Marisa and Chad North both know the struggles of controlling gluten intolerance. Marisa began showing the symptoms of the condition at 18 months of age. Her mother, also diagnosed as gluten intolerant, knew how to modify her diet, but it often left Marisa feeling alienated from her friends. Chad wasn't aware of his gluten intolerance until he was 14, when a collapse from exhaustion turned out to validate the diagnosis that eight doctors had once ignored. Their shared histories and efforts in healthy eating inspired the two to create Sans GlutenFree Grocery, a store that that stocks only gluten-free edibles that are tasty, nutritious, and safe, removing would-be imposters with a series of trapdoors.
On the shores of Tomales Bay, The Marshall Store's seafood slingers serve up a rotating selection of fresh, locally harvested oysters and a variety of other gastronome goodies. Picked from a farm up the bay, a half-dozen oysters can please palates with an array of preparations, such as raw half-shells adorned with lemon and mignonette ($10) or decorated with Worcestershire, parsley butter, and house-smoked bacon ($13). Construct hunger-destroying sandwich vessels from a deli armed with a plethora of meats, cheeses, and breads, or select prefabricated comestibles such as a Reuben decorated with swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and 1,000 tiny edible islands emulsified into a dressing ($7.25). Seafoodies can chow on cups of clam chowder ($5–$7), a fresh crab cocktail ($12), or halibut tacos ($11) while enjoying the view of the bay or trying to kiss their reflections in the water.
Canvas Ranch distributes sustainably farmed veggies plucked from fields that span 28 acres in the Two Rock Valley. Enliven a bland plate with weekly installments of farm-fresh fun from the family farm’s selection of summer crops. Summer harvest typically includes dry-farmed heirloom tomatoes, sweet peppers, stowaway morning dew, and summer squash.
Every October, three acres of the McClellands? cow-haunted pastures pop to life with plump pumpkins in orange, white, and green. Along with the briskly changing foliage, this autumnal bounty heralds a transformation at the dairy. The farm begins to host tours every weekend, granting guests a chance to pet the nursery?s stumbling calves and milk a cow by hand. The family also sets up a winding Hay Maze to confound any bull-man hybrids that wander by. Other activities at the pumpkin patch include a sand box full of the seeds that are used to grow cow feed, a haunted hay trail, hay rides, and an on-site food cart crafting organic grilled cheese sandwiches and milkshakes. After the flurry of fall activity, kids can clamber into a bouncy-house as their parents share some gossip and politely refuse a chew of cud with ?the girls,? as Jana McClelland calls her bovine family members.
Stocked to bursting with handcrafted sandwiches, savory sides, and organic fair-trade coffee, this unassuming deli sates the appetites of on-the-go customers. A chalkboard menu presents the vegan breakfast sandwich with a colorful flourish of penmanship, along with the avocado hero, with the green fruit acting as "meat" amid ample veggies and cheese. Eco-friendly java from Olympia Coffee Roasting Company gives customers a welcome jolt to their morning in case they forget to kiss their toaster, and freshly squeezed juices and gluten-free pastries accommodate health-conscious breakfasts.
When people are ill, they usually either make a doctor's appointment or lie in bed and wait it out. Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy has created a third option. Visits to its stores, which are scattered across the western US, are more casual than a doctor's visit but less passive than bed rest. Each location's team of health experts, including credentialed pharmacists, naturopathic doctors, herbalists, nutritionists, and more, consult with customers?no appointment needed.
But Pharmaca aims to serve its customers every day, not just on sick days. Its stores have been drawing droves of clients since 2000, partly because they meet so many needs in just one spot. In addition to a full-service pharmacy, Pharmaca offers organic and food-based vitamins from MegaFood and New Chapter; professional-grade skin care and cosmetics from Jane Iredale, Sanitas, and Dr. Hauschka; and therapeutic-grade supplements from Metagenics and Thorne Research. Customers can also choose from an assortment of homeopathic remedies, herbal formulations, medical supplies, toiletries, gifts, and fair-trade chocolates.