Tag Archives: Shop Talk

Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

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TOPO Abigail Rothacker and her partner have opened a small terrarium and handmade gift shop on University Avenue in Berkeley. Called Topo Terrarium Design, the store features many local artists and is open on Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. “We have partnered with a local jewelry maker and leather worker to start hosting small workshops in our live/work space,” Rothacker said. “We have spent almost two years building our space to make it a functional store, class space, as well as a living space for us and our small daughter in the far back. It is truly a unique set-up.” Topo has also launched a program of monthly classes. Sign up for a Make Your Own Terrarium class on Sat. Sept. 13 (Orbs, plants snacks, wine included — cost $65), or an all-ages Candle-Making Workshop on Oct. 17. Topo is at 1640b University Ave., two blocks east of Sacramento. Connect with Topo on Facebook for updates on classes, and to find out what’s in store. … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

The front of Welcome Stranger in San Francisco. The menswear shop is opening another store at xxxx Ashby Ave. in Berkeley's Elmwood neighborhood. Photo: Welcome Stranger
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WELCOME STRANGER A new menswear store with distinctive buffalo signage is opening in the Elmwood at 2633 Ashby Ave., next door to the Dailey Method in the old Wright’s Garage building. Welcome Stranger SF already has a store on Gough Street in San Francisco, as its name suggests. The store’s wares are described as “upscale, rugged men’s apparel and goods,” and include brands like APC jeans, Barbour jackets, Rag & Bone T-shirts and Battenwear board shorts. Welcome Stranger also sells its own brand of shirts, chinos and waxed jackets. A member of the construction crew working on the build-out said the store was expected to open this week. … Continue reading »

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Local business

Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Guitars at Blue Note. Photo- Anne H.
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BLUE NOTE MUSIC After 21 years of service, Blue Note Music, at 2556 Telegraph Ave., is closing down. The store specialized in high-quality new, used and vintage guitars and amplifiers. Workers at Blue Note were trained musicians dedicated to selling — and repairing — quality guitars at discounted prices. The store’s hours were reduced a while back and business has been slow, according to the owner. Employees will still work on an appointment-only basis from an unspecified location on Seventh Street. Tel. 510-644 2583 (Hat tip: Steve Taylor) … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

West Berkeley Philz on Gilman Street. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Global Exchange logoGLOBAL EXCHANGE REORGANIZED The Global Exchange on the corner of Russell Street and College Avenue recently reorganized its interior to make the store feel more open and better showcase the artwork on sale. The bulky display pieces were taken out to open up floor and wall space, according to lead sales associate Lauren Matley. While it used to feel “cozy, like a marketplace,” the space is now “happy and light,” said Matley. The inventory is also more modern, with less emphasis on tribal crafts. Global Exchange, an international human rights organization “dedicated to promoting social, economic and environmental justice around the world,” has two stores in the Bay Area. The San Francisco store opened in 1989 and the College Avenue store opened in 1991. Both places sell crafts made by artisans from around the world. … Continue reading »

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Local business

Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

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Bellhops logo BELLHOPS Moving just got a little easier. In May, Bellhops set up operations in Berkeley. Using a business model akin to Uber or Lyft, the company hires local college students, or “bellhops,” to provide customers with moving help. The company started three years ago in Auburn, Alabama, and rapidly expanded to 145 cities across the country. Currently, around 80 UC Berkeley students are available for customers within 15 miles of campus, according to co-founder Matt Paterson. Operations are decentralized, and the company doesn’t own any trucks or garages, but its employees can rent moving vans if the customer requests it. As Patterson puts it, Bellhops is perfect for those who don’t need a professional service and instead could just use some helping hands. And the company recognizes that letting strangers handle your possessions can be nerve-racking, which is why it sends customers pictures and profiles of bellhops before they arrive. Trust and exceptional customer service are central to the company’s mission, said Patterson. Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Slash Denim
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SLASH DENIM Slash Denim at 2840 College Ave. has reopened its doors two months after a smoky fire damaged the inventory. The store, which sells high-end denim, is adding a mix of vintage clothes from its vintage store downstairs, according to owner Carla Bell. She opened Slash Denim eight years ago and the vintage store 35 years ago. The denim store will still carry new jeans, but will expand its vintage Levi collection, she said. On May 7, a light fixture fell from the ceiling and set part of the wall on fire, said Bell. Two people from the 7-11 store across the street spotted the flames and ran to a nearby fire station. The fire department responded at 4:20 a.m. and quickly extinguished the flames. Slash Denim held a 25%-50% off sale for two months while it was fixing the store, said Bell. The store was not insured, said Bell. … Continue reading »

