3 Local Products to Try This Spring

Marilyn HawkesMarch 3, 2023
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Photo by Angelina Aragon
Photo by Angelina Aragon
Organic Power Bites

When certified child nutrition specialist Majo Mansour’s son was an infant, she started a baby food company because she found the grocery store options lacking. While selling her wares at local farmers markets, she noticed that some of her breastfeeding patrons were eating doughnuts and popcorn while buying organic food for their babies. “So, I started making nutritious snacks for them,” Mansour says, combining ingredients like organic, gluten-free oats, flax seeds and organic dates. Before long, the Scottsdale resident left the baby food biz and started Midi Bites, a company devoted to preservative-free power bites in chocolate, almond and peanut flavors ($4.99). In 2021, she introduced two new flavors in smaller packages for kids: oatmeal-chocolate chip and chocolate brownie ($2.20). The organic, snack-size bites are also nut-free, making them school-friendly to protect children with nut allergies. Tuck them in a lunch box or a travel bag for “nutrition on the go,” Mansour says. Find Midi Bites at AJ’s Fine Foods and Whole Foods. 

Midi Bites

Photo by Angelina Aragon
Photo by Angelina Aragon
Rubs and Salts

In his early 30s, Gilbert resident Tim Colby developed a corn allergy. “Suddenly, I became the guy who had to read labels, and everything has corn starch in it,” the former citrus farmer says. Frustrated, he toyed around with making his own spice blends, starting with taco seasoning, and deemed them significantly better than any mass-produced analog. He founded Timbo’s Spices in 2020 and now boasts close to 30 spice blends, rubs and salts ($12-$14). Notables include smoked sugar and cinnamon, made from cold-smoked coarse brown sugar and Saigon cinnamon, for baking, cocktails and coffee drinks; and a new fish rub in collaboration with Alaska’s Best Seafood that’s dynamite on salmon and halibut. He continues to experiment with blends and often takes his cues from customers’ requests and comments. “They tell me how they fell in love with the spices and want to buy six more varieties,” he says. Find Timbo’s Spices at Gilbert and Chandler Farmers Markets and at a dozen Valley retailers.

Timbo’s Spice

Photo by Angelina Aragon
Photo by Angelina Aragon
Authentic English Scones

Misty Sumner’s love of baking started as a child, when her Scottish-English grandmother summoned her to the kitchen. “Put on your apron, we’re baking,” Sumner remembers her nana saying. A British native and registered nurse, she moved to Arizona 13 years ago and is now selling scones and other sweet and savory baked goods at Old Town Scottsdale and High Street farmers markets. Sumner’s traditional scones (two for $7 or one for $4) are the real English deal – soft, light and biscuit-like, not like the crumbly, dry, hard-to-eat scones we consume here. “The secret with scones is not to handle them too much,” the Scottsdale resident says. “The moment you start messing with the dough, they’re going to be heavy.” The scones come neatly packaged with a shot of Chantilly cream (cream whipped with coarse sugar) and “really good” strawberry jam. Sumner will also deliver and set up afternoon tea ($40-$45 per person) at your home or office. The spread includes crustless finger sandwiches, scones, pastries, cakes and, of course, English tea served on fine English china.

English Tea Garden