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Tyler Florence at the 2009 Mill Valley Wine & Gourmet Food Tasting Event.

By Gary Ferber

Congrats
• Mark your calendar: A double celebration is in order for Mill Valley Market’s Canepa family: 2011 marks 30 years of their Mill Valley Wine & Gourmet Food Tasting event and 80 years of owning the Mill Valley Market. The tasting event, first organized by Jim Canepa back in 1981 as a “little wine and cheese gathering,” has turned into an all-plaza party featuring local food purveyors and hard-to-find vintages. This year’s fete takes place Sunday, June 26, 1–4 p.m., at Depot Plaza. Tickets are $45.
• Presidio project: The Masonic Center for Youth and Families has recently opened a new facility in San Francisco’s Presidio. Among the many Marin contributors is clinical psychologist Tracy Schmidt, Ph.D., who pulled together a design team including Fairfax-based Dean Stubbings of Madera Furniture and Kathleen Carroll and Moises Elterman of the Potting Shed. mcyaf.org
• A knight among us: In a nod to her best-selling book La Bella Lingua: My Love Affair with Italian, the World’s Most Enchanting Language, Mill Valley author Dianne Hales was recently made an honorary Knight of the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity by the president of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano.

What the...?
Is it a bike? Nope — it’s an ElliptiGO, the latest low-impact fitness device to hit the scene. According to San Rafael’s Precor Fitness, where these outdoor two-wheelers are available for rent ($100 per day) or purchase ($2,499), people love them. Since they fit on a normal bike rack and can collapse to fit into an SUV, don’t be surprised if you see one soon on a trail near you. elliptigo.com

Openings
• Check out downtown Mill Valley’s latest shopping destination, Mint. Located on Throckmorton Avenue near Beerworks, the store has an assortment of stylish miscellany ranging from “artisanal apothecary to accessories and clothing for men, women and kids to exquisitely crafted toys, jewelry and rare books,” says owner Cecile Wong. She adds, “We feature some of the best designers from Scandinavia, Germany, Japan, London, New York City and Marin.” 
• Sixteen-year-old Marin-based Fair Trade–Certified Equator Coffee has just opened its first retail outlet, in terminal two at SFO. Named 2010 Roaster of the Year by Roast magazine, the company has professional clients like chefs Thomas Keller and Tyler Florence and the founder of Napa’s Oxbow Public Market, Steve Carlin. equatorcoffees.com

Art With a Purpose
Have you seen the model houses decorated by prominent Marin artists placed since mid-April in Mill Valley, Larkspur, San Rafael, Ross, San Anselmo and Novato in preparation for the Ritter Center’s fundraiser at the Mill Valley Community Center (MVCC) on June 18? If not, the houses are scheduled to be moved on June 13 to the MVCC lawn, where they can be viewed together for nearly a week before being auctioned off at the gala event. The piece pictured, It Takes a Village, by Dorallen Davis, is on display at the Ross Post Office. rittercenter.org

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