Our Community of Food Artisans
The food culture of Monterey County has a long history of vibrant makers and flavors. From the colonial settlers though the cannery workers of Steinbeck’s Eden to the farmers and food artisans of today, we are lucky to be able to continue the tradition and embrace the quality and the abundance of local ingredients.
When I first met Katie Reneker, the founder of Carmel Berry Co., I knew her Elderberry Syrup was special and wonderful. I knew that not only because it reminded me of the great flavors of Northern Europe, but because it tastes fresh and exciting. It combines the best of both the old world tradition of food being your medicine and the modern technique of gently cold pressing juice to extract the valuable potion without compromising of its value. Linda Yamane, a local Ohlone scholar calls it “the secret product,” and we are simply excited that our land produces Sambucus berries that can be used to make this flavorful and healthful mixer.
Learning about Big Sur Salts was another eye-opening experience for me and many of those who enjoy this ancient flavor enhancer. Naturally you can guess that a county with broad access to the ocean will inspire a few creative souls to become sea salt aficionados. And then I met Wendy Towner, passionate bee-keeper that built her business around the passion of rescuing bees from extermination in the high populated area of San Jose.
In our world, the world of artisanal food products, it is quality that matters most. When I meet a small producer it’s their passion that speaks to me. The story behind the little jar will make all the difference. We know that our customers could open their computer and find quality products from the big online shopping platforms, or do one stop at a big-box supermarket and call it a day.
But in the end, that bottle of oil will not be as valuable a conversation starter as the tin of freshly milled local extra virgin olive oil with an early 1900’s picture of a happy couple. Their descendants, Greg and Cindy Traynor, converted the local 43 Cattle Ranch to a world-class certified olive grove and mill and where they welcome not only growers, but visitors who would like to learn about quality EVOO.
West Coast AGAVE – Your Success is Our Success – We get It!
Contact us if you need:
- Unique & outstanding, quality specialty food products
- You are tired of competing with Amazon and corporate grocery chains
- Need a distributor who will be your business partner
- Help with visual merchandising of your retail space
- Seasonal refresh and concept preparation
- If you think you can benefit from floor setting consultation
- Staff training sessions