New to Blackbird's Mercantile Department, Eat.Shop Guides are fantastic little curated guides to inspired and unique locally owned eating and shopping establishments all over the place. Check them out on, and scroll down to hear the heartwarming story of how they got started.
Seattle, New York City, Portland, San Francisco Bay Area, and Vancouver Eat.Shop Guides
$14.95 - $16.95


The Story of Eat.Shop Guides from the horse's mouth:

not to get all gushy, but here at the guides, we have loving feelings for one-of-a-kind, worth going out of the way to visit, independently owned local businesses. though it’s a uniquely american sentiment to think bigger is better, we believe smaller is special—and we’ve dedicated an entire series of city guides to this premise.

the guides focus on cities both big and obvious (nyc and paris) and small and not-so-obvious (kansas city and portland). you could say we’re an equal opportunity publisher with 24 cities in our back pocket and counting.

because we believe that a guide needs to come along with you–and not languish on your coffee table looking all pretty and pristine–an guide fits perfectly into a handbag, a glove compartment box or your empty hand. and instead of having it indiscriminently feature everything but your kitchen sink, we put our colored glasses on and carefully choose 85 or so unique, authentic, scrumdilicious local businesses that range from eye popping and brand spankin’ new to deeply patinaed and way off the beaten path, funky and unexpected to chic and shiny.

the first guide was published in portland, oregon in late 2003. kaie wellman, the creator of the series, was at the time an art director / graphic designer with a bad attitude. to abolish the attitude, she thought about what career change might make her happy, so she took a solo road trip to san francisco to visit the gift fair for inspiration. after spending 30 minutes at the fair, she was not inspired. so with two days left in town, and looking for a new career path, she hit the streets—not to take up the oldest profession, but to explore the city neighborhood by neighborhood.

while peering in, poking around, sniffing the air and devouring the delicious—it occurred to her that the bad attitude and the mantle of grumpiness had disappeared and in its place was some serious happiness, all because of a little local eating and shopping therapy. a series was born.

by late 2004 there were guides for three cities: portland, seattle and los angeles all researched, written and photographed by delusional multi-tasker kaie. by 2005 reality set in and kaie realized that helping hands were needed, and the gang was born. anna h. blessing fresh out of medill school of journalism with a “can do” attitude that is quite often found in the under 30 sect, signed on to author the chicago book. jon hart, a closet cello player and owner of the world famous, jon’s awesome business (nobody knows what he does really), insisted that he author the paris book and jan faust dane, wordsmith and unknown to her before she began authoring these guides, spectacular photographer of food, authored the first state guide: rhode island because it really is the size of a large city.

these authors, along with kaie, form the nucleus of the creative team. each have authored multiple cities meaning they research, write and photograph the book (on the city pages within this site you can see in the left hand column who authored the book). we’ve also had other talented folk who have authored. agnes baddoo who has been around the best blocks in the world and knows everybody of note around those blocks has authored numerous titles. bonnie markel and dave mead, a husband and wife stylist / photographer team took on the legendary city of new orleans of which bonnie is a fifth generation native. caroline loncq, actress by trade, came on board to author the london book where she lives and explores daily on bike with long tresses flying.