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!
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