For a couple years I traveled as a wardrobe assistant with a touring show. I have had the chance to see most of America’s major cities and some small towns also. If we stayed in a city more than one day or had a day off I would definitely try to eat and do shopping at some local spots. During my shopping, I would always look for cool local, handmade items-especially food and beauty products. I bought some of my best finds in Seattle, Wa.
The hotel I stayed in was just a few blocks from Pike Place Market, so a friend and decided we would go there. And we only had a half a day to spend so we spent most of our time there. However, we first stopped at a coffeeshop (sorry, I cant remember the name-not Starbucks, Tullys, or Seattle's Best) to get a mocha, and tea. I also bought a couple of really good local made chocolate bars from a company called Theo (http://www.theochocolate.com/). The chocolates I bought were from Theo's 3400 Phinney collection which are uniquely flavored milk and dark chocolate bars. I tried the Chai Milk chocolate and the Coconut Curry Milk chocolate-both were good. By the way, 3400 Phinney Ave. is the address of the Theo chocolate factory at which they do give public tours. I would also like to mention that Theo is organic and fair trade certified. Theo Chocolates are also available on amazon.com and chocosphere.com .
After getting coffee, tea, and chocolates we headed toe Pike Place Market.
While walking through we got samples of fruit, dried fruits, and nuts from a few vendors.Then we found ourselves at Tenzing Momo (http://www.tenzingmomo.com/) which is a store, or sort of apothecary which sell herbs, vitamins, fragrance and essential oils, incense, tinctures, soaps, lotions, etc... We spent some time looking around and there was a lot to look at - even though the space was relatively small. My final purchase was incense matches, bee pollen gum, and soap from a Washington based company called Lilie de Vallee (http://www.liliedevallee.com/). I got a nice big chunk of natural, olive oil soap (Arabian spices) for about $5-I love the nice, warm spicy smell of this soap. Lilie de Vallee soaps are also available on amazon.com.
As we were finishing our go round of the market I stopped at a vendor who was selling some bath and body products (I'm such a fiend). There were soaps, salves, and body butters made on a family farm called The Fay Farm (http://www.thefayfarm.com/). I bought three 2oz. body butters for $21 (cucumber jasmine hemp butter, amber fig shea butter, orange honeysuckle shea butter). My friend bought the Warming Muscle Rub which she swears by. I wanted to buy some of their goat's milk soap but I was quickly running out of money-but there is a website so I'll buy soap when I run out of my other stuff. All in all, I was pretty satisfied with my purchases-I only wish I had more time to check out the city.