Shops We Love: Quitokeeto

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By Diana Budds / Published by Dwell
It might be because Quitokeeto photographs its collection of earthy ceramics, sculptural steamers, vintage kitchenware, rare honeys (yes, rare honeys), and more against deliciously milky-white marble slabs, but we're head over heels for the household supplies on its site. Heidi Swanson, the shop's curator, tells us more about her venture.
Shops We Love: Quitokeeto - Photo 1 of 8 - With Wayne Bremser, Heidi Swanson—a cookbook author, photographer, and James Beard Award winner—started Quitokeeto's first pop-up shop a little over two years ago. (The name comes from a road in her Northern California hometown.) "It seemed like an adventure of sorts, and an excuse to work more closely with the people behind many of the products I love and products we use every day in our own house," Swanson says. "For us to bring an item or producer into the shop, we really have to feel strongly."

With Wayne Bremser, Heidi Swanson—a cookbook author, photographer, and James Beard Award winner—started Quitokeeto's first pop-up shop a little over two years ago. (The name comes from a road in her Northern California hometown.) "It seemed like an adventure of sorts, and an excuse to work more closely with the people behind many of the products I love and products we use every day in our own house," Swanson says. "For us to bring an item or producer into the shop, we really have to feel strongly."

Founders: Heidi Swanson and Wayne Bremser

Shops We Love: Quitokeeto - Photo 2 of 8 - "Every single product has some sort of personal story," Swanson says of the tightly edited assortment available. "I love the Mason Studio Aprons in part because they were a collaboration with Matt Dick/Small Trade Company. Matt is an incredibly talented friend, and for years I've been hoping for a way for us to work together."

"Every single product has some sort of personal story," Swanson says of the tightly edited assortment available. "I love the Mason Studio Aprons in part because they were a collaboration with Matt Dick/Small Trade Company. Matt is an incredibly talented friend, and for years I've been hoping for a way for us to work together."

Launch Date: The first online pop up was in 2012

Shops We Love: Quitokeeto - Photo 3 of 8 - "I also love the antique K Sabatier chef's knives," she says. "They were produced in the 1950s. They're carbon steel, rustic, incredibly beautiful, and fleeting; we're nearing the end of the stock. It's a knife I use at home with great pleasure, one I hope to have ten or twenty years from now." Swanson sources the vintage items on her site from travels around the world.

"I also love the antique K Sabatier chef's knives," she says. "They were produced in the 1950s. They're carbon steel, rustic, incredibly beautiful, and fleeting; we're nearing the end of the stock. It's a knife I use at home with great pleasure, one I hope to have ten or twenty years from now." Swanson sources the vintage items on her site from travels around the world.

Shops We Love: Quitokeeto - Photo 4 of 8 - Swanson is partial to the California olive blossom honey she sells. "We age it until it crystallizes and sets into a texture that makes me think of quince paste," she says. "The bees feed on the nectar of Manzanillo and Mission olive trees along with blossoming lupine, gilia, poppy, and helianthella plants which dot the grove. The result is a dense honey with a pronounced warm sweetness reminiscent of dried apricots and candy corn. Beneath the sweetness are hints of cedar, almonds, and olive-y richness."

Swanson is partial to the California olive blossom honey she sells. "We age it until it crystallizes and sets into a texture that makes me think of quince paste," she says. "The bees feed on the nectar of Manzanillo and Mission olive trees along with blossoming lupine, gilia, poppy, and helianthella plants which dot the grove. The result is a dense honey with a pronounced warm sweetness reminiscent of dried apricots and candy corn. Beneath the sweetness are hints of cedar, almonds, and olive-y richness."

What It's All About: "I simply try to communicate my enthusiasm for the items we've decided to offer," Swanson says. "I shoot them at home or in our workplace, often in context of my own kitchen. I like natural materials, minimal lines, a bit of rustic-ness. I'm not big on fuss or pretense, and gravitate toward things that are beautifully crafted without being intentionally luxe-y."

Shops We Love: Quitokeeto - Photo 5 of 8 - Many of the items on Quitokeeto's roster are limited in quantity, like these ceramics.

Many of the items on Quitokeeto's roster are limited in quantity, like these ceramics.

Philosophy: "For anyone who has read that Marie Kondo book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up—we only want to share items that spark joy," Swanson says. "And for that to happen it's often a combination of care in production, design, usefulness, and charm."

Shops We Love: Quitokeeto - Photo 6 of 8 - The Mono Filio Tea Pot was designed by Tassilo von Grolman in the 1980s. "I'm not big on fuss or pretense, and gravitate toward things that are beautifully crafted without being intentionally luxe-y," Swanson says.

The Mono Filio Tea Pot was designed by Tassilo von Grolman in the 1980s. "I'm not big on fuss or pretense, and gravitate toward things that are beautifully crafted without being intentionally luxe-y," Swanson says.

Read more in the slideshow

Shops We Love: Quitokeeto - Photo 7 of 8 - Many of the pieces are made by local craftspeople, like this black walnut cutting board by Oakland-based Jacob May.

Many of the pieces are made by local craftspeople, like this black walnut cutting board by Oakland-based Jacob May.

Shops We Love: Quitokeeto - Photo 8 of 8 - This bamboo steamer available through Quitokeeto boasts a simple, yet unexpected silhouette. "We only want to share items that spark joy," Swanson says. "And for that to happen it's often a combination of care in production, design, usefulness, and charm."

This bamboo steamer available through Quitokeeto boasts a simple, yet unexpected silhouette. "We only want to share items that spark joy," Swanson says. "And for that to happen it's often a combination of care in production, design, usefulness, and charm."