Umami Mart Registry

Our Holiday Shopping Guide has been updated this year! We first came out with this in 2021 when the world was coming out of the pandemic, and we wanted to make sure that our community of small retail businesses were being recognized during the holiday season. Doing so has never been more important!

Here's a list of shops in Oakland, Berkeley, and San Francisco,¬†where we find extra love and inspiration. We love our Bay Area retail community ‚Äď please continue to shop small this season and take advantage of all the awesome shops that we have right in¬†our¬†own neighborhoods. You'll get to finish off your holiday shopping lists, meet great people, and some friendly dogs while you're at it.

A big thank you to everyone for supporting our own retail concept on our little block in Oakland! 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 too!
- Kayoko

Alkali Rye
3256 Grand Ave
Oakland, CA 94610

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Annie's Annuals + Perennials 
2023 entry!

Annie's is a real gem in the East Bay. It's a wonderland of natives, flowers, and vines that stretches for as far as the eye can see. In addition to their great selection, I always appreciate the kind staff and their expertise.
- Yoko

Annie's Annuals
740 Market Ave
Richmond, CA 94801

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Bay-Made
2023 entry!

Focused exclusively on products made in the Bay Area, this shop in the Grand Lake neighborhood is a gem for unique gifts by local artisans. From candies and soaps to jewelry and original artwork, the space is packed to the gills with super fun gifts, all displayed with an artful eye. Look out for whimsical earrings and rings by our friend Becca Compton, sold here!
- Kayoko

Bay-Made
3295 Lakeshore Ave
Oakland, CA 94610

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Cultured Pickle Shop
2023 entry!

A pioneer in the fermentation scene here in the Bay and beyond, Cultured has been in operation for 27 years ‚Äď 18 of them in this Berkeley space. Join them on weekends for a bowl of steamed rice glittering with their various housemade pickles, always rotating depending on the season. The jars of umeboshi, kraut, chili paste, and kasuzuke pickles make awesome stocking stuffers.
- Kayoko

Cultured Pickle Shop
800 Bancroft Way Suite #105
Berkeley, CA 94710

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Five Flavor Herbs

If I have a bout of insomnia or other aging lady issues, I 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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Joodooboo
2023 entry!

We are so lucky to have a dooboo¬†(tofu, in Korean) maker in Oakland! What's more, owner Steve Joo is in the kitchen not only¬†creating his signature soft tofu everyday, but also the freshest California-inspired banchan. Their tofu and banchan subscription program is a weekly treat ‚Äď the perfect gift for a local who could regularly use a night off of cooking. Also not to miss is their awesome merch!¬†
- Kayoko

Joodooboo
4201 Market St
Oakland, CA 94608

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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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Mr. Mopps' Children's Books + Toys
2023 entry!

Historic Mr. Mopps'¬†is one of the very best toy stores in the Bay! With their vast selection of non-commercial toys and educational tools, this is well worth the visit for anyone shopping for a kid. Their entire back wall is devoted to Calico Critters¬†(same as Japan's Sylvanian Family) ‚Äď my daughter's fave¬†that is a fantastic alternative to Barbie, Paw Patrol, and My Little Pony. And their huge book shop is a wonderland for children and adults alike.

Mr. Mopps' Children's Books + Toys
1401 Martin Luther King Jr Way
Berkeley, CA 94709

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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

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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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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Oaktown Spice Shop

Opened around the same time as Umami Mart, we feel a special kinship with Oaktown Spice Shop. For over 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.
- 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 (ours is Pegasus Books)

There is nothing sweeter¬†than browsing¬†the¬†shelves at my library or book store. The service¬†at Pegasus¬†is bar-none ‚Äď 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! Books I read this year that I recommend were Stay True by Hua Hsu, Intimacies by Katie Kitamura,¬†and Trust by Hernan Diaz.¬†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 is our not-so-secret styling gods. Owner Kelly Ishikawa always has 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

728 Divisadero St
San Francisco, CA 94117

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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 a workshop or two, ranging from kombucha brewing to cucumber pickling!

- Yoko

Preserved
5032 Telegraph Ave
Oakland, CA 94609

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Sesame a Tiny Bakery
2023 entry!

Sesame a Tiny Bakery, is always a huge treat. From their signature citrus shortbread cookies, to their seasonal cakes featuring plums, persimmons, cherries, and nuts, MaryKate deliciously encapsulates the fruits and treasure of the Bay Area into her sweets.
- Yoko

Sesame a Tiny Bakery
2533 Seventh St
Berkeley, CA 94710

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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 were taken by us or are courtesy of the retailer

1 comment

  • I accidentally ran across your store? What a Fabulous Store and i have been wanting a dress from Japan made from real fabric. I love the drawstring dresses and pants.. So happy to hear about thus store and i want to check out the Fermenting Book Store in Oakland as well. Thank you. ūüĆļ

    Betty FAgan on

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