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Local business

Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

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MISSION HEIRLOOM CAFÉ Gluten-free, grain-free and soy-free offerings will be available at Mission Heirloom Café, which opens this fall in North Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto. The restaurant will move into 2085 Vine St. where much-loved vegetarian Chinese restaurant Vegi Food operated until 2012. The Heirloom Café will be serving organic, non-GMO cuisine and Intelligista coffee. The café will have outdoor seating. Mission Heirloom currently operates a takeout kitchen on Eighth Street, where you can get a preview of their offerings by picking up lunchtime meals Tuesday through Friday. … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Photo: Drew Jaffe
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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. … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Photo: Charles Siler
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FILTHY GORGEOUS  A brother-and-sister interior decorating team have moved their Filthy Gorgeous store from Walnut Creek to 1987 Ashby Ave. in Berkeley. The shop sells a wide variety of home decor items — including chairs, sofas, art, tables, storage, lights, and accessories —  and offers upholstery and personalized home design services by appointment. Clients’ homes have been featured in Better Homes and Gardens and Sunset Magazine. According to the store’s website, the pair strive for design that “incorporates unique and personalized blends of old and new, function and elegance, budget and beauty, creating timeless looks while accommodating the inevitable evolution of life.” Filthy Gorgeous joins the Adeline Corridor neighborhood’s large number of antique and vintage furniture stores.

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Apothecary Alembique. Photo: Sandy Friedland
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ALEMBIQUE APOTHECARY Alembique Apothecary, a store selling herbs and botanicals for the kitchen and for the body, is set to open at 901 Hearst Ave. (at the corner of Seventh Street), in mid-June. Owner Babak Nahid is remodeling a space on the first floor of one of the oldest buildings in Berkeley. He says customers will be able to create their own soaps and lotions, using ingredients like carrot-seed and sea buckhorn oils. “We purvey predominantly non-GMO, organic, local, wild-crafted/wild-harvested, food-grade and petrochemical-free products, including natural botanical, herbal and mineral ingredients for our bodies and our homes,” the store says on its website. Plans include offering a refill station, an organic blending bar, and a series of workshops at the shop.

LHASA KARNAK HERB CO. Lhasa Karnak Herb Co. has two stores in Berkeley and one of them has just moved one door down the street and taken over the former Body Time location at 1942 Shattuck Ave. Lhasa Karnak says it offers the “largest selection and the highest quality herbs, essential oils, and other natural products to be found anywhere.” They specialize in Western medicinal herbs and culinary spices, but also stock traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic herbs. Its second store remains at 2482 Telegraph Ave. … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

One Medical has opened a Berkeley office at 1801 Shattuck Ave. ( at Hearst). Photo: One Medical Group
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ONE MEDICAL GROUP The “fastest-growing primary care practice in the country” has opened an office in Berkeley, at 1801 Shattuck Ave. at Hearst. One Medical Group says it offers “high-quality care and modern conveniences that you wouldn’t find at your typical doctor’s office” and its services are “designed around patients’ needs and busy lifestyles.” One Medical is throwing an opening celebration at its new office on Thursday June 5 from 5:30pm-7:30pm. There will be food from Liba Falafel , wine and beer, and a raffle to win some local goodies. RSVPs are appreciated. … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

A dish at Zaki
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AMAZING CRAB Just opened at 2370 Shattuck Ave. (at Channing) — former home of fro-yo spot Frozen Creations — is Amazing Crab, a restaurant that offers dishes like boiled crab, shrimp with Cajun sauce, crawfish, spinach and cheese soufflé and Cajun fries. It’s early days and reviews are few, and mixed, so far, though the service is universally praised. … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Share Tea
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SHARETEA Taiwanese bubble milk tea chain ShareTea opened at 2440 Bancroft Way (between Telegraph and Dana) over the weekend and the “buy one get one free” offer had people lining up out the door. ShareTea was founded in 1992 with its first store in Taipei City, and has expanded globally since then. It offers a variety of iced and blended teas, fruit and milk teas, as well as a few hot brews. … Continue reading »

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