L.A. Creamery Ice Cream in Chatsworth

photo of carton of la creamery softserve salted caramel ice cream and closeup of its label

Ice cream during a rainstorm takes on special significance. It's enough out of the norm to feel odd in the hand in the market, strange to put in the freezer next to weekend-made soups and even a bit crazy to take out after dinner. This mismatch creates the scientifically verified … [Read more...]

Engage Organics in Kelseyville

Jars of Engage Organics seasoning blends all in a row.

Originally called Parsley Patch, these seasoning blends reclaimed their faithful following as Engage Organics. Salt free, they add loads of flavor to foods with no added sodium, which as we all know is a no-no for many people. These organic shaker blends come in many varieties … [Read more...]

Chef Stroh’s Pesto in Fillmore

A dinner plate with a leg of lamb and rosemary next to a jar of pesto sauce.

Pesto is always green right? Not true. Chef Steven Stroh creates flavorful pestos for all your meal courses.  Green Monster is a perfect lighter addition to gourmet salad dressings. Spicy and bold Sundried Tomato pesto adds punch to heavier main course meals. Blue apricot adds a … [Read more...]

Arawak Farms in Point Richmond


  Arawak Farms specialty condiments are vegan, gluten-free, low-sodium, low-sugar and high on flavor. Products include dry rubs, pepper sauces and spicy fruit spreads. They're available in several Bay Area specialty markets and not their website for local artisan … [Read more...]

Paso Almonds in San Luis Obispo

An ornate silver bowl is full of caramel and almond corn.

A round of applause for candy maker Randy Hall and his Almond Brittle! Not too hard, not too chewy, always ​nutty and ​delicious. Batches are made in small quantities to ensure the highest quality control. The almonds are slowly roasted to toasty perfection and are measured by … [Read more...]

Companion Bakeshop in Santa Cruz

Several loaves of artisan bread on a wooden tray being held by hands.

Companion Bakeshop began with a love of baking sourdough and has grown into a full fledged bakery with a loyal customer base. Of course the breads are made fresh in several varieties and shapes. Cookies, croissants, and many kinds of pastries round out the menu. Custom items are … [Read more...]

Tassajara Natural Meats in Carmel Valley

A meadow scene with several black cows standing on a hill with the partly cloudy sky above.

Ahhh, taking a stroll through the hills above Big Sur, watching the waves crash onto the shore and feeling the breeze on your face: this is heaven. No silly! Not for you, but for the cattle raised by Tassajara Natural Meats. They raise healthy, happy cattle, fed on the natural … [Read more...]

Thorn Street Brewery in San Diego

Several beers of differing colors on a wooden tray with Thorn St. Brewery written on the wood.

The idea behind this brewery was to bring a neighborhood feel to a pub where everybody knows everybody and you stop in for a quick drink anytime as you chat about your daily minutiae. And somebody might even listen to you! In days gone by, pubs had distinctive brews because they … [Read more...]

Zena Foods in Seaside

A smiling man in a yellow tee shirt waves in front of a banner.

Mediterranean food items made by Ahmed and Josie and sold at farmer's markets have a loyal following. Caterers often rely on Zena foods as well so you may find these flavors while you are out and about. Artisanally made hummus in several flavors when accompanied by freshly made … [Read more...]

​McVicker Pickles in San Francisco

Three small bowls of pickled vegetables with plastic spoons in each.

  You can take the girl out of Kansas, but you can't take the Kansas out of the girl! Kelly McVicker, said Kansas girl, learned the art of pickling from her two Grandmas, and when she came to California she found she didn't want to leave that part of her behind. Starting … [Read more...]

Valencia Creek Farms in Aptos

Close up picture of olive tree branches with ripened olives hanging from the branches.

Valencia Creek Farms makes local gourmet olive oil and other oil based products from their local orchards by local people. Once ripened to the correct level for specific flavor choices, the olives are gently hand picked to reduce bruising and enhance flavors. These healthy little … [Read more...]

Pensi Pasta in Marina

Homemade papperdelle pasta in a rainbow of colors.

Sold only in local farmer's markets, Pensi Pasta has gathered quite a following for pasta that puts dried grocery packages to shame.  They specialize in fresh ravioli pillows stuffed with salmon, butternut squash and more.  Fresh pasta comes in many shapes and colors. Homemade … [Read more...]

