Hailing back to the five and dime stores many of us remember from childhood, Fairfax Variety is a hidden gem in Wine Glass Writer’s hometown of Fairfax, California, just north of San Francisco. The store has a rich history beginning in the 1920s when it was a hardware store, to its transformation into a five and dime in the 50s, and now in its current iteration as a modern-day variety store that - with its mixture of old and new - appeals to all ages. The proprietor, Polly Knox, has owned Fairfax Variety since 2001. And Polly's good humor and sense of fun permeate every inch of the store with a playfulness and individuality that is emblematic of Fairfax itself. Fairfax Variety is a must-be-seen, old school shop that cannot adequately be described with words…but we’ll give it a try! The store is chock full of everything from kid-friendly items like candy (all the traditionals, like Tootsie Rolls and Big Hunks), toys (including our fave, Mr. Potato Head), games (wiffle ball, Yatzee, and dominoes, to name a few), and gag gifts (finally…a place to buy rubber chickens!) to everything for grownups including greeting cards, unique gifts, and upscale housewares brands. So how did Fairfax Variety come to be our first customer? After months of working with chemists and manufacturers, testing (and re-testing) with friends, family members and anyone who would cooperate, Wine Glass Writer creator Jeannine Fradelizio received her first shipment of the finished product. Very excited (but not exactly sure what to do next…) Jeannine grabbed a wine glass and a package of Wine Glass Writers, marched down the street to Fairfax Variety, pulled a writer out, wrote her name on the glass, and presented it to Polly. Polly’s response? “I’ll take ten.” That was in 2010 and today Wine Glass Writer is in variety stores, winery shops, and specialty retailers across the globe! We love Fairfax Variety and our charming town. The downtown area includes an interesting cross-section of local merchants as well as a movie theater, bars (which frequently feature live music from local bands and well-known rockers), cafes, galleries and restaurants…including Jeannine’s husband’s restaurant, Fradelizio’s. A stone’s throw away from both State and National Parks and over 18,000 acres of Open Space, Fairfax is a magical place where residents and visitors from all over the Bay Area come to enjoy festivals, community projects, farmers’ markets, beautiful parks and lively concerts. There’s always something happening in Fairfax. Come on by for a visit! Fairfax Variety is at 61 Broadway Blvd., Fairfax, California (415) 457-2580.