A Toast to the Tastemakers

Not all food is created equal. And not all food brands are equally innovative. If you’re looking for small brands to discover and support right now, we’ve tasted endless amounts, and these are some of the tastiest, most inventive, and inspirational on the market.

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Sweet Treats


Like many food companies that cater to specific dietary needs, The Cookie Department as we know it today was founded by necessity. After Elannah Resnikoff suffered a traumatic brain injury, her husband and The Cookie Department founder, Akiva Resnikoff, who originally started the company with his Awaken BakedCaffeinated Cookie, decided to refocus the purpose of his cookies after Elannah’s doctors espoused the benefits of the ketogenic diet.

On this new regimen, Elannah experienced decreased inflammation and a stabilization in her blood sugar. Coincidentally, the keto diet was growing ever more popular in the country at the same time. Akiva then decided to reformulate his line of functional cookies to a new line of keto cookies so his wife could enjoy them.

Low in carbs, gluten-free, kosher, and containing zero artificial ingredients, the cookies are not only beneficial to your body, but also cater to those with dietary restrictions. Regularly touted as the best tasting keto cookies on the market, The Cookie Department currently boasts two delicious flavors, Mint Condition (double chocolate chip + mint) and Cake Walk (birthday cake + sprinkles), now joined by the brand new Champion Chip (chocolate chip), which just launched this fall.



Born out of a desire to help her young son, Bunnie Cakes founder Mariana Cortez sought to bring delicious, quality, gluten-free and vegan baked goods to the market. Initially she experimented in her home kitchen, bringing mini cupcakes to local restaurants in the hopes they would sell them.

Mariana eventually quit her full-time job after supplying handfuls of restaurants every week.As her business steadily grew, she moved to a kitchen space, and from there, a storefront near the Wynwood District in Miami. Since 2013, her space has earned numerous accolades, including Best Vegan Bakery in Miami, Best Cupcake in Miami, and even a successful appearance on the Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars.”

Bunnie Cakes Studio, which was built next to her storefront, is the first cupcake and cake decorating studio in Miami, where customers can book parties and learn top tips and tricks to doing-it-yourself, Bunnie Cakes-style.

While this bakery definitely caters to a specific group of eaters, don’t cross it off your list if you’re not gluten-free or vegan—their treats are insanely delicious!And best of all, they recently launched nationwide shipping so now you can enjoy your Bunnie Cakes no matter where you reside.



When her eldest son headed off to college, Sharon Graves received a brochure for an automated care package company, and that’s when her idea for Mom in the Mail planted its seed. If you’re going to send a care package, it needs to be packaged with love and care, she thought. The award-winning baker and owner of LA’s BLVD Kitchen (a community-based cooking school, shop, and catering company) began sending care packages to her son in college and started receiving countless requests from friends and neighbors to send packages to their own children.

Now, whether you’re a baker or not, or you’re strapped for time, you can send(or receive) a thoughtfully curated box of goodies all made from scratch. EachMom in the Mail box comes with your choice of mom-made treats, a DIY thank-you card, a greeting card, and the option to include a note from you, too.Plus, customers have the choice to throw in some extra goodies for birthday celebrations, stressful days, or whatever occasion may arise. You won’t want to pass up on the opportunity to try these out-of-this-world cookies.


Savory Snacks


Authentic, fresh products are the backbone of Jorge Saldana’s many food ventures. Growing up in Guadalajara, Mexico, Jorge sought to bring the flavors and traditions he enjoyed growing up to California, where he owns two restaurants—Cancún Sabor Mexicano and Tlaloc Sabor Mexicano—which both utilize local ingredients for fresh farm-to-tableMexican cuisine.

Following the success of his restaurants, Jorge noticed that his customers had a growing interest in bringing home his delicious chips and salsas. It was then that he created the Sabor Mexicano Foods line, which makes authentic, all-natural Mexican products, all by hand. The difference between their chips and your typical Tostitos is like night and day.Created using ingredients from Jorge’s Sonoma County farmhouse, Sabor Mexicano products are fresh, farm-quality thanks to careful growing and cultivation that’s free from pesticides, harmful chemicals, and GMOs. Not only are the company’s products simple, fresh, flavorful, and healthy, but they can leave you feeling good about their impact on the environment, too.



Ayeshah Abuelhiga grew up enjoying the comfortfood at her parent’s soul food carry-out restaurant in Maryland. She first began missing that down home comfort food when she went away to college, and could only find what she was looking for in unhealthy, processed fast food chains.

Fast forward to today and Ayeshah is the founder of Mason Dixie Foods, her answer to fresh, natural, and delightful comfort food that can be enjoyed easily at home. Her frozen line of ready-to-bake goods includes biscuits, scones, and rolls that lock in the freshness without adding any preservatives. Made from scratch and using all real ingredients that you can pronounce are ready to eat in just20 minutes and will give you all the comfort of a warm hug or cozy blanket that you didn’t know you needed until you were wrapped in it.



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