DOWNTOWN NAPA New Stores to Explore
Downtown Napa and the Oxbow District are changing, with lots of new locally oriented shops opening up. In 2018 alone, twenty-eight new businesses opened. 2019 is off to a roaring start, with six businesses opening their doors already. Here’s a look at three that opened in the first week of January this year.
1412 Second Street
699-2960 or mondaybakery.com
Open every day except Wednesday It all started with Rice Krispie treats, baked in a microwave oven, in her dormitory room. Sally Latimer, the owner of Monday Bakery, knew she was onto something when her dorm mates kept begging her to keep making – and sharing – more and more of the treats. Although she graduated from Gonzaga University with a music degree, Latimer turned to a culinary career in Seattle, WA. It was there that she learned the art of the molten chocolate cake at Hot Cakes Confections. From there she moved to Napa and received a culinary education at the Culinary Institute of America. Upon graduation, she worked at a couple of well-known restaurants in the Valley, including The Thomas and Fagiani’s, and Ad Hoc. Through working for many amazing chefs, Sally cultivated a desire to open her
Monday Bakery marries Latimer’s love for classic desserts with her never-ending creativity, as well as her passion for local ingredients combined with unique flavor pairings. She constantly strives to provide customers with a high quality product and a reason to look forward to Mondays, as well as every other day of the week. As soon as she opened, Napans found her, and started their days with brown butter cinnamon rolls, sour cream coffee cakes, muffins, biscuits and almond cake. Those looking for savory offerings can enjoy a seasonal salad or sandwich, breakfast sandwich, quiche or frittata. Savvy diners know to leave room for dessert; or to order something to go, from the many sweet offerings, including cupcakes, cookies, cake by the slice or chocolate mousse cups.
Calamity Jane’s Trading Company of the Napa Valley
1412 Second Street
286-9996 or calamityjanesnapavalley.com
Open every day except Tuesday Some refer to Cathy Becker, whose shop opened on January 4, as Calamity Jane, and with good reason. Like her old west counterpart, Becker lives life to the fullest. At thirteen she was a world champion horse rider of Morgan horses. She later owned a 2500-acre cattle ranch with 400 head of cattle and half dozen horses. She sold honey, produced at the 1,000 beehives she kept. She and her husband, Napa fire fighter Steve Becker, love to hunt and fish. Becker was also a model for both Schaefer Outfitters and Miller Clothing, and has traveled the country extensively for several custom goods companies.
This variety of experiences has helped shape Becker’s goal, which is to be that person in the neighborhood “who can get you what you want. If you’re looking for something unusual, say a leather briefcase with a pearl inlay handle, I may not have it on the shelf, but I probably know a craftsman somewhere in the country who makes them and is the best at it.” The crafts men and women Cathy works with and represent “are amazing artists, selected for the quality of their work as well as their character.” When local is best, that’s who Becker turns to. “We were sourcing good pottery makers and talked to Mel Simpson, who taught pottery at Napa High for twenty-five years. Mel’s work is as good as you are going to fine anywhere, and when he agreed to work with us, we knew we didn’t have to look any further – we’d found the best in our own back yard.” Their line of holsters is from a saddle maker in Tombstone, AZ, a stone’s throw from the OK Corral. One of the fine-goods is a line of handbags sourced out of Breckenridge, CO, which features exotic skins. “It’s actually a conservation effort, as they fund several programs for animals facing extinction.”
Becker calls her shop a place “Where the Wild West meets the Napa Valley.” The store has an old west mercantile feel, and is absolutely beautiful. Calamity Jane’s stocks Old Gringo Boots and Pendleton, and is working on bringing in Wrangle Jeans and Justin Boots. They will also custom make your boots. But that’s just the start. Calamity Jane’s features jewelry, pottery, hats, purses and clutches, wallets, belts; even bottle stoppers.
1240 First Street
927-3303 or napastak.com
Open everyday The word “Napastak” has special significance for Lulu and Arthur Hartunian, owners of the shop, beyond the Napa connotation. It means “rabbit” in Armenian, their native culture, and it’s also the second word their daughter Isabella spoke (her first was “Daddy”). When their kids were little, one of the family’s favorite movies was Ratatouille. In a playful nod to that and their daughter’s early vocabulary, Napastak’s rabbit, in chef’s jacket and with spoon in hand, has become the store’s icon.
Napastak opened in the Oxbow Public Market five years ago, but as Lulu explains, the new store is much more than just a second location. “Our new location is unique from our spot in the Oxbow Market. It’s allowed us to bring back some of our original labels and broaden our offerings,” she said. At the new location, you can taste and buy wines from Napastak Cellars, produced at Laird Family Estates by Napastak’s own winemaker. If you’re in more of a coffee mood, enjoy a coffee drink as you explore the shop, or just grab a cup to go. And like the wine, this is the Hartunian’s own blend, too. “We feature ‘Epicurean Blend’ and ‘Chefspresso,’ available by the cup or pound.” Is tea your preferred drink? Try their Armenian Jewel, made with pomegranate. Enjoy a hot cup; buy it by the ounce, or as part of a five-tea gift box. Pair your drink with a fresh-baked Bouchon bakery goody.
The new Napastak features Napa made jams, wine jellies, local mustards, and vinegars. “We’ve carried vinegars from the beginning, and offer twenty-five styles and flavors, including white truffle vinegar.” All of these items have proven popular with home chefs and as hostess gifts. Napastak also carries branded placemats, wooden spoons, aprons – you name it – all perfect complements to your kitchen.Cabinets