Inna Jam from Berkeley
Local eco-friendly suppliers like Rainbow Grocery and the gazillion secondhand stores throughout San Francisco are sustainable resident favorites, but somehow the city was missing an all-organic and vegan beauty boutique in its repertoire. That is, until The Detox Market hopped on the scene this past December. Originally opened as a pop-up shop in Venice Beach, CA in November of 2010, the store’s immediate success led to two brick-and-mortar LA locations and now, one in our very own Mission district.
I caught up with the shop’s co-founder and owner, Romain Gaillard, who showed me around his storefront on Valencia. Simplicity is key at The Detox Market – Romain has narrowed his careful selection down to an inventory made up of one specialty brand for each category. One kind of non-toxic, solvent free nail polish, one type of locally made jam, a single variety of fair trade tea … you get the picture. A lot of time and effort was put into the shop’s meticulously curated stock, and Romain tested product upon product to ensure that his stores offer the best of the best, and nothing else. He did an absurd amount of five-day juice cleanses to confidently crown SF-based Can Can Cleanse the best in the biz – if that’s not dedication, I don’t know what is. The shop’s décor is very simple and no-bullshit, as are its products – everything is vegan, organic, non-toxic, and ethically made. And Romain strives to form a partnership with every single one of his products' creators. To him, it’s important that the small companies he represents are driven by the same green goals and ethics, and are passionate about what they do. And he’s also trying to bring these SF community vibes to his products, by stocking some locally-made goodies alongside the international array of merchandise from Finland to Phoenix. Basically, this place is badass, and if I weren’t a student on a budget I would be back for some Honoré des Prés Nu Green perfume in five seconds flat. That stuff smells like the bottled happiness of frolicking in a grassy meadow.
“Residents love what we’re doing,” Romain said of local reception since the store has been open. He’s fond of the unique clientele, and has already noticed that SF-ers are die-hard foodies (especially in comparison to his LA customers – he said SoCal shoppers bypass the artisan chocolate for night cream. Pfft.)
mineral make-up from Finland
I also asked Romain about his top 3 favorite products he carries. So without further ado, the three most awesome vegan things you must buy now:
1. Odacité Skincare, prices vary
is Romain's own line of skincare products that uses an aloe vera base for moisturizing mastery. "I'm 100-percent biased, but it is a best seller," Romain said. It's of course natural and hypo-allergenic ("everything-free," in his words), and the night serum is a customer favorite. Romain sent me home with some samples and after only one use, my skin is already glowing. Awesome! He's also developing a new line of Odacité
products that's in its final stages, so keep an eye out.
2. Taza Chocolate, $5.50 per package
This is honestly the best chocolate I have ever tasted. It's stone-ground, so it has this weird (in a good way) gritty texture that is ridiculously addictive. This pure cacao chocolate is from Mexico and is as simple and organic as you can get. Try the salt and pepper flavor; it will blow you away and change your relationship with chocolate forever.
3. Salts from The Spice Lab, prices vary
The Spice Lab's array of sea salts from Florida is definitely the most varied I've seen. Inventive and gourmet flavors like Asian Green Tea Matcha and Italian Black Truffle can spice up any dish in seconds. Not to mention the fact that they smell amazing. Recommended: Cyprus Wild Mushroom.
The Detox Market is a great addition to SF's organic and vegan scene, and I welcome its friendly vibes and delicious chocolate with open arms! Go buy some coconut wax candles and cruelty-free lipstick, ASAP!
Photos by Emily Turner