NEW BEDFORD — Whether you’re hosting a holiday party or just looking to check off some tasty gifts on your holiday list, it’s likely you’ll find lots of items to hit the spot at Sid Wainer & Son’s Jansal Valley Provisions.
Long a destination for foodies and chefs, the recently updated Jansal Valley Provisions store on Purchase Street in New Bedford is geared even more to home cooks.
Every day of the week, there’s an array of food samples to enjoy while shopping. Last Friday, it included several types of cheese, dates and olive spread. There’s even a new incubator kitchen that offers cooking classes and workshops including upcoming ones on holiday hors d’oeuvres, holiday kids cooking and fine cheese and wine pairing. “Jansal Valley Provisions is our flagship store, but we are in a lot of other stores too,” said Allie Wainer, executive vice president of Sid Wainer and Sons.
For those holiday gathering cheese platters, there’s an entire room devoted to cheeses, from Kilchurn Estates’ variety of English cheddars to Rocky Mountain Ash’s artisanal goat cheeses and classic European varieties such as camembert and gorgonzola. “We’re really focused on gift baskets and really creating an experience where customers can come in and understand how to put together a dinner party,” said Wainer.
For a cheese with a local flavor, check out Jansal Valley Buzzards Bay Sessions Cheddar made with Westport-based Buzzards Bay Brewings’ IPA, described as a farmstead, artisan cheese with hoppy, heady flavor and aroma.
Chef Chris Cordeiro is on site in the Jansal Valley store with his team to advise customers who have questions about how to cook anything in the store. “This is the first year we’ll be hosting cooking classes.… One of the things we do in the store is to not necessarily have people purchase a completed product, but to show them how to cook with unique ingredients,” said Cordeiro. “We’re trying to empower people to understand the ingredients here can be used in multiple ways.”
He suggests small dishes people can bring to a holiday party, the like their recipe for Dukkah and Maple Spiced Nuts made with dukkah, a North African spice blend with cumin, sesame and cinnamon. “African cuisine is really popular now so we’re trying to use popular, unique ingredients in something that everyone has had that’s festive,” said Cordeiro. “The biggest thing we’re trying to focus on here is empowering people to cook like chefs.”
“And creating easy solutions for people to be different,” added Wainer.
Customers will also find recipe cards throughout the store using Jansal Valley products to make cooking a breeze or to add to a gift basket with the ingredients. Another nice, unique dish for a holiday party, said Cordeiro, is their recipe card for Gochujang Spiced Carrots. “It’s nice and spicy, and a little bit sweet,” he said.
As for those gifts for the foodies, Wainer said they assemble any type of basket for customers. They also have a section devoted to gift baskets. “If a customer comes in and says’ ‘My aunt loves honey,’ we can put together a whole honey basket for them with accoutrements to go with it. For the cheese lovers, we have all the different cheese baskets,” said Wainer. “Creating a whole basket around a recipe is also a fun thing to do. We have a whole butternut basket with recipes that people can do.”
One of the newer additions to the store is a cocktail section for the home craft cocktail bar. In addition to a whole line of shrubs — an old-style flavored vinegar cocktail that’s become popular again — they also have a line of organic bloody Mary mix and organic margarita mix. “It’s a really easy solution to the holidays, especially if you put it with a bottle of vodka or tequila. And coming up with a signature cocktail for your own party is really fun,” said Wainer.
In the past few years, they’ve introduced a full line of deli and charcuterie in the store, and for holiday hosts who would rather let Jansal Valley do most of the cooking, they also have an entire line of pre-made appetizers such as Kobe beef in a blanket, pot stickers and wild mushrooms in phyllo dough. “The artichoke and herb fritter is a staff favorite,” added Wainer.
Another new addition to the store is a line of service ware. “They fit into the coastal chic vibe. One of the things customers have been doing is buying these platters and using them as the basket themselves,” said Cordeiro.
“So they can come here and get their cheese and their crackers and just bring it on the platter to the party,” added Wainer.
Jansal Valley Provisions' upcoming classes include Fine Cheese and Wine Pairing on Thursday, Dec. 6; Kids Hour: Holiday Treats on Dec. 8; and Fresh Ideas for Holiday Hors d’oeuvres on Dec. 13. Space is limited. To register, email email@example.com or call 508-999-6408 Ext. 396.
Jansal Valley Provisions is located at Sid Wainer & Son, 2301 Purchase St #1, New Bedford.
Email Linda Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org.