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May   9

Very Vintage in Verona

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Montclair resident Colleen Connell has just given us another reason to shop: her new store, Vintage Alley, in Verona. It’s only been open six weeks and the sign isn’t up yet, but Colleen has a great variety of old and new retro style merchandise neatly on display. As eclectic as her collection is, she pointed out there is something for everyone. We liked browsing through the vintage look tees, cool furniture, lighting, housewares straight off the Austin Powers set, those seventies sun glasses, and a ton of other fun stuff. It’s the kind of place where you’re likely to find an item or two that brings back childhood memories. We found my mom’s chartreuse metal tray, hammered aluminum bowls, and the gold fondue pot.

ColleenAppropriately located in an old bowling alley just off Bloomfield Avenue, Vintage Alley also has a retro looking back room available for art shows, receptions, and birthday parties. It's a quick drive over the hill, and shoppers who mention Baristanet will receive 10% off their first purchase. Open Wed-Sat 11-5, until 7 p.m. on Thursdays. 5 Fairview Ave, Verona. 973-857-3222
At left, Colleen Connell. -- Photos courtesy of Joy Evans

May 9, 2006 in Shopping With Barista | Permalink | Comments (15)

daily dish

April  19

Earth Week At Whole Foods

Whole Foods Montclair, the crunchy Bloomingdale's of food that still wears earth shoes and natural hemp clothing, is sponsoring some of their own "green" events this week. Of course we'd expect nothing less...

5percent1Today, April 19th: Whole Foods will donate 5% of the total day's sales to the Greater Newark Conservancy. The Conservancy works to improve the quality of life in New Jersey's urban areas—especially Newark—through environmental education, community gardening, neighborhood beautification, job training opportunities and advocacy for environmental justice. GNC representatives will be at the store.

Also for today: download this flyer and be one of the first 25 customers to spend $100 or more (that's easy) will receive a canvas shopping bag packed with full-size eco-friendly cleaning products.

Tomorrow, April 20, it's Try This Thursday: If you’ve been wondering about Whole Foods' “365 Products,”  tomorrow's the day to taste some “healthy” private label items: PB & J on whole wheat bread, sausages, mini quiches, spanikopita, organic greens with assorted salad dressings, chips, salsa and more. Also on Thursday, get a free makeover -- for under your sink!  Sun & Earth Cleaning products  reps will be at the store from 4-6 pm. The first 50 customers who trade in their conventional products will get  full sized replacements of environmentally friendly cleaners, free.   4-7 p.m. 701 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair.

And finally, remember to bring an armload of bags when you shop. They'll take a whopping 10 cents off your bill all month long, for every shopping bag you bring in and re-use...oh well, it's the thought that counts.

April 19, 2006 in Shopping With Barista | Permalink | Comments (6)

daily dish

March  31

Fashionista Alert

Thread_1 Thread, a new Baristaville fashion stop, quietly opened its doors last Thursday. We had a peek inside the white washed shabby chic boutique, to check out the cool-colored must-have threads. It all shouts SUMMER!  Owner Kendra Lanzo said she loves her new digs at Watchung Plaza... She’s keeping company with fashion bastions Piazza della Sole and D’Moni, right around the corner. And despite only a bouquet of balloons at the door to say "We're Open", the local shoppers have  been flying through the doors.  Kendra keeps her flower filled shop stocked with comfortable, relaxed clothing, and she may even have some special promotions up her sleeve. Open seven days a week, 123 Watchung Avenue, 973-509-8892.

Here's Kendra!


March 31, 2006 in Shopping With Barista | Permalink | Comments (30)

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February  10

For The Love Of Dog

Img_7548Want a Valentine for your faithful furry friend?  Montclair Feed & Pet Supply has a selection of treats to pamper your pooch -- or kitty. We liked the red rhinestone collar and matching leash, but our pooch would probably prefer one of the ultra-cozy luxury bed pads, with the pink hearts, of course. 191 Glenridge Avenue. 973-746-4799

February 10, 2006 in Shopping With Barista | Permalink | Comments (26)

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January  27

Not Your Mother's Thrift Store

Img_7484Img_7483_2Good bye frump, hello funk. The window dressing at Montclair's Saint Barnabas Thrift Shop has gotten a make-over since the new manager, Dawn Candy, arrived last October. Her Valentine's day display of black leather-clad mannequins has been stopping motorists, pedestrians, even bikers dead in their tracks. "Almost everything in the window is sold," Dawn told Baristanet, (and that would be the gently used red cha-cha heels, red lingerie, and pointy black boots). "But you can still get the black leather lace up vest for just $20." Luckily, it didn't fit. (51 North Fullerton. 973-509-2060)

January 27, 2006 in Shopping With Barista | Permalink | Comments (49)

daily dish

December  16

Incense and Peppermints


The problem with shopping for gifts at Semplice (Sem-plee-chay): We get distracted and want to shop only for ourselves. At every turn, father/daughter owners Jim and Kelly Del Rosso stock beautiful items we covet, but they also make it simple (semplice) to find stylish gifts for every occasion.

* There's CHOCOLATE, almost too pretty to eat. Amazing hand packed (in the store) novelty fine balls of chocolate mint, creamy peppermint, gilded dark chocolate almonds, or Kelly’s fave, mini white chocolate peppermint twist balls. Festively wrapped in bags, yule logs, or the Eiffel Tower box (left). A Baristaville bargain, starting at just $6.

