The corner market may be getting a second chance if the recent opening of Howden Market is any indication.
From the people behind Spice Monkey restaurant next door, the market opened on Jan. 6 at the corner of 17th and Webster Streets in Oakland’s booming Uptown neighborhood. The quaint, impeccably styled store offers a deli counter and coffee station (serving Bicycle Coffee) and a few aisles of gourmet foods and snacks.
Howden Market positions itself as a neighborhood store. On a recent Saturday, several curious locals walking in the area popped in to check out the space. The area will be busier during the weekdays with the various office buildings nearby, and Howden hopes to cater to busy office workers dropping in during their breaks, or after work to grab a quick bite to take home.
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The aisles are stocked with gourmet foods, many labeled organic, natural or gluten-free. Some of the brands are what you might find in stores like Whole Foods or Bi-Rite, but there are some less recognizable items as well, an indication that the owners are trying to be the spot for some hard-to-find specialty foods.
Along with a cheese section and a refrigerated aisle, the market plans to start selling bread from Berkeley’s Metropolis Baking. The deli, of course, is serving salads and other items from Spice Monkey.
By the way, I’m a big fan of the mural by local artist Jack Chappel above the refrigerated section.
The market is still ramping up in these early days, but hopefully they will find their stride in the coming weeks and become a regular fixture in Uptown.
Howden Market is at 1630 Webster St. (at 17th Street), Oakland. 510-922 8385. Open 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday. (Closed Sundays.) Connect with the store on Facebook and Instagram.