THE MAKING OF AN OAKLAND SHOPPING GUIDE
The first two blogs were really about LOCALMOTIV and why we started this company. However, the intention is not to write about us (boring) but to celebrate all that is awesome about the local shopping scene in Oakland and to celebrate our communities. We are striving to create dialogue that will nurture a like-minded community that shops, talks, and shares local experiences.
If you feel so inclined, please go to our LOCALMOTIV Facebook Page and start sharing your favorite reasons, stores and neighborhoods for shopping in Oakland. Let us all inspire each other to shop local!
Let’s celebrate local together.
THE EPITOME OF LOCAL…
To that end, I want to share the story of Someone’s in the Kitchen, a store I mentioned in my previous blog. Jennifer Sandstrom opened her store in Montclair Village http://montclairvillage.com/, a neighborhood in Oakland CA, about 13 years ago. “Why Montclair?” I asked.
“I wanted to do it in the community I was a part of. It was just a dream.”
— Jennifer Sandstrom
She explains further, “after I closed my bakery to focus on raising my sons, I became heavily involved in the schools and volunteering. We did a lot of fun events but my favorites were the auctions for gourmet dinners and gift baskets.” The school life launched her into a robust social scene in Montclair where she met so many people and developed deep friendships. She soon found herself noticing “hey, there is a community here that likes good food. Foody people.” And so, the idea of Someone’s in the Kitchen was born. She decided to launch her store of quality kitchen supplies in Oakland, and more precisely, in her Montclair neighborhood of passionate cooks; a community she knew and loved.
And Someone’s in the Kitchen is at the center of Montclair Village sitting on La Salle Ave surrounded by a few other locally owned stores, the types of which are not very common anymore. Montclair is interesting because it looks like it is fighting to become a bustling neighborhood. It is a weird mix of unexpected (but much wanted) unique stores, coffee shops, and a few restaurants v. the gentrified and endless offerings of banks and realtors.
Jennifer’s store is one of the former, and I wish there were more stores like hers. It has everything you need for your kitchen, and it is also perfect for gift shopping in Oakland if you feel compelled to buy a gift for someone who has a passion for cooking, baking, and an overall love for all things kitchen and household. Le Creuset? Got it… Cuisinart? All-Clad? Lodge? Yep, yep, and yep… Pots, pans, and gadgets. She has it all.
Her assortment reflects her joy for cooking and baking which most definitely comes from her background. As she says from the point of view of being a former baker, “you need the great tools to help you and to make it all easier. For example, a poor quality rolling pin makes the job just that much harder.” She wants the best for her customers, and she does the hard work to ensure her inventory includes top quality kitchen tools. You don’t need to google kitchen supply stores near me if you live in or near Oakland.
It is fun to be in her store because the journey of discovery goes beyond highly-rated items. As you explore, you will discover something else. It is a delight to take time to browse because there are so many other items that are sure to surprise and inspire your inner passionate cook. Be forewarned: you might leave there with more than you had intended. Indeed, it is a creative, thoughtful, and extensive collection that makes shopping a joy.
IS BUYING LOCAL MORE EXPENSIVE: MY DISCOVERY OF MINIMUM ADVERTISED PRICE (MAP)
But on the day that I visited her store, I was in need of steak knives, a utility knife, and a knife sharpener. She had just what I needed: all Wusthof, a highly reputable German knife manufacturer. She told me the company has been owned by the same family for over 200 years. I love that. She also explained to me that they have a reputation for pulling their products from retailers who sell them below the Minimum Advertised Price (MAP).
This was very interesting to me so, I had to learn more. Via a quick google search it was confirmed: Wusthof is a diligent enforcer of MAP. They have even gone after online sellers to root out the problem. And there are many many major brands that have MAP policies.
What is MAP and why is it important? MAP is the lowest selling price that a retailer can promote a product. Retailers are not allowed to sell below the MAP price. Most retailers sell their items at the Retailers Suggested Price to make a mark up and then advertise sales at MAP pricing. Jennifer sells all the major brands that she carries at MAP, which is a fair price to me. In fact, everyday is a SALE at Someone’s in the Kitchen!
IT’S A LOVE OF COMMUNITY
There are many reasons to shop local. What is most meaningful to me is that she is not just selling products. She is promoting her love of the community. She is a longtime neighbor and friend to many. She was a dedicated school volunteer. Someone’s in the Kitchen is the product of her life here. She wears Oakland on her sleeve. Indeed, she sees herself as part of the community and very much wants to provide a service that we all need and want.
She is helping us all solve our culinary and household challenges, one customer at a time. You can’t buy that on the internet!
To learn more, visit Someone’s in the Kitchen website, or visit Jennifer’s store at 6128 LaSalle Ave, Oakland CA, 94611.
Some other great reasons to shop in Montclair Village:
A Great Good Place for Books
The Book Tree
Farmstead Cheeses and Wines
Montclair Sporting Goods, Inc.
Pelago Gift Shop
Mix Shades and More
Sophie’s Cuppa Tea