Monday, December 24, 2012

25 Days Project: Mission Ace

Posted By on Mon, Dec 24, 2012 at 6:20 AM

Mission.JPG

When trying to support local merchants, it’s helpful to know that some stores you might think are chains are in actuality still independently owned. Such is the case with Ace Hardware stores, many of which were already small hometown operations before taking on the “Ace” name and inventory. My go-to hardware store is the family-owned Mission Ace on Hwy. 12 in Santa Rosa, which began life as a downtown Santa Rosa institution known as Levine’s Hardware, on Fourth Street. In the 1970s, when 12 square blocks of downtown were zoned for redevelopment to make way for the mall, the owners of Levine’s Hardware didn’t tear down their building. Instead, they cut it in two, put it on the back of a flatbed truck, and slowly moved it three miles down the road to its current location. Go there now and you’ll find the old wooden sidewalk transformed into a wraparound front porch, and you’ll see the old paint loft from Levine’s still intact. What also hasn’t changed is the helpful one-on-one service. I don’t know how many curveballs I’ve thrown at their employees over the years, but they always find me what I need—after all, the family has been in the hardware business since 1960. Tools, paint, electrical, plumbing, lumber—you name it, they know it, and they’ve even got an expansive Garden Loft perfect for perusing on weekends, when there are free coffee and donuts at the front door. Before you ask, yes, the beautiful old green 1947 Ford truck is still used for deliveries, but no, you can’t drive it. I’ve been asking for 12 years! 4310 Hwy. 12, Santa Rosa, 707.539.7070.




The 25 Days Project is an online series through the month of December spotlighting some of our favorite local businesses. Read more about the project here, and about our commitment to shopping locally here.

  • Pin It
    favorite

Tags: ,

Sunday, December 23, 2012

25 Days Project: Gardeners Aid

Posted By on Sun, Dec 23, 2012 at 11:16 AM

photo.JPG

For the longest time, I wondered where to get my lawnmower blade sharpened. If you mow a lawn, you know how it can get. Whole swaths of thick grass “chunked” instead of cut. Patterns of swirl atop seas of green. A slow, sand-in-the-gastank-like chugging slog while heaving your clunky relic across the front yard. Sigh. A perfect lawn not being my top priority, I went about my search for a fix in the most lackadaisical manner possible. To wit, I asked someone every four months or so where I could get a lawnmower blade sharpened. All of them said Gardener’s Aid, in Roseland. It was another four months before I stopped by. They were friendly. They were funny. They had a showroom full of mowers and weed whackers and trimmers and parts and accessories thereof, along with some newspaper clippings about their family in the window and some old stuff tacked to the wall behind the counter. I asked about the blade sharpening. “Seven bucks if you bring it in off the mower,” they said, “$12.50 if you need us to pull it off.” Not only am I headed there as soon as the rain stops with a haggard, blunt blade, I’ll be checking out the rest of their inventory, too. 1050 Sebastopol Road, Santa Rosa, 707.545.7620.




The 25 Days Project is an online series through the month of December spotlighting some of our favorite local businesses. Read more about the project here, and about our commitment to shopping locally here.

  • Pin It
    favorite

Tags: ,

Saturday, December 22, 2012

25 Days Project: Wee Three Children's Store

Posted By on Sat, Dec 22, 2012 at 11:14 AM

weethree.jpg

The last thing a new parent wants is to be is overwhelmed. You think staying up all night and dealing with crying for hours is calming? You are either a Zen master, or don’t have a kid. That’s why, once, I stood in the aisles of some huge impersonal store full of baby stuff, unable to find anything I needed, unable to find any help, and walked out and drove straight to Wee Three Children’s Store. Finally, a simple, manageable shop with plenty of kids’ clothes and shoes and toys, with an inventory that wasn’t cookie-cutter but instead hand-selected by someone who obviously knows kids. There was even a used section, which, if I were President, every children’s store would be required to have. With the help of the person behind the counter, I found a perfect little pair of shoes that instantly attracted compliments. In short (no pun intended), a good little place that I wound up telling all my fellow parents about—and they, with bleary eyes and slurred speech, thanked me. 1007 West College Ave., Santa Rosa, 707.525.9333.



The 25 Days Project is an online series through the month of December spotlighting some of our favorite local businesses. Read more about the project here, and about our commitment to shopping locally here.

