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Primavera

Karen Taylor started selling Primavera tamales at the Berkeley Farmers Market in 1992. The organic farmers she met there still supply produce for her now iconic tamales. Today, Primavera employs a team of 30 who bring their own expertise and regional recipes to the kitchen. Primavera produces handmade tamales and tortilla chips for almost 300 stores, and for the San …

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Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

When Jeni Britton Bauer founded Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams in 2002, she had a vision: use dairy from grass-fed cows, whole ingredients and inspired flavor combinations. Jeni brings her creative background — as an art student, a professional baker, and an amateur perfumer — to her beautifully crafted ice creams. Her line of traditional ice creams have a unique buttercream …

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Wild Planet

A visit to the “Oceans in Crisis” exhibit at Monterey Bay Aquarium in 2001 inspired founder Bill Carvalho to transform his family’s seafood company. By 2004, Wild Planet sourced their tuna exclusively from pole and line catch fisheries. The company selects only the finest quality, 100% sustainably caught seafood for all their products, placing environmental health as the top priority. …

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Kettle & Fire

Paleo enthusiast Justin Mares was searching for a bone broth to help his brother Nick heal from an ACL tear in 2013. Online offerings were limited: non-organic, shipped with styrofoam, frozen. So he and Nick set out to develop their own recipe, and Kettle & Fire was born. They combine marrow bones with vegetables and filtered water in steel kettles. …

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Piment d’Ville

Krissy Scommegna and Gideon Burdick traded life in Boston for a farm in Boonville, CA where Krissy started Piment d’Ville in 2012. Piment d’Ville is a Renegade Certified farm that produces hard to find chile powders, and offers better pay and working conditions than conventional farms. Krissy and Gideon also founded the Boonville Barn Collective to run farming and marketing …

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Katz Farm

After a serendipitous trip to Italy, restaurateurs Albert & Kim Katz moved their family to Napa and helped launch the olive oil renaissance in California in the 90’s. Together with their partner, Jim Parr, they began growing organic olives in the historic Suisun Valley. Today the Katz’s offerings include award winning olive oils, artisan vinegars and honey. Truly top of …

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Soquel Fermentation Project

Chemist Derek Mortensen leads the Soquel Fermentation Project where he blends modern science with traditional coolship brewing. A coolship is a type of fermentation vessel — it’s a flat, open tub used for cooling and fermenting wort. At Derek’s brewery in the Santa Cruz mountains, wort chills in the cold winter air and soaks up the microflora of the redwoods. …

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Stemple Creek Ranch

Over a century ago, Angelo Poncia immigrated from Italy to a remote California outpost and founded a dairy at what is now Stemple Creek Ranch. Now in its fourth-generation, the ranch is proudly run by Angelo’s great-grandson Loren who reinvented the family business with a vision for superior quality grass-fed meats. At over 1,000 acres, Stemple Creek Ranch is protected …

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Forager Project

Founded by Stephen Williamson and JC Hanley in 2013, Forager Project is a family-owned producer specializing in small batch, plant-based foods. Crafted in Indio, California, Forager’s protein rich yogurts are made from ethically sourced cashew milk. Forager believes that the food we eat is as important as the air we breathe, and they hope to improve human and planet health …

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Anson Mills

Glenn Roberts came up with an ambitious plan in the late 1990’s: to make nearly extinct southern grains like Carolina Gold rice a viable Southern crop, and to grow them organically. Glenn hoped to re-create ingredients of the Antebellum Southern larder, including grits, cornmeal and rice that were all, once upon a time, milled fresh daily for the table. Available …

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Eat Beer!

85% of the byproduct of beer is grain. This “spent” grain has as much protein as almonds and over three times the dietary fiber of oats. The creators of Regrained, Daniel Kurzrock and Jordan Schwartz, have a solution for that.

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Little Apple Granola, big in Sebastopol

Dan and Joanne Lehrer moved to Sebastopol in 1999, just as one of the last of the town’s apple processors was closing up shop. “The most beautiful Gravenstein orchard in the world, the old Hallberg orchard along Highway 116 just north of town, was cut down that year,” they recall. “Imagine rows of majestic trees all felled in the same direction, …

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Mr. Wong’s, a local family affair

Mr. Wong’s authentic Asian sauces have been enjoyed by lucky Bay Area residents for more than 50 years. First found only in Mr. Wong’s own East Bay restaurants, the hand-crafted line is now distributed  throughout Northern California. Bernice Wong grew up mixing and bottling her father’s sauces in his restaurants, knowing that, one day, she would be responsible for taking …

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The sweet goodness of Honey Mama’s

Christy Goldsby grew up in a family full of cooks, bakers, farmers, gardeners and happy eaters. “The kitchen was always a place of celebration, creativity, nourishment and joy,” she says. In 2012 she started Honey Mama’s in Portland, Ore., as a way to share her passion for healthy living and those celebrated family traditions. Her cacao-nectar bars are delicious desserts and …

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A health-conscious spirit

Danya Mosgofian of San Francisco created the Sultry Gypsy Herb Company to make natural remedies that are alcohol-free but strong and efficacious.

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Your neighborhood kombucha

Marin Kombucha founder Brian Igersheim studied biology and chemistry in college, then went to work in the food industry. This year, he launched his new venture to put his accumulated expertise to work making his own version of kombucha, the popular fermented fizzy tea drink. As the overview on the company’s website explains, kombucha is the result of “a playful ferment” – sugar turns …

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The amazing tastes of Tara

“If you are having a bad day and want to make it better, have ice cream,” counsels Tara Esperanza. “If you are having a good day and you want to top it off, have ice cream.” We couldn’t agree more. Tara began making ice cream a decade ago in Santa Fe and set up shop in the East Bay a …

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CaCoCo drinking chocolate: Superfood alchemy

CaCoCo is to your childhood hot chocolate what a Ferrari is to your training bike. “We take chocolate back to the roots,” says founder Tony Portugal. His cofounder and “Chief Samurai Alchemist,” Liam Blackmon, has a background in anthropology and organic farming, and has dedicated the last seven years of his life to sustainable transformations of local and global food …

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Dandelion Chocolate: Engineering perfect chocolates

Todd Masonis and Cameron Ring founded an Internet company called Plaxo and sold it to Comcast in 2008. Then they opened Dandelion Chocolate in San Francisco’s Mission district, and started making chocolate the way hardly anyone does any more, in a process beautifully explained on their website. “We took a very engineering, data-driven approach,” Ring explained to the San Francisco …