Business

Sunday Crafternoons have returned to Alameda South Shore Center’s Modern Mouse. On August 10 about 20 participants showed up for the first Crafternoon of the year to learn how to make handmade stamps from San Francisco artist and Foreignspell founder Niki Baker. I was one of those eager – if wary – participants.

As a Crafternoon regular, I have learned how to make everything from pin cushions to bottle cap necklaces, but I had never made a stamp by hand before. All the tools and techniques were new to me. Fortunately, Modern Mouse and its artists have structured Crafternoons to be fun but not frustrating.

Modern Mouse owner Eleen Hsu Agustin started offering crafting workshops called “Crafty Hour” back in 2011 in order to share her love of making things by hand with the community. Sunday Crafternoons officially launched in February 2013.

Party Warehouse, a longtime bookend of the Park Street business district, is closing on June 28 after 16 years as the Island’s party supply store.

Hobbled by the recession, the former Pillow Park Plaza furniture store at 1419 Park Street is once again a busy, all-in-one shopper’s paradise.

Fans of Rosenblum Cellars’ prized zinfandels and Rhone varietals will only be able to sample the winery’s 50-plus wines “next to the docks in Alameda” for a few more months.

Rosenblum’s owners announced Monday that when the lease on their current East Bay visitors center on Main Street expires in June, they’ll be vacating their Island home of 27 years for Oakland’s Jack London Square.

Amidst many relatively new shops and restaurants on and surrounding Park Street – hopefully keeping people shopping in our city – is one that truly stands out with its own tremendous bit of East Bay history.

Google may be expanding its private transit service for employees from the streets of San Francisco to the waters of San Francisco Bay.

Daisy’s owner Barbara Mooney starts buying Christmas ornaments for her Park Street boutique not too long after the New Year’s Eve ball has dropped.

“Somebody said, ‘What do you do for Thanksgiving?’ I said, ‘I enjoy my kids, because the day after, they become employees,’” Mooney quipped.

While much of the attention paid to the holiday shopping season is focused on major retailers and the deals they’re offering on “it” gifts to entice customers, holiday sales are equally critical to the small, independent retailers whose shops populate Alameda’s Park Street shopping district.

The once bustling Harbor Bay Landing now resembles more of a ghost town than a shopping center. But recent work on Harbor Bay Landing’s roofs has made some Alameda residents wonder if things are about to turn around.

For years, Alameda has served as a destination for onetime city dwellers who prize its vintage homes, tree-lined streets and not-too-suburban feel. But almost as often as not, Alamedans leave the Island to buy the things they need.

The in-progress development of the long-awaited Alameda Landing project near the Webster Tube – a project that includes a 291,000-square-foot Target-anchored shopping center – has stirred hopes at City Hall and citywide that long-desired retailers offering clothing, high-end grocery, paper goods and more will finally come to the Island. But retail experts and city staffers who have been working to bring stores to town said drawing them requires a carefully crafted admixture of demographics, relationships, timing, space – along with a little luck.

Target is holding a job fair to fill 300 positions in their new Alameda store. Video by Michele Ellson.