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Washington’s two greatest passions–apples and alcohol–collide in the country’s best hard ciders.
Do you enjoy reaching for a cold one, but beer isn’t really your thing? Or maybe you just want to mix it up a little now and then! There’s something about long summer nights on the patio that make a grown-up long for a cool, refreshing drink. Lucky for you, Washington has a budding hard cider industry that’s just getting started. And we’re already pretty great at it! It’s no surprise given our long held national reputation for phenomenal apples and our deep love for craft beer. It was just a matter of time before the two passions came together, and they’ve done so beautifully.
Hard cider is no longer the cloyingly sweet younger cousin to beer. Drawing from a history that goes all the way back to rich European roots, cider makers have found ways to draw out variety and nuance you may find to be delightfully unexpected. Washington is home to many great cideries, so we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorites. They’re all locally owned and operated, all use apples sourced right here in the PNW, and all found right here at your local Tacoma Boys and H&L produce.
Tacoma’s Best Summer Ciders
One Tree Hard Cider
One Tree–based in Spokane, WA–specializes in hard ciders made from apples grown right here in Washington. What started with a home cider kit grew into one of Washington’s premier cider makers. Now, you can find their ciders in Idaho, Montana and Illinois. But the easiest place to find it? Right here at your local Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce. On our shelves right now, you’ll find Lemon Basil, Huckleberry, Orange Creme, Caramel Cinnamon, and Staycation. Try them all, and be on the lookout for their seasonal ciders as well. One Tree Hard Cider makes our list as a refreshing addition to any summer outing!
Avid Cider is family owned and operates out of Bend, OR. The founders of Avid were tired of ciders that were too sweet or too dry, so they struck out to create a well balanced cider. Why should you try Avid cider? Because they perfectly represent the PNW. They take inspiration from the landscape and culture of the Northwest and try to do their patrons proud. As a result, their apples are locally grown and processed sustainably. With no sugar added, Avid ciders are “just right.” They were also voted 2018 Oregon Cider Producer of the year. So swing by and try one of the four Avid flavors we offer–Apple Stardust, Black Apple, Acai Lemonade, and Apricot Cider.
Locust Cider & Brewing Co.
Locust Cider and Brewing is a business with a cause! Brothers Jason and Patrick Spears founded the company in 2015. Around that time, Jason’s learned his daughter Lucy had a condition called Hydrocephalus, which requires multiple brain surgeries to treat. For every bottle of Locust Cider sold, they donate a portion of the profits to the Hydrocephalus Association. In addition to supporting a great cause, you’ll enjoy a bottle of locally produced cider from a small (but growing!) family business.
With production sites in Woodenville, WA and taprooms in Seattle, Tacoma, Walla Walla, Spokane, and Vancouver, you have options when it comes to trying their beer and cider. And of course, you can pick it up right here at your local Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce. We carry their Honey Pear, Dark Cherry, Vanilla Bean, and Mojito flavors. Try their cider today, and support a local family owned business and a great cause!
When they were 19, the founders of Alpenfire traveled to Canada (where they weren’t underage) and fell in love with the taste of hard apple cider. As they grew, so did their appreciation for the history of hard cider and the way it has developed in countries much older than ours. Thus, their heritage apple cider was born. Alpenfire’s cider making process harkens all the way back to their experiences in Europe. And it’s all made with apples plucked straight from their organic orchard in Port Townsend, WA! Their commitment to an organic process comes with difficulties, but also keeps them connected to the land and the changing seasons. At your local Tacoma Boys or H&L Produce, you’ll find their “2017 Rosy Pommeau” (a single varietal dessert cider), “2018 Traditional Cuvèe” (a dry heritage cider), “Calypso Apples and Blackberry” (a barrel aged fruit cider), and “Kingston Black” (and estate single varietal cider). Grab one today, and experience the rich history of hard apple cider from fresh Washington apples.
Find This Summer’s Best Ciders at Tacoma Boys
We’ve only scratched the surface of the variety of hard ciders we carry at Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce! The list could go on and on, including 2 Towns Ciderhouse, Whitewood Cider Co., Incline Cider Company, Portland Cider Company, and more! With ciders ranging from sweet to dry and everywhere in between, we know you’ll find one (or a few) to satisfy your taste. Stop by one of our locations today, and ask one of our friendly and knowledgeable store associates for a recommendation!
