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Pretend, for a moment, that you're a successful Noe Valley business owner. You already have a jewelry store and a home furnishings shop. How would you want to round out your retail triumvirate? A down puffer vest depot? A doggie bakery? (Which you would call a bark-ery.)
For Gallery of Jewels owner Dona Taylor and her interior designer business partner Alison Porter, the answer was a little sweeter: Buttons Candy Bar.
When the space at 4027 24th Street first became available, Taylor, who also owns When Modern Was, leased the spot without a specific business venture in mind. It became Taylor's Home and Garden, and eventually transitioned to When Modern Was II. Both stores, however, were just placeholders while Taylor and Porter waited for inspiration to strike. Porter recalls, "We asked, 'If we don't do furniture, what would we do?' We just racked our brains about what feels good, what makes you happy, and what doesn't 24th Street have." (Not to beleaguer the point, but see puffer vest depot idea, above.)
After visiting "the most amazing candy store" on the Cape, Alison asked, "What about candy?" and the idea for Buttons was born.
"People are longing for nostalgia. People want a place where they can come and remember that little candy store they went to as a kid; where grandparents can take their grandkids; where school kids can come after school and meet the shop owner and make a connection. Candy is a great connector," Porter says.
For Taylor and Porter, buttons are also great connectors. While trying the name the store, Dona and Alison began brainstorming the things they had in common. Upon discovering that they each had a suitcase full of buttons, they decided to call the new business Buttons. But with that name came a challenge. Dona told Alison, "We have to do something with those buttons." Alison's response? "We'll make button jewelry." That means button bracelets, button earrings, and frames covered in buttons. (And yes, the buttons are coming from their suitcases full of buttons. We checked.)
In addition to candy and button-items, the shop stocks a selection of non-edible candy-themed products, like soaps that look like popsicles, loofah lollipops, and garden bonbons that look like truffles, (but actually mask the seeds for a miniature herb garden). The store is also selling vintage dishes, candy dishes, vintage games, harmonicas, and other fun whatnots.
Just be warned: Buttons is a dangerous place to browse for gifts and jewelry if you're on a diet. Especially since the jewelry display is perilously close to a freezer full of It's It.
· Buttons Candy Bar, Sugar Highs in Noe [Eater]
· Cuter Than a Button: Buttons Candy Bar Opens in Noe Valley [SF Weekly]
· Tour a Newlywed Stylist's Impossibly Pretty Noe Valley Apartment [Racked]