Thanks to Southern California's dry summer days and cool nights, the grapes around Antelope Valley Winery enjoy a long growing season with ideal temperatures and conditions. This translates into a variety of wines that run the gamut from robust reds to sweet sparkling concoctions perfect for toasting raisins who escaped the press. And although wine is Antelope Valley Winery's main focus, it's not their only one. In addition, they sell grass-fed buffalo meat hailed for its low-cholesterol goodness, and run a farmers' market from May through November, where shoppers can pick up exotic meats, organic juice, and locally-made goat cheese.
Dream Dinners founders Stephanie Allen and Tina Kuna want to help families gather around the table for delicious meals. Like many parents throughout the country, the two women tried to coordinate a family dinner, but their efforts were often thwarted by hectic schedules. As a dinnertime strategy, Stephanie began to prepare meals with fresh, raw ingredients and then freeze them so they could be quickly thawed and cooked during the week. This tactic became popular with her family. Before long, friends, friends of friends, and chimpanzee families that mimicked their friends wanted to learn her secrets. With help from Tina Kuna, she established the first Dream Dinners location, and the successful food-prep business has led to the creation of more than 90 stores in less than three years.
At each Dream Dinners location, customers find all the culinary tools to prepare a nutritious meal—everything from fresh ingredients to meal-packing materials. Each week Dream Dinners features a new menu of fix-and-freeze dinners that can be made for up to six people, providing customers with numerous options for planning quiet meals at home or dinner parties with friends. All ingredients are precut and measured to ensure an error-free fixing.
Golden Flowers offers fresh flower bouquets and plants for whatever emotion you wish to convey, whether it's love, elation, sympathy, or fear of being eaten by a venus fly-trap. Clients can honor someone with a quaint arrangement or request a larger spread for an upcoming wedding or anniversary.
After being diagnosed with celiac disease in 1997, Pam MacDonald began scouring local stores for gluten-free options and employees knowledgeable enough to assist in her quest. Frustrated by her lack of success, Pam took matters into her own hands and opened Pam MacD's Gluten-Free Market, a store praised by New York Magazine's Grub Street Los Angeles for its wide selection of glutenless eats and tasting stations. Pam stocks her shelves with high-caliber products such as Organic Clover milk and Maplegrove mac 'n' cheese cups and sources some items from local and independent brands. Her cadre of well-informed employees expertly navigates rows of fresh, frozen, and refrigerated foods, guiding visitors through a selection whose breadth and variety supports the truth of Pam's mantra: "There is life after wheat!"
Jody Maroni, founder of Jody Maroni's Sausage Kingdom, started linking gourmet sausages in 1979 and now rules over a royal court of meat artisans who assemble more than 20 all-natural varieties. Many of the homemade recipes renounce nitrates and MSG and instead fill the natural pork casings with meat that is naturally low in sodium and fat. Chicken-mole sausages blend chocolate, cumin, and chilies, and the louisiana hot links steep in duck stock and smolder with Boudin-style spices. Like Iowa's delightful airspace, the meaty morsels have drawn bicoastal praise—Splash! Los Angeles argues that they "might just top the Dodger Dog," and Time Out New York thanks the eatery for bringing "rays of sunshine to the food wasteland of Times Square."