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Pottery Highway store exposure has been what I have been dreaming of!

Updated: Jul 7

Eleven years ago, I had a vision and a dream that I could make a living of operating a highway store on our acreage on the honour system. Each year the traffic stopping increases over the summer and extends into the other seasons. The beginning of May 2024 will be remembered as a changing point for exposure of the highway store. The story has many synchronicities but is exactly what I asked for.

Honour system highway store
Freba Pottery Reel by The Saskatchewanderer

The above picture is a screen shot of a reel that The Saskatchewanderer; Andrew Hinz posted May 9, 2024. If you haven't viewed it or liked it or shared it, see the link below.

SO the story!!! The Saskatchewanderer had reached out to me the week before seeing if I was going to be around to interview and tour through the recently renovated attic that people stay in for the claycation and to check out the highway store. I was looking forward to the visit. On Tuesday May 7th I got a phone call from an engineer informing me that there is a proposal to put passing lanes along highway 16 between Springside and Dafoe. The engineer proceeded to let me know that there would be a west bound passing lane going on the north side of the highway and that our driveways and the grid road to the south of us would create too many access points to the passing lane and that they would create a new access road that would go from our present driveway and cut through our front yard between the highway and our house. That would mean the tree row that protects our house from highway sound (a little bit) and our shelterbelt would need to be removed. I got off the phone stunned and The Saskatchewanderer; Andrew Hinz pulled into the yard.

We had an incredible tour and interview an chat with Andrew and Matt (Social Media person for Tourism Sask) about everything Saskatchewan tourism. Off they continued doing their tour of the Western Development Museums in Saskatchewan.

Wednesday May 8, 2024, my husband, dad and myself put together a plan to work on this proposal of destroying our front yard with a new access road and the passing lanes. First off please note, we believe that there needs to be passing lanes on this highway for safety, but could easily be set up to the east of our house and yard site so not to impact our property. We made many phone calls and reached out to various places and people that morning. I made a comment "I guess if 3/10 people in Saskatchewan know about Freba Pottery then we need 12/10 people in Saskatchewan to know about Freba Pottery". Thursday May 9, 2024 the reel went on social media; Instagram and Facebook on The Saskatchewanderer's account.

In just about 2 months, this reel has been viewed 1 million times between the two platforms. The exposure has been incredible and humbling for this former teacher now production potter. Various other people are sharing their experience on their social media accounts and telling their friends and family. To give you an idea of the increase in vehicles stopping...In May normally about 50ish vehicles and this May close to 500 stopped because of the reel and people realizing what the highway store is all about. June, July, August have always been my busy months and I am loving sharing my pottery pieces with everyone.

On the highway proposal, we are still advocating for the project to be more common sense in that if it was moved east of our property it wouldn't impact any yard or access roads. In 2001, our house and yard site became a Municipal Heritage Site because of the heritage significance of it being built by Icelandic carpenters in 1919 and being the most western area of the Vatnabyggd Settlement of Icelanders. I will be having more information of the heritage house and site on my website over the next month as I continue to work on honouring this house, its history and protecting this property from the proposal. Good news is that there is time to work on coming up with a less disruptive plan for passing lanes on highway 16 as the project is not be breaking ground til 2026 at the earliest.

I am grateful to The Saskatchewanderer and Tourism Saskatchewan for all their support in my little business here with the honour system and also the Elemental Claycation. I hope everyone is having an incredible summer and if you haven't viewed, shared or liked the reel highlighting what I do, please do so.

Marea Olafson

Freba Pottery


Your pottery has changed my life! It’s so sturdy and I can feel the passion and love that went into every piece I own.!


Brandie Rhode
Brandie Rhode

Such an amazing story!! I will do my share on making this spread with you, I love your pottery and enjoy using it everyday.

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