Monday, January 23, 2012

Culinary Style Setter I Love: March Pantry

My friend, the great trend spotter Sam Hamilton, recently launched her dazzling new MARCH PANTRY shop in San Francisco to present superbly edited collections for kitchen/dining/hearth/ cooking/tasting, and living well.

Bon Appetit! 

Sam Hamilton and her partner Jen Chaiken launched March Pantry with a fundraiser dinner for The Edible Schoolyard, one of Alice Waters’ pet projects. With them is San Francisco party-planner and scene-setter, Stanlee Gatti.

The most brilliant new culinary style shop in California
With tasty merchandise for high-achieving cooks—such as massive AGA cookers, the finest copper pans, or tiny indigo glass jars of pink Pangasinan sea salt from the Philippines—March Pantry is focused, bold, and inspiring. 

Working closely with Sarah Marchick, senior VP of product development for March Pantry, Sam zeroes in on the best custom-made tables, ethereal handcrafted tableware, vintage baking equipment, antique kitchen furniture, traditional Belgian linens, all very healthy and eco-aware.

The store opened recently with a highly successful fundraiser for Alice Waters’ Edible Schoolyard projects.

The March Pantry space was formerly MARCH, Sam’s highly admired antique shop with partner Mark Cunningham. 

March Pantry stands on a handsome retail block of Sacramento Street in Pacific Heights, with great stylish neighbors including Sue Fisher King, Henry Beguelin, and Wynne Alex.

The store—all light and air—offers exclusive kitchen décor, a delicious concoction of comestibles, paintings, and flavors, along with tableware, pots, lighting, accessories, linens, Matt Dick’s elegant casual fashions, and custom furniture and kitchen essentials.

Come with me for a visit!

Confession: I don’t cook. Never. I make tea (Bellocq). I occasionally heat something delicious on the stove when it is not covered with books. Cooking is not my thing. I leave it to the professionals. 

Don’t worry. I eat well and love luscious flavors. Living in California I enjoy beautiful seasonal ingredients year-round, so I make spectacularly delicious and healthy salads and love fruit and everything fresh. (My oven is pristine, never used.) 

I’m not exactly in the market for a new AGA, nor even a saucepan, but still, I am captivated and a huge fan of Sam Hamilton’s new culinary store in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights. 

I love its originality, its skillfully edited selections of tableware and especially the monochromatic décor. There’s intelligence and creativity behind every selection and concept.

It’s true, I never cook. But I occasionally toast Ezekiel bread, so now I can slather the crisp toast with intensely flavored March Pantry Plum Lavender Jam or Apricot Preserve with unsalted butter, or March Pantry Almond Butter. Cherry Chutney on cheddar cheese. Divine. 

I make spectacular mixed baby greens salads for lunch, now with March Pantry red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil—and a lovely discovery, March Pantry pink or white Pangasinan sea salt or ground pink peppercorns. Delish. 

The Store 

Anchoring the main space are bespoke butcher-block tables with Farrow & Ball-painted legs.

Walls showcase the work of Carrie Mae Smith, a still-life painter who creates images of meat (her fleshy images of bacon and of ribs are very Lucian Freud, in my opinion.) 

Tahiti Pehrson’s intricate hand-cut white pap
er works are a mysterious presence on white walls. 

An enormous painted antique display cabinet from a monastery in Ghent, Belgium is outfitted with wares from notables like Ted Muehling, Christiane Perrochon, and Jasper Conran, alongside handcrafted ceramics and pieces from artisans both local and from afar. 

Exclusive Items
March worktables and butcher-blocks are designed in collaboration with Matt Bear of Union Studio. The tables feature Farrow & Ball-painted legs. 

March Clothing, light as air and artful are a collaboration with San Francisco based designer, Matt Dick 

Blackcreek Mercantile & Trading Co hand-carved spoon collection has a beautiful heft. 

March Pantry offerings include:

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Red Wine Vinegar, made by Katz & Co. 
  • Preserves and Almond Butter, plus new and spectacular Cherry Chutney made by LouLou’s Garden. 
  • Spices 
  • Jarred Organic Tomatoes, made by Happy Girl Kitchen 


Curated and collaborative collections include pottery from Victoria Morris, pots from Brooklyn Copper Cookware, leather accents from Rene Holguin, bespoke butcher block tables, ceramics from Brickett Davda, and table linens from Boxwood Linens.

March also presents iconic slow cookers from AGA and cast iron cookware from Lodge. 

Brickett Davda
Beautifully simple handmade tableware inspired by a very English palette. The shapes are conceived and designed from pure, functional objects, cherished and worn by use. The goal of Jo Davda’s work is to inspire and enhance cooking and eating. 

Brooklyn Copper Cookware
Brooklyn Copper Cookware has reintroduced the storied Waldow line of solid copper cookware updated in heavier weights for professionals and accomplished home cooks. All three elements of BCC's Hammersmith brand, pure copper, tin and iron, are sourced in America to be machined on classic Waldow tooling in the heart of Brooklyn. The last copper cookware company in America, proudly notes the company. 

