Earth & Vine Provisions' signature collection yokes together a dozen of the company's best-selling gourmet jams, sauces, and condiments, which are crafted from natural ingredients with an emphasis on California-grown produce and creative flavor pairings. Autumnal treats such as mandarin-pumpkin marmalade open up new possibilities for biscuits and toast, whereas tangerine-habanero mustard gives sandwiches the courage to bite back. Pineapple-sake teriyaki marinade enhances fish, steak, chicken, or pork with a complex flavor profile, and banana-rum-pineapple jam works well as an ingredient in muffins or as means for eliciting gossip from monkeys.
Grapes hang heavy from the vines on trellises scattered across 20 acres of the rolling Lincoln Hills. The fruit, tended by Wise Villa Winery's oenophiles, yield awards, including a prestigious honor from the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Owner and winemaker Dr. Grover Lee draws on viticulture training while producing single-variety and blended wines or doing the crossword in the Grapes Aficionado Quarterly. Within the winery, the tasting room fills with the sound of clinking glasses as patrons sample various award winners, such as the Pinot Noir Rose. The winery also arranges frequent events, including live music on Fridays, grape-stomping parties, and reservation-only pairing dinners at its bistro.
When animals are rescued from dangerous living situations or seized from the hands of smugglers, STAR Eco Station provides them with second chances at peaceful lives. But the facility doesn't just serve as a haven for more than 200 rescued animals. Perhaps just as importantly, it also educates the public as an environmental science museum. During public tours, guides lead guests through exhibits of rescued exotic animals, such as parrots, pythons, and wildcats, while explaining the habits, history, and New Year's resolutions of each creature.
The recipient of multiple awards from media and government agencies, STAR Eco Station also provides educational outreach programs to more than 40 California school districts and works in concert with conservation organizations such as the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Paw Project, and Heal the Bay.
The Music Store nurtures aspiring musicians with an exhaustive collection of instruments and broad teaching resources. More than 40 teachers share their skills during lessons for classical and contemporary instruments, and sheet-music-literate students can learn new songs by sight from a selection of more than 800 titles. Staff can also order any music still in print and start the musical journey with the purchase of new and used pianos and band instruments. Grownups slowly slash chords with the purchase of a new guitar, whereas child-size guitars come equipped with Pop Rocks–flavored fingerboard.
Yakety Yak Wireless specializes in cell phones. The shop stocks new and used models from brands such as Verizon, Samsung and Apple; the technicians inside it, meanwhile, can draw on more than two decades of combined experience to fix old phones. Their repairs address problems from cracked screens and water damage to faulty sensors and speakers that blast the chicken dance during important calls. Yakety Yak Wireless also vends accessories such as cases and earbuds.
Featured in Style Magazine and The Loomis News, The Tin Thimble's mother-daughter duo earns attention for passing on stitching skills to aspiring threadmasters. Drawing on more than 40 years of sewing experience, Sharon Mansfield commandeers the lessons, acquainting newbies with the parts of the sewing machine and imparting basic techniques such as zig-zag stitching and piecing together torn-up lottery tickets. The goal of the lessons is to handcraft a garment from beginning to end, from cutting out the pattern and sewing it according to the proper measurements to adding on hems, buttons, snaps, or zippers.