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orange county o.c. mart mix
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Orange County Love: The OC Mart Mix

August 31, 2011

A few weekends ago we headed out in search of some new bar stools for the kitchen and headed over to the So Co Collection.  The visit was a bust in terms of bar stools but it actually turned into a lovely afternoon at the O.C. Mart Mix.  This place reminds me so much of the Ferry Building in San Francisco – a bunch of eclectic boutique-type stores and food shops under one roof.  It’s industrial and compartmentalized but it has a very cool vibe and makes me want to spend all afternoon browsing.

I was a little bummed because we had been there once before after the holidays and several spots – including a women’s vintage clothing store and an off beat sports collection store – were now gone.  This could be a bad sign.  Also, the place was kind of dead this particular Saturday afternoon.  Another bad sign.

With that said, I want to share with you some of my finds and maybe you’ll head on over there yourself if you’re local to Orange County.

A strongest coffee found at the O.C. Mart Mix is from the Portola Coffee Lab.  How sweet is the silver tray it’s served on?  And the sparkling water was to cleanse the palate.  Truth?  Way too strong for this girl.  But this place is a coffee-snob’s heaven and I certainly appreciate all the fun coffee techniques they offer.

Gatehouse and The Paper House were two favorite shopping spots.  Adorable accessories for the home at Gatehouse.  I wanted that burlap “in love” pillow but it was nearly $150 and I’m sure I’ve seen a burlap-pillow tutorial online!  Cards and stationary speak to me.  One might call me obsessed.  I just feel like a personal note or card is becoming a lost art form these days.  There’s nothing like getting a card in the mail, am I wrong?

The We Olive and Wine bar – this place is almost identical to what you’d find in San Francisco.  I couldn’t resist tasting a few of the different olive oils they had and ended up coming home with a lemon flavored olive oil and yummy balsamic vinegar.  Delicious.  Better, they offer oil and wine tastings here.  I’m thinking this is a nice spot for a social meeting, first date or a mellow girl’s night out.

I know the So Co Collection has the ever-popular food trucks on site but it looked like the Lime Truck had a permanent residence.  With the truck parked outside the Mix customers can take their plates inside to a dedicated Lime Truck resting spot – plenty of tables, chairs, and shade to enjoy the carnitas fries (yes, delicious).

It was closed on the weekend, but there is also a kid’s (probably more tween/teen than toddler) sewing school.  It looked like a mini Project Runway workroom.  I wish they offered classes for adults!

Don’t be afraid to pull off the 405 freeway at the Harbor exit and venture into the So Co Collection.  They also have a TPT Home which has the absolute best holiday decorations around and for incredibly reasonable prices!  But, be sure to check when they are open!  I know TPT Home is closed on Sundays and the O.C. Mart Mix has ever-changing hours.

Have you been to the Mix?  Feel like browsing with me?

I was not compensated to write this post.  I’m simply a fan.


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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Sara @ Periwinkle Papillon September 1, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Come back to the Ferry Building and I’ll go shopping with you! And I hate shopping!!!


Wendy September 1, 2011 at 10:02 pm

For sure! Next time I’m up there you’ll be the first person I call!


Jaxiejax September 10, 2011 at 7:28 am

Wendy, lovely take on The Mix. Being an artist, my favorite place was the At Issue bookstore. Right up my alley. A store that was a breath of fresh air for the neighborhood. I loved the coffee at Portola Coffee Lab. I’m a weakling when it comes to coffee so surprisingly it was not too strong. They have a chef and her sweets are spectacular! Some stores are over priced but I can only imagine what the rent may be and other stores were competitively priced. We need more places like The Mix in the area.


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