As all of my friends and family know, I am always finding and searching for new products to try, especially to support small/local businesses. There is always something new that I will have discovered, that I urge you to taste or try. Over the years I have found so many amazing products that I continue to use. I will be featuring them here from time to time, and my clients are the recipients of samples that some of these companies so graciously provide.
I want to introduce you to "Dafni Greek Products" where you will find the best tasting olive you have ever had. Seriously; the best! I was at the Cumberland Fair years ago trying to find ice cream when I came upon the booth sampling these amazing olives, however my palate was craving ice cream so I hesitated big time. Boy, am I glad I got the nudge to try them. I felt like I had something so unique, fresh and vibrant in my mouth! There are many olives on the market but what makes these so "above and beyond" is the freshness and taste of the olives packed in a gluten free apple cider brine and alternately that the cracked lemon flavored variety of olives come with fresh lemon slices in olive oil! You can use the entire contents of that variety for salad dressing or other recipes as a bonus! Some of you already had the pleasure of tasting these olives at my Studio and your reaction has always been the same as mine. Please check out this small family-run business at www.dafnigreekproducts.com They offer other products as well.
I have been using "Maine Medicinals" organic elderberry syrup for years now. It can be ordered on-line if you can't find it in your local store. We can all use a boost to our immune systems at this time of year and I swear by this amazing healing syrup. What is unique to Maine Medicinals is that their syrup is organic, and of course, it is always my goal to support and cheerlead for local/small businesses when I can. Lastly; I alway find a note of gratitude in my package for my support and a small sample, as well, which to me represents a heart centered business. www.mainemedicinals.com
"Ground Up" is an amazing company with a mission and absolutely delicious nut butters! The nut butters are so unique, with varieties I have not seen anywhere else. They do not contain refined sugars and while the flavors seem like they would be so sweet by the name, like cinnamon snickerdoodle (a family favorite), they are just right, letting the flavor of the butter and spices come through without all the usual over-the-top sweetness of most products out there. I just opened my jar of "Toasted Macadamia Nut w/Chia" and I am over the top. Doesnt the name just make your mouth water?
I must mention the mission these two women have put forth. After witnessing the homelessness crisis in their own backyard they established "Ground Up". They partner with local nonprofits and every jar of nut butter supports training and mentorship, giving second chance to those who need it. Every jar is hand made by their team of motivated women. So we indulge in this amazing butter and feel so good supporting this high-spirited company at the same time. I hope you will check them out at www.grounduppdx.com
"Human Nature" handmade soaps are amazing! I came upon them in a health food store years ago, "The Local Grocer" in North Conway, New Hampshire, and love it!
Have you ever bought soaps labeled "natural" only to get them home and find that they do not lather, they lack any real scent, or that they might even have a rough texture? Well these soaps give off an amazing scent, a full lather and feel like silk against the body. The essential oils when exposed to the steam in the bathroom create a beautiful aromatherapy. Waking up to the refreshing smell of "Maine Woods" one of our many faves is just so invigorating. I hope you will visit their website and treat yourself to a beautiful, refreshing experience. They even have products for your pets!
I want to give a big thank you to Donna, the Owner of "Scout" a unique home decor shop in Bridgton, ME I walked into Scout a few years back and I had to take a deep breath and soak in all that lie before me. Donna has created a true work of art in her space. When I tell you, "you will not be able to leave without something", I am not kidding. This is truly the most charming shop I have ever been in. The mixture of old and new, and the way it is displayed, makes you feel so at home while you shop. Donna, herself, radiates such a beautiful energy. She is so warm and helpful. My Studio is now home to several items from Scout. In fact I bought my very first piece of furniture there and I still find something new every time I visit. I urge you to visit Scout Antiques, even if you are local, as it is worth the trip. Browse or buy on-line as well at www.etsy.com/shop/ScoutHomeDecor .
Have you heard of "Barukas Nuts" ? Not only are they delicious, but they are a powerhouse of nutrition and, most importantly, good for our planet. This I love! The website contains all of the information as to how these nuts were found, how they are harvested with the utmost care for Mother Earth and respect for the local workers, the health benefits, and even a chart to compare their nutritional value to other nuts. Every question is answered so you feel good about every delicious bite. I hope you will do yourself a big favor and visit www.barukas.com .
Are you Gluten Free? Well, do I have a bread for you!! Here it is, "Simple Kneads", and the name says it all. My family has been gluten free for many years and so, of course, we are always on the lookout for new products to try. Most especially bread; because so many of the ones out there lack texture/flavor and, most disappointingly, contain low quality fillers. Well, Simple Kneads breads are, not only, gluten free but they contain high quality gluten free grains. Finally! ; someone who is gluten free but also cares about high quality and healthy ingredients like myself. I tell you, even folks who are not gluten free will love this bread. It's like a fresh loaf from the bakery. They ship frozen and that is how I get mine. The "pumpernickel" is amazing!! So, here's to another family owned business creating something of such good quality for the rest of us. Visit their website to read their story and treat yourself to the best bread you have ever tasted. www.simplekneads.com
“Farmer Focus” This is a new brand of chicken that I just found and tried. Dontcha' just love the name?! Not only is this the absolute best chicken my family has ever eaten, you can cut it with a fork, it's so tasty, and it is consciously raised/produced. And as I’ve mentioned before, I care deeply about our beautiful Mother Earth, so whenever I can find food that is raised while honoring our dear Mother I am thrilled. I am especially excited to have found it in our local Hannaford’s grocery store. I usually travel almost an hour to Whole Foods for a wide variety of organic, consciously produced foods, so I am particularly happy to have found this product locally. I urge you to visit www.farmerfocus.com to read all about their mission and their process; and perhaps to even try their wonderful chicken. A big shout out to Hannaford’s for carrying their product!
I want to introduce you to “All About the Honey” - a most amazing, delicate, flavorful honey that I read about in a small local article years ago.
I contacted the owner, Mark and he was not even aware of the article. I went to a craft show where he was selling and bought several flavors that I have continued to buy for myself and others ever since. Mark makes the most delicious natural flavors of beautifully whipped honey (so easy and smooth to spread). Absolutely everyone I serve the lemon to cannot believe how potent the lemon flavor is - and the cinnamon, wow, so vibrant, and great in baked goods. Like so many entrepreneurs during this pandemic, Mark can really use your business. I promise you will not be disappointed!
I hope you will check it out: