Hidden Gems: Back-to-School Shopping in the Bay Area

Ana Picazo - San Francisco Bay Area
August 9, 2011

Where did summer go? While we were building sandcastles and sipping lemonade, the school year quietly crept into the picture, and there are only a few weeks left to get everyone ready for fall.  Don't worry: we at the Savvy Source have gathered together a list of some of the best places for back-to-school shopping around the Bay Area. These local gems may be a bit off the beaten path, but their selection of school supplies, from ballpoint pents to backpacks, make them well worth the trip.

Honeys and Heroes, Palo Alto

Little fashionistas hoping to make a grand entrance into the new school year will want to check out Honeys and Heroes in Palo Alto. This small boutique is known throughout the Bay Area for their hip, unique selection of children's clothes, ranging from newborn to tweens. They carry popular boutique brands like Ella Moss and Vans, along with smaller labels like Munster and Red Decco. Friendly staff will help your little honey or hero create a look that's all his own.

Educational Exchange, San Francisco

Nestled in the Outer Richmond area, just north of Golden Gate Park, this tiny store is packed with all sorts of school supplies and educational materials. Teachers love coming here because they can get everything they need, from workbooks to learning tools. The best thing about this store is their staff of former, current or aspiring teachers who give helpful advice with a smile. That, and the free pencils!

Alko, Berkeley

Alko is the kind of place where people used to go to get their office supplies before the office mega-stores entered the picture. This place is a treasure trove of unusual and hard-to-find pens, markers, hole punchers, sketch pads and diaries, along with the standard assortment of envelopes, folders, labels, and other office supplies. Just like any old-fashioned store, it's crammed with odds and ends and is difficult to navigate -- but that's just part of its charm.

Morrison's School Supplies, Redwood City

Housed in an unassuming industrial building complex (along Industrial Road, no less), Morrison's interior is anything but dull and gray. It resembles nothing so much as an elementary teacher's classroom, with an array of school supplies, for Pre-K through 12th grade, lining the shelves. Family owned and operated since 1957, Morrison's has grown so popular that they've opened a second store, down south in Sunnyvale.

Back-to-School Swap, Palo Alto

Budget-minded, eco-conscious parents will want to check out Palo Alto's Back-to-School Swap, scheduled for August 17 at the Palo Alto Children's Library. At this event, you'll be able to swap your gently used clothes, toys, books, backpacks, and notebooks with other families in Palo Alto.  Not only can you gather what you need for the school year, you'll also be cleaning out your cupboards and freeing up some space at the landfill. Now that's Savvy multitasking!  (Preregistration is required at the Palo Alto City Library Page.)

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From the Parents

  • Lonnie Biehl

    Don't forget about hitting up your local Just Between Friends kids & maternity consignment sales events that happen twice a year! www.vacaville.jbfsale.com

    over a year ago

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