12 North Bay Artisan Producers Named 2024 Good Food Awards Finalists

A Good Food Award can give these small, usually family-owned businesses a wider audience and the attention of foodies.

You know you’ve made it in the artisan food world when you win a Good Food Award.

For the past 14 years, San Francisco nonprofit the Good Food Foundation has sifted through thousands of entries — from honey and snacks to charcuterie and beer — to find the small, up-and-coming producers to watch each year. A Good Food Award can give these small, usually family-owned businesses a wider audience and the attention of foodies.

The award categories include beer, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, cider, coffee, confections, drinks, elixirs, fish, grains, honey, oils, pantry items, pickles, preserves, snacks and spirits. Each submission is blind-tasted by a panel of professional food and beverage judges, who are looking for sustainably made and socially conscious products that are an “honest reflection of the best food and drink in America,” according to the Good Food Foundation.

From thousands of entries, the professional judges narrow the playing field to 428 products in the finals. This year, the winners will be announced in April. Here are the North Bay finalists in 2024. Click through the above gallery to meet some of these artisan producers.

Sonoma County

Canteen Meats, Beef Cecina (Petaluma): This “dry cured and cold smoked beef round,” popular in northern Spain, contains beef from Silver Sky Ranch and Beffa Springs in Petaluma. Enjoy it with olives, almonds and a glass of wine or sherry, recommends Canteen Meats. Find it at the West Marin Culture Shop in Point Reyes or online at canteenmeats.com.

Canteen Meats
Beef Cecina from Canteen Meats in Petaluma. (Canteen Meats)

Gold Ridge Organic Farms, Mandarin-Kumquat Shrub (Sebastopol): Gold Ridge Organic Farms’ Mandarin-Kumquat Shrub features organic mandarin-kumquat and citrus grown on the Gold Ridge estate, as well as a touch of sugar and small batch, barrel-aged apple cider vinegar and bay leaves. Available at goldridgeorganicfarms.com.

Spirit Works Distillery, Barrel Gin (Sebastopol): Spirit Works’ Barrel Gin is made from the same botanical distillation as their gin, but is aged for several months in new American White Oak barrel. The result: “a complex balance between the botanicals and the oak.” Available at spiritworksdistillery.com.

Spirit Works Distillery, Four Grain Straight Bourbon (Sebastopol): Spirit Works’ Four Grain Straight Bourbon Whiskey is “the proprietary master blend” of two of the distillery’s Bourbon formulas and features 60% corn with wheat, rye and barley in “the mash bills.” It is “especially delicious sipped neat,” according to the company. Available at spiritworksdistillery.com.

Tobias Glen Vineyard/California Wineries & Vineyards, Russian River Bee Raw Honey (Sonoma): Honeybees at these Sonoma vineyards produce “complex raw honey” with “floral notes from trees and perennials in bloom” in spring and “hints of apple, pear, and wild berries” later in the year. Available at tobiasglen.com/store.

Napa County

Clif Family Napa Valley, Organic Meyer Lemon Marmalade (St. Helena): Clif Family Napa Valley uses organic farming practice to grow their Meyer lemons. They are handpicked “at the perfect moment of ripeness” and turned into marmalade using a small batch process. With its balance of tartness and sweetness, it “makes the perfect addition to any breakfast spread or dessert topping,” according to the company. Available at cliffamily.com.

Marin County

Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company, Bay Blue (Point Reyes): The Bay Blue, “a rustic-style blue cheese with a natural rind, known for its mellow flavor and sweet, salted caramel finish” is “inspired by the sheer natural beauty of our coastal climate and locale,” writes Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company. Available from pointreyescheese.com.

Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company, Tomarishi (Point Reyes): The key to the “heat, umami and nutty flavors” of the TomaRishi is Shichimi Togarashi, “a Japanese spice blend containing chili flakes, nigella, chili powder, orange peel, ginger powder and nori,” according to Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company. Available from pointreyescheese.com.

Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company, Tomatruffle (Point Reyes): The TomaTruffle combines the cheesemaker’s classic Toma with black truffles from Umbria, Italy. “Reminiscent of undergrowth, fresh strawberries, dried fruit and a hint of cocoa, the earthy flavor marries beautifully with the buttery richness of Toma,” says Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company. Available from pointreyescheese.com.

Toluma Farms & Tomales Farmstead Creamery, Buona Fortuna (Tomales): A seasonal aged sheep’s milk cheese from animals on Toluma Farms, a 160-acre goat and sheep dairy and educational farm in Marin County, located on the ancestral homeland of the Coast Miwoks, according to the company. Available at tolumafarms.com.

Toluma Farms & Tomales Farmstead Creamery, Liwa (Tomales): Tomales Farmstead Creamery named this soft, Chèvre-style goat cheese and American Cheese Society award winner “Liwa,” the Coast Miwok word for “water,” out of “immense respect for the previous inhabitants and stewards of the land” on which Toluma Farms is located. Available at tolumafarms.com.

Fish, McFarland Springs Trout Dog (Sausalito): This McFarland Springs Trout hot dog served at Fish restaurant in Sausalito is dressed with housemade uni mustard and gypsy pepper relish. Available at Fish restaurant, 350 Harbor Dr., Sausalito. 331fish.com

Patagonia Provisions, Rosemary Garlic Organic Crackers (Sausalito): These crisp, herby crackers are made with organic and regeneratively grown and milled wheat from Washington State and pair well with cheese, tinned fish, smoked salmon and chicken salad, according to Patagonia Provisions. Available at patagoniaprovisions.com

Patagonia Provisions, Sourdough Sea Salt Organic Crackers (Sausalito): These crackers are also made with organic and regeneratively grown and milled wheat from Washington State. They pair well with cheese or tinned fish, as well as nut butters and jam, according to the company. Available at patagoniaprovisions.com

Mill Valley Pasta Co., Duck Egg Noodles (San Rafael): These egg noodles, made from local organic duck eggs, are like eating “the sensation of being draped in a blanket made out of the softest silk velvet while in a hot tub that is the perfect temperature … with your favorite slow jam playing softly in the background,” according to Mill Valley Pasta Co. Available at millvalleypasta.com.

Mill Valley Pasta Co., Porcini Radiatore (San Rafael): Radiatore means little radiators, and these little flanged pastas are perfect for pasta salads, pasta bakes and any pasta that has “a thicker sugo, thinner brodo, or a pasty condimento.” Available at millvalleypasta.com.

Mendocino County

Pennyroyal Farm, Boont Corners Vintage Tomme (Boonville): This cheese, made from fresh, raw milk, was named after the “Boontling” name for the site of the original Boonville, “Boont Corners” (The Corners), just a stone’s throw away from the location of Pennyroyal Farm. Available at pennyroyalfarm.com.

Gowan’s Cider, 1876 Heirloom Cider (Philo): Gowan’s 1876 Heirloom Cider is made from heirloom apples from the Gowan family’s heritage orchards. With notes of “caramel, stone fruit and rose,” it pairs well with many foods, including pancakes, pasta, cheese, chicken mole and barbecue, according to Gowan’s. Available at gowansheirloomcider.com.

Gowan’s Cider, Sierra Beauty Cider (Philo): The Gowan family planted rare Sierra Beauty apples in their orchards in 1906. This still applewine cider (no bubbles) has “aromas of shade flowers and notes of orange, apricot and spice,” according to the company. Available at gowansheirloomcider.com.

The full list of finalists can be found at goodfoodfdn.org.