Along one side of Il Fiorello's olive groves, a creek creates just the right kind of soil drainage for the hearty trees that flourish in sunny, dry conditions. Totaling more than 2,000 in number, the trees help produce the award-winning olive oils that are crafted on-site. Visitors to Il Fiorello?which means "little flower" in Italian and nothing in Japanese?can tour the olive mill, which works through an impressive three tons of olives per hour. From there, guests can head to the tasting room to try samples of the finished product, as well as balsamic vinegar reductions.
Nostalgia tastes sweet at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, a shop specializing in old-fashioned treats that many regulars fondly recall from the past. Confectioners slice creamy fudge on a marble slab and dunk crisp apples into caramel that bubbles in a traditional copper kettle. Strawberries are dipped in chocolate and then drizzled, and tubs of caramel-coated popcorn and nuts are packaged together in bags. There is much to drool over at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, including non-chocolate items like licorice and even dog treats dipped in a creamy white confection for man's best friend or a weird cousin. The chocolate factory also offers an app with special coupons, rewards card, and in-store deals.
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.
The produce curators at Planet Organics look to the green thumbs of small local farms to shuttle organic fruits and veggies from fields onto area tables in less than 48 hours. An armful of earth's bounty appears eagerly at doorsteps or tree-house ladders, and patrons choose from a case of all fruits, all vegetables, or a half-and-half mix of fruits and vegetables. The organic outfitter ensures freshness by maintaining strict delivery logistics and only recruiting fruits grown for flavor and hereditary dimples rather than longevity. Patrons can keep jonagold apples on necklaces at all times of day to ward off visits from hungry doctors, or add Watsonville strawberries to cool spring salads to delight dinner guests.
Roy Strassman has dedicated more than 30 years of his life to helping people live fulfilling, pain-free lives. Although Roy can use a lighter massage technique to ease his clients' suffering, his chosen treatment modality is Hellerwork—a bodywork system that uses deep-tissue pressure to promote proper alignment among the muscles and joints. This pressure can do more than just relieve the tension caused by stress-laden muscles. It can also help increase flexibility, improve posture, and reenergize clients while contributing to a balanced sense of holistic well-being for the mind as well as the body.
Al Courchesne, affectionately known as "Farmer Al," planted his first peach orchard in 1976. In the years that followed, he learned the best ways to grow all sorts of other foods too, including apples, plums, and most anything else that can sprout in Californian soil. Eventually, Al started Frog Hollow Farm, producing steady harvests for more than 20 years as a certified organic farmer with a focus on sustainable practices.
Frog Hollow's success likely lies in Al's fine-tuned growing process. As harvest nears, Al and his staff purposely underwater the trees. They also leave every piece of fruit on the branch until it's completely ripened. The process results in a heavily concentrated flavor, which has garnered much attention from national publications, including the New York Times, Better Homes and Gardens, O Magazine, and Cooking Light Magazine.
Farmer Al keeps all 133 acres of his farm in constant operation. Therefore, the farm is generally closed off to the public except for occasional special events. Locals, however, have plenty of opportunities to taste the seasonal harvests without secretly stowing away inside incoming shipments of fertilizer. They can buy the fruit at Frog Hollow Farm Market inside of the Ferry Building or get it shipped directly to their home via the farm’s delivery program. Otherwise, they can head to the farm kitchen, where chef Becky Courchesne uses it in turnovers, cookies, and other goods. The farm also sends blemished, but useable produce to their Community Supported Agriculture Program.