Pair buys surf, herb shops

02/03/2021

Forest Knolls partners Alison Wood and Garrett Mason are the fresh faces behind two Point Reyes Station institutions. 

Ms. Wood, an herbalist and acupuncturist licensed in Chinese medicine who previously worked in Sebastopol, has finalized her purchase of the local apothecary, which Eden Clearbrook has owned and operated for the past quarter-century. 

A longtime friend and former assistant for Ms. Clearbrook, Ms. Wood will open the shop under her own name in March after a brief closure for renovations. 

Mr. Mason, a ceramist and electrician and a longtime San Geronimo Valley resident, purchased the Point Reyes Surf Shop last March, and has kept the doors open despite the pandemic but held off on some revamping plans. (The founders of the surf shop, Jay and Liora Soladay, sold it in order to focus exclusively on their clothing line, Jayli Clothing, which has a storefront several doors down.) 

Ms. Wood and Mr. Mason are excited about putting down roots in Point Reyes Station. “There’s this warmth, smallness and pace that feels aligned for me—if I never had to go over White’s Hill, I’d be happy,” Ms. Wood said. 

She added, “I always knew that when I was finished with Chinese medical school I wanted to continue working with the plants, working with making medicine and with the herbs that actually grow around us, focusing on community resilience and focusing on really helping the community where I am.” 

She says her healing specialties—which include a host of skills she learned at the Academy of Chinese Culture and Health Sciences in Oakland, where she recently completed a five-year program—diverge and overlap with those of Ms. Clearbrook, who will continue to sell her line of healing products, Garden of Eden, at the shop. 

Mr. Mason intends to maintain the inventory at the surf shop, though he hopes to add a skateboard section and work toward creating a skate ramp or park in Point Reyes. The greatest change he foresees is converting part of the space into a public ceramics studio down the line. 

“The one thing I see Point Reyes lacking is things for kids to do,” he said. “That’s an important part of these shops, and everything: the community and the kids, especially the kids.” 

With three of their own children at home this year, the pair said the youngsters were playing a key role in shaping the businesses. “We have three kids who are going to be learning how to surf, and how to make medicine, and to tend two shops—they are with us, not in school right now. We are all together in Point Reyes,” Ms. Wood said. 

Point Reyes Surf Shop, which will soon have a new name, is currently open from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. After closing around Valentine’s Day, Ms. Wood will be open by appointment until late March, when she will reopen under her new name, Abalone Apothecary and Chinese Medicine Clinic.