Sunday, June 1, 2014

Eat Small, Buy Small - A Weekend Haul

Hello all! June is here, and with it, I have some new finds.

Last weekend was spent in the sunny city of Long Beach, at the Patchwork Festival. This is an amazing handmade artisans show, featuring small-scale clothiers, artists, bakers, jewelry makers, cooks, picklers, candy makers...the list goes on. The wonderful team behind Patchwork are Nicole and Delilah - as crafters themselves, they are champions of small handmade businesses, and work tirelessly to provide some great venues for these talented makers (if you own a small business, you should check out their yearly Craftcation conference - a great resource!). 

I found some great treasures at Patchwork - of course, both were food related! 

Salt Farm bag

My first stop was at Salt Farm, where my eye was caught by a little pile of charcoal-gray salt. After talking with the vendor a little, I learned that this was black Hiwa Kai salt from Hawaii, so colored by activated charcoal. A sample of that led to a taste of some unctuous Applewood Smoked Salt (love smoked salt!), which then led to my major discovery...

Salt Farm salt vials
Clockwise from top: Applewood Smoked Salt, Black Truffle Salt, and Hiwa Kai black salt.
Truffle salt. It will change your lives, people.

Salt Farm's Black Truffle Salt is infused with 10% dried truffle, giving it the most amazing scent and taste. I liberally sprinkled it all over my eggs the next morning, but I'm sure it would be extraordinary on roasted potatoes...mmmm.

Savour This Sauce Red Pepper Romesco

From Salt Farm, I wandered down the aisles till I saw a familiar sign: Savour This Sauce!

Savour This Sauce is a great product line from sibling duo Marlene and Michael Bernstein, who own and run their own catering company, Savour This Moment. I first learned of STM through mutual friends, and was so happy to meet Marlene in person at Patchwork!

She immediately sold me on her Romesco sauce (which makes a great sauce for broccoli salad, FYI). Savour This Sauce has two other sauces - a pistachio pesto, and a Thai cilantro sauce.

My last find was actually waiting in the mail for me. So not technically a Patchwork find....

Noonday Collection packaging fair trade jewelry

On Monday, I received an order of jewelry from Noonday Collection. Based in Austin, TX, Noonday is a fair trade jewelry and accessories company. They use fashion and design to create economic opportunity for the world's most vulnerable, especially women and children. Working with 26 artisans in over 10 countries, Noonday provides dignified jobs at living wages, scholarship programs, low-interest loan programs, and long-term market access to workers. 

In exchange, you get to buy beautiful jewelry. In my order, I received the Athena cuff, Etched Bars bracelet, the Equestrian Scarf, and the Ready or Knot necklace, which is actually made from upcycled metal scraps and artillery casings. It's quickly becoming a favorite with me. 

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With so many small businesses and talented artisans in the marketplace, now is a great time to use your purchases to support strong local economies - in your hometown or across the globe! How do you "shop small"? Fair trade? Farmers' Markets? Please share your favorite finds! 

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