OUR 38TH ANNIVERSARY
BY MARY ANNE
On August 29th of 1979, we birthed the enterprise of what was to become Mariposa Market. It started out as a fruit stand (Mariposa Produce) and was sandwiched between the welding shop and the old feed store. Big barn doors opened to the outside and were kept open when the weather was fine. We had a hand-made barrel wood stove for heat and an adding machine and muffin tin for money exchange. Being as how we were young and inexperienced in the ways of business, we ( my husband, my brother and I) just made up our minds to do the job, provide the best service we could, and keep things at a level we could afford and manage. The early years were a real struggle as we learned the ins and outs of doing business, paying taxes, and having employees. Our income was negligible but we had energy and lots of ideas. In spite of ourselves the store began to attract a following of customers. We started to make a little money and were able to add-in to our inventory. Gradually we provided bulk foods and soon after we scrounged enough money to build a small walk-in cooler which we filled with local dairy products. Before we knew it our produce stand had morphed into a natural foods store.
In 1996, our landlord asked us to move so he could remodel the whole corner. A place for rent had opened up across the street which seemed a likely place to move our business. By this time my brother and husband had moved onto other employment so that left me to woman the ship. Our move to 600 South Main was instantly successful. More room, an attractive store front, real heating and air conditioning made Mariposa Market a go-to destination for many of the local foodies. Within 11 years we had outgrown our second store. Lines would form out the back door and the aisles were nearly impassable on busy days.
In 2008, a real estate investment next door and a lot of brainstorming suddenly made a new store a real possibility. By 2009, we had moved into our beautiful store which we have today. We were able to create our dreams into reality. Now, we are a full service natural foods store with an emphasis on organic and local food. We have a very busy deli, a gift department, fresh meat and fish, and many delicious wines and craft beers. Our produce is 99% organic and is the shining star of our market.
On August 26th of this year we will be celebrating 38 years in business. Thanks to our supportive community, Mariposa Market is now a destination spot for many shoppers. We provide over 50 jobs and are committed to helping Willits be a healthier place to live.
BY MARY ANNE
When we go to a restaurant that serves California Cuisine, we may have some idea of what to expect. Or perhaps we have no idea. This type of cuisine was originally started by such creative chefs as Alice Waters and Wolfgang Puck. Essentially, it replicates the incredible variety of California’s agriculture, the seafood from our ocean, the many microclimates, and the ethnic diversity that makes our state unique. Mexicans, Italians, and Asians have moved to our state in mass, influencing many aspects of our culture, but primarily our diets. Fusian cooking, which combines ingredients from a variety of ethnicities is an integral part of this cuisine. As well, Californians, in general, have a tremendous appreciation for food artisans, farmer’s markets, and organic farming.
California chefs use hundreds of ingredients from Chinese soy sauce and Indian curry spices to Italian cheeses and Mexican tortillas. Still, certain ingredients manage to stand out as uniquely Californian. Home cooks and restaurant chefs revere them. Tourists often fall in love with them. They are the state’s major food products and the highlights of many dishes. Artichokes are one of these famed vegetables. They appear in a whole array of dishes. California produces virtually all of the nation’s artichokes, half of which are consumed by Californians themselves. Standing neck and neck with artichokes are avocados. Californians love their avocados dearly. Orchards abound between San Luis Obispo and the Mexican border, where over 90% of the nation’s avocados are harvested. Avocados from our state are, without a doubt, the tastiest. Putting an avocado on a sandwich is a “California thing”. And guacamole is so popular that there are scores of recipes for this dip. Another California specialty is dry jack cheese. It originated when an Italian cheesemaker in San Francisco put aside a block of Monterey Jack cheese cheese in storage and then forgot about it. It was during World War II and cheese from Italy became hard to come by. After several years, the cheesemaker remembered his stored cheese. He was elated to find that it had aged beautifully to golden perfection. Nowadays, this nutty and sweetish aged cheese has become a California twist on many salads. California is also famous for its Dungeness crab which comes to us with fat claws and firm snowy meat. Year after year California restaurants in the Bay Area have impressively seduced their diners with sumptuous dishes of cracked crab paired with crisp domestic wine. Many home chefs love to boil them with white wine and herbs. And foodies are very fond of crab cakes. One cheese that has California written all over it is goat cheese. It was an unfamiliar item until Laura Chenel, a cheese artisan, brought her Taupiniere to Chez Panisse restaurant. In the beginning the restaurant ordered 20 lbs. per week but as the demand quickly arose, it went up to 100 lbs. per week. The goat cheese craze has taken over California, and dishes such as baked goat cheese, goat cheese salad, stuffed figs with goat cheese and goat cheese tartlets are signature parts of California dining. Roasted garlic is yet another California mainstay. There is no doubt that garlic is an important crop in this state. Alice Waters made roasted garlic into a fad, as roasting softened the garlic into a creamy consistency which made it spreadable on crackers or meats. Sourdough bread did not have its origins in California but it became popular during the Gold Rush. Though other states produce this bread, the most well- known variety comes from San Francisco. In fact, the lactobacillus in sourdough starters, Lactobacillus Sanfrancisensis, was named after this city as ultimate proof of its prominence. And finally, sundried tomatoes became so popular for a while that some chefs felt they were overused in local cuisine. Originally from Sicily, the dried tomatoes became a perfect way to preserve tomatoes at the end of the harvest season, especially in California’s hot dry climate.