If you’re local to the PNW, you know and probably love what we do best–coffee! According to a study by Wallethub, Seattle is the “best coffee city in America” in terms of friendliness toward coffee lovers. Translation? Our neck of the woods is a great place to be if you’re craving a quality cup of coffee. Great coffee is part of our culture! And not just the drinking of it, but the roasting as well. We have a plethora of coffee roasters right here in Tacoma and the surrounding area who are truly passionate about every aspect of coffee–the taste, the smell, the bean–all those nerdy things that go into making your morning great.
At Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce, we love to work with local small businesses. And that’s true for coffee as well as the quality produce and specialty items you expect when you walk in our doors. So on our shelves, you’ll find a great selection of coffee from local roasters. You’ll likely recognize some, but perhaps a few will be new to you. Every bag represents a company run by people who are passionate–not just about coffee but about caring for the world we live in and making a difference in the lives of its people. We hope you’ll enjoy this deeper look into the hearts and stories of a few of our favorite local coffee roasters. Take a look!
Local Coffee Roasters: A Closer Look
“We exist to improve the quality of life for coffee farmers, for our staff and for our customers.”
Olympia Coffee company as it is today started in the hearts and minds of two young coffee lovers–Sam Schroeder and Oliver Stormshak. Armed with a passion for innovation and fair trade, they set out to use every available technology to make great coffee. They understood that coffee has the potential to be better than it ever has. This is not just because of better technology, but because of improved communication with and involvement of the coffee growers across the world.
As a result of their commitment to improving the lives of coffee farmers by direct trade, their coffee wins awards. Olympia Coffee has received nationwide accolades for their phenomenal products over and over again. But they don’t let it go to their heads. On their website, they insist their real love “is for creating and sharing extraordinary coffee with [their] community in the Pacific Northwest and with [their] friends throughout the world.”
Olympia Coffee roastery is located in downtown Olympia where it started in 2005. At this location, you can enjoy your cup of coffee while watching the magic happen. Their roasting process is visible through large windows throughout the shop. Or enjoy an equally satisfying cup at any of their other locations–South Olympia, West Olympia, Proctor Tacoma, Columbia City, and West Seattle. You can also order for pick-up from any of these locations. Or pick up a bag of Olympia Coffee from the coffee section in one of our locations and brew at home any time!
Cutter’s Point Coffee Co.
“Cutters Point’s goal is to make a positive difference in the lives of our guests.”
The name “Cutter’s Point” gives a nod to Gig Harbor’s nautical past. It harkens back to the moment explorers Peter Puget and Joseph Whidbey landed their cutters on Point Fosdick in 1792. Now, Cutter’s Point Coffee strives to be a soft place to land for anyone looking for community, friendly faces, and a great cup of coffee.
Their locations are thoughtfully and beautifully designed for conversation, gathering, and staying a while. Founded in 1955 at their flagship location in Gig Harbor, they’ve now expanded into multiple locations throughout the puget sound. Shortly after their beginning, they started their own roastery in Gig Harbor and made their coffee available to all. Stop by Tacoma Boys or H&L Produce and grab a bag of their Discovery Espresso, Fisherman’s Blend, Cutter’s Point Original, or Dark Harbor.
Cutter’s Point has multiple locations in Gig Harbor, Tacoma, and Lacey, one one each in Lakewood, Kent, and all the way in Savannah, GA! Each Location is marked by their trademark cozy feel, so stop in and stay a while.
Poverty Bay Coffee Co.
“We love coffee, the rainforest, and our customers!”
Poverty Bay Coffee Co. is a small-batch micro roaster in Seattle, WA. Over 20 years ago, Dan Olmstead founded the company on principles of sustainability and responsibility–before they became buzzwords–and they’re committed to those ideals now more than ever. In a time when rain forests are be
ing cleared to grow coffee faster to keep up with demand, they use beans grown slowly in the shade of the rain forest. “In the rainforest, not instead of the rain forest,” according to their website.
Poverty Bay also practices sustainability in their roastery and cafes–composting as much material as possible and recycling the rest. The even better news? Coffee beans grown in the shade of the rain forest make richer, more balanced coffee! So when you buy a bag of Poverty Bay Coffee from Tacoma Boys or H&L Produce, you’re supporting the rain forest, the environment, a small business. AND you’re enjoying a superior cup of coffee from a local roaster. (Not to brag, but they made a batch just for us…give their “Tacoma Boy Blend” a try!)
