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Business & Real Estate

There's no time like the 'Present'


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier Present proprietors, from left, Jim Reynolds and Jim Daley, relocated to the Bay Area after living in Texas for three decades. Their new store in downtown Los Altos offers artisan foods, gifts and customized gift baskets.

For Jim Daley and Jim Reynolds, there’s nothing like the present – in more ways than one.

Mere months after moving to the Bay Area from Texas, Daley and Reynolds last week opened Present, a user-friendly store with a focus on local artisan foods and gifts, located at 162 Main St. in downtown Los Altos.

The move also afforded “The Two Jims” – as they’re known by family and friends – the opportunity to live closer to their daughter, Michelle, and grandson, Henry, in Los Altos after spending the past 30 years living in the Lone Star State.

“It really is about the present for us,” Daley said with a chuckle. “We’re just really happy to be in such a great community.”

The store offers a variety of gift items that can be included in customized gift baskets, such as flavored cooking oils, vinegars and tapenades from Napa Valley and Santa Rosa, Rustic Bakery goods from San Rafael and chocolates from Pasadena, to name a few.

A self-described “foodie,” Daley said the inspiration behind the store came in part from the thriving food culture he and Reynolds witnessed during visits to the Bay Area throughout the years. He said those experiences helped formulate the idea of opening a one-stop shop that offered locally sourced foods and gifts.

“We thought, ‘Why don’t we open a place where you can get all of these things at once?’” said Daley, adding that he hopes the store will eventually serve as a pantry source for shoppers as well. “There really needs to be a place where people can get things that are made locally.”

Reynolds, meanwhile, cited his enjoyment in the process of selecting and packaging thoughtful gifts for friends and family.

“It’s all about the definition of ‘present,’” said Reynolds, who along with Daley previously owned and operated a day spa and a hair salon on South Padre Island, a tourist destination located near Texas’ southeastern tip. “It’s about the art and ceremony involved in selecting a gift. … It’s how you give (a gift) to somebody, too. To me, it doesn’t have to be in a box with a bow.”

To that end, Reynolds said the store strives to offer more than just the traditional wicker gift basket for customers. Instead, they use the gift items such as colanders, mixing bowls and plates as the customized gift basket.

The idea, Daley said, is creatively reusing or repurposing every element of the gift basket instead of being stuck with an empty wicker basket.

“It’s part of the genius we like here in Northern California,” said Daley, who plans to offer lines of premade gift baskets for sale online in the near future. “There’s a creative energy we’ve been drawn to here for many years.”

The Two Jims said the store’s goods and its laid-back atmosphere are simply reflections of them.

“We just like people,” Daley said. “And this is what we like to do.”

Present is open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, seasonally open on Sundays and closed on Mondays.

For more information, call 949-4438 or visit www.presentlosaltos.com.

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