Welcome to Part 2 of my series of “Wooed and Wowed by Vendors” blog posts. (Click here to read Part 1)

On this tour-de-force of product education, state of the design industry talks, and pure pleasure moments, Cambria’s three-day designer extravaganza included a showroom visit, a factory tour, a baseball game, and meals and meetings in restaurants and community gathering places that use Cambria products.

Family-owned Cambria produces an American-made engineered stone that is made of natural quartz with small amounts of pigment and resin, which is ground and heated in a proprietary process that makes it very resilient. It is non-porous, it doesn’t stain, and it is NSF* 51 certified for food and splash zones in commercial kitchens and thus is popular with restaurants and commercial food surface areas. Cambria quartz is used in countertops and fireplace and shower/tub surrounds, among other applications.

Cambria countertops mix and match with natural wood tabletops, throughout the elegantly-designed Lynhall space.

One of the many highlights of this educational tour, for me, was visiting The Lynhall, a community gathering concept with a test kitchen, a video-equipped kitchen island for filming cooking shows and with everything available to chefs and food truck owners who want to use it, 24/7. The Lynhall is part restaurant and chef industry incubator, part venue for classes, part welcoming space for eating and connecting, or picking up beautifully prepared food to take home to your family.

Maker-centric, The Lynhall focuses on local artisans and producers for everything from the dishes and silverware to the coffee beans. The design of the main room was on point, a mix of antique and modern farmhouse that feels both elegant and earthy.

If you know me, you are not surprised that I loved everything about it.

Before this visit, I had never been to Minneapolis, MN. And I have to say that now, I’m a convert. The combination of new and old, the soulfulness.

I was blown away at the love that I experienced from the people I met while I was there. My visit gave me hope; the fact that there is such a level of cultural and aesthetic sophistication in the middle of America was eye-opening for this California dreamer.

None of this would have happened if it hadn’t been for the generous invitation by our local Cambria representative, who extends himself above and beyond to keep us connected. Thank. you, Roberto Tiscareno!

At the showroom: An inspiring talk about the origins of the company, the founding family, their mission and values, given by Sarah Lien – Cambria’s Sr Manager of Residential Marketing

On our first night, we were taken to a baseball game. Box seats behind home plate!

The Lynhall’s generous-hearted Founder Lyn Spaeth and visionary Business Developer Eric Gislason

Beautiful breakfast bites at The Lynhall

Breakfast at The Lynhall, where natural wood tabletops are interspersed with Cambria quartz countertops for texture and warmth

Phillip Kean of Phil Kean Design Group and his business partner and lovely husband, Brad Grosberg

Delicious and beautiful. Our name “tags” were with us throughout the trip, and the color of our mini-slab became the inspiration for the “Iron Designer” style contest (see photo of my entry in that contest, further below).

Me and my as-soon-as-we-met-we’d-known-each-other-for-lifetimes soul sister, Giselle Sugerman

Celebrity Instagram instigators Kate Rumson @the_real_houses_of_ig and Ryan Saghian @ryansaghian

It felt like family! So much joie de vivre in this group!

The genius behind the designs, Summer Kath, SVP of business development for Cambria

My entry in the “Iron Designer” contest, based on the sample slab of Cambria quartz I was given, and selecting from a “pantry” of design items as laid out for us by our event organizers.