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SoCal Artisanal Food Producers?

michaelyee Jan 26, 2011 01:06 PM


I'm working on compiling a list of artisanal food producers in the LA/SoCal area and have used the search function here but knowing that many of you fellow hounders have steel-trap memories, was hoping some of you could point me to previous discussions, or to existing lists outside this wonderful site?

Thanks all. I will make the list available to all when done.



  1. t
    tastycakes Jan 26, 2011 06:26 PM

    here's a good place to start


    1 Reply
    1. re: tastycakes
      michaelyee Jan 28, 2011 02:23 AM

      Got that list. Thanks tastycakes!!

    2. SilverlakeGirl Jan 26, 2011 07:12 PM

      I hope when you compile your list you will include the excellent Graber Olive farm in Ontario. The Graber family has been curing olives there since the late 1800s.

      Any time i have introduced Graber olives to people they are pleasantly surprised at the experience. Sadly, the prices have soared in recent years to $10 - $12 a can! I don't buy them as often.

      Be sure and take the tour of the old fashioned olive curing plant. It's at their website:


      1 Reply
      1. re: SilverlakeGirl
        michaelyee Jan 28, 2011 02:24 AM

        Got them too. They are great! Thanks SilverlakeGirl!

      2. michaelyee Jan 28, 2011 02:28 AM

        That's it?!

        Come on, Chowhounders! How about primal producers (vs. value-added stuff)? No grass-fed beef? Any cheesemakers other than Winchester and the mozzerella producers?

        4 Replies
        1. re: michaelyee
          Servorg Jan 28, 2011 06:11 AM

          I would be much more inclined to suggest local producers to you if I knew I wasn't duplicating places you already have on your list. I hate finding out I've been spinning my wheels and not getting any traction.

          1. re: Servorg
            michaelyee Jan 28, 2011 10:47 AM

            Understood! I apologize if my emails came across as being obnoxious. The "list" I have so far is only from a couple of days of googling. I really don't have anything on primary producers, heirloom farmers, and the like. Anything, particularly your favorites would be greatly appreciated!

            1. re: michaelyee
              Servorg Jan 28, 2011 10:54 AM

              Well, you still aren't letting the board know what you DO have on your list to this point. But I'll add one of the more unique places in the Southern California area (as far as I am concerned). Lindner Bison of Valencia: http://www.lindnerbison.com/index.html

              1. re: Servorg
                Servorg Jan 29, 2011 10:02 AM

                One more: http://www.malibufamilywines.com/about

        2. s
          SeaCook Jan 28, 2011 02:38 PM

          E. Waldo Ward. Maker of fine jams, jellies preserves and pickled and preserved things. Family owned for over 100 years.

          E Waldo Ward & Son Marmalades
          273 E Highland Ave, Sierra Madre, CA 91024

          1. w
            will47 Jan 28, 2011 03:53 PM

            I hope that you will avoid using the "a" word in your list? Not only is it overused, but it's really not an accurate description in most of the cases it's used for these days.

            5 Replies
            1. re: will47
              Will Owen Jan 28, 2011 05:05 PM

              Yes, especially if we include the items from E Waldo Ward, which while excellent are produced in an industrial setting, using quite a lot of bought, commercially-grown fruit. They used to grow most of it on-site, but no more. In this category I would also include Kruegermann's krauts and pickles, made the old-fashioned way in a small factory in Atwater Village, and to a lesser extent (nowadays at least) La Brea Bakery.

              1. re: will47
                michaelyee Jan 31, 2011 04:30 PM

                Good point, Will. On further consideration this thread should probably be asking for GOOD local producers vs. artisanal. I think most will agree that taste is paramount, local might be more important than organic and that industrial isn't aways a bad thing, etc.

                1. re: michaelyee
                  Will Owen Feb 1, 2011 03:24 PM

                  Especially since that's about the ONLY way you can make food to package and sell any more. No more big wooden tubs you roll out into the alley and hose down at the end of the day … In my little Illinois town we had a real butcher, grandpa of a good friend of mine. He had a grocery store, in partnership with Phil's dad who ran the front end. Old Charlie stayed in the back mostly and cut meat. There was a shed out back, open at the front when he was in it, with a giant pot on a kerosene burner which he used to render lard. If I happened by while he was doing this he'd insist on giving me a big paper sack of cracklin's, which I would dutifully take home so Mom could throw them away. Of course I would not do that now … but Charlie couldn't make lard like that now, either, probably not even in a small Illinois town.

                  1. re: Will Owen
                    michaelyee Feb 7, 2011 01:42 PM

                    Nice story. I dunno...I know you're correct, legally speaking of course, but here in LA there are tons of places that dish up tasty food with ad hoc (illegal) cookery. I think there are just too many places to enforce. Caveat emptor, I guess. btw, did you know you can sell food on Etsy? They wash their hands of it (pun intended) by stating that the producer must comply with all local regulations. Wonder when the first botulism case will be?

                    1. re: michaelyee
                      Will Owen Feb 8, 2011 02:33 PM

                      "I know you're correct, legally speaking of course, but here in LA there are tons of places that dish up tasty food with ad hoc (illegal) cookery." The outstanding example being the totally illegal bacon-wrapped hot dog, another fine artisanal treat. I bought a package of the already-prepared ones, and the label says: "Como en la calle!" Had to laugh at that.

              2. l
                LisaN Jan 29, 2011 09:42 AM

                All Spice Cafe - fantastic hot sauces, rubs, and snacks like sweet ghost chili candied popcorn.

                1. l
                  LisaN Jan 29, 2011 09:43 AM

                  Also Ojai Olive, fantastic oils http://www.ojaioliveoil.com/

                  1. Will Owen Jan 29, 2011 09:56 AM

                    Temecula Olive Oil Co. - especially their olives and their vinegars. Going to Temecula for the wine basically comes down to finding something drinkable, but the olives, oils and vinegars are superb. And the Winchester Cheese Company out east from there makes varieties of excellent Goudas from their own dairy herd.

                    1. s
                      Signora Jan 30, 2011 11:16 AM

                      Do you have Gioia Cheese at 1605 Portrero Ave, South El Monte, CA 626-444-6015?

                      Fresh ricotta, buffalo mozzarella, burrata....

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Signora
                        Servorg Jan 30, 2011 11:20 AM

                        No buffalo mozzarella at Gioia. They make cows milk cheese.

                      2. michaelyee Jan 31, 2011 04:40 PM

                        Thank you for all the responses!

                        1. b
                          bulavinaka Feb 20, 2011 03:35 PM

                          I'm late to this thread but here's a couple more that have been showing up to the Mar Vista FM:

                          Fat Uncle Farms in Goleta has amazing almonds. Plain roasted and blistered varieties have me almond-crazy right now.

                          Soledad Goat Cheeses out of Mojave has (I think it was) approx 200 goats from which they make their own goat cheeses. Plain, flavored/herbed (six+ varieties?) and oil-cured. Really great with breads, crackers, fruits and veggies.

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