Poverty Bay’s family owned and operated cafe is located in Federal Way. Stop by and enjoy fresh pastries, soups, sandwiches, and of course, freshly brewed coffee.
The Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie (TVICR)
“Our goal is simple… to provide you with legendary coffees of exquisite taste that you can feel good about buying.”
If you’ve ever been to Vashon Island, you’ve likely seen the historic The Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie. Founded by Jim Stewart, lover of specialty coffee and pioneer in fair trade, TVICR is steeped in a long tradition of supporting indigenious people. The company works in partnership with The Vashon Island Coffee Foundation–an organization founded by Jim–to provide support to the coffee farmers in Santiago de Atitlan with whom they trade directly.
The current owner puts it beautifully in this statement from their website: “There is nothing palatable about coffee that arrives in my cup through the destruction of natural habitat, wildlife, or the eradication of Indigenous cultures, traditions or people.” We love this local coffee roaster’s enduring commitment to their values. And we’re thrilled to offer their HeirloomⓉ Coffee for your at-home brewing pleasure.
You can feel the history of the place upon entry. The building itself was made with old growth island fir and is filled with coffee antiques. In addition to this, TVICR roasts their trademark Heirloom Coffee by using the Roasterie’s original vintage roaster in a tradition passed on from Jim to his Master Roaster Peter. He now continues the tradition with two more apprentices. Next time you’re in Vashon Island, visit the Roasterie for yourself and see that sometimes the old ways are the best ways.
Coffee Roasters Making a Difference
These are just a few of the many quality coffee companies with whom we collaborate. We love to see individuals and businesses chasing their passions while also doing whatever is within their power to make the world a better place. These small businesses may be “just” coffee roasters, like we’re “just” a specialty market. But we believe that our efforts, in combination with the efforts of others, really can make a difference in the world. When you partner with us in supporting local businesses like these who responsibly and thoughtfully create a quality product while caring for the earth and all the people in it, you’re making a difference as well. So swing by Tacoma Boys or H&L Produce, grab a bag of coffee from one of these companies, and taste the difference doing the right thing makes.
Summer and long road trips go together like ice cream and waffle cones. And here at Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce, we have everything you need to fuel your road trip this summer!
Maybe it’s that windows-down, warm-breeze-in-your-hair feeling, or the way the late evening sunshine makes it feel like you could explore to the end of the world and back before bed. Whatever it is, these warm summer months have us bit bad by the travel bug–especially travel via the open road! And what’s the number one supply necessary for a great summer road trip? Fuel, of course. For your car sure, but let’s face it…it’s the road snacks that are going to make or break the ride. Lucky for you, Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce have just the thing. Whatever you like to keep in the center console–sweet, salty, crunchy, or fruity–we’ve got you covered. So, buckle up for our top contenders to be your ride or die snacks for your road trip this summer.
Our Favorite Snacks to Fuel Your Road Trip
Candy is essential on any summer road trip. It can act as a quick pick-me-up when you’ve come a long way, but you still have miles to go. Or it can be a reward for the miles well traveled. Either way, it’s a great way to make the trip just a little bit sweeter. And when it comes to candy, we have it all (seriously, come see our candy aisle. It’s extensive), but we’ve rounded up some of our favorites. The best part? They’re all crafted locally!
Gig Harbor Candy Company Tiger Butter
If you haven’t tried Gig Harbor Candy Company’s Tiger Butter…run, don’t walk. A delectable mixture of vanilla, milk chocolate, and peanut butter, this candy is a melt-in-your-mouth treat you don’t want to miss.
Cobb’s Naturally Naughty Peanut Butter Cups
A husband and wife team in Olympia, WA founded Cobb’s in 2013 out of their passion for delicious treats even someone with allergies can enjoy. Their peanut butter cup is dairy and gluten free and sourced responsibly, so you can fuel your road trip guilt free!
Tacoma Boys’ Dried Fruit
Ok, not exactly candy. But for long hours in the car, maybe natural sugars are a better bet. From our bulk section check out dried kiwi slices, apricots, banana slices, papaya chunks, zante currants, raisins (regular and golden), coconut chips and more!
