bergamot alley
There's so much to love about Bergamot Alley — a charming, and decidedly streamlined, wine bar owned by former flour + water/A16 sommelier Kevin Wardell and partner Sarah Johnson in Healdsburg, CA.
 
Let us count the ways...
 
1. The shelving from the Healdsburg Machine Shop.
2. The 17-foot ceilings are finished in their original tin from 1896.
 
bergamot alley
 
3. Custom barstools from old school desks.
 
 
4. 1950′s hot dog bun baking tray bar table kickers.
 
bun baking kickers
 
5. Old vinyl on the record player.
6. A temperature-controlled cellar with a barn door entry; dubbed the “porn room”.
 
cellar
 
7. A wide selection of local draft beer displayed in a medical refrigerator.
8. A Jars & Tins menu of canned pickles, pates, and more. (coming soon)
 
Wine
 
9. Non-local wine. (from France, Spain, Morocco, Italy, and Greece-- in wine country no less).

10. The squid decal by Telluride, CO-based artist Nathan Frerichs.

 
Agrarian
French laundry garden
 
Homegrown and homemade are two lifestyle trends spurring product ranges.
 
Williams-Sonoma is the latest retailer to launch a new product collection “for customers who want to go beyond cooking by cultivating a healthy awareness of where their food comes from.”
Agrarian
{source: Williams-Sonoma}
 
Rooted in Global Locality & Less-ism (see our 2012 forecast here), the Agrarian line includes upscale gardening and cultivating supplies such as heirloom seeds, gardening tools by Sophie Conran from London, cedar raised beds from Farmer D, chicken coops, culinary herb seed bombs, and home canning & preserving supplies from Europe. For the customer who does not have time to visit the local nursery, live fruit trees, organic herbs, and heirloom vegetables can be delivered to customers’ front doors, ready for planting. Tapping into the DIY trend, cheese-making, kombucha, and sprout kits are available as an alternative to the new range of similar products at Whole Foods.

“Agrarian is yet another way for Williams-Sonoma to bring people together around food,” said Richard Harvey, President, Williams-Sonoma brand. “We’re excited to provide our customers with a collection of products that will enrich their culinary experiences, all while helping them to lead a healthier lifestyle.”

As part of the launch, all Williams-Sonoma stores will offer an “Intro to Edible Gardening: Seed Starting” class on Earth Day, April 22, with the $10.00 class fee donated to the Edible Schoolyard Project.
 
We like the retailers cause marketing tie-in and applaud efforts to raise awareness about healthy foods but question whether customers need to forgo local hardware store and nurseries for glossier versions of well-made products.
 
For example, while we feel that canning is a growing trend, we're concerned that the Weck jars within the range of canning supplies are not recommended by the USDA for water-bath canning. According to Canning Across America, an online resource committed to the revival of the lost art of “putting up” food, these jars are tricky to get a good seal with unless you are an experienced canner.
 
What's your take on Agrarian? Tweet us your feedback or comment on our Facebook page.
 
 
{editors note: In Your Head founder, Shannon Kelly, is a member of Canning Across America.}
Big news, better selection, best thinking.
 
CULTURE
{photo: springwise.com}
 
- A new twist on conscious consumption: A vending machine that allows users to donate and receive items without spending money.
- Pop-up art: A 24-hour museum, designed by Milan-based artist and satirist Francesco Vezzoli with Rem Koolhaas' think tank AMO, which will pop-up for one day (January 24th).
 
 
FASHION
- The world's top 100 most valuable luxury brands includes fashion favorites Hermes, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Ferragamo, Versace, Prada, Fendi, Giorgio Armani and Ermenegildo Zegna.
- US study finds holiday shoppers purchased more but browsed less in stores (part of Smart Commerce trend)
- The truth about eCommerce: 55% of consumers expect free shipping.
 
FOOD
- Mainstreaming canned foods at the Winter Fancy Food show: Healthy cocktail mixers & pickled veggies are top products. (We've been writing about this trend since 2009)
- High-value & Low-waste perception + Jamie Oliver = boost frozen food sales by £250M in UK.
- Fighting low-carbs and gluten-free with design: the rise of the designer bakery.
 
