Sara's Kitchen Adventures | Inland Empire Holiday Gift & Shopping Guide

By: Sara De Leeuw

A little over a year ago, owner and founder, Su Pak, had the idea for a column to share all the great local food businesses and specialty shops here in the Inland Empire. The concept was simple—visit the stores, and share their wonderful stories and ingredients! Su also wanted to give people a great recipe for each ingredient that would serve as inspiration for the fabulous products readers might not know were available right in their own backyard!


Having known Su for a few years, being a lifelong resident of the IE and a food writer, I was humbled to be asked to write this column. What a thrill it’s been to share, “Sara’s Kitchen Adventures: Recipes with a Local Flair” with all of you every month!


Twenty-two recipes and 14 businesses later, we are still having a delicious time exploring the Inland Empire for stories and recipe ideas! I hope you’ve enjoyed taking this journey with us! It’s been an amazing experience getting to know shop owners, farmers and entrepreneurs. The common denominator for all of them has been the incredible amount of hard work they put in every day to follow their dreams and support their businesses and local communities!

To celebrate our first anniversary, I’ve put together a few places to find unique ideas for the food lovers on your gift list, as well as places to shop for your holiday table.


For Gifts:


VOM FASS Claremont - At VOM FASS you’ll find some of the world’s best oils, vinegars, spirits and wines. Along with an awesome pyramid of casks that hold their small batch, artisan produced aged whiskeys and spirits, you’ll encounter a whole wall of new flavors with their extensive variety of oils and vinegars! Check out their webpage for their new gifting catalog!


Parliament Chocolate in Redlands - Parliament Chocolate is composed of a small team of impassioned individuals striving to bring something new and exciting to the chocolate world. Visit them in Redlands or shop their online store to buy chocolate by the pound, bars of the finest chocolates to satisfy your sweet tooth, candles and more!


Graber Olive House in Ontario - An amazing array of elegant gifts, classic combos, nutty delights, sweet indulgences, olives, olive oils, books and unusual gifts, Graber Olive House is the perfect shopping place for the sophisticated food lover on your gift list! 


For Food:

Cal Poly Pomona Farm Store at Kellogg Ranch - Support your local college students, and get great produce at the same time! For fun, make your own peanut butter while you're there. It's worth the trip!


Voortman’s Egg Ranch in Ontario - Family run for generations! This Ontario Egg Ranch needs to be your regular stop for eggs!


Some Crust Bakery in Claremont - Stop by for a holiday cookie or a breakfast sandwich! No matter what you choose, it’s going to be delicious!


Nancy’s Tortilleria in Pomona – This is the place to go when you are looking for Masa for your holiday tamales.


Euro International Market & Deli in Riverside - Bring home a little bit of Europe for the holidays, with unique food and gift ideas!


Goodwins Organics in Riverside - California’s one and only completely organic grocery store! For a healthy happy holiday!


Shelton's Poultry in Pomona - Let Shelton's put the perfect bird on your table this year!


For Fun:


Rok House Brewing in Upland - Come Rök with Rok House Brewing in their amazing Tap Room! Whether it's chowing down on some tasty gourmet grub, engaging in extreme competition with Trivia Night or Giant Jenga, Röking out to some killer live tunes, or just kicking back with a buddy and sipping on one of over a dozen crafty brews on tap, it's always good times at the Rök! Get a growler for your favorite craft beer lover!


Thank you wonderful adventurers for a fantastic year! I’d love to hear your favorite places to shop and eat in the IE! Share in the comments below! We’re looking for more inspiration and great ideas for 2016.

From my kitchen, to yours, wishing you a peaceful and blessed holiday season!

- Sara