Featured in Vallarta Lifestyles Magazine, Summer/Fall 2010 issue.

Mmm ... from freshly baked cinnamon buns to savory sausages to canned chutneys and salsas, the sight, scent and taste of edible treats made from scratch have captivated our senses for generations. After all, who can resist the idea of apple pie, blueberry jam or hot tamales, all homemade? Even Madison Avenue has attempted to capitalize on the term “homemade” by attaching it to myriad products available at grocery stores. But in this day and age, when words such as “organic,” “natural” and “fresh” have become increasingly important in our nutritional vocabulary, it is reassuring to discover the increasing variety of Puerto Vallarta residents, Mexican and otherwise, who have honed their culinary skills and put them to good use by creating all sorts of tasty “real thing” rewards for our discerning palates.

This is certainly not new for longtime Vallartenses who, for years, have been in the know about “the lady that makes pies” or “the guy that delivers sausages at home” and so forth. But the advent of farmers’ markets all over Banderas Bay—particularly in Puerto Vallarta’s South Side and Sayulita in Riviera Nayarit—has encouraged many culinary artists to come out in the open, making their products available to a broader audience. Joining the cottage industry in Puerto Vallarta has allowed these creators to find a fun and profitable way to keep busy, or perhaps dive into an unexpected second career—and in the case of those who sell their goods at the farmers’ markets, the opportunity to have a reliable storefront. Regardless, they enrich the Puerto Vallarta experience by adding character to our community.

We set out to meet some of the individuals who make a regular appearance at such markets and quickly found that their stories and backgrounds are as rich and diverse as the products they make. Some of them, particularly the bakers, keep odd schedules, having to do most of their baking before dawn in order to avoid the summer heat! And needless to say, we discovered that it would be impossible to pay tribute to them all in one installment. So we share some of them with you, along with choice images representing the many products available around the bay, hoping to connect with more of them in the future.

Cristina Alpenia • Los Sabores de Cristy
cristinamancha@hotmail.com • (322) 779-3245
Homemade salsas

Adriana Basail • Tamal Gourmet
adrianabasail@hotmail.com • (311) 258-4492
Tamales gourmet

Chris Benson • The Coffee Cup
chris.benson@prodigy.net.mx • (322) 221-2517
Baked goods

Lynne Bickel • Bickel’s Pickles
dansbychris@yahoo.com • (322) 141-5577

María de Jesús Briseño • Doña Güera
(329) 295-0251
Tortillas and artisan cheeses

Beatriz Careaga
beatrizcareaga@prodigy.net.mx • (322) 779-8072
Baked goods

Krystal Frost • Organic Select
organic-select@hotmail.com • (322) 116-9645
Weekly delivery of organic products

Nina Goodhope • La Bodega de Nina
nbgoodhope@yahoo.com • (322) 289-6434
Chutneys, jams and baked goods

Mark Hughes • The Leek and Thistle Pie Company
leekandthistle@yahoo.com.mx • (322) 116-9908
Savory and fruit pies

Fabiola López • Leche Vegetal
fabiolalopezpolo@gmail.com • (322) 152-0903
Dairy-free milks

Josué López • Nieves Nice
nievesnice@hotmail.com • (322) 155-1097
Ice cream

Luis López Marino • Cooperativa La Hilamacoa
luis.farmer@gmail.com • (322) 222-6435
Pickled and fresh quail eggs

Mavi Lugo de Graf • Arte Culinario
graf.mavi@gmail.com • (322) 135-8570
Oils, vinegars, salad dressings and baked goods

María Reyes
mariadreyes@yahoo.com.mx • (322) 128-9667
Baked goods

Denise Rosenfeld • Repostería fina europea
denise.bakery@yahoo.com • (322) 429-8215
Baked goods

Robin Spencer • Robin’s Crew Catering
robinsworld05@msn.com • (322) 222 4469
Sweet salsas and relishes

Naresh Sumano Aguilar • Gran Ola de Sabor
nareshs@hotmail.com • (322) 150 3442

Kimberley Torres • Calaca Bakes!
Baked goods

Where are the markets?
Both the Sayulita and South Side farmers markets are on hiatus through the summer months; however, we expect them to be back in full force this coming winter. Stay tuned by visiting www.virtualvallarta.com and subscribe to our weekly newsletter by clicking here. Also visit the Old Town Farmers Market online at www.oldtownfm.com.