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‘The David in the David & Goliath match’ | Turlock nonprofit in nail-biting race for $100,000 grant

in Community/Food

TURLOCK, Calif. — A nonprofit children’s ministry in Turlock is throwing down with some heavyweight contenders in a race for a $100,000 grant.

“We’re the underdog here,” said Jolynn DiGrazia, director for Westside Ministries. “We’re the David in the David & Goliath match.”

To be specific, that match is a contest from Kubtoa Tractor Corporation. It’s a national contest that’s part of the company’s Hometown Proud Grant Program. The winner in the contest is decided by votes. They chose five organizations, and Westside Ministries has a real chance of taking the top spot and taking home $100,000 for the Westside Food Literacy Program.

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Yes, he can: Hilmar resident impresses with pickled offerings

in business/Food

Name of business: Green Vine Canning

Type of business: Pickled produce

Location: Turlock Certified Farmers Market, Turlock Flea Market, Riverbank Farmers Market and online at 

Contact information:, @green_vine_canning on Instagram

Specialty: Spicy pickled vegetables made in small batches

History of business:

When Hilmar resident Wayne Norman was laid off during the Great Recession of 2008, he had no idea that the hobby of pickling vegetables grown in his garden would develop into a beloved business over a decade later. 

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

WIC participants receive increase in benefits

in Community/Food/Health

Beginning this month, participants of the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program will see a temporary increase to their benefits for the purchase of fruits and vegetables.

This benefit, provided by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, provides families with a temporary increase in their monthly WIC fruits and vegetables benefit to $35 to provide additional relief during COVID‐19. Currently, children ages one to five receive $9 per month, and, pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women receive $11 per month. The increase takes effect June 1 and is expected to last until September 2021.

Continue Reading on The Ceres Courier

Restaurants on the move in Turlock Town Center

in business/Food

More residents than ever are flocking to the Turlock Town Center for their shopping and dining needs thanks to its revitalization in recent years, and additional changes are on the way as some well-known businesses prepare to move into the growing retail hub. 

Although the grand opening of the center’s new anchor tenant, Smart & Final Extra! last summer seemingly marked the completion of a years-long effort to breathe new life into the shopping space, a restaurant shakeup is set to take place in the coming months as Mundo’s Latin Grill moves locations and others set up shop in the center as well.

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

Cereal drive to benefit local children

in Community/Food

Emanuel Medical Center in Turlock is joining Doctors Medical Center in Modesto and Manteca for a cereal drive with a goal of impacting childhood hunger in the region.

The Healthy Over Hungry Cereal Drive aims to supply children with cereal over the summer months and will be allocated by Second Harvest of the Greater Valley. The drive kickoff started Monday and runs through June 14.

“We understand the health issues children face from hunger and poor nutrition,” said Warren Kirk, CEO of Doctors Medical Center. “This past year has been particularly devastating for families struggling with hunger, as the COVID-19 pandemic compounded extreme food shortages in many communities. We recognize the importance of beginning each day with a nutritious breakfast and, through this drive, hope to help many in our community struggling with food insecurity. We invite you to help kids stay healthy this summer.”

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

DOT Foods gives to charity food banks

in Food

The Dot Foods California distribution center just outside of Ceres on Nickerson Way made a major donation to area food pantries through its Neighbor-to-Neighbor program to help fight hunger. The distribution center invited six local food pantries to select $5,000 worth of products from Dot’s inventory for a combined donation of $30,000 worth of food.

Recipients also included the St. Vincent de Paul Society at St. Jude’s Catholic Church in Ceres, Wings of Healing shelter in Stockton, St. Vincent de Paul Society food banks in Modesto and Manteca, Oak Valley Hospital in Oakdale, and the New Life Christian Center in Turlock.

Continue Reading on The Ceres Courier

New steakhouse prepares to open in downtown Turlock

in business/Food

Visitors to downtown Turlock will soon have another dining option that aims to bring something new to the area, which has become known for its high-quality restaurants in recent years. 

Jerry Powell and Devin Hill are preparing to open Cuts Steakhouse next month in the location that formerly housed Hauck’s Grill. Powell owns downtown bars The Udder Place and Cru as well as Katana Sushi Bar on the other side of Turlock, and Hill oversees operations at all three establishments. The pair began brainstorming plans for a restaurant as co-owners a couple of years ago, Hill said, and the opportunity to overtake the downtown space came up as Hauck’s fell victim to the pandemic. 

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

Former Los Gallos owners open new downtown taqueria

in business/Food

Name of business: Taqueria La Primera

Type of business: Mexican restaurant

Location: 144 S. First St. in downtown Turlock

Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday

Contact information: 209-620-8565

Specialty: Cream of Spice, Tacos Locos

History of business:

Many Turlock residents are probably familiar with the cuisine cooked up by Sergio and Esmeralda Gutierrez, but they may not recognize the business owners’ new family affair in downtown Turlock: Taqueria La Primera. 

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

Sensient Natural Ingredients Acquires Chili Pepper Plant in New Mexico

in Food

TURLOCK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sensient Natural Ingredients LLC (SNI), a leading processor and supplier of dehydrated vegetable products and natural food ingredients, announced today that it has finalized a transaction to acquire New Mexico Chili Products Inc., a dehydrated chili production facility in Deming, NM, that processes capsicums and a variety of specialty chilies for commercial sale to CPG food manufacturers, spice blenders, and foodservice customers.

According to SNI’s General Manager, Michael Finete, “This acquisition aligns with our long-term business strategy to advance our leadership position in select growth categories as well as fortify our robust supply chain. This is also an opportunity to better service our customers and satisfy the food industry’s increased demand for on-trend, value-added, natural, and organic ingredients that are sustainably sourced and traceable from farm to fork.”

Sensient Natural Ingredients is one of North America’s largest processors of onion, garlic, capsicum, and other specialty vegetable products and supplies CPG food manufacturers throughout the world. SNI established operations in California’s Central Valley over 50 years ago and prides itself on the multi-generational grower relationships it maintains to this day. Mr. Finete added, “We aspire to build equally strong and enduring relationships with the respected growers in New Mexico as we invest in and support the Deming community.”

Continue Reading on Business Wire

Oakland’s First Standalone Puerto Rican Restaurant Is Ready to Roll Out the Mofongos

in Food

For nearly three years, La Perla has been one of the great hidden treasures of Oakland’s Dimond District: a bustling, wildly delicious-smelling Puerto Rican takeout spot tucked inside the Two Star Market liquor store on MacArthur Boulevard. Now, the business is ready to take its next step: Cheo and Gabriel Ortiz, the father-and-son team behind La Perla, are moving the family business to a new location — just around the block at 3409 Fruitvale Avenue — that’s about four times as big.

It’s likely to be a destination restaurant from day one, simply because of the sheer paucity of Puerto Rican food options in the Bay Area. In the East Bay, in particular, La Perla will be the first full-fledged Puerto Rican restaurant — a standalone spot where customers will be able to feast on arroz con gandules, shrimp mofongos, and slow-roasted pernil.

Continue Reading on San Francisco Eater

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