Farmers Market and Other Adventures

This past Sunday marked our 4th Farmers Market on Main Street in Santa Monica, and so far we are having a blast.  Not only is our booth located next door to our wonderful friends at Beverly Hills Juice (read more about them here) but we’ve been meeting all kinds of new buddies as well!  From the other vendors and farmers at the market to our patrons, shopping locally and buying direct from the producers seems to bring out a real sense of joy, camaraderie, and goodwill in everybody.  It’s the same for us as vendors, too.  What could be better after a long night of mixing, kneading, proofing, scoring, and baking than personally selling your loaves to the folks who will be enjoying them?  Plus, we get to enjoy this mouthwatering view all day:

Behind the Bakery Case

Another perk is that the market provides so many great options for using any bread we have leftover at the end of the day.  We can swap with the other vendors in exchange for delicious produce or donate it to the friendly volunteer who walks through accepting bread donations for Mother’s Kitchen, homeless families in Venice, the Battered Women’s Shelter, Save a Penny, Spend a Penny in Venice, and the OPCC Access Center in Santa Monica.

Or, we can bring a loaf home to feed ourselves until the next baking day.  We love experimenting with new ways of eating delicious bread, and we also love getting feedback from our customers and hearing all about what tasty accoutrements they paired with their loaves.  Yesterday Michael busted out the grill pan and made his famous Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (one vegan with Follow Your Heart cheddar,  and one non-vegan with Organic Spring Hill Jersey Cheese smoked yellow cheddar from our neighboring cheese vendors).  He used our Cozy Whole Wheat & Oat Sandwich Loaf, which really is perfect for grilled cheese.

Perfect Grilled Cheese on Secret Goldfish Cozy Whole Wheat & Oat Sandwich Bread!

Besides baking, we are also keeping ourselves busy by getting even more involved with the organic, local, sustainable, and ethical food community.  While talking with the folks over at Fair Trade USA about how we could help promote Fair Trade Month, we learned there was going to be a live broadcast event recorded in LA called “Every Meal Matters” featuring Top Chef: Just Desserts contestant Malika Ameen and Registered Dietician and author Ashley Koff.  The broadcast aimed to educate people on all the various Fair Trade products available today while providing recipe ideas and helpful nutrition tips about incorporating these foods into a healthy diet.  I was lucky enough to attend the event as a part of the studio audience and even got to ask all my burning Fair Trade questions.  If you missed it, you can check out the broadcast recording here!

A beautiful spread for Fair Trade USA's "Every Meal Matters" broadcast with Top Chef contestant Malika Ameen, Registered Dietician Ashley Koff, and Mary Jo Cook of Fair Trade USA

We are working with Fair Trade USA to earn the Fair Trade certification for Secret Goldfish goodies, so don’t be surprised if you see that hip black and white logo on our cookie bags during your next trip to the Farmers Market!  Supporting the Fair Trade cause is important to us because it means that we are buying high-quality ingredients that are made without the use of hazardous chemicals, GMOs, and child labor, that farmers are paid a fair wage for their products, and that funds are directed toward community development.  To learn more about Fair Trade, check out this great video explaining how this certification process improves lives and protects the environment:

Some of the Fair Trade products we use at The Secret Goldfish include vegan and organic granulated, powdered, and brown sugars from Wholesome Sweeteners, organic vanilla, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger from Frontier Natural Foods Co-Op, and organic chocolates from Sweet Earth Chocolates.  We even recently ordered some cocoa butter from Sweet Earth Chocolates so we could experiment with making our own organic, Fair Trade, and vegan white chocolate!  That’s right vegans, you heard me.  Delicious, creamy, dreamy white chocolate without the dairy!

Handcrafted white chocolate made with organic, Fair Trade, and vegan ingredients!

We are going to be experimenting with it in our cookies and other treats.  Tell us what your favorite white chocolate combo is!  Do you like macadamia nuts, raspberries, candied ginger?  We’re always interested in hearing great ideas from our customers. Maybe you’ll even get to see one of your ideas come to life in our bakery case!

Well, it’s off to the kitchen to do some more recipe testing today.  We hope we’ll see you at the Santa Monica Farmers Market this Sunday!

Until next time,