*notcot in food+drink , 00:41

Stewart & Jasper Orchards: Newman, CA- 10.18.15

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Just pulled into a little seaside hotel in Cambria, CA as we slowly make our way down the coast from SF to LA… this road trip has been filled with little adventures squeezed in between official work commitments… including the discovery of Stewart & Jasper Orchards company store in a little strip mall off the 5 freeway in Central CA - filled with locally grown and produced treats and gift baskets. Their website says “Stewart & Jasper, a family-owned almond company on the West Side of the San Joaquin Valley, is well known for its commitment to product quality and customer service. We are an almond grower, huller/sheller, processor, exporter and retail marketer with over 60-years experience in farming and food production.” They’ve been doing their thing since 1948 and is still run by 2nd and 3rd generation family members.

On a quick gas stop in Patterson, CA, the store caught my eye and we had to pop in… I was so dazed from roadtripping for hours, i didn’t even think to take pictures, but Google Maps has it covered. You walk into the store, and you see wall to wall sweet nutty treats, beef jerky, jams, candies, and more… part of an old PICK UP TRUCK (also filled with treats and gift baskets)… and the whole back half of the store is an adorable wine/beer area! At first, I thought it was a Harry & David like brand - with fruits and gift baskets, until i looked more closely at the offerings and noticed a huge section of Glazed Almonds with flavors like: Strawberries & Creme, Cinnamon, Orange Creme Brulee, Caramel Latte, Peaches & Cream, Butter Toffee, Pralines & Cream, Birthday Cake, Caramel Apple, Snickerdoodle, Key Lime, Root Beer Float, Razberry Cheesecake, and more… and that was only the glazed almond wall! There were also quite a surprising variety of chocolate covered almonds (i.e. Dark Chocolate Chipotle, Coffee & Creme, White Chocolate Coconut), chocolate covered fruits in a range of colors, as well as more traditional basic nuts, jams, butters and far more than i can remember.

My curiosity couldn’t resist trying some Birthday Cake Glazed Almonds, Almond Smore’s Mix, and Yogurt Covered Raisins. By the time we nibbled on them up to SF, we were hooked. While I first picked them for sounding intriguingly amusing, we were more surprised by how delicious they all were! Sharing some with friends, we looked up the Stewart & Jasper Orchards website thinking it’d be easy to see the rest of the available flavors and order more online to try. To my surprise, the website only shows a slim selection of their offerings, and I learned they only have 4 stores all in the center of California. Their orchard/factory and store are in Newman (apparently you can get tours!) not far off the 5, and the other 3 stores are in Patterson (also off the 5), Modesto, and Monterey. So on the drive down, we took a little detour in Monterey to see that store, pick up treats to share, and find out more! While there we not only bought two bags full, but also learned more about the family run company, factory, and that even though they are far too busy to update the website regularly, you can call the Newman store at any time to find out more about seasonal flavors, custom gift baskets, and placing orders to ship all over the US. Since you can’t see much on the Stewart & Jasper Orchards website, take a look at some of their more surprising offerings on the next page!

Yes, the Birthday Cake Glazed Almonds have rainbow sprinkles and were more delicious than i expected. The S’mores Mix has chocolate almonds, toasted coconut, cookies, and mini dried marshmallows that taste like those you’d find in instant hot chocolate or lucky charms… a crazy trail mix of sorts! stewartandjasper1a.jpg

Since i forgot to take pics - here’s a peek via Google Maps. Apparently that pick up truck had quite a front end accident, so they turned it into a great store display! See that back section of the store? All wine and beer! stewartandjasper1.jpg

It was so good… that on the drive home down the coast, we had to stop by their Monterey store since we couldn’t see all the flavors online. See how many options there are? stewartandjasper2.jpg

Every wall was covered in a seemingly endless variety of flavors! stewartandjasper3.jpg

We ended up buying two bags worth (to share!!!) So I just took some pictures of what we bought on the hotel bed before they start to disappear on the drive home… stewartandjasper4.jpg

Here’s a peek at the more unusual flavors we’re curious about… After the deliciousness of the Birthday Cake flavor, how could we not try more? stewartandjasper5.jpg

Had to get more Smore’s Mix for smore loving friends! stewartandjasper6.jpg

Churro NUGGETS! Also in Butter Toffee and other flavors… addictively sweet and crispy. stewartandjasper7.jpg

A bit more traditional… but their coatings are somehow tastier and fresher than others we’ve tried. Best Yogurt Raisins yet! And inside those Chocolate Berryblues are blueberries! (We just ate through them while i’ve slowly been writing this) stewartandjasper8.jpg

My current favorite is the rainbow sprinkled Birthday Cake Glazed Almonds! stewartandjasper9.jpg

So while you can’t find all (or even most!) of the flavors i’ve mentioned on the Stewart & Jasper Orchards Website - we were told that you can call their main store in Newman to place orders, find out about seasonal flavors, and make custom gift baskets! And apparently new flavors are added (and retired) regularly - so we’ll have to call in to get the updates. (Or maybe they’ll start updating the website to share all of their products? Hint hint) I’m definitely adding Stewart & Jasper Orchards to my list of surprising, local California gifting ideas!

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