The holiday shopping season has begun and while it can be stressful to try and find the perfect gift, there’s no need to fret if you are looking for a locally made food product.
The San Joaquin Valley, the nation’s leading agricultural region, produces some of the best food and drink products: premium olive oil, award-winning wine, dried fruits, chocolate-covered fruit, freshly harvested nuts and baked goods.
And to make shopping even easier, many of the farm stores and specialty shops have online stores that can ship anywhere in the United States. Here’s a sample of where you can you can find some of the best the Valley has to offer:
Schaad Family Almonds, 16471 Whitesbridge Road, Kerman, grows and sells almonds and pistachios in a variety of flavors, including garlic, spicy cocktail and chili lemon. It also has several snack mixes including The Valley Harvest Mix, which has roasted slivered almonds, tangy tomato almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and raisins. Another customer favorite: the pomegranate yogurt raisins. Prices for nuts start at less than $10 and its six-item gift basket is $62. For details, visit the farm’s gift shop or its online store, schaadfamilyalmonds.com.
Circle K Ranch, 8640 E. Manning Ave., Selma, has been in business since 1946 and carries a full line of dried fruit, nuts, candied nuts and gift boxes. Its jumbo chocolate-covered raisins are popular, as is one of its newest items, walnuts covered in dark and milk chocolate. Other favorites are the California Tray with chocolate or yogurt-covered nuts and raisins for $32, and the Governor’s Pack, a mix of several items, including dried fruit, natural almonds, chocolate-covered nuts and chocolate-covered raisins. Find the online store at circlekranch.com.
The Sierra Nut House, Villaggio Shopping Center, 7901 N. Blackstone Ave., Fresno, is well-stocked with dozens of locally grown items, including nuts, dried fruit, candies, soup mixes and wine. The shop is known for its gift boxes and baskets. One of its more popular items is the California Harvest, a $79 gift box that comes loaded with dried fruit, chocolate-covered raisins and nuts. The online store can be found at sierranuthouse.com.
Simonian Farms, 2629 S. Clovis Ave., Fresno, is a combination ag museum, arcade and farm store. The longtime roadside attraction has a little something for everyone, including dried fruit, candied fruit, nuts, several types of raisins, and its own line of fruit-flavored wines. Simonian also has gift baskets and boxes starting at $26. For $139 you can buy the Mountain Top basket that comes packed with 20 different items, including chocolate-covered apricots, toffee peanuts and chocolate-almond clusters. Check out the online store at simonianfarms.com.
Enzo’s Table, 1959 N. Willow Ave., Clovis, is an upscale farm store that features the company’s award-winning extra virgin olive oil. The premium oil comes in delicate, medium and bold flavors. Enzo’s also has several infused oils, including lemon, garlic and basil. Oil prices range from $10.99 to $17.99. This year it also introduced a line of balsamic vinegars. Enzo’s also has chocolate-coated nuts, fruit and several holiday gift boxes to chose from. Details at enzostable.com.
California Gourmet Company, 2015 W. Bullard Ave., Fresno, is well-known for its chocolate-covered treats and gift baskets. The shop’s best sellers are its super-sized chocolate-covered strawberries and chocolate- and caramel-dipped apples. Gifts range in price from $10 to more than $100. You can also order online at californiagourmetcompany.com.
Family Farm Fresh in Ivanhoe is a community-supported agriculture program that delivers fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs to homes and offices in the central San Joaquin Valley. This year it’s offering holiday gift baskets with seasonal fruits and vegetables along with cheese from the Vintage Cheese Company in Traver, Fagundes Farmstead cheese from Hanford, and Pearls stuffed olives from Tracy. Baskets range from $25 to $100. The deadline to order is Dec. 11 for delivery Dec. 15-18. For more information, call 559-798-0557 or visit the farm’s website at familyfarmfresh.com.
Gulianos Fruit and Vegetable Store, 13233 Highway 41, Madera. One of the area’s newest farm stores is stocked with local favorites including T-Roxel’s brand of extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinaigrettes that sell for $20. The store is also creating customized gift baskets that start at $20. For more details, 559-232-3357.
Sumner Peck Winery and Fruit Stand, 14860 Highway 41, Madera, features several award-winning wines, including the Sumner Peck Ranch 2014 Viognier, a 2012 Chardonnay and a 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon. For details, visit sumnerpeckranch.com.
Rosetti’s Fine Foods, 3 Railroad Ave. in Clovis, the southeast corner of Clovis and Sierra avenues, is the headquarters for biscotti lovers. The small family-run company makes biscotti in several flavors from chocolate chocolate almond to lemon almond. Also popular fruit cakes that Rosetti’s calls Harvest Cakes. Prices for the biscotti range from $3.25 to $12.50. Harvest Cakes are $15.95 and $33.95. Rosetti’s online store is rosettis.com.