Visit Morningtide Shop in Albany—Get Artisan Chocolates Feb 10 & 11

Topogato Chocolates company is popping up at Morningtide shop on February 10 and 11 (photo courtesy of Topogato). The center photo shows a typical queue at a Morningtide pop-up. On the left, owners Lisa Wong Jackson and Lisa Fontaine relax in front of their tiny shop.


By Kristina Sepetys

Morningtide, a home goods shop off Solano Avenue in Albany, offers regular pop-ups that draw lines to the local food artisans they host. On Saturday and Sunday February 10 and 11, 11am-2pm, they’ll be hosting a Valentine’s pop-up with Topogato, a specialty chocolate company known for their vividly colored artful truffles like Cherry Shiso Balsamic, Smoked Tea Peach, and Lemon Olive Oil and Strawberry Almond and Espresso bars.

Intrigued by all the delicious pop-up offerings and their loyal following, we asked Morningtide’s Lisa Wong Jackson about the origins of the shop she co-owns with Lisa Fontaine and what other delights visitors might discover there.

How did you decide to team up to start your shop?

Lisa and I both live in Berkeley. We’ve been friends for years and have collaborated on many projects. We were inspired to start Morningtide as a way of bringing our community together. We also wanted to support smaller, local independent designers, sell goods made from natural materials using ethical production practices, help out good causes, and have a cool place to shop for gifts and clothing. We believe strongly in being thoughtful about the things we bring into our homes. Each piece should have a purpose, bring happiness, and offer a sense of well-being.

Were food pop-ups a part of your original vision for the shop?

When we opened over six years ago, our goal was to bring the community together. Pop-ups hosted outside the shop do just that. We initially started out with one or two pop-ups a month, but now I schedule one for practically every weekend. They’re popular and we love to eat!

Are your backgrounds in retail or food?

My background is in graphic design and Lisa’s is in fashion/marketing. She’s designed a line of women’s clothing called Hygge and operated a small arts and crafts camp for children during the summer. These days her creative energy is focused on making wheel-thrown ceramics called Soil and Slip. I’m a graphic designer and I’ve had a custom design and stationery company called Good on Paper for over 15 years, and worked as a senior designer for an engineering/architecture firm for nearly 20 years. I love to cook and bake and we both love good food and supporting small businesses!

You feature fantastic local food artisans. How do you find them?

I generally find vendors via Instagram, word of mouth, or sometimes I look at Eater SF, KQED food, or SF Chronicle food to see who has been written up. I will reach out to them to see if we could collaborate. Sometimes vendors will reach out to us, and if we think they would be a good fit for our community/customers, we’ll find a date. Many vendors are regulars, which we love. Some vendors have gotten some great press by popping up with us and some have moved on to opening their own brick and mortars. I design a flyer for the event and share on our social media as well as our newsletter and the Solano Avenue Merchants Association newsletter. The vendors will spread the word to their customers as well. It’s a win-win!

Do you do other pop-ups besides your food events?

We mostly do food pop-ups, but we also have ceramics pop-ups, jewelry pop-ups, and we even had a teen clothing pop-up that went really well. Our Morningtide Loop started out as a clean-your-closet-type pop-up, but so many of our customers loved the idea [that] we turned it into what is now our very popular used clothing offering. We’re really proud of our curated selection of gently used independent designer brands created to encourage investment in slow fashion brands, recycling, and sustainability.