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Gifts for everyone at Sherman Oaks’ Two Tomatoes

Posted By Karen Young On December 18, 2009 @ 12:06 am In Featured,Lifestyle,My Daily Find,Shopping,spotlight | 2 Comments

krisrivera100BY KRIS KELLEY RIVERA

If you’re looking for a one-stop shopping place for all your last minute holiday gifts, make time to check out Two Tomatoes in Sherman Oaks’ Moorpark Village.  Tucked behind M Street Coffee on a side street off Moorpark, east of Fulton, is a store that’s small in size, but big in character.

Looking for  something special? A holiday gift, a birthday present, or maybe a hostess offering? There’s something for everyone on your list, from your newborn niece to your favorite Uncle.  From teapots to gardening hats, chess sets to stuffed animals — you are bound to find what you want, and maybe even something you didn’t know you wanted — all at an affordable price.

Diane Fonteboa.

Owner Diane Fonteboa. All photos: Kris Kelley Rivera

Once inside you realize Two Tomatoes is not just a store, but also a gathering place.  With the personal attention you receive and the quaintness of the space, you feel more like you are in someone’s living room, than a retail store.  This is due mainly to store owner Diane Fonteboa, who says for her its all about the customers. “I love my customers, I have a really really wonderful customer base. They’re not only supportive but lovely women from the neighborhood.  Sometimes they come into chat, or sometimes they come in to spend money.”

Fonteboa, a former organizer and interior designer of 40 years, will help customers find that perfect gift, or find things for a specific room or space.  If she doesn’t have it in the store, she’ll search for it. Although she still offers her design services and specializes in children’s rooms, she says her “passion is the store.”

Caption.

Home accessories.

Fonteboa’s design background can be seen in the way the store is set up: a kitchen “department” which holds items such as special cookie cutters for every occasion ($3.75), salt and pepper cellars ($35), cheese picks ($31), and cookbooks.  One of her best sellers, a reversible apron ($86), looks more like a dress than something to protect your clothing.  A red wall on one side of the store draws attention to the more masculine gifts she carries, including unique items like a brass compass ($49) or a chess set, for that hard to buy for man on your list.

Men's gifts.

Men's gifts.

Fonteboa says she searched hard to find lines for her store that catered to men, because so many gift stores are lacking in that area. “I like getting things that you are not going to find somewhere else, “ she says. In the children’s section you can find cute “peace sign” onesies with matching hats, or a lovie blanket made in the shape of a cat ($27.50) These “Flat Cats,” made by the LA-based company Moncalin, are a top-seller in the store.  The bathroom is even decorated with bath soaps and lotions for sale.  Other unique gifts to be found include jewelry from the line ‘Inner Muse’, which is sold exclusively at the store. The hand-made pieces with semi-precious stones are one-of-a-kind.

Bestselling dress-like reversible aprons.

Bestselling dress-like reversible aprons.

A customer doing some shopping said it’s her third time in the store, and she lives in San Francisco.  “Whenever I’m here visiting my mother I come and buy something,” she said. “They have great stuff for every holiday.”

Gifts.

Eclectic gifts for any occasion.

Return customers are a big part of Two Tomatoes’ business, and a sign for sale in the store sums it up nicely- “Enter as Strangers– Leave as Friends.”  Another customer returned to buy a cake plate.  She gave the gift once before, and it was so well received; she came to buy another, this time planning on making a cake to bring with it.  For smaller gifts there’s everything from candles to bottle stoppers, wooden cars to market bags.

Two Tomatoes is part of Sherman Oaks' Moorpark Village.

Two Tomatoes is part of Sherman Oaks' Moorpark Village.

Helping her Moorpark Village neighbors out and giving back is important to Fonteboa.  The store has participated in charity events such as the Great American Bake Sale, which gives money to food programs at schools, as well as donating to Teen homeless shelters.  Fonteboa is also part of the Heart Link Network, a networking group of women who own businesses and support each other.  “I like making people happy,” says Fonteboa.

Jewelry.

Inne Muse Jewelry.

This Saturday, December 19th the businesses on Moorpark and Fulton will hold a Holiday Block Party from 5-9pm.  There will be live music, desserts, and of course, shopping!

10 % discount for My Daily Find readers through Christmas!

Two Tomatoes is located at 13251 Moorpark at Longridge. Store hours are Tuesday-Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 10am-5pm, and Sunday 11am-5pm. The store is closed on Mondays. (818) 788-7788

Kris Kelley Rivera is a former television news writer and producer, and the mother of two boys. She lives in Studio City.

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