In conclusion, we cannot have a discussion about California cuisine without mentioning our outstanding wines, which are easily on par with fine French and Italian vintages. Californian is really an outstanding state in which to eat and drink.
CONSIDER REAL FOOD FOR BACK TO SCHOOL
- FRESH CARROT OR CELERY STICKS WITH HUMMUS OR PEANUT BUTTER
- BUNCHES OF GRAPES, STRAWBERRIES, BLUEBERRIES, AND OTHER ORGANIC FRUITS
- WOODSTOCK ORGANIC PEANUT BUTTER ON SALE
- BARBARA’S SNACKAMIMALS
- HONEST LOW SUGAR JUICES
- STRINGLES STRING CHEESE SINGLES
- CRACKERS WITH INDIVIDUAL CHEDDAR CHEESE SLICES
- ORGANIC NUTS OR DRIED FRUITS
- NATURAL SEA TUNA ON SALE
- MANY OTHER DELICIOUS WHOLE FOOD ITEMS FROM MARIPOSA MARKET
Just for the Halibut We Will Give You the Reel Deal
By Josie in the Chill Deptartment
Free your mind of worry, we know where all our seafood is from. Caito and North Coast Fisheries are our seafood suppliers. They supply us with fresh fish: all caught on the West Coast, never frozen or farm raised. Our seafood is caught, delivered and available to you in no more than three day’s time after being line-caught. Our Salmon is all troll caught right off our coast or off the coast of Alaska. Our Rock Fish and Shrimp Meat is caught in Canada, Oregon and Washington. We strive to only supply you with the freshest, wild caught and only iced seafood that we can get our hands on.
Here is some reasoning behind why Our Farmers don’t certify as organic:
Fees widely vary due to site, type and complexity of facility. Types of fees include Application fee, annual renewal fee, assessment of annual production or sales, and inspection fees. And as though we love how thorough our Organic inspection process these fees could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and for our local farmers only supplying local markets and stores it’s almost impossible to afford i.e. Local Eggs, Meats…
Mariposa Fact: We do only receive eggs from humanly raised happy chickens that are either cage free or pasture raised, and follow all the regulations that compare to certified organic birds
All of our meat is 100% Grass Fed, Farm/Pasture Raised, and Local!
Did You Know: All aged Cheddar is lactose free!
Laura Chanel goat cheese in plain flavor
Fresh organic lemon zest
Fresh dill and minced garlic
Olive oil, Salt, and Pepper
Tip: best paired with our Rustic Bakery crackers in all 4 flavors! Crème Fresh and Sweet Onion, Kalamata Olive and Sea Salt, and Traditional!
SOME FACTS ABOUT HUNGER IN CALIFORNIA
- California produces half of the nation’s fruits and vegetables, yet 1 in7 Californians currently struggle with food insecurity. Food insecurity is defined as the occasional or constant lack of access to food one needs for a healthy life.
- Children in California facing food insecurity: 4.9 million
- Children in California experiencing summer hunger: 1.7 million. 85% of children who benefit from federally funded or reduced-price lunches during the school year miss these programs in the summertime. Every summer, 17 of 20 low income students fall into the summer nutrition gap.
- Californians in Poverty: 7.9 million. California has the highest rate of poverty in the U.S. at 20.6%. Food insecurity often goes hand in hand with poverty, but this relationship can vary depending on medical expenses, employment status, and cost of living.
- Food insecurity has serious impact on an individual’s well-being. This can result in poor school performance, lowered workplace productivity, and physical and mental health problems. No family should have to decide between buying groceries or paying rent, no senior should have to choose between food and medicine, and no parent should have to skip a meal in order for their children to eat.
Excerpted from Food Bank newsletter, Summer 2017
Tuscan Bean Pasta
Makes about 6 cups: Total Time: 30 minutes
3/4 lb. refrigerated or frozen, filled pasta (ravioli or tortellini)
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/4 cup carrot, diced
1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. minced fresh thyme
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1-1/2 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
Salt & pepper to taste
4 cups escarole, torn, divided
Lemon Thyme Gremolata (recipe below)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta
Cook Pasta according the the package directions. Drain and set aside.
Sweat onion, carrot, garlic, thyme, and pepper flakes in oil in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat until carrots are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the broth, wine, and lemon juice, and bring to a boil. Add cooked pasta, beans, and to-matoes, simmering just to heat through. Off heat, season with salt & pepper.
To serve, place 1 cup escarole in each of 4 bowls. Top with broth, pasta, gremolata, and Parmesan.
Lemon Thyme Gremolata
Makes 1/2 cup; Total time: 10 minutes
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. minced fresh thyme
2 tsp. lemon zest, minced
Salt & pepper to taste
Toast crumbs in oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat until golden, stirring often.Transfer to a bowl and toss with remaining ingredients.