Granola, Cocktails and Preserves: 3 Local Products to Try This Fall

Marilyn HawkesNovember 2, 2023
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Shannon’s Kitchen bars and granola. Photography by Angelina Aragon

Natural Energy Bars and Granola

East Valley resident Shannon Ortiz started making her own granola seven years ago when she gave up processed foods and refined sugars. Buoyed by positive feedback, Ortiz launched Shannon’s Kitchen in 2020, selling four flavors at local farmers markets. Today, she makes 12 kinds of granola ($12), including cinnamon-pecan and coconut-vanilla; and three honey-sweetened nut-and-seed granola bars under The Best Bar label ($5), in cinnamon, cacao and original flavors. Ortiz takes pride in the bar’s ingredients and nutritional value. “It’s a complete protein from the seeds and nuts and a balanced bar that gives you clean energy without the crash and burn,” she says. As for The Best Bar name? “I’d be at the farmers market and people would say, ‘This is the best bar I’ve ever had,’ so it was a natural.” 

Shannon’s Kitchen

Undertow To-Go Cocktails. Photography by Angelina Aragon

To-Go Tiki Cocktails

After opening UnderTow Gilbert, the second location of their wildly immersive tiki-bar concept, the folks at Barter & Shake Cocktail Entertainment introduced packaged cocktails to take out the door. “We selected the to-go cocktails based on our top sellers at the Gilbert location,” says B&S spokesperson Kailee Asher. To that end, UnderTow now offers five selections from its iconic tiki menu, each an artful collage of premium spirits, cordials and house-made tinctures: Mai Tai, Blue Hawaii, Lady in Lace, Royal Hawaiian and the Frozen Saturn ($15-$17). Starting in October, UnderTow will also offer to-go cocktails at the Arcadia location in Phoenix and will resurrect an old favorite, The Smoking Cannon, packaged with a cinnamon stick to burn and then garnish the drink. Each to-go container holds 8 oz., the equivalent of two drinks. Open, pour over ice and enjoy tropical drinks at home year-round. Order in person at the bar or through 


AZ Wild West Preserves. Photography by Angelina Aragon

Fruit Preserves and Butters

Litchfield Park resident Crystal Timko grew tired of empty grocery store shelves and produce bins during the pandemic, so when fresh fruits and vegetables became available, she canned them for later use, a skill she learned from both of her grandmothers. She also made an assortment of jams and preserves, giving the jars away to friends and family, who kept coming back for more. In July 2022, Timko started AZ Wild West Preserves with the help of partner Mark Bell, and now crafts 28 varieties of artisanal jams, jellies and fruit butters ($9). Top sellers include pineapple-habanero, raspberry and ginger-peach jams, and apple butter. Timko uses local produce whenever possible and enjoys dreaming up new flavor combinations, like the forthcoming cherry-chipotle jam. For the holidays, Timko whips up a limited run of tangy cranberry-citrus jam. “It’s really good on leftover Thanksgiving turkey sandwiches.” 

AZ Wild West Preserves