Since The Grainery first opened its doors in 1975, its stock has grown to include more than 4,000 natural and organic groceries and supplements, including many locally sourced items. To help customers navigate this cornucopia of items, staffers are on hand to direct shoppers to particular bulk spices, organic products, and rare items such as teff and sorghum, henna powders, and emu oil. Moreover, they can use their in-depth knowledge of the products to help customers select items that cater to specific lifestyles, including dairy-free, gluten-free, and Cheetos-free diets. In addition to food items, the store stocks cooking accessories that facilitate a healthy lifestyle as well as nonplastic food containers and utensils.
At Casa Durango, chefs whip up a smorgasbord of Mexican eats, with a spread of tortas, tacos, salads, and burritos paired with frosty tropical cocktails and margaritas. Like a computer manual written by Stephen King, the menu is as lengthy as it is appetizing. It presents dozens of different steaks, enchiladas, seafood, and chicken dishes ladled with zesty sauces and complemented by sides of savory rice and beans. The dishes run the gamut from traditional, homey plates of marinated lamb shank and slow-simmered pork to group-pleasing dishes of nachos and taquitos. And when it comes to entertaining groups, the restaurant also hosts karaoke performances that lighten the mood on weekends.
Occasionally, an Italian exporter will ask the owner of Poggi Bonsi why she named her business after Poggibonsi, a small town in Tuscany. The answer is simple: it's fun to say. It may be even more fun to peruse the shop's shelves, which hold handpicked items from artisans across the pond. The woman who owns the shop seeks out suppliers who practice crafts the same way her ancestors did. This explains Poggi Bonsi's extensive stock of Italian ceramics and French linens. They supplement this timeless selection with modern appliances, kitchen gadgets, and bakeware.
Horseradish vodka and salty pops of red caviar mingle with cigar smoke, baked apples, and freshly plucked orchids. One of Sweet Anthem’ signature fragrances, Anton’s scent is as heady as the concept behind it. Meredith Smith derived the musky fragrance from her honeymoon in Russia, and each note recalls a specific place and time from her trip. “Fragrance is evoking an idea—it’s creating something out of nothing,” explains Meredith. “Fragrance leaves, evaporates, and I want those fleeting moments to be evocative of the inspiration behind it.”
This olfactory philosophy inspired all of her signature scents, which she compounds and bottles by hand in her atelier. Her fragrances shirk the stereotypical floral notes, instead incorporating unusual notes such as tobacco, tomato leaf, and sarsaparilla.
Meredith’s meticulous attention to detail extends to her apothecary itself: tiny glass vials occupy wooden nooks, and long metal tables serve as workspace for her perfume-making classes. In addition to classes, Meredith empowers customers to concoct their own scents with DIY kits and private appointments that teach the fundamentals of perfumery, such as figuring out ingredient volatility and determining which nostril regulates the ability to love.
To call The Body Shop a mere skin and body care store is to miss half of what makes it special. Late founder Dame Anita Roddick was a pioneer for ethical business practices; upon opening her first store in Brighton, England, in 1976, she developed company values such as "Defend Human Rights" and "Protect The Planet." She somehow balanced principles and profit, partnering in global campaigns with UNICEF, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, all while ultimately expanding her brand into 2,500 locations in over 60 international markets. After her death in 2007, then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, ?She campaigned for green issues for many years before it became fashionable to do so and inspired millions to the cause by bringing sustainable products to a mass market. . . . She was an inspiration.?
Indeed, the Body Shop exhibits an eco-friendliness and social consciousness that's hard to come by in a company of its size. Its products have been fair-trade since 1987, and its Against Animal Testing movement led to an EU-wide ban of animal testing of cosmetics. The products are made from ingredients harvested from around the world: shea butter from Ghana goes into body scrubs and butters, and Indian artisans craft wooden massagers and tote bags that are screenprinted by hand. But all that isn't to say the company's production practices overshadow its final products. Skincare treatments such as the brand?s iconic body butters, facial products, and gift collections often appear in Allure, Marie Claire, Lucky, Seventeen and other national publications.
Christen Cottam can describe scents on an atomic level, although she prefers to discuss the emotional, memory-based side of fragrance with her clients at Knows Perfume. According to the West Seattle Herald, Cottam taught high-school science and worked as a biotech sales rep, explaining complex, ethereal concepts to laypeople. Now, she helps clients discover their favorite fragrances and find words to interpret their sensory experiences. Cottam backs up her methods with hard facts: She eschews paper test strips because scents evolve when they mingle with chemicals on the skin, and explains that citrus seems fresher and lighter than musk because of its lower molecular weight and the deodorant it wears.
Cottam opened the boutique in 2010 to showcase uncommon fragrance lines such as Smell Bent and Aroma M, which are not necessarily distributed at department stores. Under a high, wood ceiling that maximizes ventilation, Cottam cultivates an indie fragrance community through perfume classes, scent "tastings," and an art gallery she curates and opens for the monthly West Seattle Art Walk. Cakes from Baked Seattle grace every Knows event, as do patrons' keen-nosed, four-legged companions, who are also welcome to sojourn from the gossip at the fire hydrant into the shop's aromatic yet apolitical atmosphere.