Umami Mart: The Best of Japanese Barware

Store Profile

  • Location: Oakland, California & Online
  • Specialty: Modern barware & tabletop from Japan
  • Price range: ($$) Mid-Range
  • Website:

Store History

  • Founded: November 20120
  • Founded by: Yoko and Kayoko
  • Headquarters: San Francisco, California

The Umamimart Shop imports high-quality kitchen, table and barware from Japan (and beyond the galaxy) for your cooking, eating + drinking pleasure. Everything you find on the Umamimart Shop is finely hand-picked and curated by Trader Yoko and Kayoko Akabori, editor of Umamimart. Yoko and Kayoko met in high school in Cupertino, CA. After skipping town for ten years—Yoko to Tokyo and Kayoko to New York City—they returned to the Bay Area to launch the Umamimart Shop together in November 2010.

The beginning of autumn has us thinking about cocktail soirees and dinner parties. Time to get stock the bar! For a modern bar, Umami Mart brings the best barware and tabletop from Japan to the US. Their sparse Oakland space is a perfect backdrop for showcasing the modern silhouettes and simple forms of the imported goods.

After operating a web store for a couple of years, Umami Mart owners Yoko and Kayoko decided to make the move to a brick and mortar shop. The decision came mainly from necessity – the amount of product was starting to overtake Yoko's apartment. The pair enlisted the help of Anders Arhøj, who was in town for a month's stay at Berkeley. Anders himself had lived in Japan for a year so he was able to bring a first hand design sensibility to the store.

Since Umami Mart started as a web store, you, of course, don't have to be in the Bay Area to appreciate it. The web shop is stocked with modern glassware, barware and accessories that can be shipped anywhere. Our favorite is Anders' Special Design Umami Mart Travel Mug for $23.

(Images: Umami Mart)