Business

Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

New: Drate Pharmacy

DISCOUNT DRUGS Kenneth Okwuegbe, who worked for CVS for years, opened Drate Pharmacy about five weeks ago at 2930 Shattuck near Ashby. Drate is a discount pharmacy offering generic drugs at prices lower than you can get in the big chains, said Okwuegbe, who originally hails from Nigeria. “Berkeley is a beautiful place,” he said. “It’s a place where everyone can fit in. Berkeley supports small businesses. It will support the little guy, like us.”

New: Biketopia

HIGH REGARD FOR TWO WHEELS Zach Cohen wasn’t a bicycle enthusiast until he moved to Berkeley four years ago. Now he’s hooked on bicycling as a way to reduce his carbon footprint and help the community. His new venture, Biketopia, which opened in January, is a bicycle store and community center rolled into one. At the nonprofit “community workshop,” at 1752 Alcatraz Ave. near Adeline, people can buy parts, get a new bike, or sign up for fix-it workshops. Cohen also has an extensive internship program that teaches at-risk youth how to build and repair bicycles. Businesses interested in promoting biking to their employees can contract with Biketopia to come in and perform regular bike tune-ups. By joining Biketopia as a member, rates are reduced.

New: Walk In Closet

PASSION FOR FASHION Natalie Ridley’s new contemporary women’s clothing store, Walk In Closet at 1820 B-1 Solano Avenue, has only been open a week but business is already booming. With pictures of new arrivals quickly posted on Facebook and couches and chairs set up around the store, this former Nordstrom employee has created a store that conveys her “passion for fashion.” “At Walk In Closet we’re not just selling clothes, we’re offering a lifestyle,” Ridley wrote on the store’s webpage. “Our goal is to allow every girl to feel well-dressed and well-prepared to take on the world.” An Albany native, Ridley has fond memories of shopping on Solano Avenue. “There was no other place I wanted to be than Solano Avenue. This is home.”

Shop Talk is our regular column in which we post updates on Berkeley businesses — openings, closings, new directions, relaunches, relocations. If you’re a Berkeley business with news, or a Berkeleysider who has spotted a change in your neighborhood or on your travels, shoot us an email with the details. Read previous Shop Talk columns here.


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