Victoria Morris Pottery
Native Californian Victoria Morris has been making pottery since she was sixteen years old. Her work is inspired by nature as well as Scandinavian and Japanese aesthetics, emphasizing the beauty found in subtle, random imperfections and natural organic forms. There is a strong focus on classic simplicity in design and proportion in her work. Each of her bottles, vases and bowls are one of a kind and handmade. Victoria Morris has developed stoneware and porcelain canisters, bowls and platters. 

Bespoke butcher block and Carrara work tables (Parsons, Turned Leg, Steel Legged) were designed in collaboration with Matt Bear of Union Studio. Matt has worked with March designing fixtures and furniture over the years. His workshop is in Berkeley.

Accessories for these tables will included black ash baskets (another collaboration with Jonathan Kline of Black Ash Baskets), knife and cookbook sheaths (collaboration with Big Bend Saddlery of Alpine, TX (close to Hamilton’s residence in Marfa). 

Matt Dick of San Francisco showcases elegant shapes often featuring indigo pieces dyed for March Pantry in Japan (the gentleman overseeing the indigo process is a national treasure in Japan). 

LouLou's Garden is the producer of the seasonal jams, nut butters, and now chutneys. Casey Havre started LouLou’s Garden several years ago in Escalon, CA. The products she produces are short runs of unusual jams and chutneys. Simple, organic ingredients. 

The olive oil and vinegar are produced by Albert Katz of Napa. Albert is a perfectionist—his approach to the production of olive oil is akin to a chemist. And freshness is the key to the pure quality of his oils. His are the go-to oils for many chefs in the Bay Area. 

Spices are provided by Le Sanctuaire. By far the freshest on the market—and a go-to resource for chefs. 

Spices and oils and vinegar are presented in indigo bottles to insure the longest shelf life. 

Steel fixtures (Shaker peg rack, pot racks, drying rack, etc.) by Tommy Hicks of Hicks Metal Design in San Francisco. 

Brass and sterling pins by Stacey Lorinczi. Stacey collaborated with us on a line of organic safety pins to tie back in with the clothing line. 

RTH bags and accessories. Leather goods by Rene Holguin. His shop in Los Angeles on North La Cienega is not to be missed 

Blackcreek Mercantile: Josh Vogel is a master wood carver. Bread boards: March Pantry has an exclusive on a series of one of a kind wooden spoons. 

Billy Cotton's line of flatware, china and glassware is not only lovely but also well priced. March and Bergdorf Goodman have the exclusive on this line. 

Just arrived: John Pawson serving dishes, sterling salt and pepper mills from London, felt bird ornaments, Bensimon sneakers galore. 

Jarred Organic Tomatoes, made exclusively for MARCH by Happy Girl Kitchen. 

Photo credits: 

Interiors and products photographed by Angie Silvy, and by Drew Altizer, San Francisco,

Published with express permission. 

March Pantry

3057 Sacramento Street
San Francisco


  1. Diane, you always post the most wonderful stories. And, this one is splendid. I love culinary shops and it looks like this one is fabulous, love those accessories for us girls.
    Sending love....

  2. Dear Splendorosa-

    Thank you so much for your enthusiasm and delight.

    It is indeed a great shop...and entirely original and consistent and well thought through.

    I admire the emphasize on classical design, on local talent, on hand-crafted pieces, and the beauty of simplicity.

    cheers, DIANE

  3. This looks so amazing...that white AGA is to die for! Tracey xx

  4. This looks divine, Diane + sent it on to friends that live in the area.

  5. honeybeeandmeonline.netJanuary 24, 2012 at 8:46 AM

    Wow, you will cooking before to long, if you spend any time in this store!!!
    I too, did not cook, until 4 or 5 years ago, now I am finding the nurturing quality to cooking and the ability to feel the food and connect to it...

    I love every thing about this store and now I want to redo my entire kitchen in with these goodies...

    I also, love the fact that they have some very unique clothing and leather items..

    I will send this link to many I know that live in SF...

    Keep these great spot light stores coming, as you truly have a unique and tasteful eye on life...


  6. Diane what a wonderful post! Thank you so much for the tour.

  7. Dear Friend in Brisbane-

    Love hearing from you in Australia! I used to live in Sydney and often visit. Love it.

    Dear Peggy--Thanks for letting your CA friends know about MARCH PANTRY...they will love it.

    Hi Melissa- Judging by the reaction I've had to this story, March Pantry is getting lots of attention from around the country now. I am happy.

    I've been delighted by the feedback and comments to the MARCH PANTRY story! My readers and members and subscribers know quality when they see it...and the adore and admire originality.
    I'm so pleased this shop is in my I can visit as often as possible.
    cheers, DIANE

  8. honeybeeandmeonline.netJanuary 25, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    Now all they need is a coffee and or tea counter...


    Hey a girl can dream!!!!!!

  9. Superb! the pantry is filled with awesome essential things and beautiful crockery.

  10. Diane, you made me smile thinking about your stove covered in books and your brand new (old) oven! As for the new shop it must be a delight to visit (and I like to cook...)

  11. The beauty of March makes my heart ache. I want everything there! And I agree with honeybeeandme that a counter to sit and take it in would be fabulous.