While sugary treats are loads of fun, your savory sides will give you the balance you need to keep on trucking! These bite-sized salty snacks are the best for keeping the car clean and one hand on the wheel.
Tacoma Boys’ Trail Mix
While you’re in our bulk section, take a look at our variety of trail mixes! With flavors like Simply Chocolate, Simply Kettle Sweet’n’Spicy, Tropical Paradise, and more, you’re sure to find a trail mix to your taste! We also have mixed nuts, cacao covered almonds, sliced, raw, and whole almonds–everything you need to mix and match your own trail mix just how you like it!
Beecher’s Flagship Cheese Crackers
If you’ve been to Pike’s Place Market, you’ve likely seen–and hopefully sampled–Beecher’s handmade cheese. Straight from the Seattle cheese maker you love, Beecher’s Flagship Cheese Crackers will not disappoint. They melt Beecher’s Flagship cheese right into the cracker for a delicious crunch without hydrogenated oils.
Hero Jerky Meat & Cheese Trail Mix
Grab a pack of Hero Jerky Meat and Cheese Trail Mix for the perfect amount of protein to fuel your road trip! These packs have beef jerky, meat sticks, and colby jack cheese. All your favorites in one ideally portioned packet!
There’s something exorbitant and extra fun about indulging in a car cookie. Great for in between rest stops and filling your belly, here are some of our favorite low-crumble cookies.
Magic Flavors Vanilla Crescent Cookies
Magic Flavors is a local small business that specializes in bringing international flavors to the Pacific Northwest. Their take on Vanillekipferl (or German vanilla crescent cookies) are light and nutty and they melt in your mouth–perfect for car snacking!
No Bake Cookies
These no bake cookies from the No-Bake Cookie Co. are a delicious blast from the past! No-Bake Cookie Co is woman owned, and their cookies (all gluten free) are hand crafted in Bend, OR. Try them in Coconut Macadamia, Peanut Butter, or Chocolate!
PNW Cookie Company makes gluten free, soy free and vegan cookies right here in the PNW! Choose from Chocolate Chip, Double Chocolate, Molasses, Oatmeal & Raisin, Peanut Butter, and Snickerdoodle and feel great about supporting local business while fueling your road trip!
Tacoma Boys: The Best Travel Buddy!
Wherever you go–whether it’s thirty minutes to Sunnyside Beach, or three days across the country–take Tacoma Boys with you! We’d be honored to fuel your road trip any way we can, so stop by today, say hi, and grab some car snacks before you hit the open road!
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One Pan Chicken
For some recipes, the cleanup can be worse than the cooking itself. Watching those dishes pile up is no fun! Thankfully, you don’t have to worry about a huge cooking mess when it comes to this simple, one pan, chicken recipe.
At your local Tacoma Boys and H & L Produce we have all the fixings for this meal. From our year round supply of fresh vegetables, to our well sourced fresh and frozen chicken.
Just place your Tacoma Boys vegetables of choice on one side of the pan, thickly diced chicken breast in the middle, and diced potatoes on the other side. Then, bake at 425 for 45 minutes.
You can have fun with a one pan chicken recipe by switching up your veggies and seasonings. Here are some of our favorite ways to add a little flavor:
- Use Italian dressing on the chicken
- Season veggies with some garlic powder and olive oil
- Add some olive oil and pepper on your potatoes.
Gluten Free – Butter Chicken With Cauliflower Rice
A tasty crowd-pleaser. This gluten free Chicken Recipe is even dairy-free. Try this tasty recipe tonight! (more…)
SHEET PANNED ITALIAN CHICKEN
In a sealable plastic bag add 6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts. Then add some salt, olive oil and a quick pour of balsamic vinegar (⅓ cup). Add some Italian seasoning, pepper and garlic powder to your preference. (Some folks cheat and use a bottle of Italian dressing, but we think this version is much fresher). If you can refrigerate for 1 hour, that is ideal, but not necessary. (more…)
BRUSCHETTA-TOPPED CHICKEN AND SPAGHETTI
Have a craving for Italian food? Going out to eat at a restaurant is nice for a special occasion. But, with help from Tacoma Boys, you can make a quality Italian meal right at home! From artisan pastas and cheeses to the best quality meat, we have everything you need to turn your favorite Italian dishes into easy weeknight dinners. And, this delicious recipe is ready within 30 minutes!