3 Local Products to Try this September

Marilyn HawkesAugust 28, 2020
Share This
Photography by Angelina Aragon
Photography by Angelina Aragon
Handcrafted Caramel

Former bakery manager and wedding cake baker Kim Martellotta wanted to mix things up after moving to the Valley from Chicago five years ago. She pivoted to handcrafting caramel-laced treats, from endorphin-inducing caramels and candy-studded caramel apples to smooth caramel dips and straight-up decadent caramel cinnamon roll bread ($6-$14). Martellotta also whips up nut brittles, turtles and caramel-covered marshmallows. Choose from 24 flavors of soft, creamy caramels, including classic salted, toffee crunch and cappuccino; and 15 varieties of caramel apples coated with everything from chocolate and peanuts to toffee crunch. Order online or visit Martellotta’s booth at Gilbert Farmers Market.

Bello Caramels


Photography by Angelina Aragon
Photography by Angelina Aragon

Deluxe Pickled Produce

When a health crisis propelled Dawn Petersen to leave the insurance industry in 2008, she had to rethink her life’s work. During recovery, she experimented with her grandmother Lillie Mae’s recipes for bread and butter pickles and other brined vegetables, tweaking the salt and sugar content to healthier levels. Now, she bottles more than 20 varieties of pickled vegetables and fruit ($7-$12), as well as strawberry- and blueberry-laden sangria and juicy watermelon martini mixes. Catch Petersen at Uptown Farmers Market to snag a jar of pickled okra or spicy bread and butter pickles – or pick up some crisp pickled asparagus and dill-drenched green beans to dress up a bloody mary.

Lillie Mae’s Pickled Garden


Photography by Angelina Aragon
Photography by Angelina Aragon
Bohemia-Style Bread

After an exhausting career in the footwear industry, Alexhandra Hotko circled back to her childhood passion: baking. Starting with family recipes from her Czechoslovakian great-grandmother, Hotko expanded her repertoire to Eastern and Central European breads and pastries, primarily from the Bohemia region. Her repertoire ($2-$9) including houska, a braided bread peppered with raisins and pecans; kolacky, pastry dough filled with fruit or poppy seeds; sweet orange spiral pastries layered with cardamom; and Czech-style apple strudel. Sometimes customers get nostalgic about Hotko’s pastries and reminisce about a favorite relative who used to bake them. “Bringing that connection back to people gives me a huge amount of joy.” Find Hotko Bread Co. at Uptown Farmers Market.

Hotko Bread Co.