Temecula Grapevine

Your source for Temecula, CA and Southwest Riverside County lifestyle, events, & area information

Up Close and Personal with Artisan’s Palate and Pia Maffei

Pia Maffei (L) with Rocco's Biscotti founder

Pia Maffei (L) with Rocco’s Biscotti founder

Artisan’s Palate is newly opened, over summer, 2013.

Owner, operator Pia Maffei paused her work on the retail floor to chat with the Temecula Grapevine on what makes Artisan’s Palate a unique new way to retail, and support small independent businesses in the process.

Read to the end for a special offer with Temecula Grapevine, Temecula QPoner, and Artisan’s Palate.

Q: Welcome to Up Close and Personal, Pia! It’s so nice to see you again.

A. Thanks for having me!

Q: Artisan’s Palate is such a unique business, selling only 100 miles out local products. What is your background? (Family, business, artisan foods)

A: I was born and raised in Canada and moved to the U.S. after meeting my husband in ’96. I’ve been in technology for 25 years, and co-own a software company with my husband. In November 2012, because of events related to Hurricane Sandy, I had my ‘moment of clarity’ and decided I wanted to combine my love for technology and food and educate shoppers on the wonderful stories of the artisans that make products in small or micro-batches.

Q. What separates Artisan’s Palate from typical retail shops or Farmers Market Fare?

A. Artisan’s Palate is retail experience.

We have gourmet gifts that are all hand-crafted in small or micro-batches. Most of the items are pre-packaged and are shelf stable. We have fresh baked pre-packaged items that change every week but we don’t carry a selection of fruits or vegetables. We’re all about the artisan, the food items they produce and their story.

Q. What is it that you like best about the foods you sell?

A. I love knowing where and how my food is produced and I believe there are others that feel the same way. Many items at Artisan’s Palate can only be found in certain Farmer’s markets within our 100 mile radius. Others are so unique that they can’t be found anywhere but at Artisan’s Palate. For example, Rocco’s Biscotti is a delicious product with a heartwarming story about the owner’s dog, it’s a perfect example of the retail experience Artisan’s Palate offers.

Q. I know it’s hard to pick a favorite, but…do you have a favorite?

A. That’s like asking a mother which child she loves best, she’ll tell you she loves them all equally. That’s a tricky question! I’ve curated the shop so one of the criteria is that I have to LOVE everything and I DO!

Seriously, I am oddly fascinated with ‘mom-preneurs’, women that stay home to raise their family but still make a product that they sell. Similar to Milk-Maker’s Lactation Cookie story, this is a mom that made a cookie that helps women who are lactating produce more milk. I sell it in my shop and I have women coming back and also telling their friends.

Q. Are you selling anything that you, yourselves, produce?

A. No, not yet! It’s part of my growth plans but at this time I’m continuing to search for the artisan with that unique story and amazing product.

Q. Are you tied in with any local business networks? if so, which ones? and how have they helped you?

A. I’ve been active in the community since January. I try to make the various lunch events that the City of Temecula and the City of Murrieta plan, I’m also a member of the Chamber of Commerce, I often sub for various BNI members, and I an Affiliate member of SRCAR (Southwest Riverside County Association of Realtors).

However, one of my favorite groups that I attend every month is Wine Therapy! Networking definitely works, the relationships I’ve forged through networking have been trans-formative. I’m blessed to have met so many wonderfully supportive business people whom I’m lucky to now call friends. Many come in often to purchase gifts for their clients, kid’s teachers, friends, families, and themselves.

Q. How have you found working with the City of Temecula in opening a new business?

A. There are definitely a lot of rules and regulations at both the city and the county levels. Some of the rules and regulations aren’t quite business friendly but that’s probably a topic better suited for a longer article.

Q. Very true. Back to your grand opening, and new business. What promotions are you currently running?

A. I officially opened my doors on June 10 and every day we offer different specials.

For example, we’ve renamed Tuesday to ‘Twosday’. We have many items that sell for $6.00 and when a customer buys 2, $6 items they pay $10 instead of $12.

We’ll also be working with DealaPalooza for a daily deal. They understood that the ‘traditional’ daily deal special didn’t quite work for Artisan’s Palate, so we were able to devise an offer that meets the needs of the customer and the merchant.

Q. Now that does sound interesting!

Find Artisan’s Palate in the K Mart Shopping Center

Address: 26459 Ynez Rd. Suite C, Temecula, CA 92591

Or on the web: www.artisanspalate.com

Social Media Links: www.facebook.com/artisanspalate, www.twitter.com/artisanspalate

Friends of the Temecula Grapevine…

Would you like a 10% discount on your total purchase in August, 2013? Just tell them you Heard it through the Temecula Grapevine” at checkout.

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About Ashley Ludwig

Ashley Ludwig is an Editor for Patch News, Orange County and Los Angeles. She is also an inspirational romantic suspense author.

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