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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

caption. Photo: PocketMe
PocketMe is a local startup that gives customers a 3D figurine of themselves based on photos taken in a 72-camera photo booth. Photo: PocketMe

POCKETME STUDIO POPS UP A Berkeley couple opened their startup PocketMe’s first portrait studio in Downtown Berkeley last month. PocketMe offers customers a 3D full body portrait of themselves. The studio uses 72 cameras to take pictures of the subject from all angles, and PocketMe sends the 3D print-out to the customer. According to the website, a PocketMe can replace or complement photos for family portraits, holiday gifts, wedding cake toppers, keepsakes of grandparents, graduation portraits, fashion shoots, video game models and more. The couple is testing the local market for interest and hopes to expand. “We live in Berkeley so we wanted to start up in Berkeley and figure out where to go from here,” said co-founder Allison Saloner. “We’ve gotten a lot of interest so far. A lot of people have stopped in to see what we’re doing, and a lot have ordered their own PocketMe.” The studio is located at 2225 Shattuck Ave. (at Kittredge). It is open Saturday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday through Friday by appointment. Schedule an appointment online or by phone at 510-900-1441.

Photo: Social Studies Shop

MENSWEAR STORE LAUNCH On June 12, Social Studies owner Lauren Woodward plans to open a menswear shop two doors down the street, on San Pablo Avenue. The store will carry a collection of men’s clothing, a men’s skincare section, housewares, and a curated record collection. “Pretty much everything a man needs to survive,” Woodward told us over email. Social Studies, at 1659 San Pablo Ave., is a women’s clothing store that also sells a selection of everyday household objects.  The store will be located on 1645 San Pablo Ave. (at Virginia).

Photo: Cakes and Purls

CAKES AND PURLS CLOSING Marie Sitaro, owner of Cakes and Purls, will be closing the doors of the downtown Berkeley bakery and knitting shop at the end of the month. The store has been serving desserts and giving locals a space to learn and practice yarn-work since its opening in December 2012.  “We all need to get away from this fast-paced world sometimes,” said Sitaro when she opened the business. She has recently had to retire from baking, and wrote on her website that although “it’s been an exciting adventure… the store is just not making it.” The store, which is located at 2115 Allston Way, will be open from 12 to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday until it closes. All yarn and supplies are 25% off. Sitaro is also searching for interested buyers for the store’s fixtures.

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.


-By Francesca Paris