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Mother Essentials: Camilla Marcus, Founder of west~bourne

Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano

It’s officially April—a.k.a. Earth Month, a chance to reiterate the importance of protecting Mother Nature and living more sustainably. Camilla Marcus, mother of a toddler son and a baby girl on the way, knows this mission all too well, as the chef/founder of west~bourne, a pioneering hospitality business that began as a zero-waste restaurant in Manhattan. Since closing the restaurant’s doors in September 2020, Camilla has relocated her growing family to Los Angeles and pivoted her business to focus on packaged provisions and curated culinary experiences that can be purchased online. She’s also co-founded Relief Opportunities for All Restaurants (ROAR), a group that advocates for small restaurants devastated by the effects of COVID-19 in order to help create a path to a sustainable future for the hospitality industry in New York. Below, the busy entrepreneur who is just days away from becoming a mother of two spills her earthy Mother Essentials.

Canyon Coffee. “I try to support as many independent local food and beverage businesses as I can, especially as they have been so hard hit by the pandemic. Canyon Coffee roasts all their beans in L.A., and everything is ethically sourced. They’ve become a household staple for us.” Canyon Coffee Beans, $18, Canyon Coffee.

west~bourne Pistachio Dukkah. “Our dukkah is an all-purpose seasoning in my kitchen. I fold it into greenmarket salads, sprinkle it onto ricotta toast with a drizzle of olive oil, and, as the weather warms and we break out the grill, use it combined with fresh herbs, citrus, and olive oil (a riff on gremolata) to top grilled meat and fish. It’s a Swiss army knife for your pantry, delicious for both kids and adults alike.” Pistachio Dukkah, $10, west~bourne.

Artipoppe Zeitgeist Baby Carrier. “I swear by this carrier. I’ve recommended it to every mom I know. It’s vegan, 100% cotton, and adjustable, so you don’t need to buy new ones as your baby grows. Plus, their patterns are show stoppers and help you feel just a bit more put together, which means so much especially when you’re a new mom at the start of the journey.” Zeitgeist Baby Carrier, $350, Artipoppe.

Samantha Knight Jewelry. “Samantha is an incredible jewelry designer and wonderful human. She has an amazing vintage collection that’s my go-to. I love the history, patina, and personal stories behind each piece that she has a unique eye for. I have worn her Qu’hier Que Demain Love Token Charm for years and started collecting her initial letters as a gift to myself for my children.” Vintage Charms, $195 and up, Samantha Knight Jewelry.

Bodha Perfume. “Fragrance has always been a part of my self-care routine that I really cherish. Even more so with Bodha’s 100% natural perfumes. What and how we smell is so evocative and can shift your mood, and with the No. 2 Vibration, I always feel a step more elevated, even when I’m just working away at home.” Bodha No. 2 Vibration Perfume, $128, Standard Dose.

Kinto Tumbler. “Like all working moms with young kids, I rarely have time to sit and finish my coffee, which is a cherished morning ritual for me. This tumbler will keep it hot (or cold) for hours. I love the beautiful minimal design, and most importantly, it doesn’t leak when I toss it into my bag.” Travel Tumbler, $35, Kinto.

Little People, Big Dreams Books. “A beautiful book series for kids that spotlights some of our world’s most inspirational leaders. They provide a thoughtful way to teach about history and the profound impact any individual can make on our community.” Little People, Big Dreams Books, $14.71, Bookshop.

Reusable Silicone Storage Bags. “Silicone bags are such a simple way to reduce our plastic use, especially when you’ve got kids. I use the smaller ones from Stasher to pack all of G’s snacks, and the larger ones for meal prep and storing leftovers.” Stasher Bag Bundle, $38, Package Free Shop.

Patagonia Nylon Backpack. “We use this backpack as our diaper bag, and it’s been a game changer for chasing G around. He’s a very active toddler, and we need to have our hands free.  It’s super light, has tons of compartments, and indestructible to tote around.” Patagonia Tamangito 20L Backpack, $79, Backcountry.

Salt + Stone Products. “Salt + Stone’s founder, Nima Jalali, is a former pro athlete, so not only are all of their products completely natural, organic, and sustainably produced, but they work. Both my partner and I use their deodorant and sunscreen everyday.” Deodorant, $18, Salt + Stone; Sunscreen, $18, Salt + Stone.

Teressa Foglia Hats. “Teressa is a phenomenal artist who makes gorgeous sustainably-sourced, custom-designed hats. I almost never leave home without one. I have a few that I treasure as lifelong pieces and hope to pass on to my kids one day. Plus, putting a hat on takes your mood and vibe to a whole new level right away.” Custom-Designed Hat, $550 and up, Teressa Foglia.

Kaico Enamel Kettle. “I love kitchen staples that are practical to use and mindfully designed. This kettle looks beautiful on every counter or table and really elevates any coffee or tea ritual (and to warm milk for your kids) all while being light and easy to clean.” Kaico Kettle by Makoto Koizumi, $95, Amazon.

Erbaviva. “Erbaviva’s belly oil has carried me through two pregnancies, and I exclusively use their baby body wash and baby lotion. Started in Topanga Canyon, California, it’s the gold standard for sustainable, clean, and organic products, and they even produce in a green solar powered manufacturing facility.” Erbaviva Stretch Mark Oil, $32, Maisonette; Erbaviva Baby Body Wash, $18, Maisonette; Erbaviva Baby Lotion, $20, Maisonette.

Dyper. “A subscription diaper service that’s plant-based, compostable, and really works. I was so worried as a new mom about the environmental impact of diapers, and I was relieved to finally find this special company. A lifesaver in all ways.” Dyper Subscription, $68, Dyper.

Photo/genics + Co No. 2 Indica Candle. “Photo/genics + Co is a woman-owned, L.A.-based company that makes the most beautifully scented products with the highest quality ingredients. It’s an instant way to reset a mood and cleanse a space. I have these candles all around our home, and they also make wonderful gifts with the gorgeous concrete casing.” No. 2 Indica Candle, $115, Photo/genics + Co.

For more Mother Essentials, peep our past columns with best-selling author Joanna Ho, Brave + Kind Bookshop owner Bunnie Hilliard, TV personality Leslie Antonoff, author Rio Cortez, Kido Chicago owner Keewa Nurullah, small-space mama Laura Fenton, Curasalve founder Kelley Williams, Trade Street Jam Co. founder Ashley Rouse, Weelicious and One Potato founder Catherine McCord, interior designer Susan Work, author Tiffany Dufu, Les Gamins founder Veronique Nguyen, Lonny editor Angela Tafoya, Wiley Body founder Vanessa Wade, designers Anna WallackCynthia RowleyRebecca Atwood, and Dana HaimOlympian Alysia Montano, cookbook author Hetal Vasavada, model and muse Slick Woods, wellness influencerJoanne Encarnacion, author LaTonya Yvetteand many, many more!

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