Shop Talk: Nordic House; Lobelia; Kiss My Ring

The Nordic House building at 2709 San Pablo Ave. is for sale. Photo: Courtesy of Gordon Commercial Real Estate

NORDIC HOUSE Nordic House, a store specializing in imported Scandinavian goods, is closing. Owner Pia Klausen told Berkeleyside the news will likely be a huge disappointment to the Scandinavian community. “Unfortunately, our import laws are just too strict, which makes it impossible for a small store like ours to survive,” Klausen said. The official closing date is dependent on the sale of the building. Nordic House sells dry goods, food products, cookware, books and more from Scandinavia. The business, originally based in Oakland, opened 57 years ago. Klausen took over from her father in 2010, moving into the current Berkeley location. The owner-user, mixed-use building includes a one-bedroom apartment and parking. Nordic House, 2709 San Pablo Ave. (near Derby), Berkeley 94702. Tel: 510-705-1932. 

Lobelia on Shattuck Avenue in North Berkeley closed its doors in January. Photo: Mary Corbin

LOBELIA North Berkeley women’s clothing boutique Lobelia shuttered on Jan. 30 preceded by a week-long close-out sale. A handwritten sign on the door thanked the community for its support and patronage. Lobelia started out on College and Alcatraz in the late 1990s, moving later to the Gourmet Ghetto neighborhood, near Saul’s. In 2009, original owner Maryann Luckenbill closed her shop and re-opened a few blocks south at 1677 Shattuck Ave., near Virginia. Luckenbill retired in 2015. The boutique sold affordable new and vintage clothing, jewelry and accessories for women. Lobelia, 1677 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley 94709.

Kiss My Ring on San Pablo is closing. Photo: Kiss My Ring

KISS MY RING Kiss My Ring, the jewelry design store which opened in 2000 on San Pablo Avenue, is closing its doors on Feb. 28. The specialty store showcased local artists’ work, as well as jewelry and homeware textiles designed by owner Melissa Rallis. The store is closing so Rallis can explore new creative pursuits and travel. She will be liquidating fixtures and cases and other items until Feb. 26 and inventory will be available on her website through 2019. Rallis, who is also a local notary public, will continue services online at her KMR website as a mobile, traveling notary. “I have loved my many years here in this community, and have been so humbled to have the outpouring of good wishes, positivity and warm hugs,” Rallis said. “Thank you to everyone that came by to purchase from me, I am so appreciative of all of your business!” Kiss My Ring,  2522 San Pablo Ave. (at Blake), Berkeley 94702. Tel: 510-540-1282.

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- and drink-related business news with our Nosh coverage.


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