Editor’s note: From now through Christmas, we’ll be stopping in at various Menlo Park merchants to get gift ideas, with an eye to shopping locally.
We don’t think anyone will disagree with us that Quintessence is always the most festive store on Santa Cruz Avenue, no matter what the season. The store’s fan base stretches beyond local.
Take Central Valley resident Diane Klein (who did happen to grow up in Menlo Park) whose home is a showcase for all that is great about Quintessence: “I love going into Quintessence to see how Adrienne [the owner] makes every holiday magical. She is so unbelievably creative and gives me great ideas. I love holidays and decorating, and it’s great to see someone with the same passion.”
Our visits to the store often mean chatting with Joan Sanders, who works there most Fridays. We were interested in learning what caught her eye this Christmas season.
One was the shop’s new “children’s room” where there’s a little bit of everything, including bears in many different costumes and miniature amusement park rides that work almost like the real thing.
Another was a beautiful handmade plate from Portugal that was a perfect complement to a tartan tablecloth. “They’re not inexpensive at $99 a piece, but if you can’t buy a whole set, you can buy one and put it on the wall!” explained Joan.
Not in the market for holiday decor? Quintessence is also an antique store. It’s open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.