Ashland Artisan Emporium

March Booth Blog: John’s Specialty Food Booth

February was a month of many changes for us! We welcomed a few new vendors and some vendors have even expanded (come see Mystical Union Boutique’s new extra roomy home). We also plan to say goodbye to one of our original vendors, Branson’s Chocolates. They have finally branched out into their own retail space across the street next to the Minute Market on Siskiyou Blvd. We are proud to have been a part of their journey over the past three years and wish them well! We will miss them!

One of our newest vendors comes to us from Brookings, bringing along picked vegetables among other tasty treats. I would like to introduce him to you!

John Hedding owned and operated John’s Fresh Produce and Specialty Food Store in Brookings for the past 28 years. He retired in 2006 but continued to sell his specialty pickled food items, olives, jams and salad dressings as a hobby. He found those products to be less demanding than fresh produce. He and his wife Gail, have recently relocated to Ashland, and at the urging of their son and daughter-in-law who told them about “a great place to display and sell my products,” they felt that the Emporium would be the perfect venue to continue his unique business. He stopped by the Emporium one day, met the friendly staff, and Ashland’s version of John’s Specialty Food store was created!

John’s booth is filled with many kinds of olives (unique styles such as lemon stuffed, hot and spicy, anchovy stuffed and more), pickled foods such as watermelon rind, okra, squash slices, salad dressings and a favorite on the coast – Candy Krisp jalapeños.  Spicy yet sweet, these are an easy “go-to” appetizer staple. Try them on a cracker with a bit of cream cheese to balance the sweet and spiciness. For extra accolades at your next gathering, top the jalapeño with a piece of smoked salmon for a special treat!

Stop by the Emporium and visit John’s Specialty Food booth today – booth #255.

You never know what’s in store!

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Ashland Artisan Emporium

The Ashland Artisan Emporium is owned by Michelle Christian, wife and mother of 3 daughters. Her husband, Travis, is the business manager for Adroit Construction in Ashland, Oregon. The Emporium was the vision of Michael Rydbom, Michelle's father. In April of 2010, Michael asked his daughter if she would be willing to help transform the old DJ's Video space into a crafter's marketplace. Michelle had always admired her dad's entrepreneurial spirit and was eager to make him proud, so even though she already had two kids, a real estate career and one more daughter on the way, she said yes. On November 1, 2010, the store opened it's doors to a welcome reception from the community. They were voted Best New Business of 2010 only months later by the Ashland Sneak Preview. Within weeks of opening, the store was at capacity and had quickly become the "go-to" store for all things unique and affordable.

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