 
For more delicious news, ideas and tidbits, follow us on twitter or facebook.
 

Bits, bytes and bites we have selfishly devoured this week...

FOOD

{image: Gilt.com}

  • Gilt Taste, a new division of Gilt Group, launched with artisanal hard-to-find foods and Ruth Reichl at the helm as the editorial adviser.
  • According to industry data, home canning product sales have risen nearly 35% over the past three years as the trend continues to gain momentum.
  • Pop-up originator Guerrilla Culinary Brigade sets down permanent roots with a modern American brasserie and sushi bar called Co-Op Food & Drink.

 

FASHION

  • Prada secures approval for $2bn initial public offering in Hong Kong.
  • Royal Wedding provided only a temporary boost to UK retailers.
  • “The automobiles have always been an enriching element for me — when I think of the steel rivets, the curve of the engine or the finishings in tactile leather,” said Ralph Lauren in this article to the NYTimes. Do you agree with him?
 
 

CULTURE

{image: Starbucks Coffee Company}

As part of the Canning Across America collective, we are watching the can-space grow from economic and cost saving decision to full scale trend.

This year I've put up cherries two ways and am in the midst of planning to can tuna with friends from the Canvolution. Please pop over to Canning Across America if you are interested in riding the DIY trend with me through resources and recipes"

 
We're back from two weeks of rigorous preparations for CityStimulus™ (and a brief vacation to San Juan Islands) feeling inspired and looking forward to Canning Across America - a nationwide, ad hoc collective of cooks, gardeners and food lovers committed to the revival of the lost art of “putting up” food.

 

Canning and pickling are a growing cultural trend with significant growth over the past few years. In addition to traditional at-home DIY activities, we're seeing an explosion of artisan jams and pickle purveyors during our visits to the Fancy Food Show. One only need to search online or meander down the condiment isle of your specialty grocery market to find as assortment of Rick's Picks (love the Smokra), Boat Street Pickles (can't beat the Red Onions) or Happy Girl Kitchen (try the Romano beans). Canning, we believe, is feeding on a perpetual wave in trends that is rooted a reinterpretation of the idealized life and reclaiming of the past.

Our fascination and exploration is rooted in economic and social intelligence:

  • Back in January of this year, we wrote about a local Michael Pollan interview- citing that the Ball Jars canning company has experienced a +94% lift in sales. We attribute this shift in gardening and canning to an attempt in control household costs and desire to save (perhaps because many believe traditional banking has "failed").
  • Last month, The New York Times and Time reported that "Unit sales for canning and freezing supplies like jars, bags and containers were up 11.5% during the eight weeks ending on Feb. 21, making them the second best-performing category on Nielsen's list."
  • The community home canning project in San Francisco, Yes We Can, which cans fruits and vegetables from local farmers during their peak season, and then invites you to buy a share so you can enjoy delicious produce year round. (see SF Weekly article)
 

Learn more about the “can-volution” and how to host your own events here and follow us on twitter.
 
Finger on the pulse; news we're following...

FOOD

  • Where to eat after your IPO?
  • The art of preserving and canning is profiled in the NYTimes (DIY food trend for saving $)
  • Jacques Torres opens Ice Cream shop in Dumbo.
  • Burger Wars aren't reserved exclusively for NYC and it seems everyone has an opinion: T&L best burgers, Seattle Met list, MSNBC, Food Network... you get the idea.
  • Obama at Blue Hill mania: New Pics from Eater.com.

FASHION

 
In honor of Earth Day, we've collected sustainable, innovative and stylish items to share.


{photo: Baggu}
 
Baggu reusable bags.

 

{photo: Spun}
 
Spun "Diane" wrap dress

 

{photo: Jorre van Ast}
 
Jorre van Ast Lid Tops for Canning Jars

 

Organic milk & cheese

 

{photo: Josh Jakus}
 
UM bag by Josh Jakus
 
Great interview with Michael Pollan where he shared that home gardening is up 64% and that the Ball Jars canning company has experienced a lift in sales (+94%) due to an increased awareness of food savings. Check it out here.

He also gave detail on his open letter to the next President from October, how he'd like a portion of the White House lawn to be a planted organic orchard/vegetable garden and the changing face of local sustainable food.