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From Behind the Cheese Counter

If you are an Oliver's shopper, you are very familiar with our GoLocal drumbeat.  It's pretty obvious why we keep pounding this particular instrument – we all like our jobs and want to continue to live in a beautiful place where great food matters; where people understand that reducing environmental impacts translates into green land, blue skies, clean air and water; where dollars that go into community banks STAY in those same communities.

What does this have to do with cheese?  Well, we recently read a report from UC Davis that summarized the growth of artisan cheese making in the North Bay counties of Marin and Sonoma and it was exciting, to say the least.

Of California's 43 artisan cheese companies, over half of them are located in Sonoma and Marin.  What is the definition of artisan?  "As defined by the American Cheese Society, the word “artisan” or “artisanal” implies that a cheese is produced primarily by hand, in small batches, with particular attention paid to the tradition of the cheese maker’s art, using as little mechanization as possible."

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Sprouts Market Application to be heard on June 9th

The Santa Rosa Planning Commission will be holding a public hearing on June 9th to consider the application from Sprouts Markets,  a natural food chain headquartered in Phoenix, Az., seeking a General Plan Amendment to develop a store on the corner of Bicentennial and Mendocino Avenues.

I would like to add Oliver’s Markets voice to those who object to rezoning the parcel on the corner of Mendocino Avenue and Bicentennial.  The current Santa Rosa General Plan 2035 describes a city's general plan “as its constitution for development – the framework within which decisions on how to grow, provide public services and facilities, and protect and enhance the environment must be made.”  When making location decisions for our company, we rely on the General Plan and the zoning ordinances to assess future risk for the investments we make in a community. It is akin to a prospectus for a stock market investor. It allows us to evaluate current competitive supplies and identify the risk future developments may hold.  As such, we believe that General Plan Amendments should be rare… that they should be born of profound community needs, not by the desires of developers and out-of-town corporate interests.

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Petaluma Eggs: The Good vs. the Perfect

Last week, the Press Democrat reported Petaluma Poultry was involved in a controversy regarding whether or not chickens laying eggs that would be sold as “organic” be pasture raised in order to obtain the coveted “organic” designation. 

Currently, eggs can be sold as “organic” provided that they are fed organic non-GMO feed, have access to the outdoors, and are not raised in cages. Organic egg producers cannot use antibiotics except during an infectious outbreak and only the birds must be allowed to molt naturally within the flock.

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Oliver’s Defines Local as Sonoma County

It seems like every supermarket in town is talking about local.  As the local food movement continues to gain momentum, an important question to ask is: What does local mean to you?

Some folks in our industry define local as grown in California; others as grown within a day’s truck ride from their store.

For us at Oliver’s, local means Sonoma County, plain and simple. Since we all live here our perspective is a little different from national chains that manage hundreds of stores in dozens of states. We know first hand that the best food in the world is grown and made right here in our backyard. Buying locally made products can really make a difference for all of us.

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Welcome to Oliver’s New Website: Your source for great food

Welcome to the new version 2.0 of Oliver’s website. We’ve been working on this version for several months and we’re excited that we will be able to share with you more of what we are doing at Oliver’s. 

Of course, you can still find our weekly ads, Family Values flyers, and Tasting Times newsletters in this version.  But we’ve added some new things.   This blog is one of the new additions; hopefully one you’ll find interesting and useful. 

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Where "Local" Means Sonoma County

To us Local means Sonoma County -- period. Not Marin, not Napa, and definitely not the state of California, as some of our competitors define it.

From the day we opened our doors in 1988, we’ve built our business on the simple premise that the best food and wine in the world are produced here, in Sonoma County. We didn’t feel like we were pioneers at the time, but as people have come to understand and embrace the value of locally grown and made food and the value of shopping locally, we realize we were part of the early days of the movement.

As a Sonoma County business, we’ve built enduring relationships with local growers, makers, and manufacturers, because they make the foods and wines we love. Many of them were getting started when we were. Now they are nationally known, but for us, they are still old friends who often delivered products to our Cotati store in their cars back in the late 1980s.

Along with local products being excellent choices for taste and quality reasons, buying locally also improves our local economy. The dollars you spend at local retailers buying local products support other local businesses and our tax base, too!

Tasting Notes

Matt Rice

Sophisticated Summertime Spritzs

The Spritz is a wine-based cocktail that is extremely popular as an aperitif in Northeast Italy. It is typically made with Prosecco, a bitter liqueur (such as Aperol or Campari), and sparkling mineral water, served over ice.

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Let’s Hear it for Dad!

This Sunday is Father's Day, a day to celebrate and honor dear old Dad. That means it's time to pick out a gift to show him how much you appreciate all that he has done for you throughout your life. Here at Oliver's Market, we have the perfect gift for him, and any other father figure in your life - American Whiskey!

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Sensational Stone Fruits are Here!

This week we're offering Fitzgerald Kelly peaches and nectarines. Fitzgerald Kelly is a sustainable peach and nectarine grower from Kingsburg, which is just south of Fresno. His fruit is lovingly farmed through the growing season, and then hand-picked and hand-packaged at the peak of ripeness, resulting in outstanding quality season after season. 

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