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Larking About on the Bench

All-local grocery and gift shop Lark & Larder opens on Orchard Street in Boise

Lex Nelson

Looking around their soon-to-open shop on the Boise Bench, Jessica Harrold and Carissa DeGuzman were like two queens surveying a miniature kingdom. 

“We’re small, but mighty!” DeGuzman said, gesturing around her at a row of reach-in fridges; racks of canned vegetables, sauces and grains; and displays of pottery and glasswork. 

The all-local and regional grocery store and gift market, dubbed Lark & Larder, covers just 1,000 square feet, and a good chunk of that is taken up by a bathroom, office space and a tiny kitchen. Still, its petite footprint represents a big dream. 

“We’ve always just been supportive of the local food scene, and we both had an idea for a local shop, so we decided to put our efforts together and open the store,” Harrold explained. 

It was a big undertaking, as both Harrold and DeGuzman already worked multiple jobs before leasing the storefront at 233 N. Orchard Street in May. Harrold is the programs and administrative coordinator for the Ada Soil & Water Conservation District, runs Hen and Hare Microfarm and owns the health and beauty company Apis. DeGuzman is a graphic designer and self-described “maker” of over 25 years. 

They worked together to hand-pick every item in Lark & Larder and build a network of local producers. The result is an eclectic mix of products, some, like Cabruca chocolate and Purple Sage Farms kombucha, very exclusive, others easier to find in Boise for those who know where to look. Among them are City Peanut Shop nuts, Late Harvest condiments, Eden Creamery cheeses, and rabbit meat from Hen and Hare. 

“We both work on just about everything,” Harrold said. “Carissa does work with the artists more and I work with the farmers more, but we definitely try to make sure that we both know what’s going on so we’re just a well-oiled machine. That way we always have each others’ backs, too, while we’re running the shop.”

For the foreseeable future, Lark & Larder will be a two-woman operation. Since its soft opening Oct. 18, the pair has traded off working the counter Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. They’re still making plans, though, dreaming of things like recipe cards that help shoppers plan for an all-local dinner made with Lark & Larder produce, and debuting an in-shop restaurant and wine bar.

“We’ll have small plates that are seasonally rotated, and eventually we’ll … be selling beer and wine—local and regional—and serving it as well. That’s why we have the counter set up, so that people can hang out, shop for some groceries, maybe some gifts, and have a little local food,” DeGuzman said. 

Find out more about Lark & Larder on the shop’s Facebook page, or by following @larkandlarder on Instagram. 

All photos courtesy of Lark & Larder.