Jamestown Locals Make Good Eats

When I go to Jamestown, in the Sierra Foothills, I’m on a quest. That quest usually has something to do with olive oil. Jamestown Olive Oil’s Bicentennial Blend of oil is some of the best cold-pressed oil you’re going to find, and they also make interesting flavored oils as well. Another great olive oil from Jamestown comes from the Woods Creek Olive Oil Company. After I’ve found my olive oil, I’m open to other treats from Jamestown, as well. That’s where Locals Make Good comes in.

Locals Make Good and Here’s the Scoop are linked shops (the only entrance is through Here’s the Scoop) in the main business district of Jamestown, all five  blocks of it. It’s not often that you find a sandwich and ice cream shop that has an ornate antique Saloon bar and bar-back that originally was used for serving very different drinks from the sodas and milkshakes now dispensed there. Adjoining it are several rooms full of food and cooking supplies, including one of the most impressive selections of cookie cutters you are likely to see anywhere!

Here’s the Scoop makes you wish you hadn’t eaten lunch, earlier. It’s full of locally made baked goods ranging from meat pies to cookies, and offers an array of sandwiches, in addition to sandwiches and ice cream. And when you add in all the delicious food products from Locals Make Good, it positively makes your mouth water!

You will find an amazing array of products in Locals Make Good. I wandered into the “Gifts” room immediately behind Here’s the Scoop and found everything from an extensive selection of cake decorating supplies to coffee grinders and gourmet coffee from Mother Lode Coffee Roasting. Want an enamelware pan to bake a pie or muffins? They have it. How about a dazzling array of teas? Yes, they have those, as well. The emphasis here is on the unusual and unique, and items in keeping with the historical flavor of Jamestown. (The entire town seems to have adopted 1897 as its theme, the year the local Sierra Railway, now a State Historic Park, was established.) Check out the back rooms, and find more old-time cooking accessories and ingredients that you would think possible! There are also hand-crafted items, again from local residents.

The cookie cutters alone are worth looking over. You might find a wall full of cookie cutters elsewhere, but here the cutters cover the walls in several rooms! You can find cookie cutters with themes ranging from barnyard animals to Jewish menorahs.
But while you might find cooking supplies somewhere else, much of the food is unique to the area.

Jamestown is the heart of the Farms of Tuolumne County “locally grown” movement. The area is known for excellent varietal olive oil and fresh fruit and produce, as well as grass-fed beef. The Sanguinetti family, a local ranching family with a long history in the area, seems to be at the heart of much of it, with Montezuma Ranch beef and connections to many other ventures, including this shop. Many establishments carry local products, but Here’s the Scoop and Locals Make Good bring it all together.

A wide array of jams and jellies, also locally made, are available. Labels for the house brands of Locals Make Good have the distinct look of having been made on a computer printer, but that simply adds to their charm. But the piece de resistance is the refrigerator and freezer.
The refrigerator at the back of the snack bar holds an array of products ranging from salsa to meat pies. And then there is the freezer. Walk through into the shop part of the store, and you are greeted by a freezer full of local Montezuma Ranch beef and pork, raised without antibiotics, as well as pasties and chicken pot pies. The pasties come in veggie, beef, and chicken variations, and look so good you want to take home a whole bagfull of them.

While we were getting a milkshake at the bar in Here’s the Scoop, I also found out that the owners, Jodi Richey and Michelle Keefe, of the locally-known ranchers of the Sanguinetti family, have just opened a restaurant in Sonora, called The Homeplace, after what the ranch was originally called. The idea of Homeplace is to deliver good home cooking, using locally grown products, including locally-grown beef from the Montezuma Ranch, also a family property. The idea is to get back to basics, featuring fresh, tasty, locally grown fruits and vegetables, as well as free range meat, grown without the use of hormones or antibiotics.

My one frustration was finding so many great products, including the olive oils, was not being able to taste them. Not only does Jamestown Olive Oil have flavors ranging from Garlic or Basil to Meyer Lemon and Orange, but I know from experience that even their standard, called Bicentennial Blend, is amazing! But I would love to be able to compare oils, or jams and jellies. (If the shop owners read this, yes, I’m hinting.)  I took home some of the peach salsa from the refrigerator case, and found it almost like a chutney, with a hint of bite and delectable chunks of tasty peaches.

Check out Locals Make Good for some great local products, cooking supplies, or to stock up on Jamestown’s locally produced olive oil. And be sure to grab a snack while you’re there. I can attest that the milkshakes and cooking are great!

Locals Make Good/Here’s the Scoop
18242 Main Street
Jamestown, CA 95327-9256
(209) 984-4583

The Homeplace
1210 Sanguinetti Road
Sonora, CA 95370
(209) 532-4113
(Directions place it across from the Sonora Crossroads shopping center parking lot.)
Currently open for breakfast and lunch, only.

P.O. Box 203, Jamestown, CA 95327
Phone and Fax 209-984-1215

Woods Creek Olive Oil
17415 Highway 108
Jamestown, CA 95327
(209) 984-4436

The Hurst Ranch also has grass-fed beef and lavender.

Jane Beckman

Jane Beckman is a reformed workaholic who has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. Her passions are food, wine, cooking, travel, and history, in no particular order. In fact, they tend to feed into each other. She might be found cooking over a fire at a historic adobe one weekend, eating crabcakes at a 19th century hotel in downtown Gettysburg on another, or getting lost on a back road, only to find an amazing park or hidden gem of a winery. Her family's love of exploring back roads has always influenced her, as did her father's love of exotic foods. Living in Hawaii at the age of 5, she acquired a taste for poke, pickled octopus, and poi. Japan hooked her on mochi and udon noodles, as well as Japanese kimono. When she was growing up on the Central Coast of California, her parents taught her how to be a "resident tourist" and find things even the locals didn't know about. She continues in that tradition, keeping an eye out for the unique and unexpected.

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