Some of the newer places around town

I spent quite a bit of time down at SummerFest this past weekend, helping out a friend who had a booth in the Souk section, and wandered around downtown a bit, seeing some of the new shops and businesses I didn’t know about. I used to work downtown, but haven’t for the past couple of years (I’m out on the Eastside, these days), so I’m a bit out of the loop on this scene.

(Shocking, I know, especially for this type of blog.)

I’ll probably spread this out over several posts, but here are three businesses which come to mind:

  • Jem Raw Chocolates: They’re not located downtown, instead over on Colorado, but they had a table in the wine section of the Fest and they’re running with an intriguing premise: organic, healthy and, er, raw (non-processed) chocolates. They were heavily promoting the health angle and you could even sample raw cacao beans (from which chocolate is derived). They might be a little too hippy for Bend but we’ll see.
  • Wabi Sabi: Located in the old Volcano Vineyards spot in the Brooks Street alley, this was all new to me: a store filled with (for lack of a better description) “cool Japanese stuff.” Books (on language, culture, cuisine, and more), anime, toys, foods, clothing, Hello Kitty, all sorts of interesting stuff. And weird, coincidentally they have a link and image of the Downtown Bend Anagram Map I made for my other blog a few years ago…
  • Earth Sense Herbs: In the basement of the Old Penny Galleria, this is the first (and only) herb shop in Bend in more than a decade (my mom used to have an herb shop downtown). They’ve only been open for five months-ish, so very new. Handcrafted items made by locals and bulk herbs (teas, culinary, scented, that sort of thing) among other things.