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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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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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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 …

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Midwinter freshness from Full Belly Farm

Anyone hailing from a colder clime marvels at the year-round bounty around here. Even in the middle of winter, our bins display a cornucopia of fresh, delicious produce, much of it from Full Belly Farms, a thirty year-old 350-acre certified organic farm in the Capay Valley, about 100 miles north of Sausalito. Their annual “Hoes Down” festival in October, an …

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Little Belgians from Berkeley

Evy Ballegeer started baking Little Belgians cookies in her Berkeley kitchen out of nostalgia. Speculoos are by far the most popular cookie in her native Belgium, flavored by blends of spices that vary from baker to baker. Her version combines nine spices that include cinnamon, cloves, pepper and cardamom. They taste great with coffee, tea, milk, or hot chocolate, making …

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Ellen’s Kimchi, a superfood made with love

Seventy-five million Koreans can’t be wrong. Now we have Ellen White and Ellen’s Kimchi to show us why their staple food makes good eating for everyone. A traditional food that remains a part of everyday modern life in Korea, kimchi consists of raw vegetables that naturally ferment in purees of fruits, garlic, ginger and Korean spices. Kimchi is a living …

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The great taste of Nana Joes Granola

There’s granola, and then there’s Nana Joes. It’s made in San Francisco by hand in a gluten-free kitchen, full of locally-sourced fruits and nuts, and sweetened only by maple syrup from an artisan producer on the East Coast. Former pastry chef Michelle Pusateri named it after her grandparents (one Nana, two Joes). “I was making my own granola and giving …

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Bread SRSLY, a gluten-free love story

Bread SRSLY makes delicious, moist and nourishing gluten-free sourdough breads. It started with a college crush, a gluten-intolerant San Franciscan. Sadie Scheffer began to bake loaves of gluten-free sourdough bread in hopes of winning him over. The first attempts weren’t completely successful. “I got to work experimenting with new ingredients – sorghum flour, sweet rice, buckwheat,” Sadie recalls. “Many of …

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From Fra’ Mani to you

Fra’ Mani Handcrafted Foods, based in Berkeley, California, was founded by nationally-recognized chef Paul Bertolli. Fra’ Mani strives to keep old world food traditions alive in taste and technique, and is committed to selecting ingredients of the highest quality to produce a wide array of hand-tied dry salami, sausages, cooked salumi and deli meats. Fra’ Mani works with family farmers dedicated …

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Starter Bakery, born with a kouign amman

When Starter Bakery introduced its signature kouign-amann at Oakland’s Pop-Up General Store in 2010, the unique French delicacy proved so popular that a business was born. Driver’s is proud to be on Starter’s regular delivery route, featuring a selection of fresh handcrafted edibles daily. Starter’s award-winning specialty, pronounced kween a-mon, is an indulgent French pastry that is similar to a …

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TCHO, obsessed from the beginning

TCHO is a craft chocolate manufacturer obsessed with creating amazing chocolate, innovating in everything they do, and making a better world — from tree, to bean, to bar. The obsession begins at origin with TCHOSource, its unique sourcing program, designed to obtain the best beans in the world while enabling its partners in country of origin to earn a better …