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Discover four unique products from local stop-and-shops that will make you feel good, cozy, and ready for the Fall season.
Transitions within seasons are never easy. As Summer ends and Fall begins, we’ve gathered up 4 unique products from our favorite local shops that will make you feel cozier and healthier this season!
Whether you’re shopping for a loved one or yourself, these products are chosen to make you feel good, comfortable, and ready for what comes next.
LATINX NONFICTION + FICTION BOOKS
There’s nothing like snuggling up on your couch and reading a good book as the sun sets after dinner. Whether you are into Nonfiction or Fiction or purchasing for your favorite reader, the local pop-up bookshop Bel Canto Books located on 4th Street (in The Hangout) has a diverse variety of books to choose from. In honor of #LatinxMonth this month, two books stood out.
Juliet Takes a Breath is Gabby Rivera’s debut novel. It is a comedic, fictional coming-of-age story of young and queer Juliet Milagros Palante ‘coming out’ to her parents and figuring out “the whole Puerto Rican lesbian thing” while leaving the Bronx for Portland, Oregon. In the words of the Filipina-American Bel Canto Books owner Jhoanna Belfer, it’s “smart, edgy, and funny.” The author Gabby Rivera is an advocate for LGBTQIA+ youth and communities and this book is a light-hearted yet bittersweet ode to growing up.
The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio is also a must-read. It’s about undocumented immigrants’ experiences and the untold stories that needed to be shared. Karla became a National Book Finalist in 2020 for this book. In her incandescent, relentlessly probing voice, Karla combines sensitive reporting and powerful personal narratives to bring to light remarkable stories of resilience, madness, and death. For those looking for a riveting read, this one maybe it as Jhoanna Belfer notes of the stories in the book, “they were affected, if not more affected than those of 9/11, because they were recruited to do the clean-up and because they’re undocumented, they fell between the cracks. It’s heartbreaking.”
Bel Canto Books (in The Hangout) | 2120 E 4th St, Long Beach, CA 90814 | (562) 294-3319 | Business Hours: 11AM – 7PM |@belcantobooks
PREMIUM COFFEE BY MOON MOUNTAIN COFFEE
Coffee lovers, this one’s for you! There’s great coffee in Long Beach, but one that you must try is Moon Mountain Coffee. Founded by James Evans and his wife, Moon Mountain is one of the only farms owned by the family in Costa Rica to grow, process, export to the US and ship freshly-roasted coffee directly to Long Beach, into your hands. Meaning, they are in control of the entire coffee making process.
The coffee beans are hand-selected, sun dried and then dry-milled and sorted on their MicroganicTM farm. It is served in GrainproⓇ bags, which are hermetically sealed liners, within burlap sacks to preserve and protect the coffee from elements of the shipping container (only about 2% of the world’s coffee is shipped in this manner).
Their bestsellers include the Gesha and Decaf Laurina. The Gesha is a light-roast and is a Six Time World Champion Variety and the Decaf Laurina is a medium-roast, also a North American Gold Winner in the coffee industry (and yes, it’s decaf). Both coffees are a part of their Rare Coffee batches, so most likely you won’t find them anywhere else! Talk about exclusive.
Moon Mountain Coffee has officially opened their brick-and-mortar location on 2nd Street in Belmont Shore on 5277 2nd St. Stop by and grab a bag or cup for yourself.
Moon Mountain Coffee | 5277 2nd St, Long Beach, CA 90803 | (562) 507-4744 | Business Hours: 7AM – 5PM | @moonmountaincoffee
3 FRUITTIES BERRY BLEND SEA MOSS ELIXIR BY VIBE HIGHER HEALING
A must-have to ensure optimal holistic health is Sea Moss, a gel-like elixir combination to cater to our health with much-needed nutrients for the body. Sea Moss is a type of red algae that grows on the Atlantic coastlines of North America, Europe, and the Caribbean Islands. It’s been used as medicine since the 1800s to treat illness and prevent disease.
As a soothing and healing agent for mucus membranes in the body, it aids respiratory systems and digestive systems helping with immunity, getting rid of bad bacteria in the gut, and more. We can’t forget the Bladderwrack to accommodate the Sea Moss, also a plant-based sea vegetable high in iodine, stimulates metabolism, and also possesses minerals to heal the eyes from blue light caused by overuse of digital screens. Both Sea Moss and Bladderwrack products are available at the healthy Mind, Body, and Spirit Store, Shades of Afrika located on 4th St.
The 3 Fruitties Berry Blend Sea Moss from Vibe Higher Healing are stocked in Shades of Afrika’s front freezers. According to Shades of Afrika Founder Renee Quarles, it’s considered to be a necessary product entering colder seasons as we continue to grapple with our community’s health due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ingredients include: St. Lucia sea moss gold, blueberries, raspberries, blackberry fruits, organic dates, and alkaline spring water. Priced just over $30, this Sea Moss and Bladderwrack offers a boost in our immunity as it works to clean our gut in the process. Eat (2) tablespoons off a spoon for a tasty treat or add to your favorite smoothie.
Shades of Afrika is a Black-owned gem and has been around for over 28 years serving the community with affordable Afrikan art, Afrikan-made products, books, and more. What started with a few books, soaps, and incense products grew into a concept and community store that welcomed local artisans and their work. In the words of Shades of Afrika Founder Renee Quarles, “there were lots of Afrikan writers, artists, jewelry makers, seamstresses, and entrepreneurs in the area and they helped bring Shades of Afrika to life.”
The community store offers African-American Books, Aromatherapy, Black Art, Body Oils and Incense, Collectibles, Custom Framing, Dashikis, Essential Oils, Holistic Products, Natural Hair Care Products, Natural Hair Salon, and hosts cultural events that support community socials and education.
Shades of Afrika | 1001 E 4th St, Long Beach, CA 90802 | (562) 436-2210 | Business Hours – 12PM-5PM | @shadesofafrika
ORGANIC HERBAL COFFEE BY MOUNTAIN ROSE HERBS
On the search for a coffee-like tea that isn’t coffee or caffeinated? You can try the Organic Herbal
Coffee by Mountain Rose Herbs. The herbal coffee can be found in BYO Long Beach, a zero waste concept store located in The East Arts District at 431 E 1st Street (Between Linden & Elm).
The herbal coffee is made up of ingredients like organic roasted dandelion root, organic roasted chicory root, organic roasted carob, and organic maca powder. BYO Long Beach offers this unique herbal coffee in-store and all one needs to do is bring your own container. The tea is weighed for price before purchase.
If you’re a customer that likes to try teas or products in advance, BYO Long Beach has amazing selections including spices as well as household products like dish wash, soaps, and other eco-friendly products. What is really awesome about BYO Long Beach is that the store offers 10% discounts to those who take public transportation to shop (bikes, bus, skate, walk, or by boat.) BYO.
BYO Long Beach – East Village Arts District | 431 E 1st Street (Between Linden & Elm) | Long Beach, CA 90802 | (562) 435-3069 | Business Hours: Open Daily, 11am-5pm
Any questions or comments on the products or shops? Comment your thoughts and experiences below.