3 Local Products to Try This Spring

Marilyn HawkesMarch 3, 2022
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Artisanal Cake Mix

When former professional ballerina Sarah Chisholm suffered a career-ending injury, she ventured into the kitchens of friend and local restaurateur Aaron Chamberlin, where she became enamored of pastries. In November 2021, she launched Wild Rye, specializing in artisanal cake mixes (Olive Oil, Chocolate, Pink Velvet and Vanilla, $14.95) and frostings Vanilla, Chocolate Sea Salt, Peanut Butter Coffee and Coconut Matcha, $10.95). Chisholm has also formulated vegan and gluten-free versions of the cakes, and aims to give people who might lack cooking confidence the opportunity to make high-quality baked goods at home. “I wanted to remove the stress and make it fun and enjoyable,” she says. Chisholm’s finished products have the look and lush taste of professionally made cakes. Her tour de force? A nutrient-dense, Madagascar vanilla-tinged mix for Almond Flour Pancakes ($11.95) that doubles as waffle batter, “perfect for an indulgent Sunday brunch or a busy Monday morning.”

Wild Rye


Wild Rye artisanal cake mix. Photography by Angelina Aragon.
Wild Rye artisanal cake mix. Photography by Angelina Aragon.

Movie Popcorn

If you’ve ever hunkered down in a darkened Harkins theater with a box of butter-soaked, salt-encrusted popcorn, you know how good the local movie chain’s crunchy snack can be. When customers started requesting popcorn to go, Harkins Theatres developed six ready-to-eat varieties to sell in retail stores. The most recent flavor, The Mix! Cheddar & Caramel ($4.29- $4.99, this variety available only at select Fry’s Food Stores), is a delightful mash up of caramel corn glazed in brown sugar and butter mixed with sharp cheddar cheese popcorn. “Customers love both our sweet and savory popcorns, so we combined the two classic flavors to create an irresistible bag of popcorn,” says Harkins CEO and president Mike Bowers. Other varieties include Movie Theater Butter, Creamy Caramel, Kettle Corn, Cheddar Cheese and White Cheddar. The popcorn is made locally with non-GMO, premium popcorn seeds. “We test each batch to ensure the taste and quality meets our high standards. We take our popcorn very seriously.”

Harkins Theatres 


Harkins popcorn. Photography by Angelina Aragon.
Harkins popcorn. Photography by Angelina Aragon.

Canned Cold-Brew Coffee

Cartel Coffee Lab, now known as Cartel Roasting Co., has been tantalizing us with cold brew coffee in its shops for about 15 years. Recently, the Arizona-based coffee company rolled out two varieties of ready-to-drink cold brew in 12-ounce cans: Sonoran Sun Standard ($4.50), a full-bodied coffee with fruity notes; and Night Vision Nitro ($4.75), a creamy, luxurious brew with a hint of natural sweetness. Cold-steeped for 22 hours, the cold brews are made with a special blend of El Salvadoran and natural Colombian beans, says Cartel chief operating officer and “second in charge” Jesse Pangburn. “There are no added sweeteners. It’s straight coffee, and it’s about double the caffeine content of a typical serving of coffee.” Cartel is constructing a 12,000 square-foot coffee production facility and cannery in Tempe, which will centralize operations and give the company more flexibility to produce limited-release brews and special offerings. “Operations will all be under one roof, and we’re very excited.” 

Cartel Roasting Co. 


Cartel Roasting Co. canned cold-brew coffee. Photography by Angelina Aragon.
Cartel Roasting Co. canned cold-brew coffee. Photography by Angelina Aragon.


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