May 3, 2006
**Please note that these are all shops and products that I actually love and use; I am not getting any discounts or freebies for plugging these shops (although I would gladly accept any were they offerred...hint, hint ;).
1.) Nutsonline.com--nuts, nut flours, almond paste, dried fruit, and chocolates by the pound or bulk.
I don't really use this phrase very often, but I "heart" these guys. Since starting my business I've spent a lot of time hunting for great low-cost/high-quality suppliers for my ingredients. Almond flour and Almond paste doesn't come cheap and can add up quickly, but I keep my costs low by ordering from them. They're quick, reliable, and have great prices. Most importantly, the quality is incredible. Everything is fresh and in fantastic condition. I recently ordered some hazelnuts, just to try them out, and was amazed by how huge and delicious they are. Great company and great products.
2.) TopVanilla.com--Bulk vanilla beans and extract at ridiculously incredible prices.
I love this company. I found them online doing a random search for vanilla beans and decided to take a chance on a purchase of 25 Madagascar vanilla beans (whole) for $9.95. They arrived quickly and vacuum sealed, but oh so fragrant! I could even smell them through the padded envelope. I used them over a few months and they were wonderful every time. I just placed my second order from them and highly recommend them for high quality vanilla beans at a discount price. (And just as a comparison, Whole Foods charges that much for ONE BEAN. I'm just sayin', is all...)
3.) Rao's Homemade Sauces--I admit it. I'm a sauce snob. I wrinkle my nose at Ragu and say things like "why don't you just make your own?" But the truth is that I also work a full-time job, run a mail-order baking business, keep three blogs, and adore one very, very cute boyfriend. So as much as I love hanging in the kitchen, squooshing peeled tomatoes and crushing garlic, I love hanging with him that much more. So thank God for Rao's sauces! While I'm not yet famous enough to snag a table at this exclusive, by-invitation-only, NY Italian restaurant, I AM able to pick up a few jars of these at the supermarket. These are so delicious that I actually find myself craving them. One tip: when you toss them in your grocery basket, ignore the price. They're twice as expensive as the other kinds, but oh-so-worth it.
4.) tropicaltraditions.com--Coconut flour. Coconut flakes. Coconut oil. Even coconut water vinegar! This place is THE spot to go for all your organic coconut needs. They also have an amazing selection of raw honey and organic beef. It's a simple, straightforward website and the products are fantastic. Plus, their customer service is friendly and personal (they actually call you to answer any questions--how awesome is that). I am a coconut fiend and absolutely love their products.
Posted by Alejandra Ramos at 5:08 PM