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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Umami Mart's New "Konbini" U-Mart Stocks Obscure Japanese Kit-Kats

Posted By on Wed, Jun 26, 2013 at 10:45 AM

The crowd outside U-Mart's grand opening. - PETE KANE
  • Pete Kane
  • The crowd outside U-Mart's grand opening.

Old Oakland's Umami Mart threw a shindig on Tuesday in honor of U-Mart, its expansion into a Japanese convenience store (or "conbini," the first in the Bay Area). With KronnerBurger grilling on the sidewalk and drinks from Sutton Cellars inside, the party drew a crowd of first-time gawkers and devoted fans of ceramic shochu cups and wooden coffee mills.

See also: Cookin': Helping You in the Kitchen Since 1981

Bernal Cutlery Moves to Bigger Digs in the Mission

The Science of Shopping at the New Bi-Rite Market

Co-owners Kayoko Akabori and Yoko Kumano started their food-and-drink blog six years ago, with contributors from all over the world. Umami Mart grew into a curated brick-and-mortar last year, becoming home to stylish, useful little gadgets -- such as a gold three-piece cobbler shaker ($52.50) and a beveled bitters bottle ($35) -- designed to sit on the fulcrum between sleek and cute.

Now you can check out imported snacks from Japan, like shrimp-flavored chips, Pocky, Tomato Pretz breadsticks and Matcha Kit-Kats. (Hopefully, they'll get wasabi Kit Kats, too; those are really, really good.) You'll also find Oakland's own Grease Box Kim Chee (in Ball jars, natch) and Peko Peko's bento boxes and onigiri.

Looking for Kewpie mayonnaise or some Japanese style mags? Now you have a home base-- and a reason to leave IKEA to that plastic hamlet known as Emeryville.

U-Mart, 815 Broadway, Oakland, (510) 575-9152.

Follow @wannacyber


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About The Author

Pete Kane

Pete Kane

Bio:
Pete Kane is a total gaylord who is trying to get to every national park before age 40

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