Registry

The pandemic made it clear how much we craved the retail experience. There's nothing like walking into a shop, being greeted by the shopkeep, and taking in all the offerings with your own eyes and hands. It's a feast for the senses that no online outlet can satisfy.

Thank you to everyone for supporting our retail concept on our little block in Oakland! We love our Bay Area retail community – please continue to shop small this holiday season and take advantage of all the awesome shops that we have right in your own neighborhoods. You'll get to finish off your holiday shopping lists, meet great people, and some friendly dogs while you're at it.

Here's a few shops in Oakland, Berkeley, and San Francisco, where we find extra love and inspiration. We too will be making concerted efforts to visit retail shops in person for this holiday season. Happy shopping!

Alkali RyeOwners Kori Saika Chen and Jessica Moncada-Konte are veterans of the beverage industry here in the East Bay and we were over the moon when they opened Alkali Rye together in Oakland's Grand Lake neighborhood. Their passion and vision for spirits and drinks are palpable in their highly inclusive shop full of spirits, wines, and vermouths from around the globe (and hyper locally too). They regularly host tastings and community events – time to get off your butt for some yoga in their upstairs space!
- Kayoko

Alkali Rye
3256 Grand Ave
Oakland, CA 94610

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Five Flavor Herbs

After a bout of insomnia and a few other pandemic-induced issues, I now head over to Five Flavor Herbs for tinctures and remedies prescribed by my acupuncturist that are rooted in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine). Located right around the corner from Umami Mart, this place is a mecca for wellness products, and is jam-packed with soothing oils, bath-time potions, and CBD goodies. Check out this stocking stuffer haven. The staff is a wealth of knowledge too!
- Kayoko

Five Flavor Herbs
344 40th St
Oakland, CA 94609

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Maple Street Denim

I go to Maple Street Denim whenever I need a new pair of jeans I can work in, while still looking good. Owner Julie Harlemann's eye for sizing is incredible. She takes one look at a customer, and can dig out a few pairs of jeans from her stylish catalog of jeans. Plus, I can always get a soft shirt or a pair of socks, that's perfect for gifting everyone from your boyfriend to your niece.
- Yoko

Maple Street Denim
4266 Piedmont Ave
Oakland, CA 94611

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Monterey Fish Market

Around here, there's no better way to say "Happy Holidays!" than with crab and a dozen oysters. Is it weird to give them as gifts? Phooey, no way! Add in a bottle of sparkling sake and you're set. We love Monterey Market for the freshest variety of seafood, all sustainably harvested. Get a mix of Kumamoto and Beau Soleil oysters and they should have live Dungeness crabs right now. Don't miss the short season!
- Kayoko

Monterey Fish Market
1582 Hopkins St
Berkeley, CA 94707

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Local Butcher Shop

The Local Butcher Shop celebrated 10 years this year by becoming worker-owned! If you are shopping for the gourmand in your life, this is the perfect place to find a gift. Beef jerky, frozen meats, and carefully curated condiments will be choice picks for stocking stuffers! This winter, we've been going to LBS for perfectly sliced shabu-shabu pork belly.
- Yoko

Local Butcher Shop
1600 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94709

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Oaktown Spice Shop

Opened around the same time as Umami Mart, we feel a special kinship with Oaktown Spice Shop. For nearly a decade, they have provided expertise on all the spices we use everyday, plus those elusive spices that pop up in our cookbooks from the dusty ends of our bookshelves! During the holidays, we admire their beautifully packaged gift sets. Our friend Robin of Crossman Meats is regularly popping up there with his delicious sausages and charcuterie. Get it!
- Yoko

Throwback to retail babies in 2013

Oaktown Spice Shop
546 Grand Ave
Oakland, CA 94610

1224 Solano Ave
Albany, CA 94706

3295 Castro Valley Blvd
Castro Valley, CA 94546

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Your Local Book Shop (Pegasus Books)

There is nothing I missed more during the pandemic than browsing the shelves at my library or book store. When I first walked back into my local Pegasus shop in Berkeley (they have multiple locations all over the East Bay), I nearly cried. The service here is bar-none – the staff's knowledge is encyclopedic and they are all so nice and patient. They have new and used books of all genres, and if they don't have a book I want, they always special order it and they text me when it's been delivered. They also have great jigsaw puzzles too! Fave books I read this year were Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro and Breasts and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami. Get them at your local book shop and let me know what you think of them!
- Kayoko

Pegasus Books
5560 College Ave
Oakland, CA 94618

2349 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704

1855 Solano Ave
Berkeley, CA 94707

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The Perish Trust

Perish Trust are our not-so-secret styling gods. Owners Kelly and Rod, always have the store styled in such a way that you feel you've entered the nostalgic era of the gold rush. From the iconic communal table adorned with historical books and stunning floral arrangement to their vintage statement furniture pieces that make you wish this was your home, the Perish Trust is always inspiring. Browse their apothecary, stationary, and vintage categories for gift inspiration! You can find select Umami Mart barware here too!
- Yoko

The Perish Trust
728 Divisadero St
San Francisco, CA 94117

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Oakland Yard Wine Shop + Junction

We are lucky to have a wine shop just around the corner from us that always has a recommendation at the ready. With plenty of bottles at all price ranges, Oakland Yard is our go-to when we are headed to a dinner party. And if you need a break during all of that holiday shopping (presumably at Umami Mart, of course), pop in at their cozy bar for a quick glass of what's on tap for the day! 
- Yoko

Oakland Yard
420 40th St
Oakland, CA 94609

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Preserved: Fermentation Supply and Grocery

This is how we wish our kitchen looked like. Owner Elizabeth curates functional kitchenwares and ingredients that will have you making all the fermented food you can conjure up in no time. Shopping for someone who has it all? Give the gift of virtual workshops ranging from kombucha brewing to cucumber pickling!
- Yoko

Preserved
5032 Telegraph Ave
Oakland, CA 94609

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Sou Sou

People often ask me where I get all my boxy dresses and drawstring pants, so here you go! Sou Sou is an apparel company based in Kyoto and we are so lucky to have an outlet right in San Francisco, located inside the New People building in Japantown. I go here for dresses I may need for a special event like a wedding, or just casual everyday wear. Everything is made in Japan with high-quality local fabrics, all at surprisingly reasonable prices. I love their colorful prints and comfortable designs. Their tabi sock collection is also noteworthy.
- Kayoko

Sou Sou
1746 Post St #2F
San Francisco, CA 94115

*Most photos courtesy of retailer

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