umami mart + summer break + weekly wrap up

I can think of no better way to wrap up the week — or this month of posting — than with a beautiful new popup shop in Oakland that has completely stolen my heart. Umami Mart is one part Japanese kitchen and barware shop and one part Scandinavian-design aesthetic heaven. Designed by Anders Arhoj from Copenhagen, Denmark, Umami Mart began as a Japanese food blog and webshop and is now serving as a brick-and-mortar popup shop importing specialty and luxury Japanese kitchen goods.

Oakland has a fantastic new popup initiative that gives stores six months of free rent in areas of the city that need revitalization and retail. Umami Mart was part of that effort, and the shop was built entirely with the help of local friends and family. Anders designed the space as well as the shop’s identity, which includes a kamon logo, a crest that every family in Japan has. I love the simple but beautiful design details like custom-designed posters for the walls and the gorgeous ties on the front window shades. Every element feels like the perfect combination of understated and purposeful. I could spend hours just zoning out in the shop, and hope I can get out to California in time to see it in person. If you’re in the area, be sure to stop by and check it out at 815 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94607. (Photos by Erin Gleeson, Johnny Lopes and Anders Arhoj)

Every summer the D*S team and I take a one week break to enjoy time with friends and family and to step away from our laptops. This year’s break starts today and will end right after Labor Day. After last week’s radio show on Work/Life Balance, I feel happier than ever to relish some downtime, and I hope all of you have the same coming your way before fall/school/work kick back in. Regular posting will resume (rested and ready to go!) on Tuesday, September 4th. Until then, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, week and holiday. All of us here at D*S wish you a very happy Labor Day, and we’ll see you in September! xo, grace

Below is a summary of this week’s highlights:

More photos of Umami Mart continue after the jump . . .

Pictures by Erin Gleeson, Johnny Lopes and Anders Arhoj


Definitely checking this place out this weekend. So many great stores are opening in Downtown Oakland – glad to see another join the bunch.


I am a Japanese living in Seattle. I love the owner’s clean interior design. I wish I could visit there!

Lisa Barrett

How awesome is that!!?? I’d love to have a rent free space for my business. They’ve done a lovely job with the space. Ok Canberra, it’s our turn!

Ann Alfod

Wish I could come visit your shop! Do you sell the white arrows?


What a great initiative! Love the concept of this particular shop. Reason #1001 to visit the San Francisco/Oakland area :)

Have a great week off!


wow what an inspiring store! The visual merchandizing is an absolute delight. I really love the wall of art. Thanks for sharing!


What a cute shop! The feel and style of the space is pleasantly consistant with the goods that are sold there. Can’t wait to check it out!


Love the look of this Japanese art. Very nice to hear that Oakland is making efforts to revitalize its community.