Founded in 1978, Grayce’s is the oldest retail establishment in Patagonia.
In 1948 Grayce Noteboom Arnold, from Philadelphia, PA, set off on a great adventure in a Ford panel truck converted to a “house car” with two children and husband, John, who was hired to write the first Motor Tour Guide, published by AAA in 1953. The family’s journey through Mexico inspired Grayce to become an artist and entrepreneur, ultimately in the mountains of Patagonia, AZ, where she heralded the transition from pick and shovel mining to art and tourism.
In 1978 Grayce Arnold transformed the old miner’s house built in 1905 into her home and business, which thrived until her passing at 97. The shop is now overseen by her son John, who, like Grayce, provides economic opportunity to local, distant and indigenous artisans from Mexico to Africa by making their intricate and highly skilled hand-crafted work available to the public.
At Grayce’s, you will find history, fine artistry, the original and unique, affordable, and transportable. Mata Ortiz pottery from Casa Grande, popular Talavera, handcrafts and art from Sonora, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Madagascar, even Tucson!
Plus natural African soaps and butters, succulent organic Medjool dates from Yuma (year-round), and of course, handmade candles.
Just behind the shop is the well-known Day of the Dead Museum – La Galeria Dia De Los Muertos. Recognized by the Smithsonian Institute for Latino Initiatives as the first of its kind in North America, the collection represents a lifelong interest by Grayce and John Arnold. Admission is free, and it is open during business hours.
Also on the property is the miniature motorcycle exhibit featuring motorbikes dating back to 1898, along with Indians, Harleys and ‘Easy Rider’ choppers. Bikers stop by just to see this!