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click to enlarge Aaron Ostrom (left) of Pacific Outfitters, winner of Best Outdoor Gear Store and Best Sporting Goods Store, with pal Jason Whitcomb of S.T.I.L., which won a hat trick of Best Head Shop, Best Hobby Shop and Best Vape Shop. - PHOTO BY JILLIAN BUTOLPH
  • Photo by Jillian Butolph
  • Aaron Ostrom (left) of Pacific Outfitters, winner of Best Outdoor Gear Store and Best Sporting Goods Store, with pal Jason Whitcomb of S.T.I.L., which won a hat trick of Best Head Shop, Best Hobby Shop and Best Vape Shop.

I'll admit it, I snickered a bit when reading that S.T.I.L. managed to take home this year's crowns for Best Head Shop, Best Vape Shop and Best Hobby Shop. Don't get me wrong — I'm sure they have all the vape pens, blunt wraps and "functional glass art" needed to lock down the first two honors. It was the last one that threw me for a loop. Maybe I'm a bit dated, but the term "hobby shop," in my mind, brings visions of model trains, scrapping materials and yarn. Maybe, I wondered aloud, Humboldt County's most popular hobby is just getting really, really high. So it was with a bit of a jaundiced eye that I wandered into S.T.I.L. recently to see what they had to offer up to the hobby enthusiasts among us. It turns out S.T.I.L. has a host of Roller Derby gear, all the way down to pink leather skates with black flames and a rainbow glitter helmet. They also have an impressive novelty sock collection, a host of bath supplies, a collection of Venus fly traps and enough incense varieties to keep the Humboldt State University dorms covered for the school year. So if fumigating the house with vanilla lavender incense, dropping a bath bomb and watching a mysterious carnivorous plant do its thing while unwinding after your latest Roller Derby match fall among your hobbies, this is your shop. And if you like doing all that while wicked high, I think you've found your people.

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(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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