Daytrip: Shed in Healdsburg


On the Monday of President’s day weekend, Aron and I (and Skyler) drove out to Healdsburg—a small town at the very northern tip of Sonoma—to visit Shed, a relatively new cafe/shop space that means to update the concept of the local grange, bringing together “good farming, good cooking, and good eating.” I had first heard of its opening (and, notably, its beautiful, glass-enclosed, barn-like design) a while back and had been hoping to visit ever since; but Healdsburg always seemed like a bit too much of a trek—as compared to Calistoga or Napa, for example. Turns out it was well worth the effort.

Within about two minutes of stepping inside the gorgeous space (which comprises, all told, a café, classroom, home goods shop, and community event space), Aron turned to me to announce that he wanted to move in. I couldn’t blame him. The degree of natural light alone made it pretty idealic. Throw in things like perfectly curated housewares, a cheese cave, planters of micro greens, and walls of spirits and other goodies and you could have a pretty comfortable life there!

In some respects, Shed reminded me of Copia—a combined space that once thrived in Napa but which is now, sadly, long gone—but with a more modern (and trendy) appeal to the small-batch, artisan movement. I actually got into a conversation with a salesperson about the names I recognized (like Morris Syrups and Liddabit Sweets) from when they were just starting to sell at local markets like the Brooklyn Flea and the New Amsterdam Market. Hopefully, Shed will continue to thrive as Copia did not. I think its smaller size (and more manageable mission) should help. Though it is expensive—but not unexpectedly so for the area.

The ground floor shops are divided into areas labeled Cook, Farm, and Eat, and in between there’s a coffee bar, pantry, larder, restaurant, and fermentation bar.


After taking some time to ogle and covet everything from waxed cotton garden sacks to olive oil and olive wood cutting boards, we took a seat for lunch. The Monday was quiet at first, but both the outdoor patio and the inside tables filled up by noon. I imagine Saturdays, with the weekly farmer’s market being held directly across the street, and an influx of wine-tasting day trippers, are particularly busy!




We were pretty much in heaven. I think the combination of knowing that Hudson was happily enjoying an outing to the zoo with grandparents while we enjoyed one of the last leisurely lunches of Aron’s paternity leave, and the ambience of a really well-designed space with incredible food (a combination of the likes that we have missed) had us feeling a bit blissed out.

My salad is one I’ll be recreating at home: bitter greens topped with maple-hazlenut dressing, tart-and-sweet slices of Kumquats, crunchy hazelnuts, and freshly shaved prosciutto. Aron was equally enamoured with his trout toasts (served with blood oranges) and the house bread, freshly toasted in the wood-fired oven.

It was my initial intention to leave with a scoop of ice cream (as I passed someone on the way in whom I overhead calling the Chai the best they’d tasted), but opted for a cappucino instead. It’s hard to pass up a great cup of coffee—and now I have an explicit excuse to come back.


P.S. More on the Napa/Sonoma region: A Napa Weekend travelogue (with a stop in Healdsburg); Visiting Oakville Grocery; Celebrating at Scribe Winery; and a romantic weekend in Calistoga.

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