Posted on : January 23rd, 2020
Sometimes it’s great to remember how it all began. Did you know that Maisie Jane’s was created as a Future Farmers of America (FFA) project when Maisie was just seventeen in her mom’s kitchen? Yup!
Maisie grew up in a family that had been growing almonds for three generations. So she heard a lot of talk around the dinner table about the challenges of marketing almonds in the United States. California is the largest producer of almonds in the world but back then almost all the crop was exported (and much of it still is). And, while almonds could often be found in the baking aisle, ready-made almond snacks or almond butter were hard to find.
Maisie thought that was terribly strange. After all, her mom used to make delicious almond snacks at home—tamari baked almonds, caramel corn with almonds. So Maisie researched the market and set to work experimenting with her mom to make formalized recipes in the kitchen. They started with family favorites and then branched out into three more: cinnamon glazed, orange and spice, and country herb and garlic.
Eventually, Maisie sold the flock of sheep she had originally been raising for her FFA project for about $2000 and bought a ton of almonds from her family’s orchard. From there, there was no choice but to make her flavored almond snacks and do whatever she could to sell them to local grocery stores and at farmers markets and outdoor festivals. One thing led to the next and it just kept growing. More than 25 years later, Maisie and her husband Isidro now grow, process and package hundreds of tons of almonds every year! We ship them throughout the United States, Canada and around the world. The business also does custom processing and packaging for outside companies and sells almond products to national manufacturers in addition to producing and selling our own line of nut products directly to a variety of retailers.
At the top of this post is a photo of young Maisie in front of one of her first store fronts. Don’t you love the hand-painted sunflowers on the front? Today our products are sold nationwide—look for us in Whole Foods! And if you live near or visit Chico, CA you can visit our current Maisie Jane’s Country Store at 1324 Dayton Road. You can try samples of all our nut snack products as well as bites of other local gourmet foods. We also sell country-flavored gifts of all sorts like hats, scarves and home decor items. It’s so much fun—you might even meet her mom!
Maisie Jane’s California Sunshine Products, Inc. was founded on strong beliefs and passion for offering unique, flavorful, top-quality, nut products. At Maisie Jane’s we strongly believe in earth-friendly practices that start on our family owned and operated orchards. We use Organic farming practices and continue in the process by using all-natural ingredients with no preservatives or GMOs. And we believe in honest, friendly and helpful customer relations at all levels. We take pride in every task, every day, with every person.