Shop Talk: Darling Flower Shop; Maker’s Row; Sock Pop; The Coder School

After 85 years in business, Berkeley’s Darling Flower Shop has closed. Photo: Darling Flower Shop

DARLING FLOWER SHOP After 85 years in business, Darling Flower Shop closed its doors on Dec. 31, after owner Jay Touriel, who has worked in the family business since he was a child, retired. Founded in 1932 by Jay’s grandfather, Raymond Touriel, the business began in a tent in the front yard of his home and later eventually evolved into a street-level storefront in a mixed-use building at 2004 University Ave. Raymond passed the business on to his son Vic, Jay’s father, in the late 1960s. Jay and his wife Barbara took over in 2004 after the building received a major renovation. The business specialized in high-end flower arrangements, fruit baskets, tropicals and plants. The business had a dedicated customer base that included visits not just from locals but also from pro athletes, celebrities and political activists, according to the store. No information yet on what might take over the retail space which is currently available. Darling Flower Shop, 2004 University Ave. (at Milvia), Berkeley 94704.

Maker’s Row is now open on Fourth Street. Photo: Lina Shatara

MAKER’S ROW The Fourth St. Maker’s Row launched on Nov. 4 as a permanent feature every Thursday through Sunday. Berkeley architect-developers Abrams/Millikan designed the street’s general retail expansion with Berkeley’s Studio KDA, executing the project in partnership with Jamestown LP as developers. Lina Shatara, a designer and owner of Style Lounge Events was brought on to manage and curate the makers. The curation of the artists is a two step process. Style Lounge Events curates and finds the designers through their large network of makers, while Jamestown LP has the final approval of all vendors. “We look for small businesses that feature unique work, are handmade, local or have a social cause attached to their mission,” Shatara said. Some of the artisans who have participated so far include Lacson RavelloBespoke Watch Projects and Eden and Zoe. “Fourth Street is a premier shopping destination with roots in housing artisanal shops dealing in stained glass, lighting, furniture and more,” said Shatara. “What better place to continue the tradition of supporting local makers and artists than the new Fourth Street paseo where local talent can be incubated? In time, more retail shops and restaurants will open up around the the new Fourth Street development and the trellis for the Maker’s Row will be further developed. Maker’s Row, Enter the market near the paseo entrance at Warby Parker (1911 Fourth St.), or the entrance at 1910 Fifth St. Open Thurs. – Sun., 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Connect on Facebook and Instagram

The temporary Elmwood pop-up shop Sock Pop has closed. Photo: Sock Pop

SOCK POP  The sock boutique in the former Panache Hair Salon space closed up shop on Dec. 31. All inventory, as well as store fixtures, were for sale as the business prepared to go into hibernation. As reported in a previous Shop Talk column, the popup shop had always planned to be in the space just for the holiday shopping season. It opened on Oct. 1. Owner Nicole Chabot said, “We sincerely appreciate the local community who supported us with their patronage, the Elmwood retail district, and our landlords.  Thank you to everyone who came to visit us at Sock Pop. We hope to a popup again next holiday season.”  Sock Pop, 2928 College Ave. (near Ashby), Berkeley 94705. Stay connected with Sock Pop on Facebook.

The Coder School Berkeley will celebrate its first birthday in late January. Photo: The Coder School

THE CODER SCHOOL BERKELEY The school is celebrating its first anniversary with a celebration on Sat., Jan. 27. “The idea of a place where kids can get together and learn to code started while friends were roasting marshmallows around a campfire,” said co-owner and general manager Michael Scribner. “The spark became a reality when we opened our doors and were greeted with warmth and enthusiasm from our amazing community in January of 2017. Our year-round after-school program combining collaboration and immersion with direct instruction by our amazing Code Coaches has inspired and excited kids from 7 to 17 years old. We are honored to be a part of so many families’ busy schedules and are excited to meet more aspiring young coders in the years to come.” The celebration will include snacks and a raffle with prizes that include a week of camp, Raspberry Pi computers, T-shirts and more. A showing of student work and Code Coaches will be on hand as part of the celebration. The Coder School2093 Rose St. (at Henry), Berkeley 94709. Tel: 510-679-2375. Anniversary Party is Sat., Jan. 27, from 2-4 p.m. Connect with the Coder School on Facebook.


Shop Talk is Berkeleyside’s regular Berkeley local business column. If you’re a Berkeley business with news, or a Berkeleyside reader who has spotted a change in your neighborhood or on your travels, shoot us an email with the details at editors@berkeleyside.com. Read previous Shop Talk columns. And catch up with all food business news with our Nosh coverage.