We get all warm and fuzzy when Bay Area telecasts feature the Montclair District, because it’s a rare event. Tonight we saw the requisite Valentine’s Day story with an economic twist, and two Montclair businesses were highlighted: Farmstead Cheeses and Wines and Le Bon Bon.
KTVU Reporter Tom Vacar was making the point that Valentine’s Day still packs a profitable punch, even though people want to economize a bit. Our local business owners felt pretty optimistic so far.
“Valentine’s Day is all about sparkling wine,” exclaimed Jeff Diamond, who owns Farmstead. He added that all holidays matter, including V-Day, and that his business has picked up versus last year.
“We are happy,” declared Le Bon Bon’s proprietor, Ugyen Triantopolous. She explained that some customers buy a little bit less, but business is looking good this year.
Check out the the video and our two new celebrities. You’ll see plenty of air time for the two stores, along with bubbly and trays of chocolates. You can’t really go wrong with these affordable luxuries for V-Day.
Did you see this news? The Oakland scene is usually defined by other places, but Montclair’s been declared “in the mix” by Oakland Magazine – and that’s a long time coming.
In the December issue delivered today, reporter Derek Richardson says “the sidewalks tend to roll up with the twilight” in Montclair Village. However he says there’s a Friday night buzz now at Farmstead.
Farmstead Cheeses and Wines (map) invites locals to its TGIF wine tasting party on Fridays, from 6pm-8pm. Since it’s only $3 per flight, you can’t go wrong. They e-mail folks about what wines will be available and encourage everyone – in a pretty low-key way – to stop by for tastings.
Owner Jeff Diamond says “it’s become something of a social scene.” Typically some 30-40 folks show up after work to greet the weekend, and the numbers are growing.
Diamond opened this Montclair shop last May, after perfecting his first and ongoing Alameda shop for many years. Since then, he has encouraged Montclarions to try wine and artisan cheeses without any intimidation. He offers tastings as well as organizes dinners.
Between this new Friday night buzz and our well-regarded Jazz and Wine Festival, we are slowly gaining a vino-related reputation around here.
For a long while, Montclarions have watched the transformation of an old cigar store into a new cheese and wine shop. We knew this was coming because of the permit on the door.
Last weekend, the cheeses were getting placed in the cases. Now the doors are open, and I can tell you this is a big boost for us. It’s about time for a first-class, specialty shop around here.
Farmstead Cheeses and Wines is a throw-back, where you can wander around the world. They will cater to your whims. There are all kinds of clubs and gatherings planned too.
While this is a foodie heaven, it’s okay to ask for a cheese sliver. With some 150 cheeses available, sampling is almost a requirement! The wines complete the picture, and there are 500 offerings on hand.
Why did this Alameda shop decide to expand here? Owner Jeff Diamond lives in the Village, which explains a lot. According to The Montclarion, “Diamond’s wife, Carol Huntington, heard about a space while getting her hair cut.”
Farmstead is open daily, from 10am-8pm Mon-Sat, and 10am-7pm Sun. The shop is located on the steep part of LaSalle, across from the parking garage (map here).