Taste the San Juans…at Home!

by | Oct 18, 2020 | Blog, Explore San Juan Island | 0 comments

Now that we’re heading into the season of long-shadowed days, chilly cheeks, and splashes of red streaking through maple trees, you may think summer is over and autumn has arrived.  But never fear, you can recreate summer and still savor the San Juans with an online trip to our favorite artisan producers. On your mark, get set, shop!

San Juan Island Sea Salt is the baby of Brady Ryan, an islander who started his business in 2012 and now produces around 5000 lbs. of salt a year in 7 evaporation houses. From one or two products, their line has evolved into 30 unique offerings, in addition to honey, which always sells out quickly. We swoon over the Madrona Smoked Salt and the Popcorn Blend, but the salt masters still surprise us with new flavors…Dill Pickle or Scorpion Salt, anyone? And at the end of the day, there’s nothing better than a luscious Salted Honey Caramel!

jar of sea salt on rocks on San Juan Island

Photo thanks to San Juan Island Sea Salt


No visit to the San Juans is complete without a stop at Pelindaba Lavender, whether in the summertime at their organically certified farm or the rest of the year at their storefront in Friday Harbor. Founded in 1998 to preserve open space, Pelindaba is now a “premier grower of lavender plants, a distiller of essential oils, and a handcrafter of lavender-based products.” They have also expanded beyond the island to 8 other locations around the country. With products for the kitchen, personal care, your home, and yes, even your dog, Pelindaba wins our best-smelling online shopping award.

lavender fields on San Juan Island


San Juan Vineyards produces award-winning estate grown wines with grapes grown on San Juan Island, the coolest-climate growing region of Washington State, the Puget Sound AVA. The vineyard was recently purchased by the Corliss family, who own wineries and vineyards in Eastern Washington, so their already good wines are bound to get better. Take a break from Chardonnay and try their Siegerrebe and Madeleine Angevine wines; both pair exceptionally well with seafood from the island.

San Juan Vineyard on San Juan Island

Photo thanks to San Juan Vineyards


Inspired by French Champagne, dry Rhones, and Bordeaux Reds, the young owners of Madrone Cellars, Shaun and Amy Salamida, are bringing a taste of Europe to the wine scene of the San Juan Islands. Favoring the natural style, Shaun’s wines are made with minimal intervention and are unfiltered. Their goal is ultimately to have a bio-dynamic vineyard on San Juan Island, but for now they’re sourcing grapes from Eastern Washington. Madrone Cider was born in 2017 and uses the same process as French Champagne to produce a delightfully dry and refreshing “hard cider” with fruit from local farms.

winemaker holding bottles of wine and cider

Photo thanks to Madrone Cellars


A newcomer to island food artisans, Tea Salish Sea is owned by the Compton family who brought tea-growing to San Juan Island in 2017. They are the first island farm to produce tea commercially and were instrumental in the creation of the San Juan Tea appellation. Tours of the plantation will start sometime in 2020, but in the meantime, in addition to ordering online, you can pay a visit to their new Tea Salish Sea Picoshop in Friday Harbor on select Saturdays. Make a cup of Lavender Earl Grey or Island Basil Chai and transport yourself right back to the island!

cup of tea in fall from Tea Salish Sea

Photo thanks to Tea Salish Sea


High Seas Tuna, based in Anacortes (jumping-off point for the ferries to the islands), has been in the family fishing business since the early 1960s. They “troll catch” young sashimi-grade albacore tuna, which are blast-frozen at sea. After hand-filleting and hand packing the fish, the can is cooked only once, unlike commercial processors. No water or oil is added, and the outcome is simply delicious. In addition to being dolphin-safe, their tuna has five times the Omega-3 oil of other brands and less than half the sodium. Add this staple to your pantry this winter, and you won’t be disappointed!

Tuna boat Maverick on the high seas

Photo thanks to High Seas Tuna


Girl Meets Dirt is the tale of an island girl who, upon returning home after a career in Manhattan, makes good by producing heritage preserves sourced from historic orchards on Orcas Island. These award-winning jams, shrubs, and bitters rely on an old-school style that pairs single varietal fruit with organic cane sugar and organic lemon, cooked down in seasoned copper pans. From Cherry Fig Leaf jam to Pink Bartlett Cutting Preserves to Island Plum Shrub, the results are pure magic.

Girl Meets Dirt in orchard picking fruit

Photo thanks to Girl Meets Dirt


Last, and certainly not least, of our island purveyors is Island Thyme, based on Orcas Island since 1996. Their farm and gardens provide the basis for an outstanding line of botanically-based skin and body care products, all blended in their apothecary studio. Island Thyme’s soaps (Gardener’s Scrub and Spruce and Cedar are Lakedale favorites), creams, balms, and herbal oils have creative and healthy fragrance twists. They now produce hand sanitizers, and their lip balms regularly sell out in our Lakedale stores.

Calendula Comfrey Lotion from Island Thyme in San Juan Islands

Photo thanks to Island Thyme





Call now: 800-617-2267
4313 Roche Harbor Rd,
Friday Harbor, WA