Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Photo: Facebook

Photo: Facebook

OLD YAK BAZAAR A new fair-trade store is coming to town this fall. Old Yak Bazaar, self-described as an alternative trading company, sells up-cycled handcrafted designs from artisans around the world. Upcycling, for those that may not have heard the term before, is a process where low-value materials are converted into higher-quality products. These products include bags, home decor, jewelry, scarves and toys. The company is based out of Minneapolis and operates an online shop. It’s still unclear when and where in Berkeley the new place will open, but details should be made available next month when the lease is confirmed, according to co-owner Wen-Yan King.

Photo: Dang Foods

Photo: Dang Foods

DANG FOODS Berkeley-based Dang Foods is going national and their toasted coconut chips should be available in Whole Foods stores across the country this fall. According to their Facebook page, the company had to present in 11 separate regions—often multiple times — before the distributor picked them up nationally. Dang Foods was founded by Oakland resident Vincent Kitirattragarn, and the company has been recognized by media outlets across the country, including the New York Times, Forbes and NPR. According to their website, their snack was also named a Finalist for Outstanding Snack in the Specialty Food Association’s 2014 sofi Award competition.

Photo: Drew Jaffe

Photo: Drew Jaffe

NINE THAI EATERY Your Place Thai Cuisine on University Avenue has new management. The change came about when the original owner handed the place over to his daughter, who gave it a new menu and new name—Nine Thai Eatery. The restaurant, located at 1269 University Ave, is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and features a new menu of gluten-free and MSG-free dishes, including deep fried shiitake mushrooms, roasted duck and pumpkin red curry.

Shop Talk is our regular column in which we post updates on Berkeley businesses. 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, and check out Bites for the latest East Bay restaurant news.

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  • bondolo

    Glutamate free deep fried shiitakes? Now that will be a feat! Glutamate umami flavour is almost the entire point of shiitakes. (Don’t bother replying with anecdotal testimonials about your MSG reactions)

  • JW

    Only in Berkeley: two retail stores with the word “yak” in their names.