If you’re a fan of kitschy, unique, and vintage rarities, the sleepy town of Calabasas probably isn’t your number one shopping stop. But nestled away in the small, quaint downtown, far from the trendier streets and neighborhoods of Los Angeles, you’ll find Little Blue Gourmet, a locally-owned shop that’s well worth the trip into the Valley.
Meet Angela Uys Marcione, a chef, caterer, and general professional foodie, and you will meet the spirit of her shop. She’s cute, spunky, colorful, and very warm. When I first met with Angela, she welcomed me into her shop, showed me her tatooes of artichokes and other garden veggies, and talked about her love of the shop. It’s not your typical overpriced gourmet shop with the same imported goods from China—rather, it’s speckled with homemade kitchen gadgets, rare culinary books and tools, and crafts for the crafty kid or adult in your life.
Tell us a bit about your shop.
Little Blue is a gourmet gift boutique with a lot of flavor (pun intended). It has been described as “I Love Lucy meets Little House on the Prairie.” We have new, vintage and locally hand-made items.
Calabasas is a small town almost 30 miles from downtown LA. What was your reasoning for picking this location, and how do you like the area?
Around the corner, my family has a store called The Blue Table, a gourmet wine and cheese shop. That is why I named the shop “Little Blue!” The community here has a small town feel and it has been a pleasure to get to know all of the people here. They are so supportive of my family and our business. I am also located next to Dash, the Kardashian’s store and have the chance to meet people who come from all over the world to see their store. Just this month I have met people from Australia, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and all over the United States!
Your background is in culinary arts. How did this evolve into gourmet shoppery?
I have been cooking professionally in restaurants all over the country, from Martha’s Vineyard to Miami. I have loved cooking for as long as I can remember. From an early age I started reading cookbooks like they were novels. I eventually started getting food tattoos and collecting fun food items, like a soup terrine in the shape of an artichoke or a print of asparagus. I wanted to incorporate my love of all-things-food into a little shop where food lovers could find different unique things that are not in all the mainstream cooking chains.
You currently offer culinary classes in your shop. What kinds of classes can we expect, and who are these classes geared towards?
Once a month we offer children’s cooking classes that are taught by a local children’s cookbook author, Yvette Garfield. I was drawn to her cookbooks because they are not the simple boring recipes you normally find in kids’ cookbooks; they are real recipes that kids can make using authentic ingredients. We also do children’s cooking birthday parties here in the store.
For adults, I am currently offering a “host your own” cooking class. They take place in The Blue Table’s kitchen. They are hands-on classes and we make 4-courses together. It makes a fun ladies’ night out—wine is included and you get to take home all the food you cook!
Where do you get your cute and kitschy items from? How do you build vendor relations?
I search high and low and bring in some vintage pieces and some local artists. I really like to support the local artist because you cannot find their stuff in stores. I have a local woman who makes amazing ceramic pieces that are food safe and oven safe. I have a couple who makes customized signs. (Of course I had one made that says “Angela’s Kitchen.”)
What’s one thing you brought into the store that was just too out there, kitschy, or otherwise unsellable?
I have this fantastic ceramic kitchen canister set with mushrooms on them. On the bottom it says “1978 Sears and Robuck” People often say, “Wow, my mom had that set”, but they are not willing to bring it into their own home!
Little Blue Gourmet
4774 Park Granada #7
Calabasas, Ca. 91302
Store Hours : Tues. – Sat. 11 a.m. – 7p.m.