery store open 24 hours a day? And no one steals anything?” This once Saskatchewan farm girl, now big city cynic, finds it all hard to believe.

“Would you steal something?” Marea’s question leaves me taken aback.

“No of course not!” The idea of pocketing a piece of handmade pottery from this quaint prairie store seems absurd.

“If we have the expectation that people are good, they will be good.”

In her pottery shop built from reclaimed wood, Marea’s honour system shopping thrives.

Saskatchewan arts Freba Pottery

Inside a Saskatchewan arts gem – Freba Pottery

The making of a unique Saskatchewan arts gem

Inspired in 2003, by a visit to a pottery studio on Denman Island that ran on the honour system, Marea left with an incredible feeling of trust in humanity.

With a brewing love of all things pottery, Marea began taking classes. By 2011 she started a pop up road side stand. Would anyone stop at a Saskatchewan art roadside stand?

Indeed they did.

In 2013, Marea and her husband, along with their two daughters, purchased her grandmother’s century old farm house.  In the basement of her Amma’s (Icelandic for Grandma) house, Marea began creating unique hand made pieces in her pottery studio.

The Freba Pottery shop stands not far from the heritage farmhouse.

Freba Pottery Saskatchewan

Freba Pottery near Dafoe, Saskatchewan

How the Freba Pottery honour system works

Not a single theft since opening in 2013. It seems like an idealistic philosophy to this city visitor.

“If someone desperately needs a piece of pottery then that is how it is.”

Marea is straight forward and clearly unworried about her inventory disappearing in the middle of the night.

I can understand that pottery may not be a thief’s first choice. Yet the fact there has been no vandalism in almost a decade of being open leaves me open-mouthed.

Marea’s robust laugh fills the small shop as she says, ” Organized crime is too busy to get into pottery.”

Standing in her highway pottery store, I am not only getting a lesson in pottery but in old fashioned trust.

Pottery bowls

Can I purchase any other Saskatchewan arts?

On the Freba pottery website, Marea graciously states she is not the “only artist in this neck of the woods.” Her highway shop proudly displays one of a kind pieces from other local artists. 

From paintings to unique neck tie creations, mixed media pieces to magnets created by her daughter, the little store bulges with local talent.

How do I pay for my purchase?

If you don’t see Marea in the shop, her smiling photo and instructions can be found on the desk. If you wish to purchase a Saskatchewan arts piece, no need to wait for the shopkeeper.

Look at the price of the item and then leave the cash, cheque or make an e-transfer. Marea requests that you write your name, what you purchased and your phone number. 

Freba Pottery honour system

Purchases from customers at Freba Pottery

Although not required, feel free to leave a note with the hundreds of others from customers who have stopped by Freba Pottery over the years.

Where is Freba Pottery?

No need to worry about when this Saskatchewan arts store welcomes customers. The OPEN sign stands proudly day in and out.

365 days a year, 24 hours a day, Freba Pottery has open doors 6.5 kilometres east of Dafoe, near Wynyard, Saskatchewan. The shop is on the Yellowhead Highway (Highway 16).

Freba Pottery Map

Map to Freba Pottery

From Saskatoon head east on SK-16 for approximately 150 kilometres. Turn right onto SK-16 E/SK-6 S (signs for Trans-Canada Highway/Yorkton/Regina/ Yellowhead Highway E). After 5 kilometres turn left onto SK-16 E (signs for Regina/Yorkton/Trans-Canada Hwy). Freba’s Pottery will be on the left hand side of the road at the 6.7 kilometre mark.

From Regina head north on SK-6 for 156 kilometres. At Dafoe turn right SK-16 E (signs for Regina/Yorkton/Trans-Canada Hwy). Freba’s Pottery will be on the left hand side of the road at the 6.7 kilometre mark.

For Google map directions to this Saskatchewan art find click here. For those who can not get to Saskatchewan, Marea offers online shopping.

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