  • Pin It
    favorite

Tags: ,

Friday, December 21, 2012

25 Days Project: County Regional Parks Pass

Posted By on Fri, Dec 21, 2012 at 5:40 AM

Parks_Map.jpg

We had our Christmas early this year, and my mom gave me the best present—a Sonoma County Regional Parks Pass gift card that I can redeem anytime during 2013 for a full year of access to the 55 parks in our brilliant, widespread regional parks system. Some of my favorite spots make the list: Helen Putnam in Petaluma, Riverfront outside of Healdsburg, Spring Lake, Doran (with a long stretch of sandy beach, it's perfect for dogs and kids), Crane Creek (Frisbee Golf!), Hood Mountain (Hobbit-land), Ragle Ranch and so much more. It’s the perfect present for nature lovers, people with dogs (unlike state parks, most regional parks allow dogs on leash), and people who like to meander through trees rather than do death marches up mountains. With a baby on the way in January, the park will give us access to a summer of easy hikes with babe in tow, and across the greater North Bay. The pass costs $69—a bargain when you think about all of the adventures in store during a full year of use. Gift cards are the way to go because then the recipient can choose to register for the pass whenever they want. I’m waiting until March, when the whether starts to clear up and the hills and valleys begin to beckon. Gift cards can be purchased online, or locally at Oliver’s Markets in Santa Rosa and Cotati, Sebastopol Hardware Center, Frizelle Enos Feeds or Sonoma Outfitters. 145 Third Street, Santa Rosa. 707.528.1920.



The 25 Days Project is an online series through the month of December spotlighting some of our favorite local businesses. Read more about the project here, and about our commitment to shopping locally here.

  • Pin It
    favorite

Tags: ,

Thursday, December 20, 2012

25 Days Project: Corrick's

Posted By on Thu, Dec 20, 2012 at 5:32 AM

corricks.jpg

Dear Lord, please do not ever let Corrick’s close. My house is redolent with its inventory: Pilot G2 pens, envelopes, Sharpies, legal forms, a stuffed Snuffleupagus puppet, maps, cards, Little Golden books, paper clips, tape, padded manila envelopes, picture hangers. I still remember the first thing I ever bought there—a ribbon for my Olympia typewriter. (I still buy the same ribbon there for my Royal.) I pine for the days of buying rub-on lettering there. I will never forget the saleslady’s sympathetic look one Christmas when she told me they were sold out of sweater lint shavers. One night, I got to talking with a fellow customer about this ‘n’ that, and soon we were talking about Santa Rosa, and next thing I knew it turned out she went to high school with my dad; it’s that type of place. I love that no one ever quits, and that their back room has one of those great old bank safe doors, and that they’re coming up on their 100th anniversary. And like a lot of other Santa Rosans, I always walk in and think to myself, “Maybe someday I’ll buy something from the front half of the store.” 637 Fourth St., Santa Rosa, 707.546.2424.


The 25 Days Project is an online series through the month of December spotlighting some of our favorite local businesses. Read more about the project here, and about our commitment to shopping locally here.

  • Pin It
    favorite

Tags: ,

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

25 Days Project: Brotherhood Board Shop

Posted By on Wed, Dec 19, 2012 at 10:27 AM

Brotherhoodphoto.jpg

When my husband wanted to buy my two-year old, board-obsessed nephew his first skateboard, he didn’t go to Walmart or Costco or Toys R’ Us to pick up a cheaply made knock-off version of the real thing. Instead, he headed over to Brotherhood Board Shop in Santa Rosa, where he bought a sweet deck—all set up with Bones wheels and high-quality trucks—for under $100. Owned by Jon Lohne, a longtime Santa Rosa skateboarder who can be seen at backyard skate ramps and underground ledge spots (or riding around on his refurbished mopeds) as often as he can be seen in the actual store, Brotherhood is everything that a skateboard shop should be. Stop in to pick up decks—by Krooked, Antihero, Plan B, Girl and more—flatbars, trucks, wheels, shoes, hats, cruisers, grip tape, clothing, backpacks, skate DVDs and pretty much anything else that the skateboarder or snowboarder in your life wants and needs. The store also hosts video premieres—most recently of the rad Girl- and Chocolate Skateboards-produced video “Pretty Sweet,” which features one of the best opening shots ever. In the summer, the shop brims with kids, young and old, busting out tricks in the parking lot at regularly hosted skate contests. And what’s better than awesome service from people who leave, breathe and eat skateboarding? 1240 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa. 707.546.0660.


The 25 Days Project is an online series through the month of December spotlighting some of our favorite local businesses. Read more about the project here, and about our commitment to shopping locally here.

  • Pin It
    favorite

Tags: ,

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

25 Days Project: Fatty's Threads

Posted By on Tue, Dec 18, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Fattys.jpg

When you get down to it, Fatty’s Threads is probably the best store in all of Sonoma County. Fatty’s carries clothes, books, stereo equipment, baseball cards, magazines, tools, chewing gum, appliances, DVDs, posters, bicycles, sporting equipment, cleaning products, art supplies, model cars, records, patio furniture, toys and more, but calling it a “junk shop” doesn’t to it justice. Truly a neighborhood hub, it’s also a meet-up place, a treasure hunt, a trapeze act, a history lesson, a loan department and a museum of oddities. I’ve always been drawn to these kinds of stores, where the proprietors are usually cranky and condescending. Then there’s Dave Puccetti, the truly friendly ringleader of Fatty’s who acts more like a really great bartender than a store owner—doling out advice, helping out those down on their luck, giving opinions when asked and quoting you prices way below what you expected to pay. A full Atari 2600 system, from 1983, with joysticks, adapters and 30 game cartridges for just $25? Yes, it’s that kind of shop. I almost feel bad letting the secret out after 10 years, because the eBayers will be all over this place, but Dave is so great and the store is so chock-full of great finds—just go there and see for yourself. 1290 Sebastopol Road, Santa Rosa, 707.578.6916.




