Cost Plus World Market has been in business since the late 1950s, with its first location on Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. The company got its name when the founder, William Amthor, sold some imported wicker furniture for “cost plus 10 percent.” The company’s unofficial mission statement talks about constantly refreshing products in the store to keep customers enticed and stocking a diverse spread of items from over 50 countries worldwide.
The company has 259 stores around the U.S. Customers go there to find something they can’t find elsewhere. Many of the company’s African products meet that perfect intersection of exotic but practical. Here are 8 African products featured at Cost Plus World Market.
Cost Plus World Market works with a tribe in the Kavango region of Namibia to source these wooden giraffe figurines. Each giraffe is hand carved from a single piece of wood that the tribe members collect from the banks of the Kavango River. After the giraffes are carved, the women of the tribe sand and polish them to prepare them for sale. Each giraffe varies slightly in size and shape since each one is made by hand from non-uniform pieces of wood. Woodcarving is an important local industry in the Kavango region, according to Namibiatravel.com.
World Market merchants travel to the Tabaka Hills in Kenya to pick up these love tokens. The Tabaka Hills are home to the Kissi/Gusii community, a group that is known for handcrafting stunning pieces of jewelry, decorative art, and home goods out of a type of soapstone found in this region, according to Karibunicottages.com. The messages of love come in sets of three, according to Worldmarket.com.
Kenya AA refers to a special Arabica coffee bean grown in Kenya that yields very large beans. Large beans play a factor in the quality of the coffee, which is why this type is highly sought after. The coffee is some of the finest in the world and grows between 4,900 and 6,800 feet of elevation on volcanic soil, according to Coffeeeam.com. The resulting coffee has notes of flowers and berries and is highly acidic. WorldMarket.com sells sets of six bags of this coffee.
Zhena’s Gypsy Mint Rose Loose Leaf Tea is made with Egyptian peppermint, which helps digestion, promotes relaxation and enhances focus. The flavor produces a calming effect, according to Zhenas.com. WorldMarket.com sells a loose leaf variety that is organic and fair trade. The tea also comes with a bamboo spoon and is packaged in a reusable glass jar.
These vibrant and decorative glasses are made in Morocco and feature a traditional Moroccan design. In Morocco, drinking tea is a way of life and inviting someone to enjoy a cup of tea with you is is an invitation to witness and participate in an important part of the culture, says Partaste.com. As such, the ritual of drinking tea is a very visual one, and Moroccans serve tea in glasses fit for more expensive beverages. WorldMarket.com sells glasses in sets of six in assorted colors.
Lemons and salt are staples in the Moroccan diet, and in lemon confit, they come together to make a delicious addition to any lamb or couscous dish. The owner of Mustapha’s grew up in Morocco and shares his passion for his homeland’s cuisine with the rest of the world through Mustaphas.com. His lemon confit uses Beldi lemons, which are slightly sweet and incredibly fragrant. WorldMarket.com sells 12.4-ounce jars of this treat for $6.
Ethiopian chef Marcus Samuelsson partnered with famous tea company Harney & Sons to create the Ambessa tea collection. At WorldMarket.com you can pick up the Safari Breakfast blend made from African black teas. Every blend in the collection is a reflection of Samuelsson’s own journey as well as his “passion for worldwide foodways and culinary creativity,” says Harney.com. On the Harney website a small disc with five tea sachets costs $4. On WorldMarket.com, a tub with 20 tea packets is $4.49.
Pomula Wine Spritz features the succulent marula fruit which grows in sub-Saharan plains of Africa for a few weeks each year. The wine spritzer combines marula with pomegranate and white wine for a refreshing aperitif made in South Africa. The line offers other varieties, too, like passion fruit spritzer and a moscato. This product is only available in store and at select locations, but you can sign up for in-stock alerts for it on WorldMarket.com.
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