Friends. We all need them and love them and the folks below are no exception! We can't say enough good things about the talents behind these test kitchens, blogs, restaurants, shops, and websites. You will learn, laugh, bake, blend, cook, concoct, shop and eat oh so well alongside these gifted, fun people and love every minute.

  

Taro Arai and Mikuni

Sacramento’s most popular, award-winning restaurant owner, author and Japanese chef, Taro Arai, paid a visit to Jones & Company to try his hand at bottling something sweet (thanks to his Mikuni team for this fun video!). Taro’s infectious joy and generosity are cherished by thousands in the community and he is sharing the love with his special Mikuni Gold customers by gifting private-label Mikuni vanilla. 

 

 

Joy the Baker 

Joy is always a guaranteed day brightener! A California transplant--now based minutes from the French Quarter in New Orleans--Joy is a self-taught baker, turned professional baker, turned food photographer, and three-time cookbook author. Her hilarious and expert commentary, "worth a thousand words" images, and wonderful recipes are not to be missed. And, not that you need an excuse to head to the Big Easy, but Joy's Bakehouse space for classes, workshops, and private parties is a great way to immerse yourself in the joy and genius of Joy! 

 

No More Mr. Nice Pie

Pie-ku poet and Saveur Magazine Reader's Choice 2018 blog award finalist, Ellen Gray grew up in a multi-generational household where dessert after every meal was the norm, not the exception. Her baking apprenticeship was under the watchful eye of her grandmother’s housekeeper, Jessie, who placed pie at the top of the family’s food pyramid. Ellen honed her genius pie skills at her restaurant A Slice of Heaven and later at a farm in Bucks County that prided itself on farm-to-table long before it was a buzzword. Lucky for us, Ellen currently spends her days wielding a rolling pin at a small bakery in the Garden State and her nights writing voraciously about pie at No More Mr. Nice Pie. We are so delighted to be featured in a recent blog and recipe post. Thank you Ellen!

 

Mazama Store 

The Mazama Store is the best provisioning outpost in the North Cascades. Helmed with heart and deep community ties by Missy and Rick LeDuc, this local coffee shop, grocery store, gas station, wine shop, bakery and neighborhood hub has "a little bit of everything good." By 0700, their cases and front counter are stocked full of tempting artisan pastries, sweet and savory scones, rustic loaves, and addictive Sel de Mer baguettes. Later in the day, the aroma of fresh-baked pies and rich chocolate brownies lures you to savor yet more indescribably delicious treats. If you are anywhere near the state of Washington, beeline to this Northwest favorite now! If you are a local, you already know to bookmark this page for seasonal and holiday must-haves.

Produce Express and Jones & Co. from Alden Jones on Vimeo.

PRODUCE EXPRESS began operation in the winter of 1984. After working in the produce industry for forty years, Jim "Pops" Boyce decided to go into business for himself. Along with his wife Barbara "Mom" Boyce and one truck, they began their venture. What began as a true "Mom and Pops" business twenty-eight years ago has grown to twenty-seven trucks and over sixty employees. To compete with the larger companies, "Pops" believed they had to offer quality products, reasonable prices, and exceptional service. "Pops" passed away in 2004 but those original principles are still the basis for the companies operating under the direction of "Pops'" son, Jim Boyce. Jim stocks a wonderful variety of Jones & Co. gourmet vanilla products and distributes them to restaurants, bakeries, and breweries around the Sacramento Valley.

 

 

Fran’s Chocolates is a Northwest institution and proprietress Fran Bigelow is a sweets artist and master chocolatier. Her love of chocolate is intense, and her pursuit of the extraordinary is evident. A feast for all your senses, Fran’s award-winning chocolates are sublime and the hand packaging of her confections is almost as sumptuously swoon-worthy. Get thee to her website or one of her lovely boutique shops for a taste beyond heaven.