The 25 Days Project is an online series through the month of December spotlighting some of our favorite local businesses. Read more about the project here, and about our commitment to shopping locally here.

  • Pin It
    favorite

Tags: ,

Monday, December 17, 2012

25 Days Project: The Toyworks

Posted By on Mon, Dec 17, 2012 at 10:47 AM

toyworks.jpg
I’d already picked up a small chocolate cake and candles, but I knew that I needed something more. Something special. It was, after all, my daughter’s very first birthday. As a new dad, I was clueless as to what to get, but knew just where to go: The Toyworks. “Does she have a doll?” the woman asked, plain as day, after I presented my dilemma. Why hadn’t I thought of that? Under $20 later, I’d found the perfect doll in a little pink dress inside a big pink box. I had to be home in 10 minutes, and what to wrap it in? Alas, you never truly appreciate free gift wrapping until you really, really need it, and the Toyworks had me on my way home with an attractive, free wrapping job and a big red ribbon to boot. I’ll never forget riding home that day on my scooter, partially because I had to put the big present under my feet and I’m sure I looked silly. But as I rode down E Street, ready to put a huge smile on a beautiful little girl’s face, I was the proudest dad in the world. 531 College Ave., Santa Rosa, 707.526.2099; 6940 Sebastopol Ave., Sebastopol, 707.829.2003.


The 25 Days Project is an online series through the month of December spotlighting some of our favorite local businesses. Read more about the project here, and about our commitment to shopping locally here.

  • Pin It
    favorite

Tags: ,

Sunday, December 16, 2012

25 Days Project: California Luggage Co.

Posted By on Sun, Dec 16, 2012 at 10:33 AM

CaLuggage.JPG
There’s a reason why the wall at California Luggage Co. is covered in postcards from around the world. For over 25 years, their friendly staff has been sending people to the airport, boarding pass in one hand and quality luggage in the other. Walk in just about any hour of the day and there’s a “personal shopper” experience going on, with a customer’s personal packing and travel habits considered for the ideal luggage option. In this way, the place is a living example of the type of one-on-one service that’s impossible online. Even if you’ve never walked through the front door, you’ve no doubt seen the store’s mascot, a life-size shaggy stuffed dog standing out on the sidewalk. (Actually, it’s a sheep these days, I think? The most recent dog “died,” and a “funeral” service was held…) Local politicos, downtown merchants and journalists know owner Bernie Schwartz as the “silent mayor” of Santa Rosa—he knows everybody, and everything—but two generations of customers know him as the best thing that ever happened to their vacation since even before the vacation began. 609 Fourth St., Santa Rosa, 707.528.5799.


The 25 Days Project is an online series through the month of December spotlighting some of our favorite local businesses. Read more about the project here, and about our commitment to shopping locally here.

  • Pin It
    favorite

Tags: ,

Saturday, December 15, 2012

25 Days Project: Napa Music Supply

Posted By on Sat, Dec 15, 2012 at 10:10 AM

NapaMS.jpg
Forget the “No ‘Stairway to Heaven’” rule from Wayne’s World. At Napa Music Supply, customers are welcome to practice, sit and even electrify. NMS sells guitars, amps, keyboards, drums, recording devices, used equipment, has a clearance, all the bells and whistles. “Most music stores are really anal about you playing in the store,” explains Pacific Junior College junior Saul Escobar, contrasting the experience at a music chain store in his hometown that’s “always watching you.” He shops at Napa Music Supply for picks and accessories. “Recently I was in and picked up a ukulele and started playing. They came over and said, ‘You wanna plug that in here? Maybe use a guitar?’” Escobar looks forward to NMS’ friendly service. “They’re always cool. They encourage you to play. They don’t hassle you. They let me be myself and hang out.” 2026 Redwood Road, Napa, 707.265.8275.


The 25 Days Project is an online series through the month of December spotlighting some of our favorite local businesses. Read more about the project here, and about our commitment to shopping locally here.

  • Pin It
    favorite

Tags: ,

Find It

Submit an event

Facebook Activity

Twitter

Read more @nbaybohemian

Copyright © 2016 Metro Newspapers. All rights reserved.

Website powered by Foundation