* Looking for a little something both sexy and sake? No liquor license required for this new perfume and bath oil from Soho boutique, Fresh. Dubbed Memoirs of a Geisha, it's made with real sake and just might make all your Geisha fantasies come true. See the movie, read the book, then have the BATH! Geisha Gift set includes bath oil, eau de parfum, and, of course, a face mask for $46. Items also sold separately.


Good-bye incense, pot pourri, and long burning candles! Fragrance diffusers are the smart way to scent. Zen looking sticks poking out of flasks of highly scented oil soak up fragrances like pomegranate, pear, cassis and lemon drop to diffuse calming aromatherapy. The bamboo/wooden reeds stay moist on average for about six months. Customers' favorite scents this season? Fig , and believe it or not, Fresh Cut Grass. From $32 - $40.

The finishing touch for any gift is the way it's presented. Semplice's stunning gift packaging turns present giving into a grand occasion. (Always included, always free.) For more info, visit our friends at Semplice.

December 16, 2005 in Shopping With Barista | Permalink | Comments (5)

daily dish

December  15

And Now for Something Completely Different

Not all holiday gifts have to come from regular stores. Here are a few that don't:

  • A gentle reminder from My Pet Fat. How about downloading a cell phone screensaver that reminds you how much exercise you need to burn off those French fries?
  • A subscription to Finding Our Way: Wit and Wisdom for Adventurous Women, a monthly newsletter for over-40's by Carol Weeg of Montclair.
  • The Gift of Time, a gift certificate for getting chores done, starting at $30 an hour, from Serge the Concierge.
  • Carousel Wind, a nice music CD out of Glen Ridge, by Stefan des Lauriers, from CD Baby.

December 15, 2005 in Shopping With Barista | Permalink | Comments (1)

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December  13

More Kids Gifts, No Mall Trips

PoochypursesTiny dogs are all the rage, but even if you can't get your little girl the real thing, (or prefer a pooch that doesn't eat or poop) these fashion purses/furry friends are a fun alternative that lets little can gamely dress up doggies --chihuahua, terrier, or beagle in glam get-ups -- without fear of repercussions. $11.99 each (shots included); doggy togs, $5.99; Learning Express.

For future Rachel Raes, Emerils, Jamie Olivers, gift a Sassafras Cooking kit, portable, preparable treats including Pizza, Fairy Princess Magic Cookies, Chocolate Moose Mousse, Oh Fudge!, Wizard Magic Cookies and Holiday Cookies. Kid friendly instructions and (most)ingredients: $14.99 per kit. The power to impress your parents: priceless! Also at Learning Express.


And for the sophisticated kid (and future B'net reader) who appreciates the quirky, satirical and outrageous, The Pop-Up Book of Phobias packs a punch with its macabre art and dark humor. Psychotic fears are celebrated with the artist's eye popping cut outs. Afraid of the circus? It’s no laughing matter – or is it? You might be experiencing "coulrophobia", an overwhelming fear of clowns. A dozen other phobias are humorously explored. $29.95. Museum Store, Montclair Art Museum.

December 13, 2005 in Shopping With Barista | Permalink | Comments (2)

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December  10

Big Gulp for Oenophiles

BiggulpsAmanti Vino, Church Street's new wine boutique, is bringing out the big guns. Besides outstanding wines (like the Domaine Roger Perrin 2003 Chateauneuf Du Pape at $33.95), now there's Montclair's largest wine glass (and unlike the $300 colander you can drink out of it). Guaranteed to save you the trouble of getting a refill, it measures 22 inches tall, 7" diameter at the rim; the hand blown Ravenscroft Polish crystal is 100% lead free. Big enough for sharing with a crowd, think of all the washing it will cut down on. Any other ways can you think of using this? Yours for $125.

Meanwhile, if big isn't your thing, there's always an Amanti Vino gift certificate. Less heavy than lugging wines to friends and family and they get to select their favorite grape. For holiday parties, ask about the great wines for $10-$15.

For more vino-themed gifts, check out the sporty insulated foam bottle carriers found at Magnolia's Wines & Spirits. The BYO bags are available in assorted colors and different sizes: single bottle, $14.95; double size, $16.50 or a six-bottle carrier, for $19.99. With a comfortable hand grip, the carriers prevent breakage while keeping wine perfectly chilled.

December 10, 2005 in Shopping With Barista | Permalink | Comments (22)

daily dish

December   9

A Present You Might Have to Give Away Early

SnowfunGOT SLED? Once the morning cartoon shows are over, you've got to do something with the youngins. If you don't have the equipment for downhill action, you might want to pay a visit to American Royal Hardware, Watchung Plaza, arguably the most friendly store in town, which has the season’s hottest selection of slippery sleds (with hand grips). Choose from the Paricon, Snow Twist Blowup, Snow Tracker, Z Twister, and more – guaranteed to send your whole family barreling down the hill with big smiles. From $7.99. (Cue comments about how we used to slide down the hill on corrugated boxes).


And for the dad of the house....BEAM ME UP SCOTTY, and sideways, too! Ready, Aim, Fire! Here’s a cool tool for your favorite handyman/woman. The Straight-Line Laser Level 120 lets you hang picture frames, nail chair rail molding, level shelves, or create a straight line at any angle, single handed. Get creative with its uses (anyone for limbo?) within a 120 ft work area. No tape or rulers needed for precision work. $34.99, also at American Royal Hardware, 251 Park Street, Montclair.

December 9, 2005 in Shopping With Barista | Permalink | Comments (6)

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