Support Local: Ambatalia Bento Bag + Bella Donovan Coffee

A Japanese tradition, with a twist


This holiday season, we’re spotlighting the artists and craftspeople who make beautiful objects in the cities we call home. Read on for a close look at our Bento Bag + Coffee pairing, which we created in collaboration with the Bay Area-based small business, Ambatalia.

What matters is not what’s carried, but how.

That seems to be Molly de Vries' central preoccupation. As the founder of the textile company Ambatalia, Molly creates everyday items that outlast single-use disposables. She sources fabric ethically, and creates beautiful and maximumly functional wares.

Her Bento Bag is the most recent iteration of a timeless tradition—the use of cloth to wrap, hold, or carry anything from just-picked plums, to drawing supplies, to a homemade lunch. We’re packing ours with a bag of Bella Donovan coffee beans as part of our Support Local program this holiday.

I love simple design and aesthetics and our global textile history of how we used cloth to shop, carry, and bundle essential items in our day-to-day lives.
— Molly de Vries

“Bento” refers to bento boxes, a style of Japanese lunch once packed in lacquer boxes and often ported in a cloth bag. The traditional cloth for this was called furoshiki, and its uses extended beyond wrapping lunchboxes: clothes, gifts, or other goods might be contained within. When carrying lunch, the furoshiki could be unfurled and transformed into a tablecloth.

Molly has forsworn plastic bags of all kinds and she primarily uses her Bento Bags for bulk items at the grocery store. We think the bag makes a thoughtful handmade gift, especially when paired with our-most loved coffee blend. Made of Nordic chambray, our custom Bento Bag is given a final stitch of Blue Bottle blue for just the faintest touch of chromatic flair.