May 7th, 2021

Made in McMinnville: Bring home all the goodies this weekend

A wicker basket is full with gift items such as sourdough crackers and hummus from Collab Kitchen, Flag & Wire Coffee, Durant Olive Oil, Eola Crest Cattle Jerky, Bernards Farm Fire Roasted Hazelnuts, Free Wild She Grapefruit Bitters, Suzy's Chocolates, and Alchemist's Jam.

McMinnville is a beloved destination for Pinot noir and other wines, but there are so many delicious things grown and produced here to eat as well. These local foods are the things we buy to treat ourselves, to stock our pantries, and to gift loved ones who live out of town. If you’re visiting from a drive away, hit up the farmers market for some fresh souvenirs. Flying home? Pack these in your suitcase. 

Alchemist’s Jam

Couple Danny Roberts and Jennifer Fisher use locally-grown, in-season fruits and spices to make their beautiful array of jams. Deeply hued and not too sweet, these are soft, wobbly preserves that retain the sunny flavors of fresh fruit. Whether you choose marionberry, raspberry cardamom rosehip, or boysenberry grapefruit, each jar is labeled with one of visual artist Fisher’s distinctive illustrations. They’ve recently opened a shop and kitchen downtown featuring their own products and a variety of other local goods at 207 NE Ford. 

Also found at: Harvest Fresh Grocery & Deli, Downtown McMinnville Farmers Market, Red Hills Kitchen, and Mac Market

Hazelnuts & Walnuts 

5 bags of Oregon Walnuts from Bernards Farm

People don’t always think of nuts as a seasonal food, but come autumn farms in McMinnville harvest the year’s crop of walnuts and hazelnuts from rows of delicately arching trees in orchards just a few miles from downtown. Though hazelnuts are more plentiful now, McMinnville was once called the Walnut City. Pick up some fresh nuts, either whole or shelled, and store them in the freezer to keep them at their best. 

Where to find them: Bernard’s Farm (also appears at the Farmer’s Market at the Grange and the Downtown McMinnville Farmers Market), Schmidt Farm (seasonally)

Summer Sausage & Beef Jerky 

Eola Crest Cattle offers locally raised Angus beef for sale at the McMinnville Farmer’s Market and through their on-farm shop, called the 71x Farmstore. Though packing a ribeye into one’s luggage isn’t a great idea, their beef jerky, summer sausage, and custom spice rubs are much more road ready. Visit the the 71x Farmstore and you can also pick up local soap, handmade cutting boards, and lots more. 

Where to find it: 71x Farmstore and in downtown McMinnville at NW Food & Gifts 

Locally Roasted Coffee

Bags of Flag & Wire Coffee, Caravan Coffee, and Exilior Coffee

It’s no secret that Oregonians combat rainy winter doldrums with caffeine and, fortunately, local coffee roasters source beans from all over the world to create the distinctive brews that keep us going. Flag & Wire Coffee is a McMinnville favorite for bagged beans and espresso beverages alike. Making a drive to Newberg? Check out Caravan Coffee for both blends and a globally-sourced single origin selection. Exilior, a new social enterprise, offers direct trade coffee from Kenya. 

Where to find them: Flag & Wire Coffee, Exilior Coffee, Caravan Coffee

Dried Beans & Popcorn

In addition to the glorious vegetables Liz Turner and Mark Fery grow at their McMinnville farm Saint Joseph Acres, they also grow heirloom beans and popcorn. Visit them at the farmer’s market to pick up a bag of red popcorn kernels, beautiful maroon speckled Rosso di Lucca beans (originally from Italy), incomparably creamy yellow Marfax beans, or whatever other interesting beans they’ve got. 

Where to find them: Downtown McMinnville Farmer’s Market, Farmer’s Market at the Grange

Collab Kitchen Treats

Refrigerated items from Collab Kitchen, such as marinated olives, pickled onions, and pickled carrots.

Mac Market, a trendy multi-use space in a converted warehouse building, houses multiple small businesses within it. At Collab Kitchen, chef Kari Shaughnessy turns out some of the most exciting plates in town, but she also makes plenty of shelf-stable products that are great for snacking, gifting, or shipping. Visit Mac Market to browse her ever-changing selection of granola, cookies, crackers, chili oil, salsa, and more. 

Where: Collab Kitchen at Mac Market

Spirits & Bitters

Ransom Spirits has been making whiskey, rye, and gin since 1997, but much of their production is still done by hand and by sense. Hot tip for Manhattan and Negroni drinkers; Ransom also makes lovely vermouths. Whiskey drinkers may relish a visit to Branch Point Distillery, in Dayton, to taste a whiskey made from rye-wheat hybrid triticale. Need some bitters to make your cocktail complete? Check out those made by McMinnville Farmer’s Market vendor Free Wild She in combinations such as chamomile vanilla and cherry sarsaparilla. 

Where to find them: Branch Point Distillery spirits are available through their Dayton tasting room. Ransom Spirits are available through The Great Oregon Wine Company tasting room in Dundee, and many local liquor stores. Free Wild She products are available at Mac Market and at the Downtown McMinnville Farmers Market

Betty Lou’s Bars

Keep an eye out and you’ll spot Betty Lou’s at independent grocery stores, convenience stores, and coffee shops all over the Willamette Valley. These locally made bars and energy balls have become essential on-the-go snacks since a local mom founded the company 40 years ago. Almost all of them are free of refined sugar and there are allergen-friendly, gluten-free, and keto options, too.

Where to find them: Harvest Fresh Grocery & Deli, Roth’s Fresh Markets

Oregon Olive Oil

Dried matsutake mushrooms, Durant olive oils and pomegranate vinegars, and dried pasta are displayed on a shelf.

Willamette Valley winters are just mild enough that an intrepid few farms have begun growing olive trees alongside their grape vines. One, called Durant, has opened a mill and is producing some of the first estate-milled extra virgin olive oil entirely produced in Oregon. 

Where to find it: Durant at Red Ridge Farms, Red Hills Kitchen, Roth’s Fresh Markets

Chocolate Confections

Speckled bon bons and truffles bedecked in sprinkles, Susan Fehrenbacher makes lovely, locally-inspired chocolate treats. She uses Willamette Valley fruit, nuts, wine, and herbs to flavor her delicate creations, Suzy’s Chocolates. Another essential sweet souvenir is decadent fudge crafted at a monastery in Amity by Brigittine Monks. 

Where to find them: Suzy’s Chocolates are available at Mac Market, at the McMinnville Farmer’s Market, and at various pop-up markets. Fudge and truffles from the Brigittine Monks are available via the Oregon monastery’s Amity tasting room and in downtown McMinnville at Velvet Monkey Tea Bar and NW Food & Gifts 

Emily Teel is a McMinnville-based food writer and recipe developer and a food editor at Better Homes & Gardens.