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Stories from the valley

They had me at Maple Bacon Almonds

Contributed by Jim Morris

One of my favorite parts of traveling in the Sacramento Valley is stopping at farm stores.  It’s great to see the orchards, fields and vineyards and another wonderful payoff is enjoying the bounty from our valley!

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A relatively new farm store is off of Highway 99 in Butte County by Sohnrey Family Foods, a five-generation family that has farmed since 1875.

The star performer is a huge local crop – almonds, which are grown, flavored and packaged locally by the family. Their flavors include Maple Bacon, Balsamic Herb, Curry, Jalapeño Smokehouse and more than a dozen others.

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The store is off to a good start, buoyed by a recent page one article in the Chico Enterprise-Record.

“We hope it’s a unique way to vertically integrate our farm and get our products directly to people,” remarked Derek Sohnrey. “When people try our almonds, they’re amazed at the quality and freshness that they get. It’s a neat experience to provide people something fresh right from our farm.

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The Sohnreys have about a dozen family members doing a variety of jobs- everything from working the ground to writing blogs and maintaining their website.

“It’s more of a lifestyle than it is a job,” Derek said. “This is what we wake up and do every day. I’m working land that my dad, grandpa and great grandfather all worked. I hope our future generations can keep this going!”