This past weekend, I was lucky enough to attend Artisanal LA’s Fall 2013 show at the L.A. Mart in downtown. For those of you who are not familiar with it, Artisanal LA is a regular, pop-up event, showcasing the best in local, Los Angeles-based, artisanal foods, crafts, beverages, and other small-scale products. It’s a chance to sample the best in culinary goodies from bakeries, coffee roasters, juicers, confectioners, and much more. The event also features workshops all weekend, ranging in topics from small space gardening, to beekeeping and making your own almond milk.
As a food blogger, this event was a great chance to find out about the best local and emerging culinary companies and products, and there is no shortage of great finds, only deciding on which one I would buy from. The event really drove home the realization that the food product industry (especially for baked goods) is saturated. Everywhere I turned, there was a cookie company offering me a sample of some natural, paleo, vegan, delicious flavor. It’s tough out there for a cookie company. There’s a LOT of competition, and many of these “small” artisan business have a lot of money. It’s difficult for a homegrown business to make a dent in the market, like a mouse trying to shout in a sea of honking geese. That being said, that’s one reason I enjoyed this event so much. It wasn’t just the loud, flashy geese that were in the mix. There were mice there too, and just as passionate about their products. The only issue for the consumers was just finding the one you liked the best.
There were also plenty of emerging food and home trends to be found at the event (holiday gifting ideas aplenty!)- here are my top five in no particular order:
2). Vegan/Paleo cookies (baked goods in general)
3). Unique Jams and Preserves (Nectarine Siracha jam, anyone?)
4). Kombucha beverages
5). Small-batch bean chocolates
Though I didn’t have a chance to attend any of the workshops, it’s definitely on my list for next year. If you haven’t been and want to go, I’d also strongly recommend bringing a small roller shopping bag for all your samples, purchases, and business cards – we could only take so much stuff until our arms were straining from the weight! It’s easy to go crazy spending, but when in doubt, take a business card – most of these places have ordering available online and can ship pretty much anywhere in the country.
To wrap up, here is a list of just a few of the vendor booths I dropped by at – normally, I’d try to provide links to their sites, but there are WAY too many, and you can Google most of these companies and should find them right away. Enjoy!
Visited Vendors at Artisanal LA Fall 2013 Show:
Lindy & Grundy (organic meats)
Rizzo & Crane (craft lighting)
The Copper Box Candy Company
Scoby Baby Kombucha
Yours Truly (designer ice cream containers)
Slow Hand (organic whiskey)
Almond Milk LA
Genuine Hobo (skin care)
AFire (grill products)
Kage Design Studio (furniture & lighting)
Velity (soapstone whiskey stones)
The Donut Snob
Knotwork (wooden cooking utensils)
Good Eggs (farm-to-fridge grocery service)
Ferrari Olive Oil Co.
Just Jenn Designs (cookie cutters)
Pi Bake Shop