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  • Jennifer Adler


Long before Talisman was imagined, I found myself intrigued and inspired by an eclectic and inspiring store called KARL the Store. The Store originally opened in San Francisco in 2017, and is named after “Karl the Fog.” “Karl the Fog” was born as an Instagram account in 2010 by an author who remains anonymous. That author gave the beloved San Francisco fog a personality to delight its residents and Dennis gave his store a name based on that urban legend.

In 2019, when a great location opened up a couple of blocks from home, Dennis and Kate moved their store to 1201 Bridgeway in Sausalito. When I asked Dennis what the move was like for them, he said it was the best move they ever made. He believes that Sausalito is the most supportive, creative, and interactive community he’s ever experienced.

Part of what makes KARL the Store such a unique experience is Dennis’ background prior to opening it. Dennis had an extensive career in the apparel and entertainment industry. With a background in executive leadership in sales, marketing, and creative design, for companies such as Nike and Disney, Dennis applied his experiences, travels, and love of design into the curated experience that is KARL the Store.

When I asked Dennis about how he chooses the items for his store, he reflected on how he was influenced by his parent’s love of vintage cars and mid-century modern design. Today, he believes that it is the creativity he sees in his wife and kids that continues to influence his collections.

“I’m not trying to fill a void or provide a product based on analytics, I buy products that I like.” Dennis reflected.

What I love about the space that Dennis and his wife Kate have created, is its ability to grow in response to what the community is looking for. There is a vintage sign in the window that reads, “Ruth’s Homemade Pies.” Customers who came into the store kept asking, “What kind of pies do you have?” and Dennis would respond by telling them that it was only a sign that was for sale. They were not a bakery.

Right before COVID hit, Dennis’ wife Kate left her job as a design executive in the fashion industry. As a Midwestern family baker, Kate thought that if their customers want pies, why not make pies? Shortly after this inspiration, she started baking for KARL the Store and suddenly they did offer pies.

Being able to provide comforting, not too sweet, flaky crust pies with organic ingredients meant the world to the community, and word spread. Kate’s business, Slice of Sausalito, now offers custom orders as well as curated pies at KARL the Store six days a week.

Every time you enter the store you will overhear and witness Dennis with a smile on his face in conversation with one of his clients or learning something new from a tourist. One of Dennis and Kate’s favorite things about the store is the customer interaction. People come in and start talking to one another. They share stories about their day or chat about their favorite store items or pie flavors. This creates a daily celebration that's inspiring and energizing for clients and Dennis.

This year the current holiday pie favorites are – Classic Pumpkin, Sweet Potato with Pecan Topping (Kate’s favorite), Granny Smith Apple, Southern Pecan, and Organic Marionberry. They offer a small five-inch size which is enough for two at $15 and a large nine-inch size which is enough for six at $40. You can find a full list of pies available on their website at

KARL the store is truly a treasure trove. I highly recommend shopping at 1201 Bridgeway for the people on your list that want something memorable and unique. And of course, don’t forget to pick up your beautiful pie! The loved ones gathered around your holiday table will be incredibly grateful you did.


clockwise from left to right:

1. The Collector: Vintage hand knit Cowichan sweaters

2. The Adventurer: Pig and Hen Bracelets made in Amsterdam

3. The Romantic: 11/11 Lake and Skye scent

4. The Kiddo: Balsa Wood airplanes


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