Shop local this Mother’s Day
By Lou Fancher
Many establishments, services, and restaurants can be found on or just off the Piedmont Avenue corridor — or digitally; a number of online businesses are owned by local residents. Most will celebrate May 14 and beyond with special offers and sales. Here are some top options with Piedmont connections to get the party started:
Boxcar Flower Farm
Boxcar Flower Farm is owned and operated by Piedmonter Linh Becker and Jane Hammond, two East Bay women with a passion for “keeping it local.” Using organic processes, the urban farm at 15th and Wood streets in Oakland produces magnificent, artistic bouquets and arrangements. Along with flowers, a philanthropic bent and embedded generosity grow abundantly at the farm, and Becker and Hammond regularly give back to the community — as in the recent donation of 90 mini succulent terracotta pots that Piedmont High School gave to PHS teachers during National Teacher Appreciation Week. If one bouquet isn’t enough, sign up for a three-month CSA subscription and make mom or grandma smile three times over. Delivery of CSA bouquets is offered within a five-mile radius of the farm. For those who prefer pickup—a chat with Becker or Hammond will make it well worth the time—the farm is open to the public during specific days and times. Check the website for current hours.
Floral arrangements from Brothers and Sisters
Sweet fresh and dried flower arrangements are hallmarks of Brother and Sisters, the fairytale-like flower shop on Grand Avenue that also stocks a wide range of bud vases, succulents, candles, and planters. The shop is open on Saturdays and Sundays and usually has an array of bouquets ready to go, but don’t wait until the last minute to get yours. Order ahead to ensure you have the bouquet you want.
Fentons Creamery & Restaurant
For some people, Mother’s Day exists entirely for the purpose of indulging in the family-friendly, tongue-pleasing ice cream served up at this longtime hub. Times may have changed, but not Fenton’s Black & Tan, a marvelous concoction made with Toasted Almond and creamy Vanilla ice cream layered with handmade Caramel and Chocolate Fudge and topped with toasted almonds, whipped cream and a cherry. For others, it’s the Fudgeanna or Fenton’s Frost or a Create-Your-Own sundae or Banana Split or….more. Maybe your mom loves the Crab Melt sandwich or hungers for a burger, salad, soup. Regardless, the menu has it all, the location is nearby, and the atmosphere practically hollers “Moms are The Best: let’s celebrate!” Want to stay at home and still dig into sweet, creamy goodness, order online, take your order to-go or schedule for delivery.
Breakfast in bed … or out
Eating in bed looks like fun in the movies, but perhaps sitting down to an array of delicious local pastries at a table is a better way to go (because who wants to clean up all the crumbs on Mother’s Day?) Pastries from any one of these popular local bakeries for Sunday brunch or dessert is a smart move. Some of our favorites:
Treat mom — and maybe yourself — to one or many of the services offered at this upscale hair salon owned and operated by Oakland native Eryn Harrison. Specializing in cutting, stylizing, highlighting, and coloring hair, the shop also offers waxing, makeup application, and conditioning face care services. Top-end products and staff with strong local connections and years of expertise add to the attractions and make “calm” the perfect descriptor of a visit to the salon. Online booking is simple and while on the website, check out the links to the staff’s favorite local businesses. Included in the mix are restaurants and bars, wedding photographers, and retail shops.
Piedmont Center for the Arts
The PCA at 801 Magnolia Ave. in Piedmont proper is dedicated to hosting local artists through a banquet of monthly and annual events, from art and photography exhibits to solo and chamber concerts to comedy shows and more. Consider a donation in mom’s honor, or purchase tickets for an upcoming event and take mom out for an evening or afternoon of entertainment.
Keep local theaters alive: If she’s more of a film buff, the Landmark Theatre on Piedmont Avenue has Hollywood blockbusters and more. Currently on the big screen is “Book Club: the Next Chapter.” This sequel to the 2018 movie sees Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen reprise their roles. If you can’t literally take mom and her book club to Italy, you can certainly indulge the fantasy with this vicarious, once-in-a-lifetime cross-country romp.
She fixed dinner for you for years: now it’s your turn. Make reservations for dinner at this inventive, creative restaurant operated by Aomboon Deasy of K & J Orchards and Chef Alan Hsu. The seasonal menu flows according to market availability and offers local sourcing to ensure the best taste, quality, and textures arrive on every plate. The dinner-only restaurant offers starters with ingredients from K & J Farm, Wolfe Ranch, Big Bluff Ranch, Stemple Ranch, Zuckerman farms, and others. Expect excellent pasta courses, reliably delicious mains, and desserts that might surprise. The vibe is hybrid, East-West-Meets-California-Casual (due to the owners’ impressive culinary backgrounds). An emphasis on healthy, balanced, flavorful food is amplified by a respectable beverage menu that includes wine, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages.