Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Have you ever been to the Taste Of Utah? I hadn’t either, but guess what?! It was so much fun! I loved that it gave people the opportunity to discover new, local, and fantastic products. Everyone had so much fun.

I love buying local. We are supporting our friends and neighbors, their products are a heck of a lot more fresh, real and delicious and it improves our economy etc. So, why don’t we take a “walk” through our own “neighborhood” and meet a few of our local friends?

This first neighbor happened to be one of my favorites from the testing. I feel like I’m a pretty good judge of character and I immediately saw something in Angie from, GF2 . I am picky about Gluten Free. Just because it’s Gluten Free doesn’t mean it should be ok that it tastes bad. Not the case with Angie. The texture is tender and moist. I love the flavor too. It’s completely full flavored and delicious.  So, here’s Angie,

“I was diagnosed with celiac disease about 5 1/2 years ago. Like many, I was mis-diagnosed for years. I had grown up baking and cooking with my Mom all the time, so after crying the first time I attempted GF bread, I pulled myself up by the bootstraps and worked hard to learn the new skills I needed to bake using different grains. It wasn’t until we moved to SLC 4 years ago that I felt I had a large enough market (and the resources for supplies and ingredients) that I could go into business. The Cottage Food Program became available in late 2008, I think, and I started my business in June 2009. At the time, I had very little competition, and was able to get into two GF specialty stores and one health food store. I am slowly expanding into more locations, despite having almost 20 new competitors! Aackk…at times it’s a little unnerving, but I continue to serve a fabulous client base that is growing all the time.

I didn’t like a lot of the pre-made GF food available, and although companies large and small are getting better at producing high quality food, I wanted to focus on home-made, comfort type foods your grandmother would know and approve of. One of my main goals is to have food that the whole family, or group, or party, can enjoy without a fake courtesy reply that the food is “OK.” I want the food to be amazing, to travel well (we camp and road trip a lot), to freeze and thaw well, and to have a nice long shelf life. All my product recipes were taken from old family favorites that I decided needed to be on my GF must-have list!

Although at times it’s utter chaos at my house with 3 kids and a home-based business, it’s been amazing to see how my family has stepped up to help out, especially emotionally. They continue to surprise me with their own passions for my passion. I guess you probably experience a bit of this yourself…I think all women business owners (or maybe just all moms!) go through similar hardships and rewards! ”

Don’t you just love her too? So wonderful! Nice to meet ya Angie!

Ohhhhh this “neighbor” is one I already knew and loved. Maybe you haven’t met… This is Gregory’s Wheat Shop. Maybe you’ve seen or heard of Jack Spratt’s Sprouted Wheat Bread? It’s delicious!
This shop has been going on for, well for a really long time. They started up in Bountiful, Utah and we are pushing for them to enter the local supermarkets. (In fact, if you have a second, you should call and request their bread at the store so they can expand further). This neighbor does not use any preservatives in their breads which range from, sprouted whole wheat to cinnamon burst. Love, love, love that. Finally, some better quality foods! Guess what? I could even read every single ingredient. Hallelujah! The bread is tender, delicious and such high quality. My little ones chowed it. But, here’s my favorite part, the bread tastes like I just made it at home. It’s real life, amazing, home made bread. Done. Annnnd the people are amazing.

As we walk down the street we meet another new neighbor. This is Mike from Nature Baked. His Granola is DELICIOUS. I HATE crappy granola. In fact, I bought some a few weeks ago to save some time from having to make my own and we ended up wasting the whole thing. I CANNOT describe how delicious this granola is. Please go try the caramel apple and strawberry-craisin. AMAZING. You’ll want to top your peach or apple crisp with this granola this fall. FOR REAL.
Folks, I would have cut down what Mike had to say, but he is speaking my language. I’ll let him step on my soapbox for a moment…

Say hello Mike,
“I am a father, husband, CEO of Nature Baked Inc and a chronic entrepreneur. I am also a hopeless fanatic of collectible card games and board games with a magic the gathering collection that will rival any in the state :).
My reasons for pursuing this business have changed drastically over the life of our business, which is what I attribute a vast amount of our success to. It started like all my other businesses, to create an income. Nature Baked was actually only intented to “help out a little” by selling at the farmer’s markets. As I dug deeper and deeper into the food industry I was more and more appalled at the accepted practices and the ignorance that the consumer (including myself) allowed themselves to live in. The part that blew me away was that the worst offendors were companies that portrayed themselves as “healthy choice” companies. At least when you buy a bag of Oreo’s you are choosing something that is not good for you and you know it.  When you get a case of granola bars that you assume are good for you and are advertised as “all natural” or even “organic” and find out there’s more sugar and HDL fats than there are in the Oreos, then there’s something wrong.
I also found that there was very few options available for a small food company attempting to make it in the big store.  There’s a HUGE gap between the small home produced and the large production companies and very little middle ground. I am using my connections with Gardner Development (the guys who built gateway downtown, and are building the Adobe building in Lehi) to change that. We are planning a facility that will not only meet our needs but also supply extra room that we can turn into a dozen or so co-op kitchens for smaller companies to rent out by the week, day or even hour.  This will allow us to work as a sort of spring board for other companies that are struggling to bridge the gap between home produced and production facility.
As you can see, what started out as a way to put a little extra money in our budget has blossomed into a full blown opportunity to provide meaningful change on multiple levels.  It is hard to describe to some that – yes I am fully behind and devoted to our granola, but Nature Baked is much, much more than just granola. ”

Let stop for a moment. Have I ever mentioned that we are true salsa connoisseurs? We are. We love fresh salsa. Not jarred. NOT JARRED. This salsa has my heart. Oh my sweet deliciousness. That mango. OH!!! Love it. LOOOOOOOOOVE  IT. Way to go neighbor. Way. To. Go.

Condies Foods has a few facts that may win you over even more.
*Intermountain Region’s Premier Fresh Produce Processor and Fresh Tomato Repacker

*Owned and operated by the same family for over 73 years (love that.)

*Working for a sustainable future


*Tastes like you are in Cabo San Lucas or California, or somewhere warmer than Utah. 😉

Nice to meet you Condies Foods!

Ahhhh, my new friend, Master Sushi Chef Peggi Whiting. Peggi is amazing. She trained in Japan and is among the first women to be a master sushi chef. Oh, hello amazing lady!
Wait, it gets’ WAY better. She brough… Teriyaki Sauce. YUM!!!!!!! Back home in WA we had a place called Samurai Sams. I’ve loved it forever, but it is no longer. Wait, I’ve finally found a replacement! HOORAY!!! Finally a teriyaki sauce that doesn’t taste like pure sodium!!!!!!!! AND, it’s nice and thick with full flavor. LOVE IT. Please, please go buy it. You’ll pretty much never go back. Oh, and guess what? She has a few kinds, Chef’s blend, Wheat Free, Less Sodium (although her’s is so low on sodium you are way better off anyway), and Sugar free. It’s soooo good!

Check it at Seal Sama!

The kids went crazy for this candy and I have to admit, probably some of the best taffy I’ve ever had.

How totally cute is this friendly neighbor? I love that they were so hesitant about being in the photo. You’re so darling!!!
Sweet’s Candy Company has been run for over 100 years! WOW. They are most famous for their salt water taffy, cinnamon bears and orange sticks.
Guess what’s cool about this Grandpa company of the neighborhood? You and your kiddos can head out on a tour of the candy factory for free and  you get free samples! WOOHOO!!!!! Don’t you love opportunities to take the kiddos somewhere fun? I’m so doing this. DONE AND DONE!
Thanks neighbor!

Ohhhhh, ohhhhh, yummy jam. Oh my goodness. The raspberry was ah-maze-ing. Truly. It tasted like a fresh raspberry. No joke.

We are to the end of the street, and while the neighborhood has many more people in it I think you all would die if I kept “walking”.
This is Butcher’s Bunches and you will just die over the handcrafted preserves. I could use a good lesson. No kidding. Please teach me your ways dear neighbor!!!
Go be curious and buy yourselves some. You will see what I mean. You’ll actually want to find any way possible to include these preserves in at least breakfast and lunch every day. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I cannot lie, they were truly the BEST I’ve had. You are amazing. YUM!!!!!

I HAVE to quickly tell you about this last neighbor. I have no picture so I just need you to stick with me here. I consider myself a tortilla snob. Have I ever said this out loud?  Well, no. But, I truly am one. I hate crappy, thick, bland tortillas. They stink. They are the worst.
These tortillas, um, they are delicioso! Seriously. Oh my goodness. I wish my pictures would have turned out better, but my batter was low so I was in a hurry.
Meet Deer Creek Foods. Their low carb tortillas are serioulsy better than most “full carb” tortillas. I’m not joking. Go look for them. Give them a friendly wave. And try their food. YUM.

Friends, I hope you enjoyed meeting our neighbors. Aren’t they all amazing? I love that everyone is passionate about what they are doing. ANNND, I love that they are all around here!!! Please support your local products. They truly are your neighbors and don’t you want to be friendly?

Love to you all…