Downtown General Store’s Newest Vintage-Style Kitchen Towels

Rustic and retro, these towels are the perfect kitchen accessory.


Raw honey (for your morning yogurt parfaits).
Nectarines (because they’re on sale! Thanks for the tip, Mom).
Frozen pizza (for everything else).


It’s that time of the week again: grocery day. But while you’re wrestling with your coupons and trying to figure out how to use an entire bulk carton of strawberries before they go bad, we are riding easy with only one thing on our list: flour.

No, we’re not going to bake a massive batch of cupcakes. We’re actually talking about the flour-sack towels from Downtown General Store that are owned, operated and produced by the Kiyabu family. These retro kitchen towels have started popping up at some of our favorite haunts for twee finds, Paiko and James After Beach Club. Probably because the sweet, Hawai‘i-plantation-era-inspired designs and cheery palette of colors make you want to clean house with them—literally. The Kiyabu family has been making the towels together for almost 10 years, and their latest pieces, a sky-blue starfish print and charming dim sum design, have captured our hearts.

These goods are a family effort, with father Les hand-screening each towel in water-based inks (so they stay soft and smooth wash after wash) and the designs created by his wife Penny, or their sons Sky and Cody. The Kiyabus started whipping up the flour-sack towels back when crafters hadn’t yet discovered them, but her wide range of designs—now totaling 14—sets Downtown General Store’s offerings apart. Our favorite? The swirl of magenta buds, chipper yellow flowers and ochre pineapples.

Super cute kitchen? Check that off your list.

Available at Paiko, $28 for a set of three. Visit for a list of craft fair events at which to purchase towels.