Celia Sack. Photo: Courtesy of Celia Sack
The stock of new, antiquarian and collectible cookbooks at Omnivore Books in Noe Valley is legendary, and the one of a kind store continues to be successful after opening in November 2008. One sweet touch is the blend of books coupled with fresh eggs for sale and occasional free apples from owner Celia Sack. Sack is often on duty at the store, where she offers friendly but knowledgeable advice based on her years as a book collector. Alice Waters cited the store as a culinary favorite in a recent Bay Area Bites interview, and industry and home cooks flock to the store to stock up and attend in-store events ranging from punch contests to edible art and a recent talk that included a Colorado whiskey tasting with Buzzio sausage. Sack also owns a pet store with her partner, Paula Harris, and the two stores have a connecting passageway. The two live in Corona Heights. When she isn't working or testing recipes for her selections for Williams-Sonoma stores nationwide, or upcoming "curated recipe keeper" book with a working title of The Omnivore's Recipe Keeper, Sack says she enjoys the following joints for shopping, eating, and drinking.
Celia Sack and Paula Harris. Photo: Courtesy of Celia Sack
Sack and Harris had their first date fifteen years ago in the Haight at Kate's Kitchen. "We got slap happy, on a sugar high, and rolled into bed together," Sack says, adding confirmation that yes, we can quote her on that last part. The two share what Sack calls "our secret thing" from Mill Valley, which is a guilty pleasure: In-N-Out Burger for double-doubles. They stop on their way to Tomales, where they have a home. "We stop in on a Saturday night, after we are exhausted from work. Eat our double-doubles and watch all the clean scrubbed teenagers" digging into their own fast food fare. Staying in Tomales is a way to rest and recharge on days off, and the eggs that Sack sells in the store are from there.
Petaluma is home to other favorites for the duo. "We always go to Dempsey's. Also, there's a tea place called the Tea Room Café. It's just so wonderful, and I’m going there with my sister soon."