Change is Good - Occidental

By Valery Larson

Back when I lived in Minneapolis, I would regularly visit a local coffee shop that offered up one of the most creamy, delicious coffee drinks imaginable, their Café Miele. A rich concoction of home-brewed coffee swirled with honey and topped with a creamy cloud of cinnamon and foam. However, what sticks in my memory as adamantly as that coffee is the little note on the tip jar, “Change is good”.

Now in the midst of such life-altering change, that little saying seems especially appropriate. We forget that change is inevitable and as life shifts and our world is shaken, we tend to focus on the dread change brings and forget that it happens every second of the day, for all of us, with or without a pandemic.

Change, you gotta love it.

It brings in the new and fresh and without it there would be no seedlings budding into flower, no clouds moving across the sky and no restaurants that deliciously feed our spirits and stomachs with color and flavor.

I was thinking about change when I was talking with Jenay Hosstin and her wife Andzia of Occidental as they shared about the changes they are making with Terry Martin, owner of Howard’s and Jenay’s mom, to the menu at Howard’s Station with a revamped burger (Smash Burger)and a new baking program to update and add to the already delicious menu. With my addiction to fries, hearing about the addition of sweet potato fries, has enhanced my appreciation for change. Thank you, little sweet potatoes, for changing from a seed to something so beautiful, orange and delicious!

Another big change in Occidental will be the opening in about a month of the new Altamont General Store. With the inspiration and direction of Jenay and Andzia, the oldest building in Occidental will become a welcoming community hub of gourmet treats, delicious made-to-order and ready-to-go sandwiches, salads and specialty eats with a Hawaiian flair. The building will also hold numerous welcoming spaces for classes and meetings as well as a ceramic school.

My focus is usually on food, But I must tell you about the sweet little barber shop recently opened by Bernie Jungle in Occidental, set between Howards Station and the Altamont General Store. He is a highly trained barber who has created a charming shop that recalls a bygone era with calming gray-blue walls, rich-toned wood and a candy-cane barbershop pole turning in the window to greet customers, old and new. It is like therapy for your hair and your spirit.

At the north end of Occidental at Panizzera Meat Company, Ryan and Josh are busy with streamlining their monthly meat subscription. Check out their mouthwatering choices at www.panizzerameatco.com . Give them a call at 707-874-9770 and pick up your order at their property at 3905 Main St., Occidental or have it shipped right to your door.

Welcome the change and visit Howards Station and the new Altamont General Store, as well as the other charming businesses in the quaint little village of Occidental. Change doesn’t have to mean fear, it’s the only way to go.

Howard’s Station Café, 707-874-2838, 3611 Bohemian Hwy, Occidental

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