Cowboy Sausage and Chili Company in Marina

The logo for Cowboy Sausage and Chili company in brown tones with a smiling man.

Butch Francis, sausage "king" of Cowboy Sausage, insists on using only the highest quality, all natural pork for his products. Incorporating other unique ingredients like fennel, butterscotch and chocolate add subtle nuances to each variety. Heat levels vary to please both meek … [Read more...]

​Riley’s Jerky in Greenville

Five jars of Riley's jerky in a row with strips of each flavor on a table.

Sitting astride a tall, strong horse, a hungry rider reaches for his pouch of jerky as he takes a rest and gazes at the mountain vista. This old west vision may seem antiquated, but good jerky is still a treat that nourishes all modern cowboys with protein. It's great for camping … [Read more...]

2 English Ladies in Chico


I saw the 2 English Ladies booth at a Mountain View Art and Wine festival. Before I compliment the curd, it was great to see around 600 booths and a nice sampling of artisan food. What first impressed me about the 2 English Ladies booth was the number of people available to chat … [Read more...]

​Alvarado Street Brewery in Monterey

Two happy young men holding a tray holding four different beer samples.

I consider myself fortunate to live near coastal Monterey, full of history, natural beauty, and great food. Alvarado Street Brewery takes this area to the next level, making local craft brew as yet another reason to visit. These West Coast style beers come in several popular … [Read more...]

​Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates in Sacramento

A hand sprinkling small spices over hand made gourmet chocolates.

  A passion for chocolate, and a mission to share the joy is the driving force at this artisan chocolate boutique. Ginger Elizabeth is a formally trained chocolatier and pastry chef who loves to bring the highest quality products to her customers while always listening to new … [Read more...]

Pick a Peck Pickles in Yuba City

Jars of bright red pickled beets in a row.

  Four Brubaker brothers loved their gramma's pickles aso much that they decided to recreate those flavors together in a modern way. This family run pickling business uses only the finest, locally sourced produce for their hand packed products. Thankfully their goal is to make … [Read more...]

Tasty Karma in Palo Alto

tasty karma farmer's market booth

Saumil and Vinay, founders of Tasty Karma create chickpea chips and truffles that serve as healthy, tasty snacks for kids of all ages. Saumil began making chickpea chips for her family, bagging them for her kids' lunchboxes and sharing them with friends and neighbors. Once she … [Read more...]

Green Girl Bakeshop in Oakland


I first saw Green Girl Bakeshop's vegan and gluten free handspun ice cream sandwiches at the Palo Alto Farmer's Market. As an avid cookie baker I questioned the idea; however, these ice cream sandwiches are flavorful and satisfying. I have to say she also has a great website, … [Read more...]

Big Paw in Campbell

big paw vinegar bottle selection

Big Paw Olive Oils and Vinegars. Their olive oils are cold pressed with flavorful, high quality olives. Their vinegars are unique and interesting.   Private labeling is available if you're interested in sampling and then sharing products such as Hot Tuscan Olive Oil, Hot … [Read more...]

Travelin’ Totes for Baking and Cooking

Spicy Red Tote

Two totes for traveling to cook and bake with friends and family. Spicy Southwest Tote: photo includes knife sheath, spice traveler, wallet, tote bag and flexible cutting mat.   Retro Trailers Tote: photo includes knife sheath, spice traveler, wallet and tote bag and … [Read more...]

Colwell Thundering Herd Ranch in Penryn

A smiling couple holding a couple bottles of oil next to a red truck.

  I discovered a delicious California made mandarin olive oil while on vacation this summer. Mixed with a citrusy balsamic and poured over a wilted spinach salad with candied pecans and I was in heaven. This small family run farm began with sweet mandarins and later lemons, … [Read more...]

Esther’s German Bakery in Mountain View

bread selection esthers

At Sunday's Palo Alto Farmer's Market Esther's German Bakery welcomed passersby with beautiful breads that showed well behind glass and a smiling face behind the counter. Everything about Esther's seller invited us to browse and buy browned goods from pretzels to breads worthy of … [Read more...]

​House of Pendragon Brewing Company in Clovis

A curvy glass of dark beer with the House of Pendragon logo on the front.

Being a major fan of fantasy and science fiction, I was naturally intrigued by the name of this small micro brewery. Pendragon is of course the legendary family name of King Arthur which goes hand in hand with knights, dragons and magical Merlin. Picture if you will the main room … [Read more...]