Find out which stores have opened, closed or moved and what’s new in Berkeley’s small businesses. If you have Berkeley business updates to share, please email me [email protected].
Open Solano Ave
Pamana Plantas opens with a helping hand from mom and dad
During the pandemic, at the height of pot plant mania, Pamana Plantas quietly opened in June 2021. Owner Dom Morales said she created the store not to take advantage of the trend but to honor her uncle, who had died in March of that year.
He was also a plant lover and resilient, she said, like other members of her Filipino family. That’s why she named the plant shop “pamana,” which means “heritage” in Tagalog.
“I’ve inherited the resilience that they all have,” she said.
The small, oddly shaped storefront is packed with plants (under $10 to $250) that hang from the ceiling, are part of a living wall or overflow onto the sidewalk. Most are common houseplants — like pothos, ferns, and monstera — and that’s intentional. Morales chose easy-to-maintain offerings well suited for beginners.
“I’m the plant store you go to when you don’t know anything about plants and want to learn,” she said.
Like Plant Queen, another new-ish plant store, Morales allows the space to be used as a pop-up for other small businesses and has a full calendar of events that includes workshops on topics ranging from basic plant care to candle making. She also carries a selection of items from small local vendors, including body care, jewelry, candles, and car air fresheners.
Morales also offers a sidewalk repotting station so customers can repot their plants into larger containers without having to buy a big bag of soil. The store provides soil amendments ($4-$17, depending on size) so you can “make sure your plant has the most appropriate soil for optimal growth,” Morales said.
Although the store is hers, running it is a family affair. Both her parents (Vernon and Elma) are practical. Her mother creates the kokedamas, or Bonsai arrangements, that are sold in the shop ($15-$150). And both parents have helped build the living wall, counters and displays.
“They’re always updating the space, sometimes without even telling me,” Morales said, but she doesn’t mind. “They want it to look nice.”
Pamana Plantas, 1615 B Solano Ave., (off Ordway Street) Berkeley. Phone: 510-292-9719. Opening hours: Wednesday-Friday, at 12.00-19.00; Saturday and Sunday at 12.00-17.00 Connect via Instagram.
Open Downtown Berkeley
The Berkeley doctor’s new practice promises patients more one-on-one time
Your first hint that Dr. Jayshree Chander does things differently is when you ask her what she specializes in and she replies, “listening and kindness.” The practitioner is board-certified in family and community medicine, as well as occupational and environmental medicine, and opened Beyond Holistic Health in early October, in what is believed to be the first direct primary care practice in Berkeley.
Unlike a traditional fee-for-service model of primary care, where doctors average between 1,400 and 2,000 patients, according to a 2012 study, direct primary care doctors have a much smaller group of patients so they can spend more time with each of them. Dr. Chander, for example, plans to limit his practice to 100 or 150 patients.
The other main difference is how doctors are paid. Under fee-for-service, patients either pay a copay and their insurance is billed or out of pocket. If you don’t make an appointment, the doctor doesn’t get paid. So there may be an incentive for doctors to see as many patients as possible to generate more fees.
In direct primary care, patients pay a monthly membership fee (Dr. Chander charges $165 per month for a single person). So the doctor gets paid whether patients come in or not. As a result, DPC physicians can spend more time with patients and not worry about generating more fees.
“I can take as much time as I need. We can have a 15-minute meeting or an hour,” said Dr. Chander. “We can do it however we need to do it.”
DPC practices also differ from concierge practices, which bill health insurance companies on a fee-for-service basis. In DPC practice, most services are covered by the monthly membership fee. Concierge care is generally more expensive, up to $10,000 a year, according to Forbes, and includes specialists.
DPC doctors are not intended as a substitute for health insurance coverage. Because such doctors offer primary care, their patients still need insurance to manage more complicated ailments that may require specialists, surgery or hospitalization.
Dr. Chander’s approach emphasizes preventive care, examines a patient’s lifestyle, nutrition, toxic exposure and stress, and may incorporate the principles of traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine and nutrition. “From my perspective,” she writes on her website, “all human activity is health-related.”
Beyond Holistic Health, 1911 Addison St., Suite 201, Berkeley. Phone: 510-600-3175. Opening hours: flexible, based on patient needs. Connect via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Moved Solano Ave
Now in a larger space, the Wind & Brass Instrument Workshop has begun offering lessons
Trumpet, horn, saxophone, clarinet, flute. These are some of the wind and brass instruments that Shawn Jonutz knows how to play and how to fix, which he does in his 6-year-old shop, Wind & Brass, which moved from 1315 San Pablo Ave. to 1621 Solano Ave. in August.
Jonutz said the benefit of being both a player and a repairman is that he knows how the instrument should sound and feel, “satisfying even the most discerning players.”
Wind & Brass also repairs stringed instruments. Jonutz doesn’t repair them (or play them), but hires someone who does.
Moving into a larger 1,600-square-foot shop allows Jonutz to offer lessons in all wind instruments as well as rent them, which has long been a goal. Right now, stringed instrument lessons aren’t offered, “but if there’s any demand, we’d be open to it,” Jonutz said.
Wind & Brass, 1621 Solano Ave. (off Ordway Street), Berkeley. Phone: 510-225-9547. Opening hours: Tuesday-Friday, at 12.00-19.00; Saturday at 12.00-16.00 Connect via Instagram.
Open North Shattuck
Mani-pedis return in a new, spiffed-up storefront
Polished Nail Spa had been on Shattuck Avenue for more than a decade when it was forced to close in the early days of the pandemic. Then the building it was in underwent a major renovation, so the salon remained closed for another year and a half. Now the salon is back, having opened in a brand new storefront on October 7.
The new salon has six massage chairs, “really good,” said manager Lee Pham, that customers can enjoy while getting their nails done. (Mani-pedis are $45; gel nail polish, $30-$35.)
In addition to nail treatments, the spa also offers eyelash extensions ($70), waxing ($10-$35) and facials ($70 for one hour).
“We do full service here,” Pham added.
Polished Nail Spa, 1792 Shattuck Ave., (off Delaware Street) Berkeley. Phone: 510-644-4975. Opening hours: Monday-Saturday, 10am-7pm; Sunday, 11-18
Closed Elm wood
Myth & Scissors, shop offering ‘vegan taxidermy’ and alchemy workshops, closes in Elmwood
Myth & Scissors, which sold tarot cards, ice cream jewelry and memento mori, and offered workshops on paper marbling, box-making, astrology and personal alchemy, didn’t make it in Elmwood.
On Sept. 21, owner Bethany Carlson Mann announced on Facebook that her idiosyncratic store with a pronounced gothic vibe would be closing its doors after a year and began selling off fixtures and fittings. The store’s last day was October 16.
The store was also known for its innovative window displays, the last featuring life-size images of suffragettes carrying signs with slogans such as “Keep your hands off our bodies.”
Myth and scissors, 2991 College Avenue (off Ashby Avenue), Berkeley. Connect via Facebook and Instagram.