Artisanal LA brings Fall 2013 show

In a city as diverse as Los Angeles, the multitude of food, drink and various cultures gathering in one place seems hard to imagine. But this weekend, Artisanal L.A. brings all they have to offer to the Los Angeles community in their Fall 2013 show.

USC alumna Shawna Dawson, founder of Artisanal LA, brings the LA community through food in the Fall 2013 show. | Courtesy of Shawna Dawson

USC alumna Shawna Dawson, founder of Artisanal LA, brings the LA community through food in the Fall 2013 show. | Courtesy of Shawna Dawson

Starting Oct. 12th, Artisanal L.A. presents their Fall 2013 show, a weekend-long community shopping, tasting and overall learning experience featuring independent home goods and handmade edibles in Los Angeles and from various places in the United States. This seasonal show will feature a wide array of edible treats ranging from local butchers to donut makers, and other programming such as hands-on workshops, demos led from chefs, expert panels and speakers educating guests of everything from craft beer making to urban farming and also an opportunity to learn about various non-profit organizations changing the local food scene in Los Angeles.

Artisanal L.A. gives attendees the occasional opportunity shop from nearly 100 hand-selected food and drink artisans all in one place, bring the community together to experience all of the Los Angeles food scene. Many artisans launched their businesses through Artisanal L.A. before being available at farmers markets. In this struggling economy, this exciting event makes it easy for supports the state of economy, meet producers, discover new favorites and join the community while having fun with the increasing number of Angelenos who are eager to learn where their food comes from.

Shawna Dawson, the founder of  Artisanal L.A. event and USC alumnus from 1999 with a degree in bioethics and religion, expresses the cruciality of the state of the L.A. economy and what Artisanal L.A. provides for the community.

“If you’re looking at our local economy, things that are made in the U.S.A. or in L.A. have dollars that then stay here. When you have money that stays local, that’s where you see the real impact on the local economy.”

Dawson understands not only how her event gives back money to the local community, but the greater impact Artisanal L.A. has on the various businesses participating as well.

“Because we’re determined to take down barriers to entering the market for lesser known artisans and those who may be bringing their product to the public for the first time,” Dawson said in an interview, “including keeping booth fees and costs substantially lower than any similar event — the economics of this event can be challenging and finding the right venue is critical.”

One of the featured makers at Artisanal L.A. this season is Chocoboost, a handmade gourmet chocolate in very affordable pricing. President of Chocoboost Linda Dub and her partner Sharon Yaar immigrated from Israel four years ago, both going to school in vastly different fields and initially started this company as merely something fun to do in their spare time.

“The two of us are U.S. immigrants [from Israel]; we each have different career backgrounds,” Dub said. “In our country of origin, I hold a M.A. degree in public administration and organizational development [from Haifa University]. Sharon hold a B.S. in biology [from Ben Gurion University], worked in medical research industries and [we both] considered chocolate making merely a hobby.”

What started as a hobby turned into a successful business for Dub and Yaar. Coming from a different country proved to be a struggle in the beginning but that made the two even more determined to start this business.

“It was difficult to find similar careers because of the language barrier. However, sitting idle wasn’t an option,” Dub said. “So, being very energetic and self-motivated, we decided in 2012 to reinvent ourselves. We pushed to come up with products line that would represent our experience, values, knowledge, education and talents. Brainstorming and imagination gave birth to ChocoBoost.”

Nearly two years old, ChocoBoost is now a successful business, catering to various events from private events such as baby showers and weddings to professional events like conventions and business launching parties. Even with all of their success thus far, the two are still continuing to grow and have learned to never take anything for granted.

“What’s important for us is the learning process and not just the financial side of the business,” Dub said. “The fact that being active and positive is what’s helped us to adapt and assimilate into the new country. Because of our immigrant background we are always willing to help and really appreciate when people enlist to help us.”

This seasonal show gives money back to the local businesses by providing an outlet for business such as ChocoBoost and others to present themselves to L.A. and show the community who they are and expose the locality and what ingredients go into making everyone’s favorite food

“ChocoBoost bring to the L.A. community and to the event visitors a chocolate product line that is.” Dub said. “Freshly handmade from European chocolate, fine liquors, finest ingredients, natural flavors and no preservatives or corn syrup except in the marshmallows.”

More importantly, Dawson mentions how the ingredients in the food Angelenos eat drive the success of this event every event.

“I think that people are getting more curious about where their food and food products are coming from,” Dawson said. “Over the last few years, there has been a huge push to buy local and sustainable, and as that grows in trend-setting cities like New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, I think you’ll see it gaining traction throughout the country.”

Artisanal L.A. starts this weekend, Oct. 12 and 13 from 11 a.m. -6 p.m., tickets range between $10 – $15.

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