Best of Sacramento 2016: Shopping & Services writers’ picks

Andy Paul curates a wonderland of treats at Andy’s Candy Apothecary.

Andy Paul curates a wonderland of treats at Andy’s Candy Apothecary.


Best place to discover new sweets

Andy’s Candy Apothecary

Whether you’re a chocolate or candy person, Andy’s Candy Apothecary stocks an ever-evolving, exciting selection of sweets from around the world. Owner Andy Paul showcases local gems from Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates and Puur Chocolat as well as lots of exotically spiced treats from the Bay Area. Green-tea-flavored Kit Kat bars from Japan? Yep. Chocolate bacon? Sure. Tortilla-chip brittle? Uh huh. Candy-apple caramels? A favorite. Gummies in the shape of fried eggs? How fun! There’s always something new to try, and sometimes, free samples. 1012 Ninth Street, (916) 905-4115, J.B.

Best urban oasis

Rachel Wynn shows off all the pretty plants you hope to keep alive.


The Plant Foundry

Located along the quickly gentrifying Broadway corridor in Oak Park, The Plant Foundry makes for a pleasant stop. Even if you have the blackest of thumbs (ahem), it just feels good to wander around, admiring all things green and lush. The nursery is well-stocked on drought-tolerant succulents, fruit trees, vegetables and gorgeous flowers. Go ahead and grab one of the nearby red wagons and fill it up with all the plants you sincerely hope to not kill. 3500 Broadway, (916) 917-5787, R.L.

Best new old bike shop

Velo Trap

It seems like some people never noticed that Edible Pedal closed up its bike shop in the alley. That’s because colorful bikes still sit outside, and the interior looks more or less the same. Velo Trap’s owners, including Sen Saetern, are sweet, helpful and not intimidating in the slightest. Repair prices remain among the lowest on the grid. And there’s usually a great selection of used, new, vintage and freshly built bikes. Add it all up and Velo Trap is basically the new Edible Pedal.For all your food delivery needs, however, Edible Pedal still exists and maintains its shop in West Sacramento. 1712 L Street, (916) 822-5969, J.B.

Check out Sen Saetern’s sweet ride at Velo Trap.


Best (and by far cutest) sustainable lawn mowers

Goat Central

Goat ahead, do a double take: That is indeed a herd of goats in Folsom, grazing in the lot next to the fancy-pants Palladio at Broadstone shopping center. They are the four-legged workforce of Goat Central, a foothills-based company, and their job is clearing unwanted vegetation. The goats are more environmentally friendly than gas-powered lawn mowers, of course, and more entertaining, cute and cuddly. See the internet and science for proof. (Disbelievers, read ScienceAlert’s “Goats are just as smart and loving as dogs, say scientists.”) Owner Ray Austin has a herd of about 300 hardy kiko goats that go to work all over northern California. Goat Central, S.

Best thoughtfully curated cute things

Make/Do Sacramento

Truly, the greatest of all time, when it comes to grazing, environmentally friendly animals.


This tiny shop might not appear like much at first glance, but trust us: It’s stocked with good things like pretty fabrics; handmade jewelry and bath products; vintage housewares and clothing; and whimsical greeting cards. For those who randomly like to drop money on cute things, this is the place. There’s also pottery, candles and art. The shop currently has very limited hours—10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday—but appointments are also welcome. 2907 35th Street, R.L.

Best source for a handmade wardrobe

Hi-Fashion Fabrics

Even at thrift stores, you run the risk of buying the same shirt as your nemesis. To own a truly one-of-a-kind closet, a touch of DIY goes a long way. Hi-Fashion Fabrics is your go-to source for dressmaking, with a spectrum of satin, floral crepe de chine, eye-catching African prints and sequined knits worthy of a slinky number on New Year’s Eve. If Halloween costumes are more your speed, this store has you covered with Chewbacca fur and zebra prints. To protect your textbooks, they have oilcloths with funky patterns. Tucked inside a dusty strip mall, the sellers of fabric, notions and yarn pack a glamorous surprise at hole-in-the-wall prices. 4106 Franklin Boulevard, (916) 451-5648, R.H.

Best shop to stay on trend and on budget

Make/Do Sacramento owner Lori Easterwood and her collection of cute things.



In France, rire means “to laugh,” but in Sacramento and Davis, Rire means a place to buy Instagram-worthy ensembles and adorable accessories without detonating one’s wallet. Stocking her store with crocheted socks, floral-print rompers, lattice blouses and U.S.-made jeans, among many other things, Josie Lee has gone from a pop-up space in the East Sacramento Mercantile to her own stores in Midtown, Oak Park and Davis by not just offering trendy, contemporary clothing for young women, but by keeping the price point at under $50. Yes, even for that little lacy cutout number. And fringed kimono. And strappy heels. You get the idea. 2522 J Street, Suite A; (916) 822-7473; 760 Fifth Street in Davis, (530) 341-0480, S.

Best trendy boutique that sells jerky

De Nhat Kho Bo

De Nhat Kho Bo (No. 1 Beef Jerky) is in one of the best strip malls in town, which also features Giò Cha Duc Huong Sandwiches and Vampire Penguin. The store itself is gorgeous, with large glass jars of candy, dried fruit and dried fish. Plexiglass boxes line the walls and contain a plethora of jerky flavors, from the popular teriyaki to mango and jackfruit. Bo means “beef” in Vietnamese, but there are other jerky varieties. The shop tenders are famously solicitous, but they do it to everyone—they are just trying to keep the food sanitary by keeping hands out of it. 6825 Stockton Boulevard, Suite 220; (916) 667-6882; G.G.

Best do-gooder thrift store


What could be better than scoring a $10 designer jacket at a thrift store? Doing it for a good cause. TRUE (Totally Recycled Urban Exchange) opened in Midtown last November, and it gives 100 percent of its proceeds to WEAVE, a local provider of intervention for survivors of domestic violence. The spacious shop offers more than warm fuzzies. You’ll find like-new duds by Tulle Clothing, BCBG and Free People, along with plus size, maternity, men’s wear, shoes and bags. Fresh décor like neon paintings and bookshelves separate it from the typical musty thrift store. Regular sales—and discounts for state workers, students and seniors—give us even more reasons to blow our clothing budget here. 1900 K Street, (916) 643-4606, R.H.