We hope you’ll spread a little local love during the holiday season by supporting local farmers, producers and artisans. Here's a sample of a few of our local artisans who make sweet and savory goodies, and remember we've got great local vendors all around the country making great products like these. Check your local store to find out what's available in your area.
Cookies by Shar
Davie, Florida Sharmila Melwani, a financial advisor, has all the right ingredients for a successful baking business: a substantial sprinkling of business savvy, a dollop of creativity and a heaping helping of love that she pours into each of her creations. Shar began creating personalized cookies in her kitchen for family and friends. As the business has grown, so has its reputation and reach. Her delectable delights have been shipped as far as Kuwait.
Alhambra, California As a child, Mary Aqleh watched her grandmother bake all sorts of sweets. She began making desserts and baked goods as a hobby in the 1980s, crafting custom cakes and gift baskets for friends. Now she and 26 employees keep this bakery running 24 hours a day to turn out delicious cakes, pies, cookies and confections. Mary visits the local produce mart three times a week to pick up fresh ingredients from local farmers, and she prides herself on her open bakery, where customers can watch her bake while enjoying a sweet treat.
El Cerrito, California If you really want to stand out as a guest during the holidays you should pick up a gift box of Coracoa Confections' superb local, vegan chocolates. Your host will be raving about these confections. They're made from mostly raw and organic ingredients and are wheat and gluten-free, which means they can be enjoyed by just about anyone. Don't be surprised if you suddenly get invited to more parties this winter.
Burnaby, British Columbia Andrea and her mom shared a great love for canning, which they did together every year at the end of summer. After Andrea's mom passed away, she continued this annual tradition, which eventually led to the founding of Tarragon Foods in 2005. All products are crafted using family recipes passed down from Andrea's grandmother and mother.
Coral Springs, Florida Unemployed in the early 1990s, with the holidays quickly approaching, Susan Kanter set out to make homemade gifts utilizing her love of baking. She worked tirelessly to develop the most decadent dessert, a wonderful chocolate creation. It's like a truffle, fudge and a brownie all rolled into one. Boca Bons are a wonderfully rich treat for the holidays. Meet more of our local growers, producers and artisans on our Local Stories page. Got a local favorite of your own? We’d love to hear about it.