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Cost Plus World Market Relocates to Veranda Shopping Center in Concord

The Veranda, Concord

If the Willows Shopping Center were a person how do you think they would feel that Cost Plus World Market left them for The Veranda, a new shopping center located right next door? Anyway, there are eclectic things to be found at Cost Plus which makes for fun browsing. I ended up buying a chocolate video game controller made in Germany of all things! The smile on my son’s face made it a worthwhile purchase. (It tasted pretty good, too) 🙂


MakenPlay Toy Store Opens in Main Street Plaza in Downtown Walnut Creek

Main Street Plaza, Walnut Creek

A new toy store and gift shop featuring custom designs made out of cardboard and wood called MakenPlay opened recently in a tiny gazebo-like structure across from Papyrus in downtown Walnut Creek on Botelho Dr. What’s interesting is not only that it’s made in Walnut Creek but it’s actually made right inside this tiny store with a laser cutter. You can’t get any more local than this and considering the custom designs and reasonable prices, you should definitely check this place out just in time for the holidays!

From their website:


– %100 safe material, Environmental-friendly

– Paintable 3D Unique design

– Encourage creativity and imagination

– Made from 100% recycled cardboard.

– Foldable Design Giant Size Toys

– Made in USA

More photos of the inside after the jump… Continue Reading


Hofssi Chocolates & Hollie’s Homegrown Popup Shop Open through Dec 23rd in Orinda Theatre Square

Orinda Theatre Square

A new popup shop featuring Moraga-based Hofssi Chocolates and Hollie’s Homegrown farm-to-table food & gifts opened recently in the wine bar Cine CuvĂ©e next to the Orinda movie theater. They are open every day from 11am to 5pm through December 23rd and the wine bar is still open after 5pm. You can also find Hollie’s at the Moraga and Walnut Creek Shadelands farmers market. Hofssi Chocolates will be offering their chocolates at various events which are listed here and can also be found at Diablo Foods.

From the Hollie’s Homegrown website:

Hollie’s Homegrown is a small, organic family farm in Moraga, California. We specialize in growing culinary herbs, herbal teas, and medicinal herbs for bath & body products. Grown to perfection in our own backyard (literally!), we keep a watchful eye on our precious plants like part of the family.

From the Hofssi Chocolates website:

Linda Hofmeister and Susan Rossi founded their business in Moraga California to serve Lamorinda and the greater Contra Costa County. We specialize in producing premium chocolates, gianduja, caramels, and toffee. Our elegant confections are freshly made using the finest ingredients. Our company’s motto “Conscientious Consumption” means that we are dedicated to sourcing as many organic, sustainable and local ingredients as practicable.

More photos of the inside after the jump… Continue Reading


Amazon Books Opens in Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek

Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek

Almost two years have passed since Barnes & Noble closed in downtown Walnut Creek and finally a new bookstore has returned with Amazon Books having opened yesterday at Broadway Plaza. (Swan’s Fine Books which sells rare and vintage books is also downtown). With their highly detailed online shopping data Amazon is able to feature in-demand books throughout the store, face-out to make it easy to browse. There is a kid’s section in back as well as Amazon electronics such as Kindles, Echos etc. on display throughout the store. Unlike Barnes & Noble that offered sales on best sellers and other books at Amazon Books, pricing is only available for Prime members. Otherwise it’s list prices for everything. (Ironically, if you’re not a Prime member, you could browse Amazon Books in-person and then order via to get better pricing)! To find out Prime pricing there are scanners throughout the store where you can scan books (see photo after the jump). Magazines are list prices even for Prime members. Unlike Capital One Cafe down the block that offers 50% off Peet’s drinks when using a Capital One credit card, there are no cafe discounts for Prime members. Also, I saw only four chairs available along the front window so seating is extremely limited. With wide aisles and nicely curated books facing cover out, Amazon Books is a great place to browse and shop for books particularly for Prime members.

More photos after the jump… Continue Reading


The Veranda Shopping Center Opens in Concord

The Veranda, Concord

The shopping center The Veranda is now open in Concord with TJ Maxx having opened over the weekend and Lunchbox Wax opening today. As you can see in the above photo, Toys “R” Us / Babies “R” Us will be having a grand opening party on November 4th. In addition to stores and restaurants that we previously learned would be opening such as Super Duper Burgers, MOD Pizza (opening Nov. 14th), an IMAX movie theater, and Whole Foods 365, Peet’s (big corner spot), Puesto (San Diego-based Mexican), Residual Sugar Wine Bar and Coffee Shop will also be opening here. On top of that, while visiting there I learned that Popbar (gelato on a stick), a ramen spot (possibly Concord Ramen) and a boba cafe will also be opening. There will be 20 Tesla super chargers and Volta chargers. For children there will be a play area (including a Lucky Climber, see photo below) that will turn into an ice skating rink in December. Stay tuned for more stores to open in the coming weeks as well as a party to celebrate the ice skate rink in late November.

Check out more photos after the jump… Continue Reading