The Hanford area is filled with many surprises for holiday gift giving when it comes to local businesses. Many people are not aware that some products they buy from a popular chain store are products made from a local farm or downtown shop.
Fagundes Old World Cheese, Artisan Soapery and LT Sue Tea Room are only some of many local businesses that create products and sell them at their stores or other locations throughout the Valley.
The Fagundes Old World Cheese business has been passed down from generation to generation. Established in 1916, the business has been making cheese since that date. The cheese is distributed to Best Buy Market and Cost Less Foods Co., said John Fagundes, the third generation family member running the farm.
Fagundes said they have about 800 cows on the farm producing milk. He said the milk is either sent to cooperative California dairies or is made into cheese at the farm.
Some of the popular cheeses are St. George and St. John as well as the Hanford Jack cheese, Fagundes said. He added that all the cheeses are farm made and have no preservatives.
“Right now we are pretty busy because we do gift boxes,” Fagundes said.
He said people can order cheeses online, and it can be shipped throughout the U.S. He added that the cheeses are handmade and use only high quality milk.
Katye Fredieu, who is the owner of Artisan Soapery, said she started her business because she wanted to make natural soaps for the community.
After recovering from a motorcycle accident four years ago, Fredieu had scarring and sensitive skin. She used a natural bar of soap from a friend and immediately saw results. Her skin started to heal.
“I kind of dreamed that natural skin care will take over the world,” Fredieu said.
All soaps are 100 percent naturally made and contain different types of oils and butters. Apricot kernel, avocado and coconut oil are some of the ingredients used in the product, Fredieu said.
Fredieu sell her products in shops ranging from Morro Bay and Clovis to North Carolina. Until the end of December, her products will be sold at the Hanford mall. Her remote satellite store is located on 10th Avenue at Purified Water and Ice.
She also sells natural shampoos, conditioners, deodorants, lotions, candles, lip butters and a dog shampoo bar soap that keeps fleas and ticks away.
“I believe natural skin care at an affordable price,” Fredieu said.
Arianne Wing, co-owner of LT Sue Tea Room, said they have more than 100 different types of teas.
Wing said one of the popular teas people tend to buy is the Downtown Hanford Blend which has some Assam and Keemun teas with a splash of mango. People can purchase it by the ounce that is loose leaf, in a large pot, or to go.
“I think people like drinking something that is named after our city,” Wing said.
She added that 20 percent of their profits go to the Taoist Temple Preservation Society that seeks to preserve China Alley in Hanford.
She said that in 2011 China Alley was named America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Wing said she and her partner, Steve Banister, opened up the tea room to make China Alley more vibrant.
“We have been very fortunate,” Wing said.