As the autumn air turns crisp, red and green fuji and gala apples grow plump and shiny on the tree branches at Clearview Orchards. These tempting fruits aren?t just pretty; they?re also free of pesticides. Just 10 years ago, owners Mel and Carol LaRussa took over the hilly orchard and replanted all its trees to grow CCOF-certified organic fruit. Now, in addition to packing up its organic apples to send off to wicked stepmothers across the country, the orchard invites visitors to drop by for seasonal picking trips. While there, they might run into the owners? children and grandchildren, who help out on weekends. Visitors can also pick up pumpkins, turnovers, lavender, or organic honey, before they head home.
Refrigerated glass cases brim with vibrant red steaks, pink hams, and lightly browned turkeys. The aromas of spice rubs, marinades, and barbecue sauces fill the air. Amid these colors and scents, Freedom Meat Lockers & Sausage Co. owners Howard and Debbie Walker bustle about, directing their knowledgeable staff members as they slice and cure succulent cuts of meat. Seasoned prime rib, skirt steaks, and tri-tip steaks, turkeys and sausages, and a smoked ham that received accolades in a recent American Cured Meat Championship all promise amazing meals. Yet the meat experts don’t stop there. To complement the future feasts, they offer free food-preparation guides to aid home cooks in crafting the perfect steak or a juicy bone-in pork chop.
In a deli adjoining Freedom Meat Lockers & Sausage Co., sandwich-smiths pile steak, slow-smoked brisket, pulled pork, and turkey onto slices of fresh bread. They also draw from an arsenal of bavarian, polish, and hot Cajun sausages, dressing any of their creations in 12 available toppings such as honey mustard, avocado, and cheddar.
Across eight locations in Northern California, Arteagas Food Centers bring a taste of Latin America to their respective communities with fresh produce, meats, and authentic cremerias. Patrons can pick up a variety of Latin ingredients, American-brand products, or meat cuts for their next barbecue, including ribs, carne asada, chicken, and seafood. Throughout the year, live bands and comedians combine with free events such as a Dia de Los Muertos party and a scavenger hunt to entertain guests while they shop. Arteagas gives back to the community by offering free health care testing and a connection to more than 40 nonprofits. Three locations even host a full taqueria, where diners can sit down for freshly prepared hot foods such as barbacoa, burritos, tacos, and chile verde.
Dr. Kusum Atraya leads the Gilroy Family Dental Center's staff as they keep mouths healthy and smiles beaming with family-focused dental care and cosmetic procedures. Standard dental services restore and maintain mouths, and beautifying services such as whitening keep chompers radiant enough to light homes during blackouts. Dr. Atraya attends dental courses throughout the year to keep up with the latest trends, and talks with each patient about proper oral hygiene during visits. During most treatments, patients can listen to music or nap while they dream about a possible career as a toothpaste spokesperson. Gilroy Family Dental Center also offers Invisalign and Lumineers.
The shelves at Aptos Natural Foods abound with organic and sustainable groceries, supplements, and bodycare products. Aptos replenishes bodies with Mother-Nature-approved food from an array of local providers such as Serendipity Spreads, Belle Farms olive oil, and Sushi Now. Storegoers can select organic 1% milk ($4.29 / half gal.), bedeck crackers with a 1-ounce slice of aged white cheddar ($1.25), or snatch up 24 ounces of millet ($6.09) to complete all-natural art projects. Festoon a salad with Aptos's fresh produce harvested from croperies such as Happy Boy and Two Dog Farms, or fill glasses from a wide selection of wines and beers including gluten-free beer and chai-cream ale. Aptos keeps its customers in fine fettle with a vast selection of supplements and bodycare products that naturally boost wellbeing without the use of genetically modified
Amid tidy rows of organic products, a well-stocked deli counter, and outdoor seating, Seascape Foods fills shopping carts with locally grown fare and handmade goodies. A rotating deli menu ushers in daily bites, which may include a breakfast burrito packed with scrambled eggs, beans, fresh salsa, potatoes, and cheese ($4.75) or a salad of spring mixed greens starring cherry tomatoes, roasted walnuts, dried cranberries, and goat cheese on a stage of verdant lettuce ($4.95–$7.95). The baked-tofu panini surrounds a pesto-covered soy slab with fresh and roasted veggies ($6.95). Customers can peruse a cornucopia of products, including locally farmed eggs and certified humane Angus beef. Artisan cheeses melt onto freshly baked breads delivered daily, and Polar Bear ice cream sustainably harvests frozen treats from Alaska's natural gelato fields. When finished, pound nutrient-rich blends of made-to-order juices, including the Greenergizer ($3.95), which hops up senses on the kinetic surge of kale, lemons, apples, and ginger.