Recently opened at 1640b University Ave. in Berkeley: Topo Terranium Design. Photo: Topo
Recently opened at 1640b University Ave. in Berkeley: Topo Terrarium Design. Photo: Topo

TOPO Abigail Rothacker and her partner have opened a small terrarium and handmade gift shop on University Avenue in Berkeley. Called Topo Terrarium Design, the store features many local artists and is open on Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. “We have partnered with a local jewelry maker and leather worker to start hosting small workshops in our live/work space,” Rothacker said. “We have spent almost two years building our space to make it a functional store, class space, as well as a living space for us and our small daughter in the far back. It is truly a unique set-up.” Topo has also launched a program of monthly classes. Sign up for a Make Your Own Terrarium class on Sat. Sept. 13 (Orbs, plants snacks, wine included — cost $65), or an all-ages Candle-Making Workshop on Oct. 17. Topo is at 1640b University Ave., two blocks east of Sacramento. Connect with Topo on Facebook for updates on classes, and to find out what’s in store.

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LOCALWISE Local business owners might be interested to hear about LocalWise, an online business launched recently by UC Berkeley graduate Ben Hamlin. LocalWise is an online platform for local business owners to share recommendations with each other.  The recommendations are geared towards services that local businesses use, such as a web-design, contractor, bookkeeper, etc. Hamlin tells us the service is completely free, only positive, and never anonymous. Thus, clothing store Elder & Pine has recommended Golden West Sign Arts in West Berkeley, for example, and Couch & Associates recommended Indian Rock Design/Build. Learn more, and leave your own peer-to-peer recommendations at LocalWise.

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NIBBOL New start-up Nibbol helps pet owners find and book wellness/vaccination exams online. Launched by Alex Poms, Nibbol has recently partnered with Berkeley Dog & Cat Hospital which helps pets with general and specialist care in the Berkeley area. Poms said: “We think encouraging preventative care in animal healthcare is an incredibly important issue.” Find out more on the Nibbol website.

Shop Talk is our regular column in which we post updates on Berkeley businesses. If you’re a Berkeley business with news, or a Berkeleysider who has spotted a change in your neighborhood or on your travels, shoot us an email with the details. Read previous Shop Talk columns, and check out Bites for the latest East Bay restaurant news.

Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...