Find out which stores have opened, closed or moved and what’s new in Berkeley’s small-business communities. If you have Berkeley business updates to share, send an email to email@example.com.
- Pamana Plantas opens with a helping hand from mom and dad
- Berkeley doctor’s new practice promises patients more one-on-one time
- Now in a larger space, Wind & Brass instrument repair shop has started offering lessons
- Polished Nail Spa returns in a new, spiffed-up storefront
- Myth & Scissors, shop offering ‘vegan taxidermy’ and alchemy workshops, closes in Elmwood
Open Solano Avenue
Pamana Plantas opens with a helping hand from mom and dad
During the pandemic, at the height of houseplant mania, Pamana Plantas opened quietly in June of 2021. Owner Dom Morales said she did not create the shop to take advantage of the trend but to honor her uncle, who had died in March of that year.
He was a plant lover, too, and resilient, she said, like other members of her Filipino family. That’s why she named the plant shop “pamana,” which means “inheritance” in tagalog.
“I’ve inherited that 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 is intentional. Morales chose easy-care offerings well suited for beginners.
“I’m the plant shop you go to when you don’t know anything about plants and want to learn,” she said.
Like the Plant Queen, another new-ish plant shop, 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 goods 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 large bag of soil. The shop supplies soil amendments ($4-$17, depending on size) so you can “ensure your plant has the most appropriate soil for optimal growth,” Morales said.
Though the store is hers, running it is a family affair. Both her parents (Vernon and Elma) are hands-on. Her mother creates the kokedamas, or Bonsai arrangements, sold at the store ($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.”
Open Downtown Berkeley
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 answers “listening and kindness.” The practicing physician is board certified in family and community medicine, as well as occupational and environmental medicine, and opened Beyond Holistic Health in early October, what is likely the first direct primary care practice in Berkeley.
Unlike a traditional, fee-for-service model for primary care, where physicians can average between 1,400 to 2,000 patients, according to a 2012 study, direct primary care doctors have a much smaller roster of patients so they can spend more time with each of them. Dr. Chander, for example, plans to limit her 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 go in for an appointment, the doctor doesn’t get paid. So there can 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 (for Dr. Chander charges $165 a 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 appointment or a one-hour appointment,” Dr. Chander said. “We can do it however we need to do it.”
DPC practices also differ from concierge practices, which bill medical insurance companies on a fee-for-service basis. In DPC practices, most services are covered by the monthly membership fee. Concierge care is generally more costly, up to $10,000 a year, according to Forbes, and includes specialists.
DPC physicians are not intended as a substitute for medical insurance coverage. Because such physicians offer primary care, their patients still need insurance to handle more complicated ailments that might require specialists, surgery or hospitalization.
Dr. Chander’s approach emphasizes preventive care, examining 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.”
Moved Solano Avenue
Now in a larger space, Wind & Brass instrument repair shop has started offering lessons
Trumpet, French 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 at his 6-year-old shop, Wind & Brass, which moved from 1315 San Pablo Ave. to 1621 Solano Ave. in August.
Jonutz said that the benefit of being both a player and a repairer is that he knows how the instrument is supposed to sound and how it’s supposed to feel, “satisfying even the pickiest of players.”
Wind & Brass also repairs string instruments. Jonutz does not repair those (or play them), but employs someone who does.
Moving into a larger, 1,600-square-foot store allows Jonutz to provide lessons in all wind instruments as well as renting them, which has long been a goal. Right now, string instrument lessons are not offered, “but if there’s any demand, we’d be open to that,” Jonutz said.
Open North Shattuck
Polished Nail Spa returns 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 during the early days of the pandemic. Then the building it was in underwent a major renovation, so the salon stayed closed for another year-and-a-half. Now the salon is back, after opening in a spanking-new storefront on Oct. 7.
The new salon boasts six massage chairs, “really good ones,” manager Lee Pham said, which patrons can enjoy when 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. Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Myth & Scissors, shop offering ‘vegan taxidermy’ and alchemy workshops, closes in Elmwood
Myth & Scissors, which sold tarot cards, glass jewelry and memento mori, and offered workshops on paper marbling, box-making, astrology and personal alchemy, did not make it in the 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 inventory and fixtures. The store’s last day was Oct. 16.
The store was also known for its innovative window displays, the final one featuring life-sized images of suffragettes carrying signs with slogans like, “Keep your hands off our bodies.”
Myth and Scissors, 2991 College Avenue (off Ashby Avenue), Berkeley. Connect via Facebook and Instagram.